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.
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Devotion, Hymns

He Placed Me On My Feet

I try to read my Bible before I get out of bed in the morning. Before I am able to focus my eyes, I thank Jesus for trusting me with another day, I give control of the day back to Him, and ask that I can honor Him and make Him proud. Once my eyes focus, I read scripture from my Nook.

As I was praying this morning, the old hymn “He brought me out of the miry clay. He set my feet on the rock to stay. He puts a song in my heart today, a song of praise. Hallelujah!” came to mind. I did a quick keyword search (feet on rock), and Psalm 40:2 popped up.

Psalm 40: 2-3 (NLT) “He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.”

He set my feet on solid ground. That phrase stuck in my head.

I thought about the day I cried out to Jesus, the day Jesus chipped the first bit of paint from me:

He picked me up. Only broken things need to be picked up. Broken people cannot stand on their own. Broken lives cannot function on their own. In the broken mess that was sucking me under, Jesus reached down and picked me up. I didn’t have to crawl out. I couldn’t. I didn’t have to pull myself up by my bootstraps. I couldn’t. Jesus, because He loves and cares for me, picked me up.

But Jesus didn’t stop there. He placed me on my feet. Jesus made a point of placing me on my feet. He didn’t lay me on the ground or plop me in a chair. He stood me to my feet. In that act of placing me on my feet, Jesus gave me confidence. He gave me the little bit of faith I needed to see that there was still hope. Placing me on my feet, Jesus assured me that I could walk the road ahead of me. If the God of the Universe thought I could do it, who am I to second guess Him? Who am I to say “I can’t” when the King of kings, the Savior of the world, said that I can?

He placed my feet on a rock – solid ground. No longer did I have to wonder about my life. As long as I had my feet on the ground in which Jesus placed me (His love and wisdom), I could move about confidently. I no long had to grope around to find solid ground because Jesus placed me smack dab in the middle of solid ground. I could now move, and breathe, and be a confident me!  Finding that freedom wasn’t instantaneous, but with my feet firmly planted on solid ground, I now had the courage to be resolute. Jesus loved me so much that he wasn’t going to leave me to wander around looking for solid ground. He knew I couldn’t find it on my own, so He put me there and said, “Just follow Me and you will never fall into the sand again.” How did I know my feet were always on the solid ground? I didn’t, yet in small ways I did. If I had to talk myself into things, I wasn’t on solid ground, and I was more than likely headed toward the sand that would suck me back into the mire. If I was relying on my own understanding of things, I was headed for sand.  But, if I was reading, studying, meditating, and attempting to applying His Word, then I was most assuredly on solid ground.

This is where I want to stop for this post. I will talk about the new song He has placed in my heart at another time. Right now I want the enormity of this insightful little nugget to reach deep into my mind, heart, and soul and do its miraculous work.

The beauty of this Psalm is that it is not just for David, the writer, or only for me. This Psalm is for everyone, no matter who you are or where you are.

Jesus is waiting for you to cry out to Him. He wants to do for you what He’s done for me.

My prayer is that even with all your doubts and fears, you will yell to Jesus for rescue.