Posted by: rcottrill | December 27, 2017

Thy Way, Not Mine, O Lord

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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Horatius Bonar (b. Dec. 19, 1808; d. July 31, 1889)
Music: St. Cecilia (or Hayne), by Leighton George Hayne (b. Feb. 28, 1836; d. Mar. 3, 1883)

Wordwise Hymns Horatius Bonar born, died)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: Most of Pastor Bonar’s hymns were written for the Sunday School. In the worship services of the church, only the Psalms were used. Near the end of his life, when Bonar tried introducing a couple of his hymns in a service, two church leaders walked out, in indignation.

This hymn originally had seven four-line stanzas. But in some hymnals the second one is dropped so the rest can be combined into three eight-line stanzas, with a tune to match.

We have a number of ways to raise the question: Who’s in charge? Who’s the boss? Who’s in command? Who is supposed to give direction here? Or we could ask who gives the orders, or who has the final say. The query might arise from a desire to get key information or assistance. But it can also be meant to discover an explanation for a chaotic situation, or to pin the blame for wrongdoing.

Sometimes we see a dog straining at the leash and virtually dragging its owner down the street. We may joke, “It looks like the dog is taking his owner for a walk!” Who’s in charge there? With a lack of proper training, the dog has learned he can do as he pleases.

Or watch scene unfold in the mall. A child sees some expensive toy, points at it and says, loudly, “I want that!” And when mom tries to hush him, and explain why it’s not a good idea, the boy throws a screaming fit. To hush the noise and avoid embarrassment, the beleaguered mother may give in, and throw the item in her cart. Who’s in charge there?

Many of us have seen situations where popularity, power, or money has enabled an individual to have undue influence on government, in the courts and, yes, even in a church. Churches are made up of fallible people, and can sometimes make a decision on the basis of wrong priorities.

In the Bible, the issue of who’s in control comes up many times.

It did for Adam and Eve. God had provided a beautiful garden for their habitation, and a wonderful variety of food to eat. But the fruit of one particular tree was forbidden, the Lord warned that to eat it would bring death (Gen. 2:17). Satan, disguised as a serpent, said it wasn’t so (3:4). That, in fact, the Lord was holding out on them. By eating it they could become god-like and wise (3:5). They decided they were in charge of their destiny, not God, and ate. We’ve been suffering from their rebellion ever since!

The prophet Jonah provides another example. God commanded him to go to Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, and preach against their wickedness (Jon. 1:1-2). But Jonah reasoned that if, perchance, the people repented and God spared them, they would continue to be a threat to Israel. He concluded the Lord must have made a mistake, and he booked passage on a ship going in the opposite direction (vs. 3).

The Lord got Jonah’s attention by means of a giant sea creature (Jon. 1:17), and he concluded that God was in charge after all. He went to Nineveh and did as the Lord had commanded (Jon. 3:1-4). The Assyrian people did repent, and God spared them. But it was only a stay of execution. They later returned to their evil ways. The prophet Nahum predicted their doom a century later, and it came.

It’s only as we recognize God’s sovereign right to rule over our lives that we are pointed toward a better destiny. A day of accounting is coming (Ecc. 12: 13-14; II Cor. 5:10). Faith and obedience toward God are not a hindrance to a fulfilling life, but the very path to it.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him [as Lord of your life], and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).

The present hymn about submitting to the will of God comes from Scottish pastor Horatius Bonar. His answer to God’s question, “Who’s in charge of your life?” would be, “You are, Lord.”

CH-1) Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be!
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.

CH-2) Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.

CH-3) I dare not choose my lot;
I would not, if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God,
So I shall walk aright.

CH-6) Choose Thou for me my friends,
My sickness or my health;
Choose Thou my cares for me
My poverty or wealth.

CH-7) Not mine, not mine the choice
In things or great or small;
Be Thou my guide, my strength
My wisdom, and my all.

1) What are some of the possible problems when we try to go our own way, not God’s way?

2) What are some things the Lord can teach us through the trials and difficulties of life?

Wordwise Hymns Horatius Bonar born, died)
The Cyber Hymnal

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