547 And Can It Be

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Listen to And Can It Be

My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

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Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. (2 Thess. 3:5

The Christian is free to go forth and follow Christ, no longer shackled to the things of earth. Consider, for a moment, man’s physical heart, composed of 2 upper and 2 lower chambers, a cooperative partnership pumping blood through the body to support physical life. The Lord is directing the chambers of the believer’s heart to support his spiritual life. The upper chamber, a steadfast, persistent, unbroken calm—a serene sanctuary in the busyness of life. This chamber knows the secret to all joy is a heart in love with God. The will of the lover melting into the will of the beloved. Nothing so sweet as to do the beloved’s will, a complete surrender of bondage to self. In that expunction of self lies the secret which brings pure joy into one’s life. The lower chambers inhabit the patience of Christ. At the foundation of love for God lies endurance and perseverance; a determination to do the will of God regardless of all opposition, whatsoever storm clouds loom on the horizon. The one chamber opens to the other, a harmonious duet to support one’s spiritual life. This is Christ’s gift to the believer, the direct fruit of a heart in love with God.

At the cross, the love of God and the patience of Christ meet in communion that we may be redeemed. Every obstacle in the way of a perfect union with God has been removed. He endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him so that all might be brought into fellowship with Him. When our heart dwells in the chambers of love for God we will remain calm in the darkest hour, “Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”(Jn. 18:11). When love reigns, troubles fade. Our will dissolves into God’s will as love for our beloved prevails over love for ourselves. Jesus leads our heart into the love of God by the outpouring of God’s love in our hearts.

Is yours a steadfast love for God? Do you possess a calm endurance and persistence in present persecutions? Do you possess a patient yielding and bold dedication to well-doing when suffering or in pain? May your self-will be bound up and led by the Lord into the way of Jesus’ self-sacrifice. May you pass into that sweet, calm fortress provided for you in the love of God and the patience of Christ. This is your day to proclaim, along with the hymnist, “My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.”