In this chapter Bob shares about the secular band the Grateful Dead who was very popular many years ago. They were known not so much for any hit songs but rather for their live concerts. Their concerts were so energetic, fun and powerful because they would venture off into brand new songs that had never been played or thought up before. After playing all their normal rehearsed songs they would go off into this creative world of experimentation, invention and improvisation.
When the band entered into this higher musical realm everyone there could feel the atmosphere change as a new spiritual energy or mood surrounded them. The crowd would go crazy and dance as they listened to this new song being created and discovered before their very eyes. I believe that in these moments they actually tasted a bit of God’s original intention for music. Music can shift spiritual energies just as David did when he sang and played his guitar for King Saul.
I think one of the main points Bob makes in this chapter is that if people at a secular concert can experience such an exciting and dynamic moment through music how much more should the church. Some of us may be familiar with the experiments that have been performed in the world of science that reveal the effects that different types of music have on the life of plants or on the formation of water crystals. In my own experience I have witnessed many times an intense feeling of peace simply listening to classical music in an orchestra hall. Although these pieces of music were first composed, arranged, rehearsed and finally performed they still produced a beautiful sense of peace in me.
The bottom line is that music is powerful. It’s a commonly held view in the church that Lucifer was given charge over worship in heaven. When he was cast out of heaven because of his pride he continued seeking worship for himself. We’ve often heard the saying that “misery loves company,” and this is true of Satan. He will do whatever it takes to keep people from knowing and worshipping Christ. This is true especially in the musically charged culture or our generation. By using the powerful medium of music he tricks the people of the world to seek satisfaction in false rivers that will never fulfill.
When we see people in the world going to secular concerts that promote sexual immorality, violence, drug-use or any other type of wickedness we can easily understand how music has the power to create a following. When we sing songs that we believe in whether good or bad they create a way of thinking in our minds that cause us to behave accordingly. Therefore if we’re singing spiritual songs that declare the truth of our identity in Christ and His love for us we will live in freedom and confidence. Proverb 23:7 says, “ As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” We will always live out that in which we believe; let’s choose to believe and sing the songs of truth and life.