This week’s song is the title track from an EP by Sovereign Grace Music‘s Ryan, Jonathan, and Meghan Baird.
The Bible is a book, and as such, it contains information. There are truths for us to know and believe, and God is unbelievably gracious and kind to give them. But neither the Scriptures nor the Christian life are intended to be merely intellectual or a dusty academic exercise for people with alphabets after their names. We are to love God with all that we are, including the mind, but also the heart and the affections.
The Bible not only teaches and guides us in what we are to believe, but it also teaches and guides us how to feel. The Psalms model for us how to be happy, angry, scared, repentant, frustrated, indignant, and pretty much every other emotion there is to feel. These 150 songs are inspired and preserved in the Scriptures to give us perfect ways to express what we feel, and to shape us in how we should feel.
I love songs that are written in the same vein. I love songs that give me words to express how I want to feel, even if–and perhaps especially if–I don’t feel that way. “All That Thrills My Soul” is one of those songs.
The song’s verses are written around each Person of the Trinity (major bonus points). Each verse pleads with each Person of the Trinity to overcome the dullness and deadness imposed by sin by His mighty working in His salvation.
Verse 1: We plead with the Spirit to “open up [our] eyes…stoop to [our] weakness, mighty as You are, and show [us] Jesus as [we] ought to see Him.”
Verse 2: We plead with the Father, that His “living Word [would] penetrate [our] hearts,” freeing us from “the lies that bind [us]” so that we would know Him as we ought to.
Verse 3: We plead with the Son, that He would “tie [us] to the Rock that rests on [His] work completed…that [we] may love [Him] as [we] ought to love [Him].”
Every believer feels the weight of these pleas to see, know, and love our great God and Savior and Comforter as we ought. We also feel the weight of the fact that we don’t. That’s where the chorus doubles as a statement of truth and a plea for what we want to be true in us.
All that thrills my soul is Jesus
No greater joy can be
He bore all my sins and sorrows
His perfect love is all that I need
We know this to be true, but don’t always live by it or feel it to be true. That’s where the double usage of the song is so powerful: it is true that Jesus is the only One who can satisfy my soul with living water, who gives joy unlike any other, who alone bore my sins and sorrows, whose love alone is what I need. So I sing to preach to myself and those singing with me so that we would feel and live in this truth.
In this way, we obey Colossians 3:16 (HCSB):
Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.