Have you ever played iPhone karaoke? The person puts in earphones, plays some music,cranks it up and sings along. They can’t hear themselves …just the music. And you can just hear them singing, but not the background music. It is one of the best games ever invented. Like Chess, Battleship or Girl Talk. (anyone remember that one?) Please, try it. May I suggest choosing Mariah Carey or Coldplay for your cover songs? Well, I just did.
Cover songs are interesting things. For those of you who are not as schooled as I am in the ways of music, when you “cover” a song it means you sing someone else’s song. Now that we are clear on that…I think Christians listen to too many “cover” songs. Where in the world am I going with this, eh? (that “eh” was a shout out to my Canadian readers. I see you peeps. )
I think Christians sing too many cover songs. We can easily surround ourselves with all the Christian things. All the books, the music, endless conferences and podcasts…and we feel stuck. Can’t seem to get over the hump. Stuck in patterns of fear, doubt, insecurity, addiction…take your pick. If truth sets us free, why are we still trapped?
You may have gone to a concert and heard a great band singing “Yesterday”. It was the Beatle’s lyrics and notes…but you didn’t hear the Beatles. You just heard their music. It isn’t the same thing.
If you go to a show & hear Paul McCartney sing “Yesterday” …then you have heard The Beatles. His performance of the song is so genuine, powerful and mesmerizing…not like the cover band, no matter how good they were. Just because the same music was sung, it didn’t come from the same source. And it didn’t have the same effect.
I love worship music. I love conferences. I love podcasts and books that unwrap revelation. But they don’t set me free. They don’t break the patterns in my life. Their purpose is to point me to the Source. Listening to a pastor tell you what the Bible says, isn’t the same as knowing what the Bible says. Just like listening to someone sing “Blackbird” at a karaoke bar isn’t the same as the Beatles.
I was in a meeting once and someone said that speaking truth was like throwing a speedboat in front of you and the momentum from the boat pulls you along behind it. That’s how Truth propels us and gets us un-stuck.
When we sing someone else’s song there is no speedboat. Just a big wake. It moves us and rocks us…but it doesn’t take us anywhere. And in a few minutes everything is back just as it was, and you have to wait for another wake to come by.
That’s not how we were meant to live. We are supposed to be pulled by a speedboat, not waiting around for a wake. If we want to move into the next place God has for us, we better attach ourselves to the speedboat. God Himself. Fresh Revelation. The Original Source. Listen to cover songs along the way to encourage you holding onto the line…but don’t let go of your rope trying to grab onto a cover band along the way.