#612: Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
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Reflections by the Pond
July 15, 2013
Worship is the key that opens portals to all other aspects of our relationship to God in Christ.
One product of worship is a sense of humility before our Superior, a realization of lordship. Another product (or blessing) of worship is the motivation for us to take what we have experienced and learned in the vertical, and share it in the horizontal. That is, the product of upward praise is very often a redirecting of that praise of God to our fellows, where it then becomes testimony.
But as for me, I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And of Your salvation all day long;
For I do not know the sum of them.
I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord God;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone.
° ° °
Following the established pattern, our worship begins by inviting the Godhead to inform our praise, and populate it with the language of heaven.
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
The mature worshipper gains one more product of this holy occupation: the realization of the inadequacy of his actions and words. When our hearts are bursting with love for very God, how can we possibly be satisfied with our feeble efforts? If our purpose is to adore and exalt eternal God, how can we hope to do this with sinful flesh?
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
We can acknowledge, by faith, our sanctification, that our sins have been forgiven by a gracious, merciful God, that He now sees us through the atoning blood of His Son. But we remain all too aware of our daily failings, and we yearn for a better devotion to give to our Lord, one that rises above this leaden flesh.
Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I'll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I've come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Having thus overcome flesh with spirit, and having experienced the outflow of grace from the heavenly throne, we are compelled to testify to others about the wonders of our God and Savior.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
The weight of our earth-bound flesh is a chronic condition. In worship and prayer we realize its inconstancy and yearn for a better communion with our God and Lord. We also realize that the solution will not be found in flesh, in effort, but only in the God we long to more purely adore. He must be the one to overcome our predilection to worship at other thrones.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
And when He does seal our heart for Himself, the evidence for His work in us is that we then long for the day when we will have the privilege and joy to spend eternity bowed before His true throne in reverent worship, and lifting our voice with His praise in company with all the saints and angels above.
O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I'll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send Thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.
° ° °
Made as we were in the image of God we scarcely find it strange to take again our God as our All. God was our original habitat and our hearts cannot but feel at home when they enter again that ancient and beautiful abode.
A. W. Tozer