As we were singing this song in church today, I was struck by how little attention I've actually paid to the lyrics in the past. I was also struck by just how much they represented how I should live, and the way I usually don't live.
Particularly striking is the third verse:
I take, O cross, thy shadow For my abiding place: I ask no other sunshine Than the sunshine of His face; Content to let the world go by To know no gain nor loss, My sinful self my only shame, My glory, all the cross.
I know that the only thing I need is Christ, but there is so much else that I glory in. Am I really content to let the world go by as long as I have Christ? Not really. The way God has been working lately, I am much closer to this. But I still have in me the desire to set other things in God's place.
In Sunday school the past couple of weeks, we've been studying idolatry. When we think of idolatry, we tend to think of little statues that people worship. But the truth is so much more insidious. In reality, there is no sin that we commit that is not committed out of idolatry. In other words, every time we sin it is because there is something that we wanted more than Christ—something that we thought we needed to satisfy us, or something that we thought was more important at the time than following Christ.
We are a people who have so many backup idols that if you start taking them away, we have others ready to fill their place. God has blessed us so abundantly, that we have many things that we can use to replace Him in our affections. This stands in sharp contrast to a love for Christ that is so consuming that we need nothing in this world at all except Him.
September 23, 2007