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#536 - "Sinking Deep" by Hillsong Young & Free
Hillsong's Aodhan King and Alex Pappas give us some insight into the way God is using this powerful worship song in the global church.

Hillsong Young & Free is the new music coming out of the youth ministry of Australia's prolific songwriting church, Hillsong Church. The group, led by Laura Toggs, released their debut album We Are Young & Free last year, and it was one of my top 10 worship albums of 2013.

We were blessed to worship with them in person on opening night at Creation Festival Northeast on June 25. Hillsong's ministry is worldwide, and their songs are sung by millions weekly. Their songs, including "Mighty To Save," "Stronger," "Forever Reign," "God is Able" and "Hosanna," are an ongoing blessing to the global Church. Each new chapter of Hillsong's music ministry from Darlene Zschech to Reuben Morgan to Joel Houston has built on the previous legacy, and once again they are setting a new trend musically with the electronic dance music-based worship of this new music ministry.

I had the great opportunity to speak with Aodhan King and Alex Pappas in person at Creation Festival about "Sinking Deep."

Please tell me the personal story behind this song.

Aodhan: I wrote this song with Joel Davies. The idea of sinking deep into God's presence was something that we had toyed around with for a while. The song is really a devotional song. It was written in 2 hours, lyrics and everything. We sat down and we prayed, 'God we want to write a song about Your presence and Your love for us.' We sat down and Joel had a few chords that I sang the melody over.

The words just came out. It felt like it was God speaking. The entire first verse came out from that time. We usually sing scratch lyrics and they aren't the ones that stay. In this song, they stayed the same. One thing I love is a line in the first chorus, "I'm wide awake." That's my favorite line in the whole song. It talks about being awake to God's presence. Because of what He's done for us, we're now aware of who He is to us. That's how I see it for me.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Luke 12:35-36 (VOICE): I'm not just talking theory. There is urgency in all this. If you're apathetic and complacent, then you'll miss the moment of opportunity. You should be wide awake and on your toes like servants who are waiting for their Master to return from a big wedding reception. They'll have their shoes on and their lamps lit so they can open the door for Him as soon as He arrives home.

Romans 8:35 (VOICE): So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God's Anointed? Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death? The answer is, absolutely nothing.

Philippians 3:8 (VOICE): And more so, I now realize that all I gained and thought was important was nothing but yesterday's garbage compared to knowing the Anointed Jesus my Lord. For Him I have thrown everything aside—it's nothing but a pile of waste—so that I may gain Him.

What is the takeaway message?

Aodhan: In the song, I'm singing about what it is like to be in God's presence. You feel wide awake, you're drawn by God's grace, and you are stirred to change and do things. With all of our songs, they are about being free in Jesus. There are songs that take it back to the individual. A lot of our songs are about "hey, we are all in this together, let's celebrate." Then there are moments where it is about you and how God sees you in this huge crowd. What we want people to take away is to walk away different and have a new revelation of God. We pray through our songs that people find who they are in Christ. And have fun, too.

Alex: It was cool, because this song immediately was our youth ministry's song. A lot of songs take time to develop, and take time for young people to trust and go there with the song. With this song, especially the bridge "Your love so deep is washing over me," I think young people in our youth ministry got that revelation straight away. His love is truly everywhere and all encompassing, ready and willing and waiting and wanting to be accepted into their lives. It is amazing to see how this song has ministered to young people in our church.

Standing here in Your presence
In a grace so relentless
I am won
By perfect love

Wrapped within the arms of heaven
In a peace that lasts forever
Sinking deep
In mercy's sea

I'm wide awake
Drawing close
Stirred by grace
All my heart is Yours
All fear removed
I breathe You in
I lean into Your love
Your love

When I'm lost You pursue me
Lift my head to see Your glory
Lord of all
So beautiful

Here in You I find shelter
Captivated by the splendour
Of Your face
My secret place

Your love so deep
Is washing over me
Your face is all I seek
You are my Everything

Jesus Christ
You are my one desire
Lord hear my only cry
To know You all my life

We've been singing this song at my church and from the opening notes, the song excites me as a worshiper to sing directly to Jesus "Your love so deep, is washing over me, Your face is all I seek, You are my everything, Jesus Christ, You are my one desire, Lord hear my only cry, to know You all my life."

That is a beautiful way to proclaim the biblical promises of the Deep Love of Jesus from Romans 8, and the desire to know Jesus from Philippians 3, and to allow those truths to "sink deep." That amazing bridge takes me to another realm spiritually and reminds me that no matter what I may be facing in this fallen world, the desire to know Jesus and be known by Him is the only thing that really matters.

It's hard to sing the words "I'm wide awake, drawing close, stirred by grace, all my heart is Yours" to God and not believe those words with all that is within you. Once you say that prayer to God, allow His grace to stir you with His Holy Spirit, in a similar way to how in the song "Wake" you feel God moving you spiritually and literally as you can't help but mentally and physically respond to what you are singing.

I get really excited about the ministry of this band and the opportunity for the Kingdom of God. This song is an amazing way to celebrate that we are young, brand new Creations in Christ, and we are free from the chains of sin. Amen to that!

Listen to the interview here.

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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