Worship You Forever
How many times have you sung praises to the Lord for His immutability? Perhaps more often than you think. While we don’t often use that word directly, we do often praise Him for His “forever” qualities. Song’s like “Forever God Is Faithful,” “Jesus Never Fails,” “A Mighty Fortress,” are old favorites which speak to the immutable characteristics of God. In “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” we sing, “there is no shadow of turning with Thee. Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not…”
These are all lyrics about the immutability of God, but they sometimes fly under the radar by using terms like faithfulness, unchanging, enduring forever, steadfast and unfailing. In the hymn Immortal, Invisible addresses God’s immutability: “We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree, and wither and perish, but naught changes Thee.” Keep you eyes open as you sing hymns and worship songs in the near future and see how often these words pop up, praise our unchanging God.
This anthem talks about the immutable qualities of God’s faithfulness, truth, constancy, holiness, love and personal relationship with us. Have you ever pondered what it would be like if these things were not immutable in God? There would be no faithfulness if God was not unfailingly faithful. We wouldn’t be able to trust a God if we didn’t know He would keep His promises. How scary would that be? And what about truth? If He was only right part of the time, how would we trust what He said? We’d be in the position of a lot of people today who have decided that they can cut out the parts of the Bible that they don’t like or disagree with. Where does one stop cutting? How can one be sure of anything if some parts are valid and some parts aren’t? The fact that what God says is immutably forever true, is foundational for trust. Without it we have nothing but a religion we make up out of our own desires, not out of any eternal truth.
When it comes to holiness, can we imagine a God who was holy one day, and not-so-much the next? Well, we can, actually, as many of the multitude of gods people worshipped throughout history have been these kinds of capricious beings who made up rules that they didn’t even necessarily follow themselves. When the standard of “holiness” shifts depending on mood and circumstance, we live in a state of uncertainty about what would be acceptable to find favor with a deity. It led to extremes in worship, such as cutting themselves, or burning their children as sacrifices. What kind of “holiness” would demand that?
But our forever holy God is unchangeably so. Not only that, but He has revealed what it means to be holy, what pleases Him, and tells us that the mark of holiness never shifts. To top it off, He invites, commands, and enables us to be holy as He is holy, so we can be united with Him in deep union, forever.
The fact that His love for us is immutable is unfathomable, given that we are the most fickle-hearted of beings. Our love runs hot and cold, if it runs at all, but His love never ceases. Of all of the immutable attributes, I’m guessing that the one the Bible stresses the most as unchanging is His love. The main worship refrain of the Israelites was “The Lord is good and His love endures forever.” The phrase “His love endures forever is repeated at least 43 times in the Scriptures, then add to that phrases like “everlasting love” or “steadfast love” or the fact that His love never fails or never ceases, and the Bible is clear that we can depend fully on the love that God has for us—forever!
Where would we be if we couldn’t depend on that love? Every time we failed (which is every day), we would have to worry that God’s love would be withdrawn. Or maybe He’d just decide, “Never mind, I’m just not in a loving mood today.” Can you even imagine that about our God? Allah is a capricious god, and His followers never have assurance that they will be in paradise. It depends on his mood the day they die. And going to paradise for them does not mean going to fellowship with Allah. How different from our God who said, “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go, I will return again and take you to myself, that where I am there you will be also.” That’s the kind of forever-loving God we have—One who is faithful to us forever, who loves us forever, who wants us to be with Him forever! Can you grasp the wonder of that truth?
Far too many of us, though, spend too much time living as if His love isn’t forever, isn’t immutably for us. We slip into the mode of looking at God’s love in the way our human love flows—up and down, hot and cold, ebbing and flowing, coming and going, circumstantial, and anything but constant. THAT’S NOT GOD’S LOVE!
His love isn’t based on who we are and our ups and downs, it’s based on who He is, unchanging. It is His immutable nature, because God IS love. His love is based on Himself, not on the objects of His affection, so we can count on His constancy. We need not fear. We can have perfect peace. We can trust we will be received when we turn to Him—the One who is forever faithful, forever kind, forever yours, forever mine, forever holy, forever true. And we will be blessed to worship Him forever!