The 10 Ministering Songs That Describe My Journey
When we have no words God gives us music to express the yearning, the struggle and the joy of our inner life.
Paul told us to “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs…” (Ephesians 5:19a)
1. Deep As It Is Wide (sung by Amy Grant, Sheryl Crown & Brad Paslay) If we don’t have the love of God we have nothing, and all the other songs listed below mean nothing. The love of God, which we cannot be separated from, is the foundation for everything. Even if you didn’t receive unconditional love, “Abba” Father (meaning Spiritual Daddy) extends His arms to embrace you no matter what you have done and no matter where you have been.
Paul wrote, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below-indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39, NLT)
2. Hold Me Jesus (written and sung by Rich Mullins) So God wooed you to Himself and you started following Him bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Then the rug was pulled out from under you due to a set of weird circumstances you never saw coming.
What do you do when your life doesn’t make sense? My favorite phrase or lyric from this song is… “So hold me Jesus ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf, you have been King of my glory, won’t you be my Prince of Peace?”
I’ve asked God to hold me many times and give me an awareness of His presence.
3. Lonely River (sung by Susan Ashton) As you continue to follow God you may feel all alone in your specific journey. Your pilgrimage is solitary because it is unique to you.
Loneliness has flooded me at times. All of us experience it, but only a few are brave enough to talk about it. Bring your lonely soul to Jesus.
4. Jesus, King of Angels (written and sung by Fernando Ortega). The reality of spiritual warfare is still not real to a lot of Christians. Reading the fiction, This Present Darkness, brought it home to me. This song provides a comfort not found in any other song on this controversial topic.
5. I Still Believe (sung by Russ Taff) Who hasn’t wanted to quit? This song is the “Never Give Up” anthem. “Through the pain and through the grief, through the lies, and through the storms, through the cries and through the wars” I. STILL. BELIEVE.
6. In the In Between (sung by Sandi Patty) Oh, the valleys you and I have walked through! From Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and Be Happy, Barbara Johnson writes, “Growing is a lifetime job, and we grow when we’re down in the valleys, where the fertilizer is.” You may be in the in between of a job you were fired from, or in the in between of a dream that doesn’t quite grow to fruition like you desire. When Sandi sings the lyric “I’ve been unsure of myself, but even in the dark I’m pretty sure that all is well and then I see there in the mirror looking back at me a work that is not everything that it will be”…it always gets me. Jesus is with you-in the in between of whatever valley you are trudging through.
7. Breathe in Me (written and sung by Michael W. Smith) Part of your journey may have included veering off the path you were tired of traveling and for a season you lived life like you wanted. But what did it do to your soul? Part of Michael’s lyric reads “I used to be so sensitive to the light that leads to where you are. Now I’ve acquired these calluses with the darkness of a cold and jaded heart.” When that happens God wants us to come back to him. David wrote from Psalm 51:12, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.” I ask God rather frequently, “Blow your Spirit on me in a fresh, new way.”
8. When Love Takes You In (written and sung by Steven Curtis Chapman) All of us want to feel like we matter in this crazy world. I thank God all the time for adopting me and sealing me with His Holy Spirit as it says in Ephesians 1:5 and Ephesians 1:13. No one can take those truths away from you and me. Where would we be if God had not taken us in from the evil, coldness and lies of our dark world?!
9. Remember (written and sung by Lauren Daigle) It’s only when we look back do we see the hand of God and His faithfulness. The time He carried us even though we felt alone during a particular trial. Looking back and remembering is so important. Yes, God keeps His promises! Sometimes we just need to look over our shoulder and remember.
10. I Will Be Free (written and sung by Cindy Morgan) One day I will be free, as will you. That is our Hope. This life ain’t it. In your spiritual pilgrimage you have to reach a point where you realize nothing down here really satisfies. To one day run into the arms of Jesus and look up into His eyes is the day I can’t wait for. Then, I will be free.