A little story behind a song I was part of writing last year:
One thing I’m convinced of about Keep Me Faithful is that this song came together at the exact right time and place. The truth of this song has been hugely impactful to me, and I can definitely say that it is one of the songs I am most proud of writing – though I’m very aware that it wouldn’t have been written if not for the nature of co-writing. So I’m incredibly grateful for the chance to have done this with Jenni, and the process by which it came about – over a lake by canoe, nearly losing my guitar to a campfire (…yeah) – all of it.
It started with the text of an 1834 hymn written by James Montgomery, “In the Hour of Trial”. The thrust of the original idea was reworked and woven together with a parable of Jesus from Matthew 25, where ten young women are waiting for the bridegroom to come – some of whom stay the course with their hearts fixed on the bridegroom (Jesus), and others who do not.
A great lie that often pervades Christianity is that once we receive the truth of the gospel, we gain independence and the ability to stand and walk and move on our own two feet. However, we learn from Scripture (and from life experience) that this is not so. In order to be found faithful before God, he himself is ever our guide and must forever be our greatest confidence, who upholds us and provides us help in our great need.
Our hearts still waver, looking to other things to satisfy us, turning a blind eye to the abundant and eternal satisfaction we find in Christ. Instead of finding rest, we are wounded because of our sin. The empty promises of the enemy bombard us, and they can only hurt us.
Through confession of our need, we are able to look our plight right in the face – and then turn to Christ, who not only came to provide a way from death into his life, but who is continually our God who is able to keep us from stumbling (Jude 24). In view of Jesus, we see the exact picture of God’s faithfulness to us! And we are given the grace to stay faithful to him.
It’s a plea that I need to pray every day. Keep me faithful to you, Jesus.
“Your Word is the oil that keeps my lantern bright.” How great is his provision for us! We no longer need to be tossed about by the winds of trial that come our way. His Word is solid ground in a world of chaotic waters. It is a place where we can stand and stay. It is a place where our hearts can go and be revived, be nourished.
There is confidence in this plea. Just as nothing in this world will satisfy us apart from the redeeming love of the Lord, so nothing in this world, not even death, can come between us and the one who has done it all in order that we might find life in him.
"…when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God."
We’ve been rescued from under the law we couldn’t obey to live by faith in God’s work - the eager, desperate faith of children, but with the confidence of a firstborn son, because it is by a firstborn Son that we have found our rest. And now we stand beside him. Now he leads us on.
We cry “Abba” which means “Father”, and in our hearts we have found a good Father, one who speaks kindly, who makes the best promises and always keeps them, one who knows how to correct us for our benefit, one who always defends us against our accuser. His heart is perfectly good, and every word he says is trustworthy.
He beacons us to lean into him, because he knows that we can stand nowhere else. Not on good that we do. Not on a moral code. Nothing!
"Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" (gal. 3:3)
Our faith is in vain if we think (even if only in the deepest recesses of our hearts) that we must do something to please God (or man). We have been justified! - let us celebrate the source of that justification, that eternal fountain of living water, who is Christ. And let us depend on him all the way. “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (gal. 5:25)
Let us come to Jesus with our weakness; for only there can we be found in his strength.
Colony House - Waiting for my Time to Come