Summary: Based off of the popular hymn - it is an invitation to rely on Christ.
Sermon – “All the Way My Saviour Leads Me”
“All the way, my saviour leads me. What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt his tender mercy, who through life has been my guide?
Heavenly peace, Divinest Comfort, Here by faith in him to dwell.
For I know whatever befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.
Just a few moments ago, we that great hymn, written by Fanny J. Crosby. Fanny Crosby is an amazing woman. When she was just six weeks old, an incompetent doctor took away her sight. When she was one, her father died. When she got married in 1858, both she and her husband were forced out of their jobs. And yet, every biography I have ever read of this woman keeps saying that everybody that ever met Fanny Crosby was always praising God.
Contrast her story, if you will, to that in our scripture , and there is a question that begs to be asked- How is that a blind woman can see joy so clearly- a joy that a freed slave people can not? More importantly, I’d like to know why I think my life is so miserable, and why don’t I know the joy that I hear about in this song. The key to answering this question is to examine what the Israelites didn’t see and what our blind songwriter did.
Basically, I boil it down to three differences- Fanny Crosby was forever talking about all that God had done for her. In fact, she is quoted as saying “
Secondly, Ms. Crosby continually kept her eyes on Jesus, and saw that he was right there with her. The Israelites had a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. And, in response, they basically say, “Where is God in all of this?”
Finally, Fanny Crosby knew that God was not finished providing. On her tombstone she has the words to another hymn she wrote- “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine. O what a foretaste of Glory Divine!” Contrast this to the Israelites who had seen the Red Sea parted, saw God himself manifest every day. What do they say to all of this? “God- You are going to let us die right here aren’t you.”
That’s all and good as a story, but I want to go a little deeper into each of these responses. Because as much I pick on the Israelites, I fall into each one of these ways of thinking on a regular basis.
Reason I – Forgetting what God has done – or not acting on it
I want to start by looking about forgetting what God has done for us. I read through Exodus or Numbers, and sometimes I wonder- Could anybody in Israel remember anything more than three days? Its as though they all suffered some kind of genetic amnesia. First, they ask for someone to get them out of Egypt. God sends not just anybody- but the very adopted son of the Pharaoh. Pharaoh says, “No, you can’t go.” God kills of the firstborn boys in Egypt. Now, the Israelites get to the Red Sea, and a small contingent (of not firstborns) is closing in on them. What do they say “I’m gonna die.”
They get out in the wilderness; they build a golden calf. Somehow, they seem to think that a cow parted the Red Sea. Two years ago, I didn’t realize that a cow doesn’t have the brain power to walk through a silly little gate to milk it- and yet somehow it can part the Sea. Yeah.
Let me ask you a question, though. What has God done ever done for you? I’m not just talking about salvation here. Think about it for a minute or two. I guarantee you that you can remember at least one instance where God has supernaturally provided for you.
For me, it was in Poland.
Reason II – Not seeing what God is doing – or being angry that he is the one leading, and not me.
Still, I do want to point something out here- I can’t live on that story. In many ways, I tried, and for two years, I think I went to Church once. My spiritual life became a complete wreck. The problem, I found out, was that I was trying to live in gratitude, rather than faith. Gratitude says, “God thank you for what you’ve done for me.” Faith says, “Thank you for what you are doing for me, and what you will continue to do for me.”