Friday, December 11, 2015

"I Will"

    More than 150 times in their writings, the Psalmists declare, "I will".  From "I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about me" to "While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being", the Psalms affirm a deliberate, volitional life of responding to God and His truth (Psalm 3:6; 46:2).  Our Lord created the human race in His image for the purpose of loving and living relationship, a glorious gift that requires conscious and active involvement in both the Divine and the human parties.

    "When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek" (Psalm 27:8).

    The interesting challenge in the matter involves the truth that we require God's motivating and energizing work within our hearts if we are to consistently walk with Him.  David, the greatest of the Psalmists, knew the truth of this seeming enigma of the Holy Spirit's drawing and our free response: "I will love Thee, o Lord my strength!" (Psalm 18:1).  In response to the love of God - "we love Him because He first loved us" - the King of Israel determined to devote himself to his Lord.  However, he recognized that "I will love Thee!" required the active presence and involvement of his loved One - "o Lord, my strength".  We require both aspects of devotion if we are to truly love our Heavenly Father.  He does not program us to love Him, as such control would negate any meaningful reality of love as defined by Scripture.  However, we love Him by the strength He provides, even as the Apostle Paul declared in the New Testament: "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  

    The greatest lover of the Father, the Lord Jesus, dwells within born again believers - "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).  Thus, we unite our determined "I will love Thee" with our trusting "I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me" (Philippians 4:13).  This duality of devotion constitutes the wonder of genuine response to God as we live deliberate lives of dedication and trust.  We bring something of ourselves to the relationship, a necessary component if our love for God is to have any meaning for Him or for us.  But we do so in the recognition of our complete dependence on Him, a necessary component if we are to have any hope of love.  All of the "I wills" of the Psalms journey upon these parallel tracks of love, even as we choose to love our God through the presence and power of the Spirit of His Son.

"Without Me, ye can do nothing."
(John 15:5)
"I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
(Galatians 2:20)

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