Hymns, Surrendering

Surrendering All

I want to feel peace in my soul again.

I woke  at 3 a.m. this morning worrying about things that were out of my control. I tried dismissing them, telling myself that there was nothing to be done,  but I couldn’t go back to sleep. I grabbed my phone, slipped in my earbuds, and started listening to Ascend The Hill’s CD “Hymns: Take The World, But Give Me Jesus”.

Their remix of Judson W. Van DeVenter’s hymn “I Surrender All” (1896) pierced my heart. I kept pushing repeat, singing and professing the lyrics, until I had fallen asleep.

Waking this morning I was singing the chorus:

I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

Later in the day, I had a chance to look up the lyrics, and I realized the stanzas of the hymn echo the process of surrendering one’s life wholly to Christ.

1. Professing one’s love for Christ and giving everything over to Him.

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

Even as I say these words, I know from experience that it will be a daily struggle to “freely give” all to Him. Endeavoring to live in His presence daily – reading, praying, singing – will help me let go of the stuff I don’t have control over anyway in order for Jesus to transform me.

2. I will have to take action.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

Walking away from the things that keep me from experiencing the presence of God is a choice I will have to make. These “things” are different for everyone. Those things that I choose to place over my time with God will either have to be forsaken or re-prioritized.


3. I will have to claim Him as much as He claims me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

Relationships require each party to give and take. Jesus gives Himself freely to me, holding nothing back. To walk freely in the Holy Spirit, I must reciprocate by giving all of myself to Jesus. If I want Him to make me entirely His, I must be willing to discard what He asks of me, so we can be truly belong to each others.
4. Building faith is a reciprocal process.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

I surrender my life to Christ, and He fills me with His love and His power. When troubles come, I trust His promises, and He is faithful to His promises because He loves me. My faith in Jesus increases and I am filled with power knowing He will bless me as I continue to abide in Him. The more I abide in Jesus, the more love and power I find to live life free of discouragement and fear.  The more I am able to live life free of discouragement, the more I abide and trust in Jesus.

5. Living in victory is the result.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

The more I surrender to Him, the more I trust Him, the more I walk in His ways, the more His Spirit lives in me. It is almost like a holy addiction: the more I have of Jesus, the more I want until I am totally consumed by His “sacred flame.” When the Holy Spirit’s flame ignites and begins to completely engulf me, I no longer think about what I must change in my life to glorify God, it just happens! I can live in freedom because sin and death do not have a hold on me. I am not living consciously trying to avoid sin. I’m consciously living in freedom and victory!

I am looking forward to the time when I am walking day by day in the presence of God, wholly reliant on His voice. Until then, I will continue to surrender everything I can to Him in pursuit of His all sacred and all-consuming flame.




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