“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16)
One of the most beloved Christian hymns is Robert Robinson’s “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” Robinson, however, was not always a man of faith. The death of his father left him angry, and he fell into debauchery and drunkenness. After hearing the famous preacher George Whitefield, Robinson surrendered his life to the Lord, became a Methodist pastor, and wrote that hymn, which originally included the lines: “Oh, to grace how great a debtor/Daily I’m constrained to be!/Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee.”
Uncomfortable with the line about the Christian heart’s wandering, someone changed the words to read: “Prone to worship, Lord, I feel it, Prone to love the God I serve.”
Despite the editor’s good intentions, the original words accurately describe the Christian struggle. As believers we possess two natures, the flesh and the Spirit, and they are in conflict. Although our sinful nature will always be “prone” to wander from God, if we are willing to surrender to His Spirit, we do not have to be enslaved to the desires of the flesh. This is the thrust of Paul’s message in the texts for the week .
*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, December 17.