Corporate Worship, A Commanding Invitation
Psalm 119 stands as an invitation to approach God’s word with our whole mind (Psalm 119:113) and our whole heart (Psalm 119:2). It commands us to think rightly and feel deeply about God’s word. It leaves no room for a clean division of the intellect and emotions, but rather demands a response from both the mind and the heart. Every time we hear the words of Scripture, God is speaking to his people. His word commands our attention, our affection, and our obedience.We see in the 176 verses of Psalm 119 an unbreakable chain of knowing and feeling. The psalmist has tasted the word of God, and has developed an unquenchable appetite for it. His passions have been fixed on knowing and experiencing God’s word.
Notice how the right thinking of the psalmist also communicates such depth of emotion being expressed here in (Psalm 119:7), (Psalm 119:54), & (Psalm 119:81). His salvation and hope have been fixed on the word of God, and have resulted in a continuation of longing, hoping, singing, and praising. Each of these feelings is built not on a base of human experience, but on the foundation of God’s perfect word. God’s word commands that we believe its authority, its sufficiency, its finality. God’s word is the first and last word. We cannot worship God with our whole hearts if our minds are not also transformed by his word. For us to respond to the word of God, we must know it and immerse our lives in it. We must think rightly about the word of God.
Your testimonies are my delight. (Psalm 119:24) My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times. (Psalm 119:20) Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life. (Psalm 119:40)
We also want to feel deeply regarding the word of God. God’s word is meant to work through our emotions, to cause us to feel deeply, to love what we learn about God. There is a grave difference between knowing about God and knowing God. The next time you hear God’s word in corporate worship, listen. Whether in the call to worship, or the sermon, let your heart be warmed by the flame of God’s voice. Allow your heart to tremble at the reality and veracity of God’s word.
May we be a people marked by thinking rightly and feeling deeply about the perfect, sufficient, enduring word of God.
Excerpt taken from article written by Matt Boswell
Dan Ousley - Worship Leader - StoneBridge Baptist Church