Devotion on hymns (My Jesus, as Thou Wilt), 18 August 2015 Anno Domini
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
This old hymn is one of the most popular hymns of the Korean Church as translated by John Underwood. It was first published in 1704 and authored by the Lutheran pastor, Benjamin Schmolke as ‘Mein Jesu, Wie du Willt.’ It is just one example of the many beautiful hymn-works that have been given the Church by the Lutherans. This hymn is one of assurance in one’s election in Christ. The music, too, fits the lyrics with sublime perfection. The music is Jewett from the opera Der Freischütz (Marksman), by Karl M. von Weber (1821).
There are many today of sincere faith who believe that they serve God on the basis of the Free Will. But there is actually no such thing as a free will where the human race is involved. That will that men presume to be ‘free will’ is actually a will that is inclined to follow the desires and designs of the will of man which is corrupt and belongs to the Prince of the Air. As Luther wrote of Human Bondage, all human will not committed to the will of Christ is in bondage to sin because the will and desire of men’s corrupt hearts is always to sin.
In Christ, we have the example of the kinds of wills we should have – the will always to do the Father’s will – to accpet His will as our own. Then we shall have that perfect liberty spoken of by James (James 1:25). Being One with Christ, as Christ is One with the Father, means having His will as our guiding light and not some presumed ‘free’ will – a wilkl as free as the Colorado mustangs. It is this theme that is brought out in today’s hymn.
My Jesus, as Thou wilt!
My Jesus, as Thou wilt! Oh, may Thy will be mine!
Into Thy hand of love I would my all resign;
Through sorrow, or through joy, conduct me as Thine own,
And help me still to say, my Lord, Thy will be done!
My Jesus, as Thou wilt! If needy here and poor,
Give me Thy people’s bread, their portion rich and sure.
The manna of Thy Word Let my soul feed upon;
And if all else should fail, my Lord, thy will be done.
My Jesus, as Thou wilt! Though seen through many a tear,
Let not my star of hope grow dim or disappear;
Since Thou on earth hast wept, and sorrowed oft alone,
If I must weep with Thee, my Lord, Thy will be done!
My Jesus, as Thou wilt! All shall be well for me;
Each changing future scene I gladly trust with Thee:
Straight to my home above I travel calmly on,
And sing, in life or death, my Lord, Thy will be done!
“My Jesus, as Thou wilt! Oh, may Thy will be mine! Into Thy hand of love I would my all resign; Through sorrow, or through joy, conduct me as Thine own, And help me still to say, my Lord, Thy will be done!” Our vigils must be constant to suppress the old carnal wills and opt to follow the will of God the Father. “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt 26:39) The hands of Jesus are truly hands of love to those who respond to His Holy Calling. His love is a stronger fortress of protection than our meager and frail frames can afford. It is a very light thing to follow the will of the Lord in green seasons, but when the bleak winter strips the trees and the landscape is grey and somber, it is not as easy to follow that perfect will without a perfected faith. There are great spiritual threats facing America today – far less than two decades ago, and probably far less than two decades hence; however, if good Christian men and women will not stand against the looming deluge of sin today, while opportunity exists, how will they stand when the butcher’s knife is at their throats. We must awaken to the great terror and tyranny that confronts us today as a church and people, or suffer grave persecution in future years. Even when times are desperate, we must remember to obey the will of the Lord and not that of the villain.
“My Jesus, as Thou wilt! If needy here and poor, Give me Thy people’s bread, their portion rich and sure. The manna of Thy Word Let my soul feed upon; And if all else should fail, my Lord, thy will be done.” If we seek, as the Gospel tells us, first, “the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt 6:33) It is a better idea to feed the Spirit first, and then the body, rather than the body first, and then the Spirit for the body may expire before the safety of the spirit is found. It is quite a phenomenon to see how strongly the Christians of third world countries cling to the faithful old standards of the Gospel while the ‘enlightened West’ is carelessly casting them aside. Though they must depend upon the hand of God for their next morsel of food, their faith has been exercised to depend upon Him for all necessities. When our sand castles have been washed away by the sea, let the immutable will and purpose of God stand fast upon the solid Rock of His Word! “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor 8;9)
“My Jesus, as Thou wilt! Though seen through many a tear, Let not my star of hope grow dim or disappear; Since Thou on earth hast wept, and sorrowed oft alone, If I must weep with Thee, my Lord, Thy will be done!‘ What glorious beauty is often seen through the prism of a tear. Remember the loving Mary Magdalene, overcome with tears of sorrow and mourning at the Garden Tomb. Through those same tears, her eyes were first to behold the risen Savior: “11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.” (John 20:11-16) If our “star of hope’ is that Bright and Morning Star that is Christ, it shall never grow dim until the Day Star arise in our hearts. All other stars fade with the coming dawn, but the Morning Star remains until the bright and effulgent rays of the sun bath our souls.
No tears are shed by the people of God without his knowing: ” . . . . I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears. . . . ” (Isaiah 38:5b) But just as Mary’s tears were shed at first for sorrow, they were turned with immediate dispatch to tears of joy! So shall those of the elect of God.
“My Jesus, as Thou wilt! All shall be well for me; Each changing future scene I gladly trust with Thee: Straight to my home above I travel calmly on, And sing, in life or death, my Lord, Thy will be done!” We are fearful of the future because our vision does not reveal what the future holds, but the One who loved us enough to give His life for us on a rugged cross know what the future holds. He MADE the future as surely as He has made the past. We need not fret for it is Jesus who is at the helm of our ship. I read once of a little girl who was sitting alone in a row of seats aboard a large airliner that had run into extremely turbulent weather. All were clutching their seats as if this may be their last ride, but the little girl sat calmly playing with her doll. One of the adjacent passengers asked, “Little girl, why are you so calm? Are you not worried that we may all die?” The little girl responded, “No, sir, I am not worried because my father loves me, and he is the captain of this plane.” Trusting god in fair weather is not so hard, but what about when the gales buffet, and the crops fail? So far, He has cared for you and preserved you in spite of your often needless worries, has He not? Following the will of God is that straight and Narrow Way that leads up to the Beautiful Gate. His will is straight and narrow., The will of man is the broad path on the downward slope that leads to destruction – the so-called ‘free will.’
In all of our lives, let us determine that His will be done, and never press for our own.