I love this song. Some songs have a depth of doctrine and teaching in them that will satisfy the most pharisaic of Pharisees, while others express the simple awe of the redeemed whore washing Jesus’s feet with her hair. This song is of the latter kind.
You’ll find in this song that few words are spoken, and that it isn’t a “teaching song” by most men’s standards — but that it is an “awe and wonder” song — which should in fact, teach us about those “weightier matters of the law” by way of the Holy Spirit. One who is not hardened and leavened — one who is fully relying on Christ alone and not resting in any sense of accomplishment, status, or self- righteousness should find that the heart cries out and the spirit speaks in wordless groanings when this praise is lifted in Spirit and in Truth.
In the morning
So let’s take a closer look at its content:
“In the morning, when I rise
Give me Jesus”
Oh, how beautiful and wonderful the mornings are when we rise with our Jesus close by our side. And how strong our longing can be when we feel that we have risen somehow “far and away” from our precious Lord. But either way, don’t we long for Him even closer, even as the deer panteth for water, don’t we thirst for that precious fount of living water?
Do you long for the Lord with your waking breath? It will be so with your daily life as well, especially in those awakening moments of fiery trial that appear unexpectedly. And so it will be for you on the day of the Lord. Are you ready?
Mark 1:35 ESV
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Psalm 119:147 ESV
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
Psalm 88:13 ESV
But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you
Psalm 143:8 ESV
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
So, we have addressed the first fruits of our day — our morning — and now we will look onward to our true worship — to the song that we will sing about what truly is first in our life today.
The lyrics continue:
“You can have all this world
Just give me Jesus”
Yes, the busy distractions of this world offer us many idols to choose from — and will we say “Give me the world and a side order of Jesus!” Or will we say, “Just give me Jesus!” And if we say it, do we mean it? What if health, prosperity, reputation, loved ones, freedom — what if these were taken from us, would we still cry out “JUST give me Jesus!”
The existence of that word JUST cannot be ignored, or one of us — even you, even me — might miss the whole point of this type of praise altogether.
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.
The lyrics continue:
“Oh, when I am alone
Give me Jesus”
And when we have turned away from the world, when our proclaiming the Gospel so boldly, loudly, and seemingly foolishly has left us with “nary a one left behind” and it seems we are alone in our solitude and our silence — isn’t it there in that humbled, surrendered silence that He is truly found?
Psalms 46:10 NLT
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
Lord, teach us that a multitude of words and teaching and movement and activity doesn’t always leave us much time for the awe and wonder and faith that pleases you.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.
Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42 ESV