All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live
I would sing it passionately and at the top of my voice. Even today, I will find myself slipping into singing this old familiar hymn, but now I realize two things. First, writer Israel Houghton made no mistake in the order he presented his lyrics, and second, I don’t do any of the things I am singing about.
Point 1: “All to Jesus I surrender.” Nope. I have not surrendered all. I have hung onto many things I passionately want to keep, believing my happiness depends on them.
Point 2: “All to Him I freely give.” Another Big Fat No! I do not freely give. I freely and willingly take without any qualms, and I more than happily give Jesus all my problems . . . well, almost all. Ironically, I don’t give Him those problems that I have created because of my unwillingness to surrender some of the things I love and cherish. I am afraid of what He might do with them--which leads me to point number 3.
“I will ever love and trust Him.” It is obvious by my unwillingness to give all to Him that I don’t trust Him, and if you don’t fully trust someone how can you fully love someone. There is obviously a big problem here.
Point 4: “In His presence daily live.” I would like to think I do, but if I haven’t surrendered all, if I am holding on to things I don’t want Him to meddle in, if I don’t trust Him or love Him completely, then it is obvious that I am not going to be living in His presence daily. In fact, I only want Him nearby when my agenda matches His. Otherwise, it can be a bit uncomfortable.
I obviously have some work to do, don't I? Do you as well? Are you like me? Are there areas of your life that you are unwilling to surrender and as a result feel unsettled and out of step with God?
I am thankful for God’s forgiveness and grace and will cling to Paul’s assertion in Philippians 1:6 that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Maybe someday soon I can move on to the verse two.