Experiences of God have their way of making the experience of life special, wondrous, meaningful, and even terrifying—amongst myriad others. Singing a hymn with several nonagenarians, recently, took me to that place; God’s Spirit impressed upon me, transforming my languidness into a freshened gait of spiritual delirium.
The poetic sway and resolute candour of the above-titled hymn reminded me, once again, that the power of the Spirit convicts us of grace without warning. This was, no doubt, facilitated by a second’s innocence of unpretentious rendering; to sing and mean the words without feeling self-conscious:
“HAVE Thine Own way, Lord!
Have Thine Own way!
Thou art the Potter;
I am the clay.”
~Adelaide Pollard (1907)
Mould Me And Make Me
The first delicious wish of this hymn is the seeking after God’s will—that the worshipper would be moulded and made; fashioned by the Father.
The co-commitment is stillness, waiting and yielded so that the silent will of God might be discerned; that the situation’s rectitude would be seen and therefore known.
Only when we are still, waiting on God, yielded to Divine right, will we accede to the overflowing grace of God which forces itself on nobody. We must wish to be moulded and made.
Whiter Than Snow
This is a desire greater than most, and despite the treachery of the human heart, we contemplate perfection; it’s ever conditional on our humble willingness to diminish the sin we are known for. When we are washed clean, in the Presence of the Saviour, a fact only within the moment, humbly we bow.
We cannot have our salvation all ways; we are to be redressed in the Lord every waking moment.
When Wounded And Weary
We most have problems obeying God when we are faced with an insurmountable struggle, and our fatigue strips us of the ability to fight. Times as harsh as these we doubt the limitless power of the Lord. We begin to believe, again, in the seen, which is temporary, for the unseen permanence has flown from view. We are counselled to reread 2 Corinthians chapter 4.
Just as necessary as before is the need to surrender before Divine power; we need to be touched and healed by our Saviour, Divine. Surrender should be easy when we are wounded and weary but, alas, we often fight on in the enemy’s name, “weak” in our own strength.
If we draw near to God in our weakness, of course, God will draw near to us and encourage us in Divine strength.
The Personal Example Of Christ Likeness
Whilst we may shrink from and shudder before the thought that we glorify God most when we exemplify the humility of Christ, it is in fact true. Bearing our crosses is practise for eternity. Resisting our selfish wants and rejecting our pride and comparing ourselves to Jesus, alone, are things advancing us toward the holy goal; one we will endlessly fall short of.
The Christian life is one of practice. Perfection is not our ultimate goal, within the here-and-now. Our goal is tenacious obedience; coming back to surrender with resilient purpose. After failures to obey, we come back to obey ever more fervently. That is spiritual resilience.
Each conscious moment is a fresh opportunity to obey God. Grace in not about looking back, but looking presently forward. The best of life is actuated prayer: “Have Thine Own way, Lord!”
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.