Text: “My soul followeth (follows, and continues to follow) hard after Thee: Thy right hand upholdeth (upholds, and continues to uphold) me"
Good morning, Christian seeking Christ’s intimacy! The Spirit of God has quickened you, made you alive to the love and truth of Christ Jesus, and He has become both your Saviour and your Lord. You are born again, Spiritually regenerated by God’s free grace to sinners; and now you are seeking a more mature intimacy and knowledge of the One Who has redeemed your never-dying soul. Praise God, you do well to seek that intimacy early in your Christian life!
Too many today, in this increasingly Laodicean church-age of the 21st Century, get saved, then they get stuck in the class of ‘babes in Christ’ and fail to experience the wonder of early intimacy with that blessed Lamb of God. Too often such believers go through life as ‘half-baked Christians’, always having to be spoon fed by a Pastor; never reaching a maturity of Bible-believing faith; faith that is most necessary if the saved soul is to serve the Master, Jesus, and further His Kingdom.
There is what Paul describes as ‘the milk’ of God’s Word; and there is what he has called ‘the meat’ of God’s Word – and, to the shame of many church groups today, we find full congregations of those who have been gloriously saved by the ministry of God the Holy Spirit’s grace, yet remain in a ‘saved and stuck’ position of being ‘babes in Christ’!
This should not be, beloved Christian. We are saved by childlike faith and trust in Christ; but not one of us are encouraged to remain in that novice position, we are commanded to “…Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen (So be it!).” (2 Peter 3:18)
The apostle Paul is seen to admonishing the Corinthian church on this same matter. God the Spirit teaches us through this inspiration today: “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto Spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk (light, easy lessons from God’s Word), and not with meat (more mature doctrinal lessons contained in God’s Word): for (the reason why) hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal.” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)
God’s Word commands us to grow in maturity of faith, to follow hard after Christ Jesus; to study earnestly, in private Bible studies alone with the Lord God; and to seek hard after a truer Spiritual intimacy with the Almighty Lord God of wrath against all sin.
Heed the alarm! We are to be ‘workmen/workwomen’, not work-babes in Christ!
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman (workwoman) that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” (2 Timothy 2:15-16)
Check out the Spiritual intimacy followed hard after by Christian believers just a couple of hundred years ago. Let’s you and I ask ourselves: Am I, personally, following hard after this intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus? Have I been earnestly seeking early after God?
Check out also the sound instruction featured in hymns/songs of an earlier church age below: Praise and worship in that time was never ‘just another gig!’. Take heed!
“Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee! E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee. Refrain: Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!” (Hymn written by Sarah Flower Adams 1841)
“Sarah Flower Adams was a British actress who received praise for her performance in an 1837 production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. After health problems disrupted her plans to continue with theatre, she found comfort in writing poems and hymns.
“Her most notable hymn, “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” came about in 1841 when Adam’s pastor was looking for a hymn for the following week’s sermon on Genesis 28:11-19, which is referred to by many as “Jacob’s ladder,” or “Jacob’s dream.” Adams offered to write the hymn and completed it within a week to go along with the pastor’s sermon. The hymn was originally set to music written by her sister, Eliza Flower, but another hymn-tune called “BETHANY,” written by Lowell Mason in 1856, has become most widely recognized and is most familiar to listeners today.” (The Tabernacle Choir Blog, online)
The great hymn-writer, Frances J. Crosby caught the urgency of Spiritual intimacy with Christ, and an early drawing close to the Lord God, and she penned these words below:
I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice,
And it told Thy love to me;
But I long to rise in the arms of faith
And be closer drawn to Thee.
Draw me nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died;
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side.
Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the power of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.
Oh, the pure delight of a single hour
That before Thy throne I spend,
When I kneel in prayer, and with Thee, my God
I commune as friend with friend!
There are depths of love that I cannot know
Till I cross the narrow sea;
There are heights of joy that I may not reach
Till I rest in peace with Thee.
Frances J. Crosby, published 1875.
Thought: Those that desire God’s intimate Presence are guided and upheld by His hand – “…Thy right hand upholdeth me.” Come, let’s get serious about our faith!