Last week while driving, I was arrested - not by the police - but by the verses of a great old hymn. I had been listening to Pandora to stay awake and got in the mood for the old songs. I love this old hymn and when it came to verse 3, I was struck by the idea of God's goodness to us being a fetter -a chain- to keep us attached to Him (because He wants us and loves us so much) as we, I should speak for myself, as I am so prone to wander off.
I long for the first love and zeal I had when a new believer, when I had nothing in the world but Jesus and He was all I wanted anyhow. I can't get back to that through discipline or self effort but only by receiving His love, and this verse captured me, as scripture says, “it’s the goodness of God that leads men to repentance.” It's God's love, goodness and kindness that attracts us to Him from the start and as the hymn says, keeps us chained to Him.
So it dawned on me all over again that as I receive His goodness it fans the flames of love. "We love Him because He first loved us.”1 John 4:19. And faith in and the dependence upon grace - His finished work and not our own - releases an experience of His goodness. What amazing devotional poetry!
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
3. O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.