Heavenly Dove, Make Me Love

Spirit Descend Upon my Heart

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.

We begin our journey to greater spiritual resonance with some new material again this week.  The first line mentions our hearts specifically and the last focuses in on loving so we will begin there with today’s Tuning. On Thursday we will use our minds  to think about what it means to ask the Spirit to wean us from the things of earth and empower us with His might.  But first, let’s tune our hearts.

Spirit Descend

Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;

The obvious place to begin our Tuning is the start of Jesus ministry, moment the Holy Spirit came down and settled on Him at His baptism. (Luke 3:21-22) It was a confirmation of the pleasure of the Father in His Son.  The Spirit descended on Christ as a sign, not to do the work for which we need Him.

And what is that work?  To teach us all things and to remind us of everything Jesus has said, as recorded in John.

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.  John 14:26 ESV

We are welcoming the Holy Spirit to come and do that work when we sing “descend upon my heart”.  We want Him to come and make His nest in our intellect, will and emotions.  We want Him to rest there.  

And this is not a once in a while kind of request.  We need to routinely, but not in a religious way going through the motions, sincerely invite Him to come.  To come down from on high.  To make His home in the center of all that we are.

So do you do that?  Do you ask Him every day, several times a day constantly throughout the day to descend on your heart?  He wants to teach you new things and remind you of things you already know.  Ask Him right now to come and do His work in you.  Ask Him to teach you things you do not know, and remind you of things you do.

Seriously, do that right now.  And determine to do it regularly.

Asking Him to come is extending the invitation to teach and remind, but it is so much more than that.

Make Me Love You

 And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

The last line is an interesting one.  It seems counterintuitive with regard to love.  How can God make us love Him?  Is it love if we are made to do it?  

There are at least two things to consider here.  First, is the possible use of the word make.  And second, how God actually does that.

The word make has many meanings.  Look it up here.  I think you will be surprised.  The definition that I think is in use here is the one which means compel, or to cause to act in a certain way.  It is different than being made to do something as in being forced, but implies some of the same sense of not truly being in control of how we respond.

The reason I think we are compelled to love God is simply the response to coming to receive and understand His love for us.

Love Poured Out

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.  Romans 5:5 ESV

What a beautiful image that is.  The Holy Spirit pouring God’s love into our hearts.  This makes our hope secure.

In other words, when the Spirit does His work of pouring God’s love into our hearts, our response is being compelled to love Him.  So what we are effectively asking the Holy Spirit to do is come and pour God’s love into us because when He does we will be compelled, or made, to love God.

And that is a very good thing because it is in loving God where we truly need His help, in this most important of endeavors, the pursuit of which influences all others.  Loving the Lord our God with all our hearts. Spirit help us.

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart.  Heavenly Dove, come down and make your nest in my heart.  Teach me what I do not know and remind me what Jesus has said.  Help me to love You by pouring the Father’s love into my heart.  In 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 6.1 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.

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.

The third Person of the Trinity, described as the Heavenly Dove like at the baptism of Jesus, is invoked here.  In that occurrence He was a confirmation of the pleasure of the Father in His Son. What we long for is His enabling us to evoke a similar pleasure in the Father through our living.  Welcome Him.

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.

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.

And here is where we truly need His help, in this most important of endeavors, the pursuit of which influences all others.  We must love the Lord. How? With all our hearts. Spirit help us.

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
Spirit Descend Upon My Heart – http://eskipaper.com/love-white-dove.html#gal_post_28130_love-white-dove-1.jpg
Dove flying – http://eskipaper.com/love-white-dove.html#gal_post_28130_love-white-dove-1.jpg
Love Poured Out –
https://breathedeeply.org/2014/02/27/love-poured-out-2/

Offering Everything I Am

Cross Over Chasm

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
 That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
 Demands my soul, my life, my all.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
By: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

Listen as you read.  This is a nice instrumental version.

On Tuesday we considered the first two lines of this very poetic stanza, acknowledging that even if all nature were ours to present as an offering in response to the cross it would be insufficient.  Today as we examine the last two lines we will wrestle with the only appropriate response we can give to God’s amazing love for us.  Let’s think about this.

Amazing Love

We were separated from God by our sin.  The Father sent His Son to bridge that divide.  He initiated the solution to our problem with sin by sending Christ to the cross to demonstrate His love, pay the penalty for our sin, and provide a way back to Him.

Love so Divine

Like this image, God reaches out to us in the cross and makes the way for us to reach back to Him.  We would never have been able to span the chasm between us and God were it not for the cross.  The wondrous cross.

Though our last line will talk about the demand that love places on us, in order to understand the context of that demand we must consider the demand of justice.  Our Holy God can have nothing to do with sin.  We will each stand before Him to give an account for our lives, particularly to answer for all the things we did contrary to God’s commands.  Our sin.  (See Revelation 20:11-13.)

God will be justified in calling us to account for every wrong thing we have ever done, if we want to live in His glorious presence forever.  His perfection demands it.  Unfortunately, we have no excuse, and simply are guilty of every accusation that would be brought against us.  Fortunately, Jesus changed the entire scenario.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  1 John 4:10 ESV

Propitiation is a big theological word.  It means to appease a deity, thus incurring divine favor or avoiding divine retribution. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross allowed Him to become that for us.  It satisfied the laws demands allowing us to experience the favor of God and escape His retribution.  It was the greatest expression of Love in history.  It demands a response.

My Soul, My Life, My All

The Demand of Love

With authority Love claims the response of everything we are, but not in the normal sense of the word demand.  When I think of the word demand, there is a sense that I have no choice, and while that may be true when we consider the rightness of God’s demand He always allows us to choose.

There is still the very real sense that God’s love displayed on the cross demands a response.  It demands my soul, my life, my all, in that it is calling for that all-encompassing response with authority.  We must continually live out this response.

Why continually?  Partly because the extravagance of God’s sacrifice.  Partly because of the way that line is written.  Love demands.  Not Love demanded, past tense.  Or Love will demand, future tense.  But demands, present tense.  We all called to continually live out our response of offering everything we are to God.

So how are you responding?  Undoubtedly, you probably made a decision at some point to offer your life in exchange for the one Jesus offered you.  The issue for us arises when we fail to continue to offer our life to God.  Something in our soul holds back, not sure of risking everything for Jesus.  We live most moments with an awareness of Christ’s presence, but those moments when we do not our life drifts from Him.  We offered our all to God in the initial transaction, but along the way have taken little bits back so that He does not have the fullness of what Love demands anymore.

Take a few moments and identify what those things might be that are keeping you from offering your soul, your life, your all to Jesus right now.  Ask for His forgiveness, and then His help to keep offering everything you are.

Jesus, thank You for offering Your life so completely for us, becoming the propitiation for our sin.  Your sacrifice satisfied the laws demands, and now demands a response from us. Give us the courage and continually offer our lives, our souls, our all to You, ever remaining in a state of wonder at Your work on the cross.  In Jesus name.   Amen.

Constant 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 4.4 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.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,

Colossians 1:16 ESV

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

Well, everything in all of creation does not belong to me, but to Christ.  He is the One who made all things, and through His sacrifice on the cross is remaking all things.  Praise Him for His work of creation and re-creation.

 That were a present far too small;

1 Chronicles 16:29 ESV

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him! Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;

If it were all mine, giving it all to my Lord who has redeemed me from my sins would be an appropriate response, but would simply still not be enough.  He is worthy, so what offering or present will You bring to worship Him?

Love so amazing, so divine,

1 John 4:10 ESV

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Propitiation means to appease a deity, thus incurring divine favor or avoiding divine retribution. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross allowed Him to become that for us.  Only His life could be a worthy sacrifice, and in love He willingly laid that life down for our sins.  Thank Him.

 Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Romans 12:1 ESV

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

In response to Christ offering His life for us, we offer everything we are.  But we do not climb up on an altar to die, instead we determine to live out our worship, through holy and acceptable lives.  Ask Him to help you do just that.

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.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
 That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
 Demands my soul, my life, my all.

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
Cross Over Chasm –
http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?p=11217
Love So Divine – Pixabay
My Soul, My Life My All – https://thepassionists.org/daily-reflections?page=46

Our Response to the Cross

The Kingdom of the Created

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
 That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
 Demands my soul, my life, my all.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
By: Isaac Watts, 1674-1748

Listen as you read.  This is an orchestral version of the lessor known tune used for this text.

Having taken four weeks to inform our Alleluia’s following the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection at Easter, we turn back to this hymn which gives us an opportunity to tune our hearts to the wonder of His great love for us declared on the cross.  Because of that, and the nature of this very poetic stanza, I would like for us to expand our hearts in an attempt to engulf the profound scope of our response.  Will you join me?

Whole Realm of Nature

The Whole Realm of Nature

As I bring my heart to this text, I must admit that first line causes me to think of the physical world, and particularly the beauty and grandeur of the planet on which we live.  That is a good beginning point, but we must enlarge our gaze from there and realize Watts is more likely considering everything in the created world.  The adjacent image and the one above help us lift our gaze beyond the majesty of this globe on which we spin around our solar system, and even beyond this system to countless others.  Galaxy upon galaxy created by our God.  We must bring into focus the magnitude and splendor of what our eyes behold, but it can not stop there.

You see, the Scripture clearly declares that God made all things, visible and invisible.

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.   Colossians 1:16 ESV

Things seen and unseen.  Wind.  Gravity.  Space. Powers.  Kingdoms. ___________.

Wow!  Even if we limited nature to that which we can see, or less to the creatures that call earth home, or even only one of said creatures, the wonder of each is so breath-taking.  Think of how every single person is created in the image of God, and then begin to multiply that reality for each of us over all time and the value is impossible to comprehend.

Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe.  Alan Watts

Though our perspective is they are unique actions of their Creator, the worth is staggering, and that does not account for all the other animals, the landscapes, the hidden gems and metals, etc.  Amazing!  Yet not nearly as amazing as what the third line calls to mind.  But first our second line.

Present Far Too Small

A Present Far Too Small

If all the realm, or kingdom, of nature were mine, he says, that would be a present, or offering, far too small.  Unfortunately, the whole realm of nature is not mine, but alas even if it were, it would not be an equal response to what has been presented to us.

A present.  Something offered as a gift.  A present is not earned, or it would be compensation.  A present is not paid, or it would be a return a favor done.  A present is merely given, as a valid token of affection without the expectation of compensation, for a number of other reasons.

Reasons for Giving a Gift

  1. An expression of love
  2. To honor a loved one’s birthday
  3. Make your loved one feel special
  4. Let you loved one know you pay attention to their needs
  5. As a token of appreciation for your loved one
  6. Help you keep in touch with your loved one
    These ideas borrowed from here.

Did you notice what word all those reasons had in common?  Love.  Love is what motivates gift-giving.

As we are surveying the cross, we quickly realize what an extravagant gift of love it is.  It is a gift.  We could do nothing to earn it.  We can never repay it.  And yet, we feel compelled to respond.

Watts helps us to realize in these first two lines that no response can possibly be adequate, a true recompense for what we have received.  God already knows that to be true.  Instead of considering what we can not offer or do in response, Watts finishes this stanza by helping us consider what we can offer to God for the love He has first shown to us.  More on that Thursday.  Hint: It all comes down to love, His and ours.

Until then, please enter into the experience of the video below which will help you contemplate your response.

Father, thank You for Your extravagant gift of love.  Jesus, thank You for obeying the Father so Your sacrifice could become the greatest expression of love that ever was.  Holy Spirit, thank You for opening my eyes to not only see the cross, but also the wonder it displays.  In 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.

Everyone, please enjoy this video log the transcript below!

Video 4.4 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.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
 That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
 Demands my soul, my life, my all.

In conclusion the songwriter considers the appropriate response to the redemption afforded by Jesus sacrifice on the cross.  There is no one we could ever repay the debt of love we owe to Jesus. Thank Him that you do not have to.

The text concludes by declaring that even if I had all creation to offer as a response to Jesus, it would simply not be enough.  But thankfully you do not need to repay it, for it was a gift. Take a moment and receive that gift of grace again today.

And yet there is the reality that even though we are not trying to repay Jesus for His grace, we are compelled to offer some response for His amazing, divine love.  A love only God could offer. Thank Him for His love expressed on the cross.

My soul, my life, my all.  Still not enough to repay Jesus, but since it is all I have I will offer it to Him willingly.  He does not demand it, but the sheer extravagance of His grace compels us to do so. Ask Him to show you what your “all” looks like today.

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
The Kingdom of the Created – Pixabay
Whole Realm of Nature – Pixabay
Present Far Too Small – Pixabay