I have a confession to make. I’m a thief. No, I’m not referring to snatching a piece of gum off the bottom shelf of the gas station, nor am I referring to larger acts of larceny. Before I explain, let me get some background information out of the way.
In the Garden of Eden, God created man from the dust of the ground. Genesis 2:7 tells us “Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.” Man went from being an inanimate creation, a sculpture of flesh and bone, to a living, breathing creature when God breathed life into him.
There are a number of verses the refer to our breath as being from God himself. Job stated that “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4) In the Psalms, David says “When you give them your breath, life is created, and you renew the face of the earth.” (Psalm 104:30) I’m not here to dig into a deep theological study on whether our breath is literally breathed out from God, but we know that it’s God that gives and sustains our lives and therefore our breath.
So, with that being said, back to my confession. I was driving down the road one day, only half listening to the radio. I was probably trapped in my own mind for the most part, as that seems to be where I camp out a lot, but I heard a line that instantly got my attention. “I’ve stolen Your breath and sang my own song.” My God given song is a song of redemption, a song of reconciliation to Himself. My song was written by Him, complete with melody and harmony.
My sopranos know all about singing melody. It’s by far (at least in my opinion) easier to sing than the harmony. You could have a song without any harmony and it’s still a song, but you can’t have harmony without melody. Sometimes as we go through life, the melody is at the forefront. Life is going along as we plan and we’re secure and confident. (Side note – it’s often confidence in ourselves and not God, but that’s another blog post for another day.)
Then you have days where all you hear is the harmony and it makes no sense without the melody. The temptation to question our Songwriter is immense. We try to make sense of what we don’t understand, and so often instead of asking the Writer, we seek answers everywhere else. We attempt to rewrite the song of our life with our own melody, because if we’re honest – we often try to fix our own selves and our own lives, rather than submitting to what it is God is doing in and through us.
We take the breath He gifted us with and sing our own song. The song may give a nod to the original Songwriter, but it’s our own creation. Sometimes it’s in outright rebellion, but often the idolatry is much more subtle. That’s why the lyrics arrested my attention (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist!) This breath that He’s given me, it has not only sang my own song, but it’s been used in other ways that don’t bring honor to my Songwriter, my Father, my God. Rather than speaking words that encourage and build up, I’ve grumbled, I’ve accused, I’ve torn down. I’ve tried to rewrite the lyrics and the music.
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 What your heart meditates on is what will come out of your mouth. If I’m busy rewriting my song in my heart, that song is what will spill out of my lips. One of my wise friends (more of a mentor, really) once told me “Whatever rules the heart will exercise inescapable influence over a person’s life and behavior.” (Original source – Paul Tripp in Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands.)
Proverbs 4:23 admonishes us to guard our hearts for everything that we do flows from it. What you meditate on, what you ruminate on, what you take in is going to come out, whether you intend for it to or not. The lies about our identity or worth whispered by Satan, the lies other people speak over us, the lies that we tell ourselves about ourselves will all cause us to begin singing our own song when we allow them to take root in our heart. One of my favorite lines from the movie Fireproof comes when Caleb is told he can’t just follow his heart, he must lead it. Lead your heart with truth and when you find yourself not hearing the melody God has written just for you, hold on to that truth and know that the Songwriter is still in control.