Hello again, sisters. Today, I’ve come to finish up my short series on false teaching in “Gospel” music. As we’ve seen thus far (from part 1), it is important for us to be mindful of what we listen to, and also for song writers/artists to be mindful of the material they put out. The Word tells us, in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” This is something that each person who teaches, or aspires to teach, God’s words is to do (and all Christians in general, too).
Amen? Now let’s get into today’s song lyrics.
First up is a song titled Immediately (similar to the song Right Now discussed last week), which has a really nice ring to it. It, as the others, sounds really legit. It says, “I came in this place so burdened down; tried to lift my hands, but I was bound. But the Lord our God said to me, if I praise Him now I’ll see my victory. So I lifted my hands and opened my mouth, and immediately God worked it out.” Later on it says, “Immediate victory, because I believed.”
Now, just looking at these lyrics, you’re probably thinking, “What’s wrong with them? They sound like truth to me.” If you’ve been studying your Bible, a certain verse from the book of Daniel may have even popped into your mind—the one where the angel tells Daniel, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them” (Daniel 10:12). However, although God immediately dispatched an angel to bring a response to Daniel’s prayer, we see (in the next verse) that the angel was held up with the response 21 days. So yes, the answer, in this case, was sent out immediately, but it didn’t reach Daniel immediately (an orchestration of God).
That noted, it’s a dangerous thing to tell someone that God will work things out immediately (with no sure word from God). Although God can do all things and is more than able to work situations out immediately (as He has; see Jehoshaphat and the Israelite’s story in 2 Chronicles 20), He usually does not. And leading people to think this way can cause havoc in their lives and put a damper on their faith (or cause them to walk away altogether) when things don’t work out immediately.
The best message we can give to someone who’s hurting, or who finds themselves facing a dire situation, is to trust God, to look only to Him, and to take comfort in His Word (because He may choose to heal them or change their situation this side of Heaven, and He may not, for His own good purposes. Everything, after all, isn’t seasonal).
Another thing I want to quickly point out from those lyrics is the part where the artists say: “But the Lord our God said to me, if I praise Him now I’ll see my victory.” Why is this part an issue? Well, it’s an issue because those words resemble nothing we read from God in Scripture. Are we commanded to praise God in Scripture? Yes. But we never find God (as this song seems to suggest) begging for praise in exchange for granting victory (that’s the tactic of satan [see Matthew 4:1-11]). We do see instances where God has given commands and when obeyed victorious results followed—such as in the case of the Israelites marching around the wall of Jericho seven days in order to take the city; Naaman dipping himself seven times in the Jordan River to be cleansed of leprosy. However, we never find God saying anything along the lines of, “If you praise me now, I’ll give you victory.”
In truth, we’ve already been given (eternal) victory because of the finished work of His Son on the cross. So if anything, I believe He’d be more adamant in reminding us of that truth (as He reminds me often) rather than encouraging us to desire (or have a high expectation) of anything “victorious” from this world (cf. Colossians 3:2).
Next up, is a song titled I Believe. In this song, the artist says, “The only reason the devil is hitting you like he’s hitting you, is because he has literally peeked into your future, and he sees what God is about to bring you into…” Hmm. The devil has peeked into our future? Is there a place in the Bible that declares the evil one omniscient? Not at all! The devil can’t peek into our futures, sisters. He (and his evil allies) can study our behaviors, hear our discussions, see our journal writings, and act on that information (to try and hinder our progress). But as far as peeking at and knowing, as God does, what lies ahead of us, that is totally false. (If satan had known how God was going to bless Job after all the terror satan reigned on him [permitted for God’s purposes], I’m sure he would have let Job be [Jesus also, whom Job foreshadowed].)
Finally, our last song lyrics for discussion come from the song titled We Fall Down. The song says, “We fall down, but we get up, for a saint is just a sinner who fell down and got up…” Hmm, a saint is a sinner who fell down and got up? According to the Bible, a sinner isn’t one who fell down, but one who was born down. Romans 3:10 says, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.” We came into this world, due to Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12-21), on the wrong foot (cf. Psalm 51:5). The only way that we arise is by believing and accepting the finished work of Jesus Christ. When we accept Jesus’ atonement for our sin, it’s then that we become heirs and are given the title “saint” (another word for believer).
So, all in all, a saint isn’t a sinner who fell down and got up, but a person who was born in sin (already down), and upon hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17) and accepting God’s free gift of salvation, was raised with Christ and seated in heavenly places with Him (Ephesians 2:6).
With these things noted, sisters, understand that false teaching is prevalent in our day, especially because the ease of technology allows anyone to have “a voice” (and also because Christians aren’t studying their Bibles as they should be). Therefore, make it a point to do as the Bible instructs you and “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1). Also, follow the lead of the Bereans, who, as Acts 17:11 shows us, received the Apostle Paul’s teachings with all eagerness, but yet examined the Scriptures daily to see if his teachings were true… because everything that’s labeled “Gospel” today, sisters, really isn’t Gospel at all, but destructive soul snares covered in disguise…