Friday, April 12, 2013

Oh, For a Closer Walk with God

I came across this hymn today in planning for next Sunday's service, and the words struck home in my heart.

Oh, for a closer walk with God, a calm and heavenly frame,
A light to shine upon the road that leads me to the Lamb! 
Where is the blessedness I knew when first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul refreshing view of Jesus and his word? 
What peaceful hours I once enjoyed, how sweet their memory still.
But they have left an aching void the world can never fill. 
Return, O holy Dove, return, sweet Messenger of rest.
I hate the sins that made thee mourn, and drove thee from my breast. 
The dearest idol I have known, whatever that idol be,
Help me to tear it from thy throne, and worship only thee. 
So shall my walk be close to God, calm and serene my frame;
So purer light shall mark the road that leads me to the Lamb.

We all have moments when we feel distant from God.  Sometimes it seems God has moved far away, and sometimes it seems we have.  When we feel that way, when we feel empty, alone, or with less of God than we've had, this needs to be our prayer, "Help me tear [my idols] from your throne, and worship only you."  There are always things that we make more important than God, but these moments of emptiness, these times when we are confronted with the coldness of the world and the darkness we live in apart from the Spirit of God, these are opportunities to fall more in love with God, not less.  These are times when we learn faithfulness and joy, not because of our circumstances but because of truth.

The truth is that God loves us.  The truth is that God has made a way for us to live in communion with Him.  The truth is that God has brought peace for us and our world.  The truth is that, no matter how we feel, we ought to live lives of peace and love once we know these things.  And the truth is that, if we continue walking and living in accordance with God's word and will and continue to seek Him in all that we do, we will find Him, we will see Him, and we will know Him.

Oh, for a closer walk with God.

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