Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hymn of the Week: Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

Being human, we will fight an unending battle (that is, until death) with our flesh to do that which the Spirit of God wants us to do. Without reading and learning the Scriptures, we will not even know what that battle involves, how it should be fought, or what constitutes victory.

In short, victory over the flesh comes when we fully submit ourselves and our wills to the Spirit of God, and do what He wants us to do. Otherwise, the flesh fights on toward its own victory. Of course, submitting to the Spirit is neither natural nor common. Few truly do it...fewer still do it consistently.

One factor many of us do not take advantage of in this battle is prayer. Each of us must pray daily for the Spirit to have control—and each of us must yield to that control, seeking what is right and doing it all the time. The hymn below can be thought of as a prayer to do just this: For the Spirit to descend upon our hearts, and change our mindsets from the earthly to the spiritual.

The hymn was written by George Croly in 1854.

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art;
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies;
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:
O let me seek Thee, and O let me find!

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The kindling of the heaven descended Dove,
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

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