(Are there some songs that never get old for you? You can listen to them over and over again, even after you've just listened to them, and you still enjoy them? When they also make you think about interesting and important stuff, you get the kinds of songs I'm talking about in this series of blog posts.)
Facebook is often referred to as Fakebook, and with good reason. Our posts are more about what we wish our life would look like than what it really looks like. Well, this post (which I will share on Facebook) will be a dose of reality.
I was recently reminded of the song "My Eyes Are Dry" by Keith Green when I did my Bible reading for the first time in a while (that's a big part of my problem, by the way). I read Isaiah 35 and then Charles Spurgeon's comments on it, and I realized that one section unfortunately described me.
Spurgeon was commenting on Isaiah 35:3, which says that God's people will "rejoice even with joy and singing... they shall see the glory of the LORD and the excellency of our God." He says:
A wonderful sight to see, for there is one of the most lovely sights in the world when the glory and excellency of God are to be seen in the works of his grace in his own people. It is such a sight that it makes men first rejoice in their hearts, and then rejoice with their tongues. They shall “rejoice with joy and singing,” which is the double rejoicing of the heart and of the lip. Well, these must be a favored people who, wherever they go, can make others glad after this fashion. Brethren, they must be full or they could not overflow! They must be themselves alive, or else they could not quicken the desert places. They must themselves be in flower, blooming like the rose, or they could not make the wilderness so full of verdure. The Lord grant that we may be in that state that we may be able to go into the wilderness. There are some of God’s people that cannot trust themselves to go where they are wanted, because they have not grace enough. They are so weak that they are like the weak man standing on the river’s brink, who cannot leap in to pull out a drowning man for fear they should be pulled in themselves. But, oh! they are blest indeed who dare go into wildernesses and into the solitary places, and carry the transforming benediction of heaven with them till the wilderness changes its dress, and the brown of the and sand gives place to the ruddiness of the rose, because God has come there with his people.
The part of that quote that describes me in recent days, I realized, is the negative part in the middle (in bold). I haven't been rejoicing in the Lord and receiving His grace as I should, so I haven't had much to give to others spiritually, and haven't even wanted to at many times. I realized that I was not at a good place and the song "My Eyes Are Dry" came to mind. So I started to sing and pray it to the Lord, as I have at many such times of spiritual dryness in my life. That's one of the reasons it makes my list of favorite songs, along with the fact that it has such a beautiful, haunting, moving, and memorable melody.
In addition to praying the words of that song, I went on YouTube and downloaded a couple dozen songs by Keith Green that used to be a regular part of my listening diet but I haven't heard for a long time. I'm adding them to my regular rotation, and I encourage you to rediscover his music or discover it for the first time, whichever may be the case. Here are some of my other favorites by Keith, all of which are especially helpful when our eyes are dry and our hearts are cold:
Create in Me A Clean Heart
Dust to Dust
I Don't Want to Fall Away from You
Grace By Which I Stand
Cut the Devil Down
I Want to Be More Like Jesus
Make My Life a Prayer to You
When I Hear the Praises Start
Oh Lord, You're Beautiful
(I made a playlist of those songs on YouTube, for myself but also for you. Would you consider taking just about 30 minutes to listen and pray through them?)
The good news is that I feel revived after hearing those blessed songs and praying their words to the Lord, but the bad news is that if I don't keep filling my mind and heart with His Word and making use of the other means of grace, I will quickly slip back into spiritual coldness and deadness, like a branch cut off from its vine.
However, if I do abide in Him, I will bear much fruit, as Jesus said, and the positive side of Isaiah 35 will be true of me. Here are verses 5-6 and Spurgeon's comment on them:
"Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert." See what the presence of Christ does. See what the presence of Christ’s people will do when he comes in them and with them. They make the wilderness rejoice. But, besides that, the dwellers that are found in the wilderness—these lame and deaf people—get the blessing. Oh! may God make us to be a desert to others of this sort.
I have to thank God for how He fulfilled His promises to renew me through the means of grace...the day after I wrote this post, a Japanese student who had stayed in our house and heard the gospel from us has now become a Christian and is getting baptized! Thank you, Lord, for showing me again how Your Word is true!ReplyDelete