He is my Fortress

He is our Fortress

He is our Fortress

You may remember the post I made a while back about worship at Harvest.  I’m still listening to Andi Rozier’s “He is my Fortress” and Matt Westerholm / Lindsay McCaul’s “O Bless the Lord” pretty much every chance I get.  Both amazing songs, both with amazing lyrics and great music.

Anyway, I got the burr in my saddle to decompose one of them … specifically the bridge to “He is my Fortress”.

Here’s the whole song…yahoo_music_icon

When troubles come the Lord is near.
My cries resound within His ear.
His proven word has brought me light
and steadfast love, my pure delight.

He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
He is the hope of my eternal salvation.
No power can stand against the people that God defends.
I love You, O Lord, My Strength!

When sin attempts to overcome.
In weakness, Christ has made me strong.
Through blood my ransomed heart He sees,
And rescues me from enemies.

He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
He is the hope of my eternal salvation.
No power can stand against the people that God defends.
I love You, O Lord, My Strength!

You surround me and sustain me.
You draw me near and embrace me.
You’re before me and behind me.
You invite me in and delight me.
You prepare me and protect me.
You correct my heart and perfect me.
You befriend me, You defend me.
You are my Strength, I will fear no more.

He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
He is the hope of my eternal salvation
No power can stand against His love…

You are my Fortress, I will not be shaken.
You are the hope of my eternal salvation.
No power can stand against the people that God defends.
I love You, O Lord, My Strength!

And here’s the bridge with my added commentary…

First of all, God really can be the fortress into which Christians run – to be defended, surrounded, sustained, protected.  But most don’t.  Me neither, but I want to learn.  We’ve allowed ourselves to be deeply imbibed with self-indulence (which we call consumerism), selfishness (which we call independence), avoidance of personal responsibility (which we call rights), and unhealthy dependence (which we call social justice).  The sum of the whole thing is that even Christians (a group which is only a sliver of the size it claims to be – maybe 10% of those who say they’re Christians actually are) have no idea how to lay down our rights and our stuff, and run to God as a child would run to his father who loves him, protects him, and knows what’s best for him.

So, against that backdrop, here’s the bridge of Andi’s song … plus commentary from me …

You surround me

God is everywhere.  If hydrogen atoms in a distant galaxy rub up against each other, God is involved.  This is no more or less true of our lives.  The difference is that God actively comes to us.  Creation is the backdrop of His relationship with us.  All the universe.  Almost infinite vastness.  God has created all of it as an expression of His character and a container in which to relate to us.  He *pursues* us, moves toward us, surrounds us with love, mercy, provision, guidance, wisdom, amazing gifts.  So much more than we could ever ask for or imagine for ourselves in terms of useless worldly trinkets, God seeks to provide if we’ll let him.  C. S. Lewis was right: we are far too easily pleased with the trivia of our lives.

And sustain me

The Bible clearly states that “[Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col 1:15-17)

But as before, “people” and “the universe” are two different things.  God sustains us both, but approaches us not just intentionally but relationally to sustain us.  He provides for our needs, gives us gifts/skills, jobs, families, money, food, clothing.  Even the things we buy, we buy with money God gave us the skill to earn.  He works miracles to sustain our bodies physically not only through holding the electrons in place around the nuclei of atoms but through the miraculous gift of modern medicine.  We observe gravity, but what is gravity beyond the consistent faithful hand of God to keep the earth’s orbit stable around the sun so that the atmosphere is breathable, the rain comes, the plants grow, and we have food to eat?

You draw me near

God has ordered all of creation to speak for Him, worship Him, tell about Him.  “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”  (Psalm 19:1-4)

All of creation worships God in our presence that we might be drawn to God and worship Him also … but better, more effectively … to fulfill the purpose for which we were made.  If we do not worship God, then the very stones God created would cry out (Luke 19:40) … to draw us near to God.

Not only the beautiful of creation (as the signature of an artist)… but God pursues us through His Word, by actively involving Himself in our lives.  Yes, at the molecular and biochemical level, but also emotionally.  He speaks to us through nature, but also through our consciences, by whispering in our hearts.  He demonstrates miracles before us … not just that the sun rises every day or flowers bloom or asteroids don’t pound the earth to oblivion on any given day, but also modern medicine, man’s creativity to build dams and cities and space stations.  It’s endless.  God is a pursuing lover, who woos us to draw us near.

And embrace me

More than drawing us near, God embraces us.  We are deeply loved by God.  More than protection or pointing us to Him (our most important relationship), God loves us.  “At just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:6-8)

So even though we reject God … blatantly, all the time … God loves us.  And not just a fair-weather, words-only love.  God sacrificed His Son out of His deep abiding love for us.  So, beyond creating us, he purchased us back from our sin as a great price.  To me, His love for us has become obvious.  I’m compelled to respond.

Alright, this entry has become huge.  I think I’ll save the other six phrases in the bridge for a second entry.

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About Jeff Block

Lover and follower of Christ. Husband and father. Writer and seminary student. On a long journey, learning to swim with the current of God's love and walk with Him in the garden in the cool of the day.
This entry was posted in Psalms, Music and Worship, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to He is my Fortress

  1. beth says:

    Nice blog. You seems to have a great poetic skills. Enjoyed going through it. Keep it up the good work.

    Like

  2. Pingback: He is my Fortress (part 2) « Jeff Block’s Personal Idea Fountain

  3. Pingback: How could I not be consumed by You? « Jeff Block's Personal Idea Fountain

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