Do you sometimes feel really weak and have to lean on the strength of the Lord to get through it? I know I do. There’s a song for that.
“Just a Closer Walk with Thee” is a traditional gospel song that has been covered by many artists. Performed as either an instrumental or vocal, “A Closer Walk” is perhaps the most frequently played number in the hymn and dirge section of traditional New Orleans jazz funerals.
1 I am weak but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.
That’s just the beginning, but it says so much. We are set free from fear and worry, they do not come from God. We may have to remind ourselves of that when we get overwhelmed with whatever may be happening in our lives.
“I have Jesus. I have been set free.”
In His light,
Recently, I was reading Isaiah 54. I wrote in my journal some phrases and words that caught my attention: “Sing…do not hold back…fear not…the Lord has called you…his steadfast love shall not depart from you.”
Sing. Do not hold back. Fear not.
Sounds like being “set free” to me!
In Isaiah 54:2, the phrase “Do not hold back” includes the concept of increasing one’s capacity. “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” I was intrigued. What did this mean?
I checked Matthew Henry’s commentary. He states, “The death of Christ is the life of the church and of all that truly belong to it; and therefore, very fitly, after the prophet had foretold the sufferings of Christ (in Isaiah 53), he foretells the flourishing of the church, which is part of His glory.” Isaiah 54 gives reference to the church, into which Gentiles were to be admitted. The God of Israel would now be called the God of the whole earth!
Do not hold back. Enlarge your heart. Share the Gospel unashamedly. Share love to everybody always. Do not hold back.
If you need help with this mandate, as I do, look to Jesus. He will set you free!
Jesus declares, “So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” [John 8:36].
We must point others to Jesus, the source of true freedom.
Jesus gives all people this invitation: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” [Matthew 11:28-29].
We are invited on a journey in which Jesus journeys with us as our Shepherd (see Psalm 23). We discover that we are cared for and that we can receive His love. We find ourselves set free from want. Set free from fear. Set free to love.
Listen to this. Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence [1John 3:18-19].
Jesus can set us free to love and we can find our hearts set at rest in His presence.
I have Jesus. I have been set free. My heart is set at rest in His presence.
I wish the same for you.
National Director. Jen has served in a variety of ministry capacities, including the President’s Cabinet for The Alliance. She enjoys reading, travel, and a competitive game of racquetball. Jen and her husband Doug attend Dover Avenue Alliance Church in Orange City, Iowa.