Do you know the song Come Thou Fount? If not, take a few minutes to listen to the lyrics. It’s been a favorite of mine for a long time, but especially so in my college years and beyond.
It was the unofficial theme song of a mission trip to Haiti, we sang it at our wedding ceremony, and it still takes my breath away each time I sing it. Particularly each time I sing the fourth verse. Somehow Robert Robinson used a mix of time travel and mind reading to pull my thoughts out of my head and put the beautifully convicting words together as he wrote this song. I swear it was written about my own life.
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above
How beautiful and heartbreaking are those statements? “Bind my wandering heart to Thee.” “Prone to leave the God I love.”
Is it just me, or do you often feel you need God to bind you to himself? It seems despite my best intentions there always comes a time when I feel distant from God. I know well enough by now in my walk with him, it’s not God who has wavered or caused the distance, it’s me. I wander.
I don’t think a more accurate statement has ever been said about me and my desires. I so badly want him to take over and bind me to him because I’ve learned over and over again, I can’t do it on my own.
This is how I see the distance happening: I either pull away, slide away, run away or most often– I wander. It’s not as if I’m really going after anything else, I’m not doing anything “really” bad or completely turning my back on God.
I’m just finding myself distracted, and all the sudden I’m far away from him. Sort of like that feeling you get when you’re driving and all the sudden you’re home and you can’t remember the last five minutes on the road. How does that happen?
I simply don’t have enough will power to keep myself close to him. The temptations to fill my time with useless things is so strong I usually don’t even recognize it’s a temptation. It masquerades around as my own desire for comfort and relaxation, but in reality it’s a temptation to be lazy and apathetic. I know there is nothing better in the entire universe than spending time with the Lord our God, but some how nearly every hour of my life I convince myself there is something better to spend my time doing.
This is why I love this plea, “Bind my wandering heart to thee.”
In that statement, I get to acknowledge my own sinful, wandering heart while having total faith that when I ask my loving Father to bind my heart to him, he will. He will because he is a good father and wants what is absolutely best for me…and the absolute best I can have is him. Him and him alone.
And that’s the whole point isn’t it? It’s a reminder that our faith actually has nothing to do with us. Our salvation comes from God and his grace, not from our own efforts to live a “pretty good” life. The verse finishes with these two lines, “Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above.” God does the sealing of our hearts, he reserves a place for us in his heavenly courts— not us.
So if you’ve ever been tempted to think that your actions can separate you from the God who loves you, the God who has saved you– stop right there. Pause and read Romans 8:38-39 and remember that nothing can separate us from him, not even our own wandering hearts.
Give him your heart, let him bind you to himself. Allow him to take it and seal it for his courts above. Because I promise you, what’s to come from him in the future is far greater than we can imagine, and it’s worth giving up everything our wandering hearts want to spend time doing outside of time with Jesus.
How have you noticed God in your life this week? What has he been teaching you? Please leave a comment and share your experience, or join the conversation on my Facebook Page.