The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Worship Songs from Satan: Lord Reign in Me

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Worship songs from Satan are songs which outrageously insult God under the guise of praising Him. They are terrible theology set to music. They encourage you to flatly deny essential truths God has taught you about who He is and how He operates. They are pure rot. And yet because of their catchy tunes and a sparse sprinkling of reverent sounding lyrics, many of them become enormously popular in the Church. “Lord Reign in Me” is a classic example.

Now the title alone should raise some flags, because if you’re a Christian, how do you think God doesn’t already reign in you? Not only does God reign over everything, but don’t you say that Jesus is your Lord? Don’t you refer to God as your King? What do Lords and Kings do if They don’t reign? Or are you just using the terms flippantly? Because if Jesus isn’t your Lord, then clearly you aren’t saved. There is no situation in which our Sovereign God doesn’t reign, and this is a fact that Christians should be celebrating, not denying.

Over all the earth You reign on high
Every mountain stream every sunset sky

Our song starts off with some very solid truths—God does indeed rule over everyone and everything. And since we’ve just made this declaration, why are we now asking Him to reign in us? Haven’t we just said His reign is complete? Don’t we consider ourselves to be part of “all the earth”?

But my one request Lord my only aim
Is that You reign in me again

Notice the “again”. This is extremely problematic language. What you’re saying here is that God used to reign in you, but He doesn’t anymore. What?? And just how do you figure this happened? Did He leave the universe? Did He forget about you? Did He suddenly lose a portion of His kingdom to a stronger neighboring nation?

Lord reign in me; Reign in Your power
Over all my dreams; In my darkest hour
You are the Lord of all I am; So won’t You reign in me again

Here the insults continue. As you beg God to please reign in you, you are not only declaring that He left you, you’re suggesting that He’s refusing to come back. “You are the Lord of all I am”—how can you actually mean this if you then ask Him to reign in you again? Is He the Lord or isn’t He? How can He reign and not reign at the same time?

Now those who want to salvage this insulting little song try to turn it into some kind of repentant cry. The idea is that you’re singing this as a prodigal Christian who has finally returned to the fold, and you’re now asking God to accept you back into His good graces. Well, no, this is garbage. First of all, once we are Christians, God never casts us out. Second, the desire for God comes from God. In this song, you’re taking all the bows for wanting God while simultaneously accusing Him of not sharing your enthusiasm about the relationship. So while you wax on about how dedicated you are, you accuse Him of being disinterested, hence the need for you to keep pleading for Him to come reign in you again.

Over every thought, over every word
May my life reflect the beauty of my Lord
‘Cause You mean more to me than any earthly thing
So won’t You reign in me again

This is terrible theology. Instead of celebrating God’s intimate involvement in your life, you’re denying it.  You’re refusing to acknowledge His great faithfulness to you.  You’re telling yourself that it’s possible for you to desperately want God while He refuses to give you the time of day. Five times in this short song you beg God to reign in you—and that’s not counting all the extra times you’d say it if the worship leader has you repeat the chorus. So five times you’re denying God’s current Lordship in your life, while simultaneously declaring that you desperately want Him. This whole song is about unrequited love: you want God, but He doesn’t want you. If this is what you really believe, what do you do with John 3:16? How do you interpret the cross? What happened to “we love because God first loved us” and “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us?” No, we’re really not the leaders in this relationship. God loves us infinitely more than we love Him. He is the One who tirelessly pursued us while we pretended that He didn’t even exist. He is the One who has given us countless chances to repent and receive His undeserved mercy and grace. Considering all that He has done for us, it is outrageously insulting for us to sit around singing, “You’re so important to me God, I just wish I mattered to You. I wish You’d come back from wherever You’re hiding and be part of my life again.”

FURTHER READING:
Corrupted Worship Songs: Your Grace is Enough
Worship Songs from Satan: Build Your Kingdom Here

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