The Weekly Epistle 3/6/24

Hi Church,

Hymns- the way we would sing them if we were honest. 
“I Surrender Some.”
“I love to talk about telling the story.”
“Take my life and let me be.”
“When peace like a trickle.”
“Spirit of the Living God, fall somewhere near me.”
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like you.
“Pillow of Ages, Fluffed for me.” 

Ok, enough of that. A.W. Tozer was known for saying, “Christians don’t tell lies, they just go to church and sing them.” Now that sounds a bit harsh. Some people assume that Tozer was speaking to bad theology found in hymns and worship songs. But if I understand Tozer correctly here, he was really getting at the issue of singing songs that don’t line up with our actual spiritual state. 

When we sing, “I will put my trust in you alone,” is that true? All the time? Or “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene.” Are we amazed each time we sing that? 

How about when we sing these words: “All of You is more than enough for all of me. For ev’ry thirst and ev’ry need. You satisfy me with Your love. And all I have in You is more than enough.” 

Do you ever struggle with feeling like you are lying to God when you say things like this? Is it hypocritical to sing them knowing that they are not a true reflection of your heart at that moment? 

One of my favorite Psalms is one written by Asaph. In Psalm 73, Asaph says, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.” Yet this is the same guy who said earlier, “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” He then goes on to describe how much easier the wicked seem to have it in life. That those who have no relationship with God have no cares or worries or struggles. 

I find that when I praise God and express to Him my commitment and my desire for Him whether I am feeling it at that moment or not help to strengthen my love for the Lord. It reminds me of my need for Him. It helps me to remember that nothing can satisfy me like the Lord Himself. Singing these songs of desire are really requests for God’s grace to fulfill them. 

There is great benefit to expressing our desires to the Lord even when it is not a complete reflection of the heart for it helps to align our hearts with who God is and what God is doing. Of course, if we are singing words of commitment while engaging in unrepentant sin, looking to impress others, it should be cause for concern. 

But let’s sing with profound gratefulness and amazement for we have not fully arrived yet. We are a work in progress, expressing to Him the needed growth for Him to be “more than enough,” each and every day! 

To Him be all glory and praise, Pastor Brian