A friend passed away on Wednesday, July 25th. She was a Christian who loved the Lord and loved others enough to tell them about Jesus. She has now joined the cloud of witnesses who have gone before and who have left their legacies to inspire and encourage us.
During the night that followed my friend’s death, I awoke at 4:30 in the morning with these words running through my mind, “The King of Heaven wants me, So this world has lost its grip on me.” Those words are lyrics from the popular Christian song “Control” by Tenth Avenue North. It’s a song that I’ve heard many times on the radio, but it’s not a song I have ever really sung…in Church or even in the car when it has played on the radio.
While I’ve never really had a special affinity for the song, the words are very good, and they are worthy of our reflection. On the night after my friend’s death, I do believe these words came to my mind in a dream as a gift from God to remind me of the freedom from this world, and the joy in Heaven, that my friend now enjoys.
A Fast Passage to Heaven
My friend had been diagnosed with cancer only two months prior. She chose not to do chemotherapy and, when radiation was overwhelmingly difficult, she chose to discontinue the treatment. Without treatment, she began to slip quickly and God took her home without any serious pain or any lengthy suffering.
Three days before her passing, her final words to me when I visited were, “I’m going to see Jesus.” And that she did! This world had lost its grip on her even before she departed and she was ready to go to the King of Heaven. I told her to “watch for the angels.” The Bible teaches that God sends His ministering angels to carry us to our promised home (Read: Do Angels Take Us To Heaven When We Die?). What a comfort for her family that she is now at perfect rest with Jesus and that they will see her again. What a comfort for everyone who loved her and was touched by her life. She was a godly woman whose smile was contagious; and she was always genuinely concerned about the lives of others. She will be missed.
Lyrics of Hope and Truth
Back to the lyrics that I heard only 12 hours after my friend’s departure to Heaven:
“The King of Heaven wants me, So this world has lost its grip on me.”
Whether the King of Heaven calls us home to be with Him or if He leaves us here to serve Him, He certainly wants us. His desire for us is spoken of in His Word and it is felt by us in our relationship with Him. He came to earth to live and die for us. We know that He wants us. And yet, we live in a world that calls us to itself, and, sadly, all too often we respond. It is our duty, our responsibility, and even a necessity, that we make a concerted effort to loosen the “grip” that this world has on us. The song “Control” speaks of how we are to do that.
“All my intentions, All my obsessions, I want to lay them all down, In Your hands”
- The song tells that it starts with desire. Just as Jesus wants us, we are to want to “lay down” these earthly things and to give them to God.
- The song tells us we can do that by remembering God’s love because it “frees [us] to take [our] hands off of [our lives].”
- The song also reminds us that, in the “shattered and broken things [we] have hoped in,” God has a plan. His plan is to “redeem and restore [us].
Living the Christian life is really about the head and the heart. It’s about knowing with our minds and loving with our hearts. That’s what produces the desire in us to give Him control over everything in our lives.
Giving God Control
The idea of turning control over to God reminds me of another song — a song I mentioned to my friend the last time I saw her— “Blessed Assurance.” I reminded her of the lyrics from the beloved hymn.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is [yours]
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine.
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
What beautiful lyrics of hope and comfort, of true assurance in the eternal destiny of all who belong to Jesus.
But those are not the words I think of today. I think of the second verse of the song “Blessed Assurance.” It speaks of the same message as that of our contemporary song “Control.” While “Control” speaks of God’s love freeing us to give Him control of our lives, “Blessed Assurance” speaks of what enables our submission to God’s plan. Again, it’s the head and heart. It’s our knowing His truths and His love.
“Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blessed
Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.”
The Bible proves the truth of these lyrics:
“Watching and waiting”
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
“filled with His goodness”
Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
“lost in His love”
John 15:9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”
Watching, waiting, and looking — that’s what helps us to perfectly submit. “Filled with His goodness” fuels our desire to do so and “lost in His love” is where we find true rest. In Christ, we truly are happy and blessed.
As we approached the church for my friend’s service, the song, “Control” was playing. In perfect timing, as we pulled into a parking spot, the song ended with “The King of Heaven Wants Me. This World Has Lost Its Grip on Me.”
Listen now to the songs, “Control” and the song “Blessed Assurance.” Consider the blessings of perfect submission and peace and rest of relinquishing control to the King of Heaven who wants you, loves you, and frees you.
For, “this is [our] story, this is [our] song” and so we should always be “praising [our] Saviour all the day long” until the day when we enter into His presence with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise, giving thanks to Him and praising His name (Psa 100:4).
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