There are times when we’re shaken mentally awake to suddenly realise in our ignorance how far we’ve really drifted. These are times when we’ve forgotten the echo of eternity in our own souls. We’ve somehow known things were wrong yet we never got it until we did.
The song Lord, Have Mercy is a humbling offering. We’ve all transgressed and gone the way of the world’s wisdom, leaving the God we’ve pledged to follow. And isn’t it amazing how we ‘apparently’ don’t need God when things are going well for us?
The lyric is reminiscent of a seasoned believer who’s strayed one time too many. And that in many ways is every single one of us. Suddenly he or she finds themselves on the cusp of God’s judgment—as the Spirit convicts the heart; the spirit deep within. They intuitively drop at the knee toward the holy throne of Grace in genuine repentance to find forgiveness has already taken place!
How do we find ourselves in these places? Far from God, entrenched in the world, we’ve forsaken the only real thing for things of temporal substance, delusions of grandeur.
And when we seek a way back and to truly love God as a way of truly loving ourselves we find it’s as if we never left, and even better, there’s rejoicing. It recalls the father of the prodigal son in Luke 15. God too can say of us, “this son [or daughter] of mine was dead and is alive again” (v. 24).
We so easily forget the promises of our Lord, the Christ... the Messiah who saved us, and continues to save us. Our doubting hearts fail us every time, and how often do we do it insipidly in some sheepish knowledge of the fact? The level of our unbelief has to be experienced personally, as God’s Spirit shows our slender devotion for him in the crest of the moment.
None of this is placed before us to make us feel worse—it’s simply the truth. We build altars to the things of humanity at the blink of an eye. It’s our nature to do so and there’s no denying it.
But, then, there’s the knowledge and the experience of the sweetest response. And we’re so capable of it. We long to be with him. In these moments we can be like God with our hearts turned toward him.
And this is when, in the moment, we realise our unique God-anointed destiny. We recognise in this the ever flowing mercies of God and how tremendous living life really is. The goodness of God’s Presence is something that nothing can compare with. It can only be appreciated.
On this side of eternity his glory, grace and forgiveness flow without end. Nothing here can separate us from the merciful love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, Have Mercy (Steve Merkel, Integrity’s Hosanna! Music/ASCAP, 2000)