My life has been a series of hooks and crooks as my Father has shepherded me. When I nibbled on noxious weeds, He pulled me back, sometimes violently. When I desired to travel into a wilderness rather than His chosen pastureland, He had to yank my neck. And when I behave willfully, insisting on going my own way, He’s willing to break my legs to prevent it. Only true love bruises in order to correct.
Batter My Heart — My Life
So is it only my rebellion that receives His bruising? No! Sometimes it’s His will that bruises mine. Take for instance my call to celibacy. I didn’t do anything wrong to merit this bruise, but it did bruise me. I wanted a wife and children. I wanted a companion to live with, to grow old with, and to walk this life with. I never asked to be single. Though it’s a gift from God, there are many painful aspects to this calling. And in it I’ve experienced the battering of my heart.
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
God’s own sovereign choices have battered my heart. Batter my heart, three-personed God: with Your choice of my parents, my calling, my appearance, the tumultuous times in which I live, and all the many unchanging factors that You’ve chosen to comprise my life. To “batter my heart” speaks of His incredible love for me, though His ravishing has not seemed polite or cordial. He’s a gentleman, yes, but for those who are His, His passion is often overwhelming. He passionately pursued me to seek only Him. He desired me to look to Him as my Source for my affection and love. It has been the overthrow of my heart and feelings. He has ravaged my heart with His own desire for me.
My Experience of Batter My Heart
The reason this has had to be aggressive is because I by nature desire to live apart from Him. My parents, Adam and Eve, chose independence rather than relationship, and I am one of their true children. But I’ve learned through many bonks on the head, that His way is always my best way. His battering of my heart is the inevitable, living call to Himself. I could be polite and say, “Perhaps this is just me?!?” But the Word says, “ALL we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way.”
Batter My Heart is for all of us, and not just the “Once a long while back when I was wayward and lost.” But by nature, I need His commitment to continually batter my heart unto Himself, because the battering is what it takes. Not because I am hard headed, but because my human nature is continually at war against my spirit (Romans 7:23). It must be overthrown, bent, blown, burnt, imprisoned, enthralled, ravished, and made new.
But I discern in my bodily members [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh].
Romans 7:23 AMPC
Next up is “Batter My Heart – The Fisherman and Hunter,” where I’ll go into God’s pursuit and catching.