I Need Thee Every Hour
When do you most feel the need for God? Is it in a time of crisis such as a serious diagnosis, or job loss? Is it when a child is struggling or a parent is losing ground? Is it when the marriage is about to break up? All of these cases are examples of when we find ourselves at the end of our resources and sense the need for a God whose resources are unlimited.
We often cry out to Him in these dire occasions, “God I need You!!!” In fact, there is a Casting Crowns song that sums up this feeling very well, “If we ever needed You, Lord its now, Lord its now. We are desperate for Your hand, we’re reachin’ out, we’re reachin’ out.” In desperation it is wise, prudent, and essential that we reach out to God. He desires us to, and we need Him more urgently than we even realize.
These are times when our need becomes too obvious for denial. Too much of the time we fool ourselves into believing that we can handle it, or we just need a little boost or assist from Him to get the job done, but the reality is we need Him every hour, not just in our times of extreme need. While we may be more aware of our need at some times, the truth is we could not last a minute without His moment by moment support. We truly do need Him every hour.
The lyrics of this song point to several of these daily instances where His nearness is vital to us. First, He is called our gracious Lord. We don’t just need His grace at the time of salvation. We need His sustaining grace every day of our lives. Every day we mess up, so every day we need to apply the truth of His grace to our lives. We need to grow in His grace—both in our understanding of it and it and our application of it. We need to apply it to ourselves as well as to others, as we see them failing around us. We need to humbly recognize how often we need His grace, humbly receive it, and humbly give it in the lives of others around us.
The lyrics also remind us that our peace depends on hearing His voice. We need His truth everyday taking it in as we read His word and allowing His Spirit to apply it in our lives, as well as bring it to mind at opportune times during the day. When the enemy is attacking us, undermining our confidence in Him, deceiving us, discouraging us, we need to hear His tender but firm voice of truth speaking to us all that is pure, right, good, lovely, and full of hope. We need Him every hour to stay our course.
We also need Him every hour to defeat temptation. While we each may have different besetting sins, we each are vulnerable in some way. As we mature in Christ we may not act out as much as we did with obvious behavior that others can spot. We may have cleaned up our language, but do we still wrestle with other kinds of sins of the tongue like gossip or criticism? We may have developed more self-control with excessive indulgence of our appetites, but are our private thoughts yet fully under the Lord’s control? We may not lie outright anymore, but do we seek favor in other’s eyes in ways that are hypocritical? We need Him every hour because we never outgrow temptation, it just shifts its actions to more subtle forms—ones which take more godly discernment, and His power to defeat. We will never conquer sin in our own power, only in dependence upon Him.
We need Him to keep our lives on track for heavenly purposes, or life will end up being vain. It is far too easy to slip into living life just to please ourselves and build an earthly kingdom, or trying to please others, which, too, is a short-sighted, temporal agenda. Living like this is vain in that all that we accomplish while in this world, when not empowered by and directed by God, passes away. We need Him every hour to keep our eyes focused on His kingdom and our purpose aligned with His eternal kingdom goals. Only then will our works survive the fire which will consume all else which is “wood, hay and stubble.”
When we think about it, it becomes very clear that we not only need Him in the crises, we need Him every hour. We need Him in our joys as well as our pain. We need Him to constantly reach out to us and call out to us, reminding us He is near, He is so willing and so able to meet our every need. We need Him to enable us to love Him, and to empower us to minister to those around us for His glory. There is nothing of any eternal consequence were we don’t need Him to provide what we need—every hour of every day.