This song resonates with me. I have often asked the Lord that I might grow in faith and love and every grace. I want to be wise, to seek His face, to have a deep and abiding relationship with Him.
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and every grace
Might more of His salvation know
And seek more earnestly His face
God hears and answers our prayers, but not in the way we want. He does what is best, and often what is best is not what we want. We want the quick and easy road to spiritual maturity. God knows we learn best through adversity. We'll never understand the depths of the wickedness in our hearts if God doesn't reveal it to us.
Twas He who taught me thus to pray
And He I trust has answered prayer
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair.
We scheme and try to do things to order our world and to appear to others to have it all together. God, in His great wisdom, thwarts those foolish efforts, in order to produce lasting change.
I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He'd answer my request
And by His love's constraining power
Subdue my sins and give me rest
Instead of this He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart
And let the angry powers of Hell
Assault my soul in every part
How hard it is to take a good look at the evils of our own heart. Yet it is the wise thing to do. I have more to say about Self-Assessment in a series of blog posts I am planning to write over the next few days. I learned much from the SGF Ladies' Retreat. I will share it with you.
Yea more with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Cast out my feelings, laid me low
Fair designs. They look good. But they're weak imitations of the genuine article.
Lord why is this, I trembling cried
Wilt Thou pursue thy worm to death?
"Tis in this way" The Lord replied
"I answer prayer for grace and faith"
Notice the Sovereignty of God here... John Newton acknowledges that he belongs to God (thy worm) and that he is insignificant compared to HIM.
"These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou mayest seek thy all in me,
That thou mayest seek thy all in me."
God breaks all of our schemes, all of our silly little attempts to find joy on this earth apart from God... and He graciously teaches us to seek our All in Him. Praise His name forever!
©2004 double v music (ASCAP).