The carnal heart is easily satisfied with ritual, form, music, or any other stimuli that feeds the emotion. While we would never doubt that it is impossible to be separated from our emotions, we must always remember that our emotions are effected constantly by our environment and that only by God’s grace is a child of promise kept from being dominated by his emotions.
True worship is a matter of the renewed soul being dealt with by the Spirit of God. How often does the believer himself with empty repetition sit under the sound of the Gospel, sing the songs of Zion, or even mouth the words of indifferent prayer.
True worship is initiated by God Almighty, and must be maintained by Him, or there shall be no worship at all.
The sinner, called by God’s grace to see the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, is ever mindful of his wandering emotion and proneness to that empty ritual.
That same sinner knows something though of a true desire to have his enlightened mind feast (by divine intervention) on the glorious person of the Beloved Son. He believes, but ever cries, “help mine unbelief”.
By Marvin Stalnaker