Why music?Music helps us to understand and express parts of ourselves that we might not otherwise be able to put into words. This article aims to delve deeper into the analysis of a song by applying spiritual concepts to it. We understand that music, like other art forms, is open to interpretation and can affect each listener differently. This article is from the author’s interpretation of the song and what they took from it.
In order to have a dynamic relationship with God that is not stale or stagnant, we must constantly go through spiritual changes.
My times with God—where I read my Bible and pray (what many call a “quiet time”)—can easily become routine or ritual if I don’t acknowledge the areas in which I’m growing and I have to change .
J. Cole talks about his spiritual changes in his song “Change”.
Hearing this song is helpful for me to tune into my quiet time and to remind myself how incredible an opportunity is I need to have a relationship with God and remind me what God wants for me:
“Wonderful!” replied his Master. “You are a good and faithful servant. I have given you little responsibility, but now I am giving you much more. Come and have a share in my happiness!”
Matthew 25:21 CEV
According to this Scripture, God wants us to share in his happiness, and I believe that is what a quiet time should do for us.
Spending time with God is meant to make us happy and free us from everything that weighs us down. Spiritual change is meant to bring us closer to the happiness and freedom that God wants for us, and that is what J. Cole is addressing in his song.
God Gives Us Hope
The song is track 6 from Cole’s fourth studio album, 4 Your Eyez Only. The whole album is a story, and the song begins with an upbeat tone, something the album hasn’t seen before. After feeling hopeless, angry, afraid and forgotten, Cole begins the song with these lines:
My intuition tells me there will be better days, yes. My intuition tells me there will be better days. I like that tone
J. Cole, “Change”
Despite the pain Cole has experienced in previous tracks, there is something about him that tells him , that it will get better days, that gives him a reason to keep going. Cole calls it intuition, but the Bible calls it hope.
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you with full joy and peace because of your trust in him. Then you will be full of confident hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 NLT
This Scripture tells us that God is the source of hope. So when we spend time with Him, we can be filled with confident hope no matter what circumstances we face.
If we are not exiting our time with God feeling more hopeful, joyful, and peaceful, then we need to weigh what is preventing us from seeing God as He really is.
Questions for reflection:
- Do you leave your time with God feeling more hopeful or anxious? Happier or Guiltier? More serene or more stressed?
- What needs to change when you spend time with God so that you can see him as a source of hope?
It’s important to reflect
I sit in silence and whenever I meditate I find, My fears are eased, my tears evaporate, My faith does not stray, Ideas have no date
J. Cole, “Change”
Cole recognizes the need to be willing to sit in silence and contemplate or meditate.
Meditation simply means removing all distracting thoughts and listening to God. This is an important aspect of our time with God that is difficult to remember.
“Has his unwavering love gone forever? Has his promise failed forever? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he withheld his sympathy in anger? I will remember the deeds of the LORD; Yes, I will remember your miracles long ago.
I will contemplate all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Your way was through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock by the hands of Moses and Aaron.”
Psalm 77:8-9,11-12,19-20 NIV
In In this scripture, the psalmist has many fears, emotions, and thoughts floating around in his head, but chooses to slow down and think about who God is.
By choosing not to listen to the fears and thoughts that rule our hearts and instead paying attention to God, Cole says we can ease fears, evaporate tears and let our faith stand firm , without digressing.
- What fears, thoughts, and feelings distract you from listening to God?
- What can you do today to get to a place where you can “sit in stillness” and meditate/reflect on what God is trying to tell you?
God helps us to look ahead
But see I’m growing and getting stronger with every breath, bringing me closer to the gates of heaven with every step
J. Cole, “Change”
Cole talks about how while life can be hard and challenging, on the other hand he can come out stronger. We can only rejoice when problems arise when we know that God will help us grow.
We can also rejoice when we encounter problems and trials, because we know that they are help us to develop perseverance.  And perseverance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
Romans 5:3-4 NLT
We are able to endure the difficulties as we look forward because we see to whom God is leading us forms.
As we speak I am at peace, no longer afraid of death. Most [people] don’t believe in God and so they’re afraid: either that or they’re afraid they’re going to die. go to Hell
J. Cole, “Change”
Cole sees how these difficulties shape his character, make him stronger, and see that this is his faith strengthens and, as Romans 5 says, his “confident hope of salvation.” He is at peace and “is no longer afraid to die” because he can see what lies ahead.
I’m not saying that I’ve achieved these things or that I already have have achieved perfection. But I aspire to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t make it, but I am focused on one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I keep fighting to reach the end of the race attain the heavenly price for which God called us through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14 NLT
If we focus too much on the past – whether we regret past mistakes or fixate on past achievements – we prevent ourselves from moving forward.
Our times with God are not only meant to give us hope and enable us to reflect on who God is, but they are meant to shape how we think about who we are and what we focus on. If we only think about what could or should have been, we are missing out on God showing us what can be.
Questions to ponder
- What is the focus of yours have times with God? What lies behind or ahead of us?
- What is God trying to show you is possible?
Change starts from within
Me know you desperate for a change let the pen slide But the only real change comes from within, In cemeteries or in chains I see men crying, But the only real change comes from within
J. Cole, “Change”
This is one of my favorite choruses. It helps me a lot because it’s easy to believe that changing my behavior will change me.
I think if I just force myself to have quiet time, to serve, to be open, I will be close to God, have a loving heart, and be humble. But that’s not how it works. We must change our heart before our behavior changes or the change will not last.
Don’t allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, let yourself be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and what God considers good, agreeable, and complete.
Romans 12:2 VOICE
If we just trying to change our behavior, we are eventually shaped by the world without having beliefs or beliefs of our own. We are simply a copy of what surrounds us (this scripture in the NLT says, “Do not copy the ways of the world”). J. Cole is an incredible artist, but his songs won’t change anyone. We must do our own work so that our times with God will transform us into who He knows we can be, for the only real change comes from within.
- How do you focus on behaviors about your heart?
- What can you change in your time with God today to make it a Transformation experience?