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“give up all…”

Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes

I give up all my own desires and hopes and

I accept Thy will for my life.

I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee to be Thine forever.

Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit.

Use me as Thou wilt, send me where Thou wilt

And work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost 

  now and forever.

~ Betty Scott Stam

This is a prayer I have prayed so many times over these last years. Today in my journey I have come face to face in a very small way, to this “give up all…” that Betty Scott Stam speaks of.

What do you do when you want to do things for Jesus and go places for God? You ask Him to use you, to send you, etc and then His Will so far is to have you wait or to go nowhere and do what seems to be nothing except to live your same old, every day, ordinary life? I know, I know there is someone out there thinking my life isn’t ordinary. Believe me, it is!!! Over the last two days I have watched a sick grandson while trying to also work at a job where I am doing the same thing I was doing 21 years ago – when I would drag my own sick children through the same exact type of day I just had. Most days at the end of my day I feel like in a practical sense I have accomplished mostly nothing for the Kingdom. Maybe it seems to be nothing because my eyes can’t see or because it is not what I had in mind. Maybe these plans and dreams I have are my own and not God’s. How do you know? Some days I think maybe the Holy Spirit is weeding desires out of my heart and life. Maybe it is just not His timing. I mean the desire of my heart just presented itself almost perfectly today – the place, the mission, the leadership, the monetary costs – but the timing was so wrong that it was like a glaring red warning flag! Once again saying NO! NO! NO!

So what do you do? All I can figure is you either turn totally back or you go on that wrong path or you stand and wait…and turning back is not an option. So I wait on my Father to work it all out. I wait because I trust His dreams. I am well aware that my plans have led me to a pigpen or two. I wait because I love Jesus so much and I told Him I would yield to His will regardless, at any cost. “Nevertheless” was the word of the covenant I made. Even though it hurts like crazy to take my hands off of my dreams and leave them on the altar…what else can I do at this point in this journey. So many times we think that when Jesus says “follow me” and we say “Yes!” we will go on a journey where we are running after Him in a very real way like the disciples or we will be sent somewhere – to a people group like a missionary, with God opening doors in miraculous ways. My journey has not been quite like that and sometimes I wonder if there is any way God can use a woman like me.

I wait and while I do I daily pray the scripture John 15:5 – “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”  I cry Lord, if today without you I can do nothing…then today Lord I ask that You please teach me to abide in You so that I can at least do something. Something for You!

And I wait… and then unexpectedly today I came face to face with what it means “give up all…” as in the poem. It means to wait if that is what He requires of me. Face to face He has allowed me to see so clearly that this “waiting” and this “nothing” I have felt almost offended by is actually leading to WORSHIP! It is perhaps the “something” I prayed for. Maybe worship in it’s truest sense means to give up all…all of your own will and dreams and desires and purposes and hopes. Give up all, not just until the right time, but give it all up for eternity if required! Give it all up with joy that I may win Christ.

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” ~ Philippians 3:8

Learning step by step (and even in the waiting) to abide!