We may not sense the abnormality,
For our appearance does not show the flaw;
But let us look within and we will see
A core not in accord with natural law.
Our symptoms show themselves in varied ways,
Outward effects which hint at inner fault.
All people, fixed and fallen, offer praise,
But differ in the objects they exalt.
And thus most men believe that they are whole,
For they, with eyes untrained, cannot detect
The devastating sickness in the soul
Which works to their eternity infect.
Our only hope is heaven’s holy art,
The surgeon who can fix a backwards heart.
Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash
Merge with the ongoing chorus;
Introduce the new refrain:
Jesus Christ our Lord died for us!
Magnify the Lamb once slain!
God has lifted up the faces
Of the weary, weak, and worn.
By his grace, they bear no traces
Of their death. In him, tis shorn.
Praise, oh praise his name, O people,
From this moment evermore.
Lowest valley, highest steeple –
Likewise heed the holy roar.
Who is like the Lord Almighty,
God above what eyes can see,
Never fickle, never flighty,
Constant through eternity?
Sacrifices are vices unless
True conviction accomp’nies the gift.
Heartless rituals will never bless,
Nor can they ever mend the great rift.
We feign well true repentance and faith,
Rending garments but never the heart.
Ev’ry prophet who preaches, “Thus saith,”
We deny with a devilish art.
Lest we follow destruction’s wide path,
Let us perish the heart’s apathy.
Learn the weight of the Lord’s love and wrath,
And, by his grace alone, let us see.
We are a people prone to adulation
Who often are audacious with our praise.
Provoking conflagration, we
Resist all abrogation. See!
The idols are the masters of our days.
Such worship is a devastating blaze.
Idolatry is no anachronism;
All ages suffer its asperity.
Discern the serpent’s schism. See
The apposite baptism. We
Reject apocryphal authority
And trade acerbic lies for clarity.
Focus me to fear your name,
Lord of glory, sacred flame.
You are good; you are not tame.
All creation is your claim.
I, mere man, before you fall,
You: eternal God of all.
Unto you I humbly call
For I know that I am small.
Source of all things pure and true,
Love and worship are my due:
All my life to honor you.
Let my words be wise and few.
Make me, Lord, to know my end.
Let me never break or bend.
Let my focus now transcend.
Help me live the words here penned.
Deepen my convictions, Lord of heaven and of hell.
Quench my thirst with living water from the one, true well.
Let not my devotion be a mere religious act.
Let me learn to love you as a person, more than fact.
Tether me, O Trinity, to truth as unto air.
Marry truth to holiness and make my dwelling there.
Purge me of impurity, from all unrighteousness.
Privatize my worship. Let me work to serve, to bless.
Capture my imagination, my creator God.
Cultivate a true commitment kept by law and rod.
Let my life, in ev’ry aspect, be as unto thee
As I learn to walk with you for all eternity.
Jim Elliot has done it again. Continue reading
Note: This poem is satirical in nature. Psalm 46:10 challenged me lately. I realized that I live all too often as if ministry depends upon my efforts rather than recognizing that God brings the growth. I also realized that I can all too easily sacrifice time with the Lord when school and ministry get demanding. That’s not the right option at all. I need to spend time with God first, and live and work in his strength. This poem, then, is an exaggeration; I don’t actually pray this. But I often live as if I don’t need God for the work he’s called me to do. This poem, in a way, is a confession that I need to learn to “be still” and know that he is God.
“Be still,” you say, “and know that I am God.”
But know ye not, my Lord, that I must move?
I dare not halt or tarry as I trod,
That daily I might my devotion prove.
I have no time to sit and talk with thee
For there are souls who do not know your love.
You simply need to grant my ev’ry plea,
That I might win more souls for heav’n above.
I, Lord, like Martha, see the work to do,
And I, to honor you, would give my all.
I would be known by men as ever true.
I need no other quest, no further call.
You justified me, Lord, by thy good will.
I need naught else, so you can now be still.
Is anger justified in you
Who sees your plans frustrated?
Who feels your life berated?
Whose choices are debated?
Do you do well to take the hue
Of anger in your manner?
Of squalor as your banner?
And rage against the Planner?
Are there no better fights to fight
That you should mourn the passing
Of selfishly amassing
These treasures unsurpassing?
Are you so blinded by the night
That fleeting follies fill you?
That Jesus does not imbue?
That you forget your rescue?