My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
On my trip back from Uganda last month, I was listening to some great worship music (in between sleeping, eating and watching a movie or two). “I Give You My Heart” was one of the songs that stuck out in particular (you probably know it well). Here are the lyrics just in case:
This is my desire, to honor you
Lord with all my heart, I worship you
All I have within me, I give you praise.
All that I adore, is in You.
Lord I give you my heart,
I give you my soul, I live for you alone,
Every breath that I take every moment I’m awake
Lord have your way in me.
It’s such a great song. I’ve sung it many times and it’s hard not to be moved by it. But after this trip, it’s a little harder to take this song upon my lips.
The song is really about surrendering everything to God; your heart, your soul, your life. The part that impacted me like never before was the verse “Lord have your way in me.” After this trip, saying those words was a little more difficult.
Until now, I thought I had surrendered every part of my life to Christ. But recently, I’ve started to realize there are some areas where that’s not entirely true. I’ve been putting some of my desires and comforts ahead of Him. I’ve seen where some of my limits are, and it makes my heart ache. Do I truly want Him to have His way in me (even if it means enduring pain and discomfort beyond what I think I can bear)? Leading up to and during this trip, I’ve seen sacrifice like never before. Men and women truly forsaking all else for the name of Jesus. It’s forced me to confront my willingness to do the same.
In truth, I don’t want anything to separate me from Him. I don’t want there to be anything I wouldn’t do, or anywhere I wouldn’t go, for Him. Which is why this is so painful. Our Lord was obedient unto death. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son. Paul endured loss beyond anything I can ever imagine. All for the sake of the Gospel. I want to be obedient to His calling on my life as well, without any reservations.
But I also want to be honest with myself. I know there are some things I am really not ready for or prepared to do, and that saddens me. Francis Chan said he was once at a prayer breakfast for inner city ministry and felt that this type of ministry was something he was not prepared to do for God. Here’s the link to his talk (http://vimeo.com/17925328). It was just too much. He thought he would go to India or Africa for God but the inner city was just too scary. Of course this disturbed him and now he and his family may be led to inner city ministry.
I share all this because the implications of it on our lives, our witness and our ministries are so important. We should ask ourselves these questions. What are we not willing to do for God? Where are we not willing to go for God? How much is too much? Where do you draw the line? And why?
We can claim and believe that we are fully surrendered (that we would be willing to do anything or go anywhere for God) but do we really mean it? When the rubber meets the road, do we choose comfort and safety, or suffering for the sake of Christ and the Gospel? It’s difficult to honestly know unless you put yourself in positions where you must choose.
Stepping out in faith in ways that are uncomfortable will undoubtedly challenge the idols and comforts in our lives. It’s only then that we begin to realize where we are holding back.
I don’t know where God will lead our family, but I do know that He is bigger than my selfishness. I also know that He who began a good work in me will bring it to completion. So though I’m saddened by this realization, I’m also joyful. I am thankful that His Spirit is at work bringing this to my attention.
No one said being sanctified would be easy. In fact, we’re promised just the opposite. But as I see my weaknesses more fully, I also see His strength and holiness more clearly, and that just makes we want to sing (which you would not want to hear)!
So I’ve come full circle. I can honestly say (or sing), “Lord have your way in me!” Mold me, use me, transform me. Open my eyes to see where I am not fully surrendered to You, and help me to take up my cross (whatever that may look like) so that You may be glorified.
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30