There’s a Bid in Abide

Bid

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
 All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:
 Oh, let me seek Thee, and, oh, let me find!

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
By: George Croly, 1780-1860

Listen as you read.  This is a lovely piano solo version.

As we endeavor to be more resonant today we will spend some time cultivating our response to God’s love.  On Thursday we will turn our attention to the cross, the greatest expression of God’s love, but for today we are going to consider His love for us and the response it should evoke it us.  We want to be more resonant, allowing His purposes to echo freely in our lives, and considering His love is one of the best ways to nurture that.  Will you come with us on the journey today?

Bid

As we walk along through the ideas created by these hymn texts, often we have to stop and consider what a particular word means so as to ascertain the meaning.  Bid here is a wonderful example of such consideration.  Wonderful and complex.

The image above portrays the most common usage of bid today.  To make an offer in hopes of winning an auction.  eBay has made this an exhilarating addiction for some, but this has nothing to do with what the hymn is saying.

The most accurate usage is one that essentially means to beseech or entreat, but unfortunately those words only clear things up a little for they are pretty uncommon today as well.  This is essentially what God is doing, asking us urgently and fervently to love Him.  But not because He needs it.  One the contrary, because of the effect He knows loving Him has on us.  Loving Him opens the door to living a life of love.  Abiding.

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  1 John 4:16 ESV

For this reason, I think two other definitions may even be more emphatic.  One is invite and the other is tell.  I think these are all true.  God certainly invites us to love Him, and He also commands it.

So it begs the question.  Are we learning to abide in His love, in Him?

Abide

Abide

And just what does that mean.  Abide means to continue in a place, so to abide in love, in God, means to continue in love, in God.  Abiding is life-giving, love-nurturing.  Consider this image.

When Jesus taught about abiding He used the image of a vine and it’s branches.  (See John 15:1-17)  This is beautiful concept.  If we remain in Christ, continue in Christ, He will remain in us.  So you see, there is a “bid” in “abide”.  There is an invitation in the continuation.

Jesus also taught in the Greatest Commandment that we should love all of God with everything we have.  Here is the telling part of the bidding.  He said it like this.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’   Mark 12:30 ESV

Questions

So I just want to ask a couple questions to finish today.  Is there anything prohibiting you from staying in that place of love?  Are you harboring any unforgiveness, resentment or jealousy?  No.  Good for you.   But that is not enough.

If we are continuing in a place of love, we must bear the fruit of that continuing.  We must love.  Love is not only an idea and feeling, it is an action.  What have you done today to love others?  Are you being diligent to demonstrate love?  And here’s the tough one.  How have you demonstrated love to someone who is unloving, or unable to return the love?

Not sure how to advance the cause of love today?  Watching the video below will provide you with a few minutes to cultivate a life of love.  Please take advantage of this one which is available to everyone, not only subscribers.  If you can not watch it now, come back later today when you have 5:53.  It will be time well spent.

Honest Tuning!

Spirit of God, thank You for not only inviting me, but also telling me to love God.  And then helping me to do it.  I need you every day to abide in love.  Help me Spirit to do so with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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Please comment below and share if you have found this helpful in your journey of being more resonant.

Below is content normally available only to Subscribers.  Want to learn more about accessing all the additional material in the Subscriber Content Library, click here, or the Free Member Content Library with some examples of the Subscribers content, click here.

Everyone, please enjoy this video log!  And the transcript below!

Video 6.3 Transcript

Welcome to Tuesday Tunings at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s tune our hearts.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
 All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:
 Oh, let me seek Thee, and, oh, let me find!

We start with a rhetorical question. Yes, God has urgently pleaded with us to love Him, not because He needs our love, but because He knows that affection inclines us to things that are good for us.  Thank Him for bidding you to love Him.

And then the repeated word, ALL.  When a writer repeats something it is important.  How should we love? By giving God all our prayers, passion, energy and intelligence.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you love Him with everything you are.

The cross teaches us to deny ourselves.  If we are to love God with everything, we must learn self-denial.  Ask Jesus to teach you how to hold fast to the cross.

Deuteronomy 4:29 says “You will find [God] when you seek Him with all your heart and all your soul.”  The hymn writer offers a simple prayer. Echo that prayer, “God, let me seek You.”

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has surfaced in your heart, or just listen to what He is saying to you, then we will sing once more.

Sing

Take the awareness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
Bid – https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/indl-goods/svs/steel/numetal-restructured-to-become-eligible-to-bid-for-essar-steel-coc/articleshow/65958320.cms
Abide – http://handmeanotherbrick.com/2017/03/09/spiritual-service-and-abiding/
Questions – https://giphy.com/gifs/book-library-literacy-l0HlRnAWXxn0MhKLK

Not External but Internal

Angel Visitant

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
 No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies,
 But take the dimness of my soul away.

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
By: George Croly, 1780-1860

Listen as you read.  This is a nice string quartet version.

On Tuesday we considered the first two lines of this stanza, and began our examination of what we need not ask of God.  We continue that today and then turn the corner to what we do need to ask of Him.   Interesting, the things we are purposed to NOT ask for are primarily external, while the one need is internal.  Let’s think about this.

No Angel Visitant

The next item or experience on our list of things we shall not ask of God: and angel visit.  How do you imagine that occurring?  Something like the image above?

When I think of angel visits a number of different ones come to mind:  Abraham, Mary, and Joseph, to name a few.  The greatest angel visit so far in history though was undoubtedly that over the manger in Bethlehem that heralded our Savior’s birth.

Angels Over Bethlehem

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ““Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”  Luke 2:13-14 ESV

No Opening Skies

This angelic appearance was also an opening of the skies, like the time Jacob saw angels going up and down a ladder out of heaven, but there are other times when the skies opened where no angels are mentioned.  The skies opened up for Moses when God came down on the mountain during the Exodus.  The skies opened at Jesus’ baptism, a voice from was heard and the Holy Spirit settled on Him, but no angels.  After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus.  And there are more.

Opening Skies

What they all have in common, open skies with or without angels, is that God is doing something extraordinary in each occurrence to reveal something about Himself, His purposes or His.  Maybe if an angel visited us, or God suddenly pulled the heavenly curtain back so we could see His glory, that would solve our problem.  What the hymn is saying again though is to NOT ask for these things, extraordinary as they may be.  Instead ask for something even better.

What do you think?  If angel appeared to you, or the skies opened, do you think you could continually draw off that experience to discern the Spirit’s work?  I think I would be inclined to let the wonder of that moment fade.  As clearly as I may have seen God in that moment, I think I would loose that clarity over time.  So I would agree with the prayer of this hymn that there is something better.

Clarity of Soul

And finally here it is.  The problem is not external, but internal.  So the solution will not manifest initially externally, but internally.

God reveals Himself in a myriad of ways every single day. Our soul simply often fails to be aware enough to grasp it.  What we really need is to have the dimness of our soul replaced with a keenness of soul.

Brightness of Soul

With regard to the eyes, dimness often means not bright or clear.  With regard to the soul, in similar fashion to the mind, dimness means slow to understand, or simply lacking the capacity to discern.

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.  1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV

So the writer gets to what he does want, clarity of soul, something that is impossible apart from the work of the Holy Spirit.  Our souls are dim, slow to grasp the surpassing greatness of our God.  Ask the Spirit to help you understand His work and ways by sharpening the aptitude or brightness of your soul.

Spirit, I acknowledge that I do not need angel visits or opening skies.  What I need is clarity of soul.  Remove the things that cause my soul to be dim so that I may live with a keen awareness of Your presence with me.  In Jesus name.   Amen.

Bright Thinking!

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Below is content available only to Subscribers and Free Members.  Want to learn more about accessing all the additional material in the Subscriber Content Library, click here.  Or check out some samples at our Free Member Content Library.  We have lots of tools and lots of options designed to help you be Resonant!  Check them out today!!

Subscribers AND Free Members enjoy this podcast! Everyone else, the transcript below.

Podcast 6.2 Transcript

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s think about this.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,

Acts 2:17 ESV

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;

This stanza contrasts the things for which we often long because they appear so desirable, with the thing for which we should truly long.  The first three lines focused on the things we determine to not ask for, in this first line, dreams and visions. Determine to not seek them.

 No sudden rending of the veil of clay,

1 Corinthians 13:9-10-12 ESV

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away…For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Our flesh impairs our ability to clearly see the things of the Spirit.  Though it would be wonderful to experience an abrupt tearing of the curtain the flesh creates so we could discern the things of the Spirit, like we will one day, the hymn chooses not to ask for this either.  Can you come to terms with having to deal with the weaknesses of the flesh?

No angel visitant, no opening skies,

Luke 2:13-14 ESV

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ““Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Angels are often mentioned in the Scriptures, and the skies opened to show something of God’s purposes on more than one occasion, never quite like this moment over Bethlehem pastures.  Even still, there is something we would prefer even more in regard to the Spirit’s work. Can you imagine that?

 But take the dimness of my soul away.

1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

And finally the writer gets to what he does want, clarity of soul, something that is impossible beyond the work of the Spirit.  Our souls are dim, slow to grasp the surpassing greatness of our God. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand His work and ways.

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has come to your mind, or just listen to what He is saying to you, then I will read our text once more.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
 No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies,
 But take the dimness of my soul away.

Take the mindfulness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
Angel Visitant – https://weheartit.com/entry/294691343
Angels Over Bethlehem – https://iamnotashamedofthegospelofchrist.com/2015/12/26/the-angels-worshipped-him/
Opening Skies – https://www.wattpad.com/story/70090487-opening-skies
Brightness of Soul – https://www.crosswalk.com/video-q-a/what-does-john-16-teach-us-about-the-holy-spirit.html

What NOT To Ask For?

No Dream

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
 No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies,
 But take the dimness of my soul away. 

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
By: George Croly, 1780-1860

Listen as you read.  This is a nice string quartet version.

So our stanza this week takes through a list of things we at first might be inclined to seek, but instead offers us a better alternative when considering the work and presence of the the Holy Spirit.  There are some interesting images conjured through the list and we will consider each as we tune and think.  Won’t you come along as we continue to consider how we might welcome the work of the Heaven-Descended Dove?

No Dream

Look at the little one sleeping peacefully.  All snuggled up and ready for a night of rest.  Maybe there are visions of sugar plums dancing in her head…maybe not.  What’s wrong with asking for a dream?

This is an interesting stanza, left out of many occurrences of the hymn.  It is a litany of things we do not want which builds to a crescendo culminating in the thing we do truly need.  In lieu of what we really need, God give us no nightly visions, or prophetic thrills.  What makes it interesting is that dreams, visions and prophesies are actually promised by God when He pours out HIs Spirit in the last days.

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; Acts 2:17 ESV

Though they are promised, we will not ask for them.  Why?  Because there is something better in the estimation of the writer.  What is that something?  Well, interestingly it is something that seems far less dramatic than all the things this stanza commits to NOT ask for.

No Prophet Ecstasies

And prophet ecstasies, those can be pretty dramatic.  Even though they should always line up with Scripture and point us to Christ and His cross, this faith we have has a prophetic side to it.  Take for instance the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:2 when he mentions knowing a man who was taken up to the third heaven.  Say what?That sounds like a pretty incredible journey, yet we are invited to ask the Lord NOT to give us these kinds of ecstatic, prophetic experiences.  Why?  Because there is something even better we can ask for according to the writer.  What is that something?  Well, let’s keep going.

Veil of Clay

First, clay does not make a very good veil, unless of course you want to see nothing at all through it.  Second, that is exactly what the stanza is referencing, but obviously there is no actual clay involved in the imagery created.  We are the clay, or more specifically our flesh.

No Sudden Rending

Our flesh is a great weakness.  It seems it would have helped if when sin was defeated, our flesh would have been eradicated, or at least torn to pieces, but God had other designs.  He chose to put something of inestimable value, the light of the Gospel, in these jars of clay that are our bodies, as in says in 2 Corinthians 4:7.  To that end, it seems like tearing the curtain of or flesh so that the Gospel can be put on full display would be a great idea.

And then there is the other perspective.  Not only does our flesh keep others from seeing the Gospel, it keeps us from seeing clearly the things of the Spirit.  It mars our perspective and limits our clarity.  Though it often keeps us from seeing him clearly, ask God to help you trust His better way and better time to address it the veil of clay that is your flesh. Do NOT ask Him to shred it so you can simply see more clearly, though you long for that day.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away…For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  1 Corinthians 13:9-10-12 ESV

Submit your life to the Potter’s Hands again today (Isaiah 64:8), and ask for something better.  What?  We will think about that on Thursday after we consider a couple more things NOT to ask for.

Happy Tuning!

 

Spirit of God, I choose to forego asking for dreams and visions, so I can simply know the power of Your presence.  I choose to trust you to work through this earthen vessel, though I would love to be free of its clouding weaknesses.  Teach me what to ask for today. Jesus name.  Amen.

Like what you finding here?  Fill out the form to the right to get an email with each fresh post and updates of new tools to help you be Resonant.

Please comment below and share if you have found this helpful in your journey of being more resonant.

Below is content normally available only to Subscribers.  Want to learn more about accessing all the additional material in the Subscriber Content Library, click here, or the Free Member Content Library with some examples of the Subscribers content, click here.

Subscribers, please enjoy this video log!  Everyone else the transcript below!

Video 5.2 Transcript

Welcome to Tuesday Tunings at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s tune our hearts.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
 No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies,
 But take the dimness of my soul away. 

This is an interesting stanza, left out of many occurrences of the hymn.  It is a litany of things we do not want which builds to a crescendo culminating in the thing we do.  In lieu of what we really want, give us no nightly visions, or prophetic thrills.

Our flesh is a great weakness.  It seems it would have helped if when sin was defeated, the flesh would have been eradicated, or at least torn to pieces, but God had other designs.  Though it often keeps us from seeing him clearly, ask God to help you trust His better way to address it.  

Maybe if an angel visited us, or God would pull the heavenly curtain back so we could see His glory, that would solve our problem.  Still the hymn writer believes there is a better remedy. Will you wait for God to work His plan?

And finally here it is.  The problem is not external, but internal.  God reveals Himself in a myriad of ways. Our soul simply often fails to be aware enough to grasp it.  Ask the Holy Spirit to sharpen the aptitude of your soul.

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has surfaced in your heart, or just listen to what He is saying to you, then we will sing once more.

Sing

Take the awareness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
No Dream – Image by stine moe engelsrud from Pixabay
No Prophet Ecstasies – Image by congerdesign from Pixabay
No Sudden Rending – https://gfycat.com/alertfirsticeblueredtopzebra

Power from on High

Spirit Descend

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
 Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move.
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
 And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
By: George Croly, 1780-1860

Listen as you read.  This is a nice string quartet version.

On Tuesday we considered the first and last lines of this stanza, centered in on inviting the Spirit to come and pour God’s love into our hearts.  Today as we examine the middle two lines we will wrestle with the our weakness and the opportunity it presents for the allures of this world, even as we continue the invite the Spirit to move in every pulse of our hearts.  Let’s think about this.

Weaned from Earth

Weaning is a painful process.  It speaks to the gradual removal of something that we felt at some point and in some measure we had to have, but have since realized otherwise.  It is like working to break a bad habit, at least in terms of the effort required and the pain caused.

One use of wean means to free from an unusually unwholesome habit or interest.  This gets a little closer to what the writer is asking of the Holy Spirit.  The flesh is inclined to unwholesome habits and interests and pursues them diligently among the materials of earth.

Weaned Through Affliction

I think to some extent we really do not know what we are asking for in this noble, earnest prayer.  The end will be truly beneficial, but the means by which we will likely get there will likely be difficult.  Charles Spurgeon put it this way,  “The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door on the black horse of affliction.  Jesus uses the whole range of our experiences to wean us from earth and woo us to Heaven.”

So we ask the Holy Spirit to wean us from earth and His answer just may come in the form of affliction.  That experience generally strips away what we thought mattered and gets us to desire what actually does.  As we transfer our longing from earthly things to Heavenly ones, we find a very different rhythm to living.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  Galatians 5:16 ESV

Those longings for the things of earth effectively make us sick, without even knowing it.  Walking in the Spirit, allowing Him to direct every pulse of our intellect, will and emotions, is the antidote for this malady.  Ask Him to be that for you today.

Pulsating with the Spirit

Pulse of the Spirit

Being weaned from earth and pulsating with the Holy Spirit are two sides of the same coin.  The more we invite the Spirit to beat in our hearts, the less we are inclined to long for the things of earth.  But conversely, the more we long for the things of earth, the less we are inclined to invite the Spirit to beat in our hearts.  

So it becomes a decision of the mind, an act of the will, to pursue a better path.  One marked by the rhythm of the Spirit.  Oh, that the Holy Spirit would help our hearts to manage without some of the things of earth of which we have become increasingly fond.  Oh, that we would sense His presence moving through every pulse of our hearts. Ask Him for these things.

Sounds easy, right?  Wrong!

If you have walked with Jesus for any length of time you know better.  How? By experience.

Stoop to My Weakness

The Spirit Stoops Like Lincoln Here

You have likely experienced the frustration of knowing what to do, but lacking the power to do so.  But the truth is we do not lack the power, we simply fail to tap into it.  Because the Spirit is like Abraham Lincoln in this image.  This quote has been attributed to numerous people so I am uncertain as to who said it, but it illustrates what God has already done and is continually willing to do:  stoop down to help us since He is familiar with how weak we are.

We are weak, but He is strong.  What perfect vessels to put His glory on full display, ones that can truly take no credit for the work He does in them!  Humble yourself, by admitting your weakness, and His strength.  Receive the power He has already made available to you.  Not certain that power is available to you?  Consider this Scripture.

All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.   1 Corinthians 12:11 ESV

The Spirit works in us to produce fruit that is beneficial for our lives and those around us, including the Church.  We need His empowering because we are weak. He gives to each according to His will. Ask Him to give you power from on high to engage in God’s will and work.

Spirit, I realize I do not really know what I am asking for when I express my desire to be weaned from earth, knowing You pulsing through every beat of my heart, but I know I need it.  I know I am weak, and that I need Your strength.  Put it on display in my life as I learn daily to depend on You.  In Jesus name.   Amen.

Deliberate Thinking!

Are these thoughts helping you to develop greater spiritual awareness?  Sign-up in the form to the right above to get updates of new tools to help you be Resonant.

Below is content available only to Subscribers and Free Members.  Want to learn more about accessing all the additional material in the Subscriber Content Library, click here.  Or check out some samples at our Free Member Content Library.  We have lots of tools and lots of options designed to help you be Resonant!  Check them out today!!

Subscribers AND Free Members enjoy this podcast! Everyone else, the transcript below.

Podcast 6.1 Transcript

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts at Resonant 7, where we reflect on the reality of God and resolve to let it resound in our lives, repeatedly. Let’s think about this.

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;

John 14:26 ESV

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

The heart is the seat of our intellect, will and emotions.  When we ask the Holy Spirit to settle on our hearts, we are asking Him to teach us, and bring to remembrance everything Jesus said.  Ask the Spirit to instruct your intellect, will and emotions.

 Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move.

Galatians 5:16 ESV

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

One use of wean means to free from an unusually unwholesome habit or interest.  The flesh is inclined to those very things and searches for them among the materials of earth.  Walking in the Spirit, allowing Him to direct every pulse of our intellect, will and emotions, is the antidote for this malady.  Ask Him to be that for you today.

Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,

1 Corinthians 12:11 ESV

All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

The Spirit works in us to produce fruit that is beneficial for our lives and those around us, including the Church.  We need His empowering because we are weak. He gives to each according to His will Ask Him to give you power from on high to engage in God’s will and work.

 And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

Romans 5:5 ESV

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

What a beautiful image this evokes!  God’s love poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.  We are incapable of loving God as we ought to without His help.  We may approximate it but we will always fall short. Ask the Spirit to help you love Him.

Take a few moments to talk to Jesus about what has come to your mind, or just listen to what He is saying to you, then I will read our text once more.

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
 Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move.
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
 And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

Take the mindfulness of God’s presence cultivated in these last few minutes into the next ones and beyond.  Until next time, be Resonant.

Image Attributions
Spirit Descend – https://gifer.com/en/Gs03
Wean From Earth – https://imgur.com/gallery/OxBxCLI
Though All Its Pulses Move – https://gifer.com/en/9lfa
Lincoln Stoops – http://www.abelincoln.com/cliffhangers/1-68.htm