Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Straight and Narrow

I was listening to some oldies from the 1980’s... Bruce Hibbard was singing tunes from his Never Turning Back album. One track that I particularly remembered (although it was tough making out the lyrics on the old AM Christian station of my childhood... Philadelphia’s 990 WZZD) was “Straight and Narrow.”

There’s a way called
Straight and Narrow
And few there be that enter in...

Set your heart straight
As an arrow
Count the cost
Would you think again

I was contemplating so many questions:

  • How aggressive should we be in sharing the gospel?
    • Should we be so fiery and adamant that we possibly risk turning people off?
    • Should we lighten up to the point where people listen but could possibly not get the message?
  • How do we react to the prevalence of sin in our society?
    • When do we slam the rod of righteousness down?
    • When do we pour out the salve of mercy?
  • How do we reconcile so many aspects of our Father?
    • The love of God
    • The wrath of God
    • The mercy of God
    • The kindness of God
    • The Holiness of God

I guess there are extremes of aestheticism, and extremes of spiritual laziness. On one side a person can fall off into the leaven of the Pharisees. On the other, one can fall over into spiritual error.

Some may seem to slip into heaven by the skin of their teeth.

Some may be told by the Lord, “Depart from Me... I never knew you.”

Wow. That is a lot to contemplate. But the bottom line is that I want to be like Jesus. So, perhaps I need to spend more time studying what He did when He walked this earth, and what He commanded in His word.

Bottom line... my choice is to seek His face and pursue a close daily walk with Him. Seems a good choice, ne pas? Maybe that explains Bruce Hibbard’s oft-covered tune (with those familiar Maranatha! music keyboards and the twanging guitar), “All of Me.”

All of me
Not just a fraction of my heart
But all of me
Not withholding any part
But all of me
Lord, I’ve given You my best
All of me
All of me

How much do we trust our imperfect human attempts at pleasing God? When do we just give up on our efforts and just turn everything over to Jesus? After all, we can trust Him to complete that good work that He began in our lives. The Bible says so...

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

Philippians 1:6 (Amplified Bible)

That also explains the track of the LP, “Love Will Always Make a Way.” Loving the Lord your God with all your heart... all your soul... all your mind... and all your strength may answer all of those questions. How far can I stray from Him if He is my first and true love?

Finally, back to Straight and Narrow, Bruce reminds us in the verse that if we wish to follow Him, we must walk the way that He planned. If we don’t learn our lessons well and do what the Master says, we will reap the seeds we sowed... and there will be trouble ahead.

Let’s keep ourselves motivated to walk the Straight and Narrow. And, when we are overwhelmed with questions and begin to feel confused, trust Him to lead us in the way that we should go.

Bruce’s album is out of print, but it is available at the Jesus Music server. And have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday (in the U.S.A., at least).

1 comment:

todd said...

Have you heard Bruce Hibbard's new album, it's a great piece of work.