Today as I was praying for revival, I felt overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed by the depravity of man.
Scriptures started piling up in my mind, such as:
The human heart is deceitful and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9).
No one understands; no one seeks for God (Romans 3:11).
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
We are helpless and hell bent.
We need a Rescuer.
We need God to track us down.
Like a hound dog, we need Him to sniff us out of darkness, out of the shadows of death, out of afflictions and irons (Psalm 107:10).
We need Him to set us free from sin (Romans 6:17).
The Hound of Heaven
In 1893, Francis Thompson wrote a poem entitled, “The Hound of Heaven.”* The poem portrays God as a loving hound dog pursuing a stubborn soul. In search of happiness, the soul flees from God. Hides from God. Chases the world. Seeks for love. Yet, every pursuit leads to despair.
Meanwhile, the Hound of Heaven pursues. Tenderly, He calls. Lovingly, He waits. Until the worn and weary soul surrenders.
Shocking that a Holy God chases after sinful souls.
Crazy that He never gives up on His children.
“In a recent biography of John Stott, Stott refers to Thompson’s poem. According to Stott, he owes his faith in Christ not to his parents or teachers or even his own decision, but to Jesus, ‘the hound of heaven’. Stott writes:
[My faith is] due to Jesus Christ himself, who pursued me relentlessly even when I was running away from him in order to go my own way. And if it were not for the gracious pursuit of the hound of heaven I would today be on the scrap-heap of wasted and discarded lives.
– Roger Steer, Basic Christian: The Inside Story of John Stott (IVP Books, 2009), pp. 262-263;
God Does The Saving
On the cross, Jesus conquered sin and death. And He alone can conquer the human heart.
The “vilest offenders” will come to a Holy God. His grace is irresistible.
God will do the saving.
We must do the praying.
Pray for God to do whatever it takes “to draw us to Himself” (John 6:44).
Like beggars, plead with God to “have mercy on us”, on our families, on our churches, and on our nation. (Matthew 9:27) He hears and answers the prayer of the broken and contrite (Psalm 51).
“O God, come after us. We are easily deceived, and inclined to evil. The enemy is too strong for us. Set us free that we may worship You. Set us free that we may serve you with our whole hearts.
*”The Hound of Heaven A Modern Adaptation” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXlgz4aBKt8