Monday, May 5, 2008

Monday's Music Review - The Altar and the Door

Song Title: The Altar and the Door (#6 on album)
Album Title: The Altar and the Door
Artist(s): Casting Crowns

(Hear the song here:

Careless, I am reckless
I’m a wrong-way-travelin’-slowly-unraveling shell of a man
Burnt out, I’m so numb now
That the fire’s just an ember way down in the corner of my cold, cold heart

Lord, this time I’ll make it right, here at the altar I lay my life
Your kingdom come but my will was done, my heart is broken as I...

Cry, like so many times before
But my eyes are dry before I leave the floor, oh Lord
I try but this time, Jesus, how can I be sure I will not lose my follow through
Between the altar and the door

Here at the altar, oh my world so black and white
How could I ever falter
What You’ve shown me to be right

I’m trying so hard to stop trying so hard
Just let You be who You are
Lord, who You are in me
Jesus, I’m trying so hard to stop trying so hard
Just let You be who You are
Lord, who You are in me
My thoughts:

This song does a great job responding to the words of Paul in Romans

"I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing." - Romans 7:15-19 (ESV)

Often times we have the desire to do what is right. And yet, over and over again, we do the opposite. If Paul, a great man of God, struggled with the same problem, why shouldn't we?

In the beginning, the song mentions crying before the altar and yet having dry eyes before we even stand. Have you ever been caught up in the emotional whirlwind of "doing" good for God? I know I have. I tell the Lord things like: "This time God. This time I'll do it right." Or maybe even, "Lord, I'll never do ___________ (fill in the blank) again." And then before we know it, we're struggling with the same sin. What seemed so black and white is now all of a sudden gray.

Yet Paul did not end with verse 19 of Romans seven. In verses 24-25 he says:

"Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin." - (ESV)

We can never live in sinless perfection. BUT the great news is that, in Jesus Christ, we have a God who did.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. - Heb 4:15 (ESV)
If we know Him as our Lord and savior, we are forgiven in Christ. Should we try to live as He has called us. Of course! Yet when we fail, we have forgiveness and reconciliation in God.

Praise the Lord!


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