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?
I feel temptation’s throes around me now.
My heart is being beaten by the brute.
This flesh would see me finished with my vow.
Cry vengeance, God, and cut it at the root.
Too long have I now struggled just to breathe.
Too long have I imagined life is jest.
The holy Sword of God I must unsheathe,
And drive the blade into my very chest.
Cut out the heart of stone, O Lord of hosts,
And bring the dead to life by sacrifice,
For Christ has come to walk among the ghosts.
He paid with his own blood the ransom price.
O resurrected Warrior of light,
Raise me now up to worship and to fight.
Let me learn to love your voice.
Help me look to things above.
Save me from the selfish choice.
Show me how to walk in love.
Lead me in the way of truth.
Break me from the idol’s hold.
Keep me from the lusts of youth.
Make me, for your kingdom, bold.
Help me keep my vision clear.
Make me humble, meek, and pure.
Help me know that you are near.
Let me, for your name, endure.
Make me always quick to give.
Let me ever testify.
Teach me how to truly live.
Teach me how to truly die.