And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.  (Ephesians 5:18-21 ESV)

What is one way to know if you are filled with the Spirit of God?

You will delight to sing and make melody to the LORD!

Singing hymns and spiritual songs has been a frequent part of my daily time with the LORD for about three years now. Yesterday, I finished singing through every song in the Baptist Hymnal (2008) published by LifeWay Christian Resources.

Now just because I’ve done a lot of singing and making melody to the LORD doesn’t mean I’m very “good” at it. I don’t have a musical ear. I can’t even tell whether I’m on key or off key. I sing because I love worshiping the LORD in song. I’m very thankful that God looks at my heart when I worship (1 Samuel 16:7), and that my singing to Him is not judged as if I was a contestant on American Idol.

How does a non-musical person sing through an entire hymnal? Don’t you have to be able to read music to do that?

That’s where  comes in. All 674 songs in the Baptist Hymnal (2008) are on that one website where you can listen to each one in its entirety, all for free. There’s even multiple versions of some hymns like “traditional” and “contemporary.” You don’t need to own a hymnal to use this resource (although a brand new one is only $14). You can just look up and sing some of your favorites that you already know.

If you’re interested in trying it out, follow these easy steps:

  • Search for the hymn by title in the search bar on the home page
  • Click on the little play icon next to the song title once the next page loads
  • When you click on the play icon it should change and a moving circle icon should replace it
  • Soon you should hear the song playing from your computer
  • To listen to another song, just type the title in the search box and follow the same steps

Note: I didn’t mention singing the Psalms. That’s something I haven’t done. I’m interested in finding a Psalter with a way to listen to the music that accompanies each psalm, but I haven’t figured that out yet.

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! (Psalm 96:1)