The words got stuck in my throat as I tried to sing them last Sunday morning. Do you ever experience those moments of heightened awareness or clarity when singing songs to God and each other that you wonder if you really understand or mean the words you are using?
A few phrases in the closing song “O Breath of Life” caught me unprepared. I mean “stop singing and stare at the words on the screen” type of unprepared. We were asking God in our song to revive us as our hearts are breaking and pleading. We asked him to revive us because our love is fading. We asked God by his Spirit to bend us and break us until we are humble. This song should come with some kind of warning. It is in fact a great and dangerous song.
It is great because of the truth it represents and allows us to express. Scriptural support and examples of God being moved by the contrite and broken hearts of his people is extensive. It is the plea for a passionate and genuine knowledge of God uninterrupted by our pride. For God’s people to have hearts that know how little they deserve and how much they owe is a really good thing. (Review Isaiah 57, Psalm 51, or 85 and Matthew 5 along with the prayers of the Apostle Paul noting the blessedness and appropriateness of the broken heart.)
In my “O Breath of Life”-prompted survey of these and other passages, I was reminded that when I lose compassion for others, when I can’t hear God very well, and when my love for God is fading, then I need my heart broken. Other loves and affections must be broken for the presence of Christ to abide with sweetness.
The song is dangerous in that it presents the potential of using these words carelessly or even self righteously. It is possible for us to want evidences and manifestations of God by his Spirit for the wrong reasons. The Corinthian church is an example of Church and spirituality in general becoming the servant of the individual rather than the gifted individual serving the church. God is clearly on record as against any forms of worship that lack brokenness and humility.
Two other important reminders from Sunday that you may have missed.
One, the August Family Gathering Prayer Guide is available for our use. Please get one and use it regularly throughout the next few weeks. Thanks so much for your continued prayer for our church family and the various ways we are connected in making disciples for Christ. This prayer guide will give you some specific ways that your prayers can strengthen each other and stir the heart of God for his blessing on our church.
Two, at Family Gathering we shared and reviewed briefly a document entitled “2013-14 KSBC Initiatives.” The intent of developing and sharing these initiatives is to shape a direction for our attention and resources that addresses commonly agreed upon “bigger picture” opportunities and concerns. These initiatives do not include everything that is being done or needs to be done.
Our hope is that these initiatives energize, unify and mobilize our church family to joyful prayer, faith and participation. Each initiative is assigned to an individual or ministry team who has the responsibility to oversee, define details and processes and direct the initiative to completion. The outcomes of these initiatives will be a mix of plans and their implementations by the end of 2014. A copy is available here.
Thanks for your commitment to Christ and each other that is seen in singing difficult songs and wrestling in prayer together. I thank God for you.