Come People of the Risen King
Is your heart in tune? This song we are considering today exhorts us to tune our hearts to the Lord, but what does that mean? Before a performance we can often watch as musicians go to the piano or use a pitch pipe to sound a note, then they adjust their instruments to mirror that sound. As you can imagine, a musical performance would sound pretty bad if the instruments or vocalists were all on their own individual pitch, note, or key.
Similarly, our goal as God-lovers is to have our hearts on the same pitch as our Lord’s so they vibrate together and resonate with one another; to do that we must adjust our heartstrings to meet His perfect pitch. Our own heartstrings are drawn off pitch by distractions, fleshly desires, our self-life, weariness, and a host of other things the world, flesh, and devil throw at us. So we must constantly listen for the perfect tone of God’s call on our hearts and adjust our heartstrings to Him.
Another question which comes to mind as we examine the lyrics of this song is, do we delight to sing His praise? Is praise a natural outgrowth of our relationship with Him flowing freely from our hearts and lips, or is it a duty or something with which we merely go through the motions during Sunday services? True praise is not natural. It is a spiritual activity that develops as we grow to know and experience God. Delighted praises do not spring from a heart that is not in tune with God, so if we are not delighting in bringing God praise, we need to go back to the basics and work on tuning our hearts.
We do that by spending time dwelling on who God is, what He has done, and who He is to us. As the lyrics mention, “we lift our eyes to Him.” We will notice that a lot of hymns focus on attributes and characteristics of God: His grace, mercy, love, strength, kindness, majesty, etc. We can parrot these phrases and expressions as models of what praise sounds like, much as a child learns to talk, a non-native learns to speak a new language, or some music methods teach new students to play. By repeating the praises others have composed we can learn the cadence and language of praising God’s attributes, but this is not enough. In order for praise to rise with delight from tuned hearts we need to dwell on the words and expressions of who God is until we begin to appreciate their reality. For instance, we don’t just parrot, “God is good,” we revel in the evidences of His goodness in our world and in our lives. In this way we are tuning our hearts, and from such hearts praise flows more naturally.
The second way to tune in on praising God is to remember what He has done. Whether it is His wisdom, beauty, and power displayed in creation, His love and grace displayed on the cross, or His work in the lives of others which we’ve witnessed, carefully considering what He has done will make us marvel at Him and cause, once again, praise to rise in our hearts and bubble up more spontaneously from our well of delight in Him.
Then, when we begin to let our minds abide on what He has done for us personally, how He has demonstrated His love, kindness mercy, power, and the like, we become ever more grateful and full of praise. Over time this training, knowledge, and experience come together to ignite truly delighted worship—worship that not only praises Him in the joyous morning sun, but even when weeping through the night. The heart that truly knows Him even flows with praise when circumstances are difficult.
So, again the question is, “Is your heart in tune?” Do you delight to sing His praise? If so, grow in your praises expressions and joy in do so. But if not, are you willing to do what it takes to adjust your heartstrings to be in tune with His and sound forth His praise gloriously? Only hearts willing to do the work of training and tuning will move from the natural man with difficulty finding joy in praising God to the spiritual man who delights in nothing else as much as praising his Lord. The choice is ours to make.