If you were to sneak into my home on any given night at 8:30….er….9:00, you might hear me humming the words to one of the most well known hymns of all time. As I lie my baby in her crib, and stroke her sweet forehead, this song I hum with my face to her cheek. It is my nightly prayer over her and Jude. It’s not a song I heard growing up on Sundays because I didn’t grow up “in church, ” nor have I attended many churches where this song was played regularly on a Sunday morning, yet somehow, its words have found a home in my heart.
Just take this simple line.
Be thou my vision, Oh Lord of My heart.
Now. Soak. That. Up!
Isn’t it so pure, so raw, so beautiful?
Now I realize the title of this blog probably caught some people off guard, but I need to share the song God has been humming in my ear lately. It’s the song above, only in relation to the church.
I’ve had the opportunity to be in community with some pretty cool believers through different church bodies. Each body looked very different from the one before. Each one was a place where God allowed me to learn and grow. Each one a place where I experienced His goodness and grace over my life. However, I’ve made one critical mistake over and over and OVER again. Even still, I struggle to not make the mistake.
MY CHURCH HAS BEEN MY IDOL.
Yes. It’s true. I have been so in love with my church that it became about it being “my church.” Sin crept into my thinking as I loved my church so much, that I began to worship IT and not God. It became my vision, more than He did.
The comfort of a great community. The depth of a great sermon. The gift to a person in need. I loved this so much that pride took root. And when pride took root, comparisons began. And when comparisons began, I played a part in the division of God’s Church.
So, I took something beautiful, the beautiful parts of church, and made it ugly. How human of me.
I must remind myself not what the church is, but whose the Church is. It is His. Not mine. My identity is in Christ, not in where I sign my membership card. And more important than everything that I love about my church, is the Gospel. I’m one teeny, tiny person in a teeny, tiny local church body that is in His enormous, worldwide Church. And if I can continually remind myself of these truths, perhaps, His Church will be a little more the way it’s supposed to be.
So my prayer tonight no matter what church body you affiliate with, is this…
As the church body, this message reverberates through each member:
Be thou our vision, Oh Lord of our hearts.