Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Enriching our Affections

I recently returned from the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, KY. It was quite an incredible couple of days. Of the many elements that I could write about, I'll focus on one near to my heart, and that is the worship time. Bob Kauflin did a superb job of choosing songs that had particularly good lyrics in relation to the sermon that had just been preached. I think in particular of singing with 5,500 other churchmen and women "And Can it Be". After hearing so many great truths about God breaking the chains of our slavery, it was great to reflect on that in our singing. The singing became more than a repetition of words we all knew; it became a joy-filled time of singing back the truths of scripture to God. That, I believe, is essential to having an effecting time of worship before God.

Too often we worship God with our affections and not with our minds. We sing songs with very repetitious lyrics that are about as deep as a kiddy-pool. Our affections are raised, but not based on anything substantial. On the other side, we can often get bogged down with lyrics and melodies that restrict our worship. Our minds become enriched, but the affection is lost as we try to process too much information. The ideal is to marry both of these in a balanced way. That is what I love about a lot of the old hymns and a lot of what Sovereign Grace puts out from their ministry. The songs take great truths from scripture, often quoting scripture, and join them with melodies that raise the affections in accordance with the truths being sung. As a worship leader myself, I really appreciate being led in a way where I think deeply about God and still worship him deeply in my spirit. I hope we all can regularly enjoy worship in that way.

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