I hate to admit this, but often my relationship with God is casual at best. He's blessed me with a great life: good job(s), great friends, a nice place to live, a car to drive, a good church, etc. So, I go about my normal life, living it up: spending time with friends (read: hanging out), taking trips, dreaming big, and I usually make a half-hearted effort to incorporate God into these things. I read my Bible, I journal, I have accountability, I take mission trips, etc. But it sometimes feels like my relationship with God is something I work into my life, not my life itself.
Saturday night (ok, Sunday morning) after spending a fantastic evening with friends ringing in the New Year, I got home and promptly went to bed. Instead of sleep coming so easily and unavoidably as it usually does, I found myself laying awake with my mind going a mile a minute. Not sure if it was the coffee I'd had after 9 that night that was to blame or if God was trying to get my attention, either way, I was very much NOT asleep!
As I laid in bed wishing for sleep, I began to pray, mostly for sleep, but also for the Lord's blessing on this new year of life. I looked back on 2011 and saw the many evidences of God's favor in my life, but I also saw so many ways that I have failed him. Both were sobering. I want to be whole-hearted in my pursuit of my Savior not halfway committed or casual in my relationship with him. After not too long, I found my prayer turning into this song:
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow'r as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will and make it Thine,
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Take My Life and Let It Be, Frances R. Havergal
I was challenged to make 2012 the year of "Withholding Nothing." The Lord deserves my everything, my all, and I desire to give it to him, holding nothing back. This song is my reminder of the areas that I need to remember to commit entirely to him.
My life - No explanation needed.
My moments and my days - My time. This is a problem area for me as I struggle to be a wise steward of my time.
My hands - Is what I do with my hands always glorifying the Lord?
My feet - Swift and beautiful? Should I be taking up running more seriously?
My voice - When I sing, my voice should put the focus on the Lord, not myself.
My lips - My words are often sarcastic and hurtful. This is not the best use of the voice I have been given. My mouth should be full of edification and encouragement.
My silver and my gold - Am I using my financial resources the way I should? I need to commit my money to the Lord.
My intellect - God has given me a mind to use. Am I investing it in His kingdom as I should?
My will - This is a tough one. Giving up what I want for what God wants is so much easier said than done.
My heart - My emotions, my relationships. It's difficult to give up control of this area of my life when I think I know what I want and what would be best for me. God has the best plan and the best timing.
My love - My affections should belong first and foremost to Jesus. Do they?
So, needless to say, I have quite the battle cut out for me as giving up control of all this and holding nothing back for myself will not come naturally. But it's a battle worth fighting, and I won't be fighting alone.
Here's to 2012, withholding nothing for the glory of God! Happy New Year!