I am Vulnerable, But Hold my Hand Dear Jesus.
There’s a feeling, a drawing, a pulling that brings me constantly in check whenever I hear this song “Jesus Keeps me near the Cross”. I have no doubt that the lyrics were penned from a heart that never wants to stray, but most importantly I know it is from heart who never wants to forget what the cross is all about.
Because we as humans are vulnerable.
Ever heard of Joshua Harris? No? Okay, I will tell you. He is the author of ‘I kissed dating goodbye.’
What about Ray Boltz? No again? Well, he is the writer of the song ‘The anchor .’
The first time I heard of the book ‘I kissed dating goodbye,’ was from one of my big sisters. She talked about how this book helped shape her thoughts and perspectives on purity as a teenage girl many years ago.
Mr. Harris was a pastor who God used to teach young people that purity in the modern world is achievable; not just because we suppress our feelings and emotions or don’t acknowledge that the opposite sex exists but because we bring ourselves daily before the mirror of God’s word and stay in constant check by the Holy Spirit.
So, many years later when Mr. Harris appeared online to share that he no longer believes in God or share the view that marriage holds any sanctity or that purity is God’s standard for believers, and that he is deeply sorry for his erroneous views and writings in his book ‘I kissed dating goodbye,’ I wept. I will tell you why in a few lines.
But first, let us know who Mr. Boltz is. Ray Boltz is a famous American singer who wrote songs like “Thank you for giving to the Lord,” “The anchor holds,” and “The altar.” Here’s a glimpse into the lyrics of the altar.
The service is nearing an end
The choir is singing, ‘Just As I Am’
And now as the old song is played
People at the altar
Are kneeling down to pray
Some are finding mercy
Forgiveness for their sin
Some are fighting battles
And they’re struggling to win.
He wrote other powerful songs.
But when I came across a debate some few years ago regarding him. I wept again. Mr. Boltz left the Christian faith to declare he no longer believes in God ordained way for marriage, I wept. He no longer holds the biblical stance he once had.
I wept. Not because I am better than them, but because the enemy is rejoicing over the souls that fall away. Jesus says in his word that in the last
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”
II Timothy 3:1, 4 NKJV
To stand and think you and I are untouchable is a dangerous assumption. Let me add this here; the fact that you desire to make it to heaven makes you a special target for the host of hell. To think that those who have tasted of the grace of God, can so fall far away from it, is fearful.
But I want to remind you of this.
- God’s word never changes.
Yes. God’s word never changes. We are at the end of the age and Jesus warned that at this time many people will fall away from grace. Many will deviate so much that if it were possible the elect too will be deceived. If you must stand firm at such a time, you must constantly put on the whole armor. The constant study of God’s word will keep you guided and guarded. Please don’t neglect it.
- We are all vulnerable
I don’t know of any better way to say it. But as long as you have committed to making heaven at last be rest assured that the devil will stop at nothing to get you down. Please, don’t let him. Do not assume that you are immovable because of your many years in the Lord. See, you who have opened prison doors and set captives free need to be very careful. The devil may not come at you with wealth and money but he may tempt you with sexual sins. He may not tempt you with positions/titles and accolades but he may start with pride. So watch out for your weaknesses. The good news is that the blood of Jesus is still potent.
- Watch and pray
Be conscious of the fact that you are a soldier in a daily battle. I’ve never seen a soldier in uniform with flip flops, even in the grocery store. Likewise as a soldier, keep your armor on at all times. Never exalt prayer above the study of the scriptures because the Bible which is God’s word is your sword. Uphold both the weapon of prayer and the Word; let both be in your armory. Also, crosscheck the messages, doctrines and preachers you follow. Make sure they are all from the word of God or know where to draw the line if they are not. Set boundaries (I’ll share another post on this). Above all, remind the devil that you are a brand plucked out of fire, let your secret place burn daily.
- Maintain Fellowship with Other Believers
One of the tactics of the enemy before striking any believer is to cause a distance. Either before attacking that believer or after. The bible enjoins us to maintain fellowship with believers of like precious faith. You and I need the encouragement, faith and strength from other believers too. Hear this :
“Two are better than One, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls one can help the other up, but pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” Ecc. 4: 9,10 (NIV)
- Be in constant view of the cross
I’ll end with the lyrics from the hymn at the beginning
“Jesus keep me near the cross.”
Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain,
Free to all, a healing stream,
Flows from Calvary’s mountain.
In the cross, in the cross
Be my glory ever,
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and mercy found me;
There the Bright and Morning Star
Shed His beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day
With its shadow o’er me.
Near the cross! I’ll watch and wait,
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.
What a dangerous thing to have tasted of the grace and power of God and fall away. More terrifying though is falling away and remaining down. What if you have not started this journey with Jesus at all. Hear him calling, see him beckoning. Please give your heart to him. Jesus is calling you now, don’t delay.
Dear friend the coming of Jesus is nearer than when you first believed. You cannot afford to lose sight of that now. Regardless of where the world stands today, there is only one standard that we all would be judged by and that is the standard of God’s word. No one is too far from falling, so watch yourself carefully.
Finally, don’t forget to pray for Joshua Harris and Ray Boltz and their families. The devil cannot win over them. Don’t forget to stay connected to the Savior. You can’t fall away now. Stand till the end. I pray for grace that you will stand. Amen.