Thursday, January 11, 2007

Adoring Christ: A fight, rather than an insight

Last week I was putting together a worship service, so I was playing through the songs that we were going to sing. These are always special times. It is overwhelming at first. Sheet music scattered on the floor surrounding the chair, chord sheets strewn across the desk. Keys, tempos, time signatures, chord progressions, and lyrics all jumbled around in my mind as I grope for a seam of continuity. Searching for that elusive line of thought, that thematic thread that binds the entire service together. I always attempt to perfect this technique of seamlessly interweaving all of these diverging musical, stylistic, and thematic elements in order to produce the worship service that God has designed for this church, on this Sunday, for these people. I can never do it. I’ve realized through the years that I have lead people in worship that I have never done it. It has always been Him.

It’s amazing how God speaks through the words of songs written by his children about Him. One of my favorite parts of leading in worship is catching a glimpse of the thread, the one I can never seem to put there, the one that binds the service together and unleashes the weight of glory. This time I saw it a day after the service was finished. I just happened to pick up my guitar and play through a couple of the songs we had sung.

I will glory in my redeemer,
my life he bought, my love he owns
I have no longings for another,

I’m satisfied in him alone.

I started to think about the boldness of that statement. What an expression of worship; to glory and boast in the one who has redeemed me, because he purchased my life with his blood and now owns the affections of my heart; to now no longer yearn for the tainted pleasure and intoxication of inferior loves; to be satisfied in him and him alone. This started me thinking about what it really meant to be satisfied in him alone. How can this be done. The thought that kept pounding into my head was, I can’t do this. I’m too stained. My heart is not this big… I picked my guitar back up and kept moving through the song list.

Jesus, ‘twas you too late I sought
How can I love you as I ought
And how extol your matchless fame
The radiant splendor of your name?


Yes, yes. This was my question. How can I love you as I ought? How can I tell of your matchless fame? How can I express the deepest feelings in my heart? How can I glory in you? How can I have no longings for another and be satisfied in him alone? What does it mean to do these things?

These are the thoughts I instantly had after I sang the words of this verse. Combining with my thoughts and questions from the songs before, there was such a weight that seemed to be pressing down upon me. I have to know. Why can't this just be clear. Speak. Speak to me. I need to hear your voice. Just as I thought I would stop playing, suddenly the chorus:

Jesus my Lord I adore you
O, make me love you more and more
Jesus my lord, Jesus my love
Jesus, it’s you I adore

That’s it! That’s it. In this moment of clarity, I realized so forcefully that when you turn away from sin, lust or temptation, you are saying, “Jesus my Lord, I adore you.” Every time you turn your eyes or your browser away from lust, every time you hold your scornful tongue, every time you leave the forbidden fruit hanging upon the vine, you declare, “Jesus my Lord, I adore you.” This is how you can glory in your redeemer. This is how you can have no longings for another.

Adoration of Christ as Lord leaves no room for adoration of other lords. When he is Lord in your life, you are satisfied in him alone. What’s more, the one who demands adoration is the one who enables you to adore him.

How can this be? What kind of love is this?

It is all too painfully that I realize that for me this is a fight, rather than an insight.
May we never stop fighting to adore him.

Jesus to you I raise this song
To you my heart and soul belong
All that I have or am is yours
And you my savior, I adore

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Says Simpleton is (c) Ched Spellman
2006-17

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