The Cross Still Stands

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Description

The Bible tells us that because of the disease of sin, our hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). And Jesus tells us that “from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.” (Mark 7:21-22) All of our sinful behavior has its root in a sinful, prideful, heart and all too often we fail to recognize and repent of the attitudes and thoughts within us, tainting all that we do, as sinful in and of themselves. This is why Isaiah says that “all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6), why even our songs of praise, our words of thanksgiving to God, or acts of charity, our service in the church are all unacceptable before God and worthy of condemnation before Him. Our holy God deserves to be the only object of worship and attention and He will not accept anything less. This song recognizes the fact that, in the words of the author of “The Dark Guest,” “I have a secret motive to eye my name in all I do.” But it does not stop at lamenting how thoroughly our sin has penetrated our beings, it goes on to declare the glory of the cross of Christ – that it can meet our deepest need! As we continue to trust in Christ’s work of atonement and propitiation for us on the cross, and as God reveals the deeper and deeper chasms of sinful motives that lie in our heart, we will gain a greater appreciation “of the great grace that saved such a wretch as I am.”


Original Prayer


The Dark Guest (from The Valley of Vision)

O Lord,
Bend my hands and cut them off,
for I have often struck thee with a wayward will,
when these fingers should embrace thee by faith.
I am not yet weaned from all created glory,
honor, wisdom, and esteem of others,
for I have a secret motive to eye my name in all I do.
Let me not only speak the word sin, but see the thing itself.
Give me to view a discovered sinfulness,
to know that though my sins are crucified
they are never wholly mortified.
Hatred, malice, ill-will,
vain-glory that hungers for and hunts after
man’s approval and applause,
all are crucified, forgiven,
but they rise again in my sinful heart.
O my crucified but never wholly mortified sinfulness!
O my life-long damage and daily shame!
O my indwelling and besetting sins!
O the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart!
Destroy, O God, the dark guest within
whose hidden presence makes my life a hell.
Yet thou hast not left me here without grace;
The cross still stands and meets my needs
in the deepest straits of the soul.
I thank thee that my remembrance of it
is like David’s sight of Goliath’s sword
which preached forth thy deliverance.
The memory of my great sins, my many temptations, my falls,
bring afresh into my mind the remembrance
of thy great help, of thy support from heaven,
of the great grace that saved such a wretch as I am.
There is no treasure so wonderful
as that continuous experience of thy grace
toward me which alone can subdue
the risings of sin within:
Give me more of it.

Lyrics

These hands that should embrace You, Lord
Instead have drawn a rebel’s sword.
My wayward will has dealt the blow
That pierced Your son so long ago.

My actions, Lord, should build Your name,
Instead they labor for my fame.
While outwardly I bless the Son,
I seek man’s praise for what I’ve done.

Chorus:
Lord, this glory-seeking hunger tries
To pull my heart from You:
Such a dark, unwelcome guest who hides
In everything I do.
But Your grace remains and pleads for me:
“Destroy this enemy!”
For the cross still stands
And meets my deepest need.

This heart should worship You alone;
Instead to trifles it is prone.
My tears are drawn by earthly things
But flee when with the saints I sing.

My words should tell of all the grace
You've shown in saving me by faith;
Instead I use my tongue to spin
A web to minimize my sin.

By David L. Ward
© 2006 ThousandTongues.org, admin by Thousand Tongues

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Comments

I think this is my favorite out of all I've heard so far! The words are so true, so awful, so wonderful, and the music fits perfectly.
» Melissa M. on December 5th, 2008

I like this song a lot! So humble and contrite in the offering of it's praise to Jesus! I appreciate songs with scriptural support and a great Gospel message.

Thank you very much, God bless you!
» Tyler Nuzum on January 31st, 2009

I like this song a lot! So humble and contrite in the offering of it's praise to Jesus! I appreciate songs with scriptural support and a great Gospel message.

Thank you very much, God bless you!
» Tyler Nuzum on January 31st, 2009

Beautiful song David. I was so conflicted when I was trying to decide whether or not to sing this song as a solo in one of our worship services. The lyrics are so convicting and I wanted our congregation to hear them but I struggled with how to sing the song without satisfying my own "glory-seeking hunger."
» Brian Brasher on April 27th, 2009