Forth in Thy Name, O LORD, I Go–Kingdom Actions for the Overcomer

We return to the hymns as we begin another week of Overcoming to discuss Kingdom Actions, one of the 5 Kingdom Principles for Overcoming that were listed for us in 1 Peter 2:21-23.

  1. Kingdom expectations; 1 Peter 2:21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you,
  2. Kingdom perspective; leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
  3. Kingdom actions; 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
  4. Kingdom time frame; 23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate;
  5. Kingdom power; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

Today’s hymn is Forth in Thy Name, O Lord I Go by Charles Wesley.

According to numerous accounts, Charles Wesley is often considered the “forgotten Wesley” because his achievements as a prolific hymn writer seem less significant than those of his brother John whose organizational genius founded the great Methodist tradition.  You would never suspect his being forgotten based upon the familiarity of the hymns of Charles Wesley.  They are among the most famous in any hymnal, Methodist or otherwise: Christ the Lord Is Risen Today;  Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Jesus, Lover of My Soul;  Love Divine, All Loves Excelling; and O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing, among nearly 9,000 others.

Christianity Today shares this part of Charles Wesley’s history:

Charles Wesley was the eighteenth of Samuel and Susannah Wesley’s nineteen children (only 10 lived to maturity). He was born prematurely in December 1707 and appeared dead. He lay silent, wrapped in wool, for weeks.

When older, Charles joined his siblings as each day his mother, Susannah, who knew Greek, Latin, and French, methodically taught them for six hours. Charles then spent 13 years at Westminster School, where the only language allowed in public was Latin. He added nine years at Oxford, where he received his master’s degree. It was said that he could reel off the Latin poet Virgil by the half hour.

It was off to Oxford University next, and to counteract the spiritual tepidity of the school, Charles formed the Holy Club, and with two or three others celebrated Communion weekly and observed a strict regimen of spiritual study. Because of the group’s religious regimen, which later included early rising, Bible study, and prison ministry, members were called “methodists.”

In 1735 Charles joined his brother John (they were now both ordained), to become a missionary in the colony of Georgia—John as chaplain of the rough outpost and Charles as secretary to Governor Oglethorpe.

Shot at, slandered, suffering sickness, shunned even by Oglethorpe, Charles could have echoed brother John’s sentiments as they dejectedly returned to England the following year: “I went to America to convert the Indians, but, oh, who will convert me?”

It turned out to be the Moravians. After returning to England, Charles taught English to Moravian Peter Böhler, who prompted Charles to look at the state of his soul more deeply. During May 1738, Charles began reading Martin Luther’s volume on Galatians while ill. He wrote in his diary, “I labored, waited, and prayed to feel ‘who loved me, and gave himself for me.'” He shortly found himself convinced, and journaled, “I now found myself at peace with God, and rejoice in hope of loving Christ.” Two days later he began writing a hymn celebrating his conversion.

Charles, from his premature birth to his conversion and beyond, has been an Overcomer in the best sense.  His hymn Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I Go exemplifies what it means to have Kingdom Vision, Expectations, and Perspective and how they can preserve us for Kingdom Actions even in the mundane or forgotten tasks of Overcomers.  Listen on the cyberhymnal.

Kingdom Actions Go Forth in Thy Name O LORD


Forth in Thy name, O Lord, I go,

My daily labor to pursue;

Thee, only Thee, resolved to know

In all I think or speak or do.


The task Thy wisdom hath assigned,

O let me cheerfully fulfill;

In all my works Thy presence find,

And prove Thy good and perfect will.


Preserve me from my calling’s snare,

And hide my simple heart above,

Above the thorns of choking care,

The gilded baits of worldly love.


Thee may I set at my right hand,

Whose eyes mine inmost substance see,

And labor on at Thy command,

And offer all my works to Thee.


Give me to bear Thy easy yoke,

And every moment watch and pray,

And still to things eternal look,

And hasten to Thy glorious day.


For Thee delightfully employ

Whate’er Thy bounteous grace hath giv’n;

And run my course with even joy,

And closely walk with Thee to Heav’n.

Categories Articles, Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on August 26, 2013

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