Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord.

We’ve been studying the Book of Acts recently and of course, it gets into issues like speaking in tongues, a gift that is often sought by contemporary Christians, often more than other gifts.
I was so appreciative that I as a child learned an old hymn by A.B. Simpson titled Himself, in which he describes his own journey from wanting the gifts, to simply wanting Jesus.
I’ll post the lyrics here, but I also want to reference something I read in A.W. Tozer today. Tozer was very concerned that people are more interested in what they can GET from God, then interested in God Himself.  (Tozer wrote this in the 1950’s or 1960’s, and what he said then is even more relevant today in our rampant “consumer-driven” Christianity)
Here is what Tozer said, followed by Simpson’s lyrics. Taken together they make wonderful companion pieces.
A. W. Tozer [A sermon excerpt reprinted in I Talk Back to the Devil].
So many professing Christians just want to get things from God. Anyone can write a book now that will sell — just give it a title like, Seventeen Ways to Get Things From God! You will have immediate sales. Or, write a book called, Fourteen Ways to Have Peace of Mind – and away they go by the ton.
Many people seem to be interested in knowing God for what they can get out of Him. They do not seem to know that God wants to give Himself. He wants to impart Himself with His gifts. Any gift that he would give us would be incomplete if it were separate from the knowledge of God Himself. . . . I feel that we must repudiate this great, modern wave of seeking God for His benefits.
A.B. SIMPSON [lyrics from his hymn, HIMSELF.]
1 Once it was the blessing,
Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling,
Now it is His Word;
Once His gift I wanted,
Now, the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing,
Now Himself alone.
All in all forever,
Jesus will I sing;
Everything in Jesus,
And Jesus everything.
2 Once ’twas painful trying,
Now ’tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation,
Now the uttermost;
Once ’twas ceaseless holding,
Now He holds me fast;
Once ’twas constant drifting,
Now my anchor’s cast.
3 Once ’twas busy planning,
Now ’tis trustful prayer;
Once ’twas anxious caring,
Now He has the care;
Once ’twas what I wanted,
Now what Jesus says;
Once ’twas constant asking,
Now ’tis ceaseless praise.
4 Once it was my working,
His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him,
Now He uses me;
Once the power I wanted,
Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored,
Now for Him alone.
5 Once I hoped in Jesus,
Now I know He’s mine;
Once my lamps were dying,
Now they brightly shine;
Once for death I waited,
Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored
Safe within the veil.

Posted in Staublog in February 14, 2013 by | 1 Comment »

One Response to Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord.

  1. ST021413 | Dick Staub on February 14, 2013 at 11:50 am

    […] How do you move from wanting things from God, to wanting God? From wanting what God provides, to realizing, as Saint Teresa of Avila says in her wonderful prayer, God Alone Suffices? Read More: […]

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