AN EXEGESIS ON DAN SCHUTTE’S HYMN “LORD HERE I AM”

Verse 1 – The Lord seeks a Vessel for His purpose

A time like this, God looks for man,

Worthy vessels that he will use

To accomplish his great purpose

And make his kingdom widely known

Lord Here I am – Hymn stanza 1/4

The intentions of the Lord have been genuine from time immemorial. He has been a good God who seeks fellowship with the things He created— most especially man. Man was created with a charge according to Gen 1:28. The earth was made the domain of man and this was an intentional act of God from creation. The job description of man revolves on the earth and God’s mandate on this terrain may actually be hindered if man refuses to key into this mission.

In the years past, the world has been evolving and the order of things has actually been usurped. Chaos and instability have gradually taken over. Amidst this turmoil, a voice still cries out saying: “whom shall I send and who will go for me?” this message is exact and the mission has not changed.  Our heavenly father still seeks true worshippers and faithfuls— men and brethren who will worship him in spirit and in truth. He yearns for mankind to be reconciled to Him. He will not descend to make this happen himself because he had invested in making man for this same purpose (Gen 1:27a). Man is to be the mouthpiece in this terrestrial ball; advocate and take charge of affairs.

The fame of the kingdom will spread when men step in and foster the mandate. It is a mission for the consecrated; hence the phrase ‘worthy vessels.’ The call goes out to many but the truth is only a few shall be chosen (Matt 22:14). This mission does not permit encumbrances and entanglements. The race must be run with focus (2nd Tim: 2:4).         

CHORUS – Total Surrender to God

Lord here am I, myself I give,

My talent, time, silver and gold,

Father use me, to build your church

To show your praise among all men

Lord Here I am – Hymn chorus

The chorus expatiates on the cost of the mission. The mission is not for the faint-hearted. It demands declaration, dedication, commitment, focus, sacrifice, and denial. In the course of carrying it out, talents will be thrown in if need be; time will be required even silver and gold which connote valuable and cherished possessions can be needed.

Remember, “no man putting his hands to the plough and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9: 62). Our all is actually needed. The mission will be put above all other things. It will be only for the praise of Him. The cry will only be: “father use me to build…and show your praise…”

 

Verse 2 – Relying on the Lord’s grace and help

 A time like this Lord help me hear

Your thundering voice and do obey

Where some may fail others abscond

Lord help me stand whatever the cost

Lord Here I am – Hymn stanza 2/4

The charge can be daunting and breathtaking to ponder on. There is a need to hear and then, listen to the call of recruitment. Many may hear but few will obey. Many may even enlist for the mission and along the line may give in to the pressures of the mission. This results to a lot of wounded soldiers on the way. Some may even totally abscond and take their separate ways for after all, it is only a shepherd that watches over the sheep. The hired servant does not truly care for the sheep but at the sight of the wolf he flees (John 10:12-13). The need for courage is paramount. The disciples of old stood even in the face of death and this same determined heart is needed for the task ahead. Stephen withstood the stoning (Acts 7:54-60); John the Baptist lost his life (Matt 14:3-5); and all the other disciples suffered all for the name of the Lord. St Paul in all his ordeals, sums up his Christian voyage in these words: “to live is Christ, to die gain”. Paul was sold out to the mission and there isn’t any going back.

Verse 3 – Engaging the fight of Faith

A time like this, a warfare time

When champions rise and fall in tears

Satan fights his final battles

Making the race so tough to run

Lord Here I am – Hymn stanza 3/4

This stanza paints a clear picture of the times we’re in—- it is a warfare time. Satan has deployed all his armory to do us harm. The only people who can withstand these times are those who believe in the name of Jesus (John 1:12). It is a tough time that causes even champs to be unstable. The battle is fierce and all the strategies are being unleashed by the devil.

The fight is not against flesh and blood now but against principalities and powers… (Eph. 6:12). The missiles released by the evil one are targeted against the hearts of men to weaken them and stop them from making progress spiritually. This forestalls many from marching on therefore, making the race cumbersome and hard to run.

Verse 4 – Continuing Strong and Finishing Strong

 A time like this, Lord fix my eyes

On thee alone, lest I should fall

Living for thee, father of love

Until I end my journey home.

Lord Here I am – Hymn stanza 4/4

 The hymn ends on a note of plea, “… fix my eyes on thee alone, lest I fall”. This points out commitment and resolution. It is glaring that a hunger is steering in the hearts of men to finish this mission yet the distractions lure us. So, only the father of love can hold us in this perverted world to stand firm and finish the pilgrimage at his feet.

Listen to the Hymn “Lord I am Here” as sung by Reverend Oliver Ofoegbu

In conclusion, our life can be for the Lord and the mandate fulfilled if only we can hand over our all to Him who gave the mandate to us and in all submissiveness, cry: “Lord here am I!”

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