July 21, 2011
I've been hearing the words "Tune my heart to sing Thy praise" from the song Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing for quite a few days. They have resonated in my spirit. As I have prayed and thought about it, God has been revealing something to me about how he tunes our hearts.
On a guitar, tuning is all about the stretching and relaxing of the strings. (Also true for all stringed instruments including violins, cellos, and I even believe pianos as well.) Here are a few nuggets I have gleaned from heaven about the process of tuning that God is always doing to help his children sound their best.
1. Some strings are too lose and need to be tightened. When a string is lose, there is really very little sound that comes from it or the sound that does come is just flat and sounds awful. Some strings even get so lose they are useless at making music; they are falling off the instrument making it incapable of producing any kind of sound that might bring God glory. God needs to tighten up some areas of our lives; but take caution, if the string is tightened too much, the string will snap. Fear not though, the Bible assures us that God will not snap us into. A bruised reed God will never break. You can't just tighten yourself up, you have to go to God and allow the master tuner to do the work.
2. Some strings are already wound so tight they are about to snap. These strings are sharp. Ever met someone who is like a sharp string about to snap. Perhaps one of these strings has snapped at you? This sound too is very unpleasant to the ear. It just throws off what could be a beautiful sound and a beautiful testimony played from a wonderfully created instrument. Some of us need to loosen up and relax. Allow God to unwind us. He is after all the master tuner, right?
3. Some strings can be perfectly in tune while others are completely out of tune. There are always areas God is working on and fine tuning, but be aware when one string or part of your life is out of tune, the sound that comes forth from your life can become a cacophony, an unpleasant noise. Even a string slightly out of tune makes the sound of the instrument muddy and distorted. Some people (who are probably a little out of tune themselves,) might say oh it sounds fine. Don't be fooled! When something is just a bit off, there are many around who hear it, and they don't like the sound of the tune you are playing. Thankfully, as you allow God to tune in all parts of your life, it's a beautiful blend of harmony and melody that reflects and represents the glory of God. I want the tune that comes from my life to be pleasing to God's ear and pleasing and pleasant to the ears of all those around me. God please tune my heart!
4. Sometimes the strings break...it's ok because God can give us new ones. We all make mistakes and get too lose or too tight. Let God replace your broken stings. He is the one that can give beauty for ashes, new strings for broken ones.
5. Sometimes the strings just go dead over time, and they need an all out replacement. A new set of strings brings new life to an instrument. The sound becomes crisp and clear. You can of course continue playing on old, dead strings, but it just doesn't sound as good. Maybe God needs to completely restring some of us, so that we can feel the freshness of his presence as he gently writes and plays his music upon our hearts. It's not an easy process. There is winding and spinning, pushing, pulling, and threading. But my it is so worth it because the sound that comes forth when the strings are in place and in tune is beautiful. Would you be open to allowing God to restring and replace the old dead strings in your life?
6. Sometimes the tuning is gentle and easy, but sometimes it's stretching to the max and you feel sure that the string is going to snap. Be assured, Jesus knows just how much torque and pressure you need. He will be as gentle as a lamb or as aggressive as a lion hunting prey according to what you need, so trust Him to tune you just right. He is after all the one who designed and created you. I really think he is the one who knows how to make your life sound amazing.
7. All strings fall out of tune and need a regular tune up. This is why it's so important to spend time in God's word and in prayer and worship. Not just on a Sunday morning, but each day. If I only tuned my guitar once a week, it might sound ok, but it won't sound it's best. When was the last time you allowed God to tune your heart?
8. A sudden knock or change in temperature will knock the strings out of tune and require lots of time and twisting to return to the right place. Sometimes life hits us hard. I know I've had my share of that, and I'm sure you have too. Circumstances heat up and we feel we are in the fire or getting shaken or beaten. Have you ever been here? These are times when God; if we will allow him, spends more time adjusting, tightening, loosening, or even completely changing out our strings, so that the message that people hear after we are restored is precise, effective, and clear. After we are restored, we will sound our best. And just maybe, another instrument that has received a hard knock can listen and receive hope and realize that God restores the brokenhearted and can redeem all things for His glory.
One thing is certain, the only way to be completely in tune is to allow Jesus to tune you. He has perfect pitch. Sure we have instrumental tuners, like the Bible, and pastors, and other believers to help us get there on our own, but there is nothing like being tuned by the one who made the instrument, the one who knows exactly how it has been created to sound, the one who knows its exact purpose and fullest potential.
Why not let Jesus come right now and begin to tune your heart?
No matter how much time and effort you spend trying to tune yourself and make your life sound so wonderful, your life will never sound as great as it could until you let your Maker come in and tune it just right--tune you into your destiny--into peace--into victory--into holiness--into His image. What better sound can we offer to the world than the very sound of whom God has made us to be.
And as we all stand in the world, perfectly tuned by our maker, what a grand symphony all our instruments make together as we reflect and reveal our maker's Magnum Opus to the world around us. Oh to be part of that glorious sound as all the pieces come together in one purpose and design to reveal and reflect His glory.
Don't you want to be part of this grand composition? A part of His masterpiece? I sure do. Dear God in heaven, please tune our hearts to sing Your praise!