Vain Service

O My Lord,

Forgive me for serving thee in sinful ways
by glorying in my own strength,
by forcing myself to minister through necessity,
by accepting the applause of others,
by trusting in assumed grace and spiritual affection,
by a faith that rest upon my hold on Christ, not on him alone,
by having another foundation to stand upon beside thee;
for thus I make my flesh my arm.

Help me to see that it is faith stirred by grace that does the deed,
that faith brings a man nearer to thee,
raising him above mere man,
that thou dost act upon the soul
when thus elevated and lifted out of itself,
that faith centers in thee as God all-sufficient,
Father, Son, Holy Spirit,
as God efficient,
mediately, as in thy commands and promises,
immediately, in all the hidden power that faith sees
and knows to be in thee,
abundantly, with omnipotent effect,
in the revelation of thy will.
If I have not such faith I am nothing.

It is my duty to set thee above all others
in my mind and eye;
But it is my sin that I place above thee.
Lord, it is the special evil of sin
that every breach of thy law arises
from contempt of thy Person,
from despising thy glory,
from preferring things before thee.
Help me to abhor myself in comparison to thee,
And keep me in a faith that works by love, and serves by grace.

– from, The Valley of Vision

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