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Singing I Surrender All

There are times when I sing the song, “I Surrender All” and mean it. But often I sing my version.

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There are times when I sing the song, “I Surrender All” and mean it. But often I sing my version:

I surrender almost all.

I surrender almost all.

Almost all to thee, my blessed Savior.

I surrender almost all.

Why is it after years of walking with God and experiencing His grace and goodness I still struggle with words like “surrender” or “abandon”? Why do those two words sound more like a death sentence than the way to abundant life?

When I think of giving up everything, taking up my cross, and following Christ minute by minute, I come up with reasons to resist.

My what-if ogre shouts, “What if I miss God’s leading?” “What if I fail and humiliate myself?” “What if the task is too hard to finish?” “What if I have to give up something I love?”

Other times my opinion of myself stops me from surrendering all. My limited view of my abilities determines I’m disqualified, so I cling to relationships, activities, or titles that make me feel safe.

Some days, I’m plain ole tired and I don’t want to go anywhere, see anyone or do anything. I want a nap instead of listening to God’s still small voice to love and serve. So I sleepwalk through my day humming, “I can’t hear You.”

So how can I walk daily with Jesus in a spirit of complete abandonment, ready to respond to His whisper? Even the word abandon sounds scary, doesn’t it? This girl likes being in control. I feel safer. And to keep it real, I like my comfort. Good thing God promises never to abandon me even when I won’t move towards Him when He calls me.

But the word abandon is different with God. Yes, abandon is leaving something, but when it’s God who invites us to surrender or abandon all, He knows it’s leaving something for the right reason. Abandon is more like the word “renounce,” which means to voluntarily give something up. Or better yet, relinquishing all control. Surrendering — handing over my life keys to God Almighty.

Why wouldn’t I surrender all? After all God is bigger than me. His ways are higher than mine. His love never ends and His plan never fails. Logically I’d rather have a big God behind the wheel than me, because I tried steering on my own and got nowhere fast.

Last October I attended a retreat in Florida and I loved what one of the speakers did. She handed out white handkerchiefs to each attendee and suggested that as she shared if we felt like she touched on an area we need to surrender that we wave our white flag. It was powerful to see the flags wave up and down during her 40-minute presentation. I realized then we all have areas that we tend to hang onto. To live a “I Surrender All” life, I’m learning to say two words.

“Yes, Lord!”

Actually, those two words are embroidered on my white handkerchief of surrender. My white flag hangs directly on the wall in front of my bed. I see it every morning when I rise. I want to live a “Yes Lord” life.

Yes Lord days are truly the most satisfying. When I answer His invitation to love another, I am not drained after all. Instead I am filled to overflowing. In giving of myself, I gain more of His heart.

Sometimes God asked me to call a friend and when I do I find out there was a reason she was on my heart. She needed a little encouragement. Sometimes God asked me to type a prayer on e-mail and again the same thing happens. I see God use me in a way I didn’t expect. It’s Him not me. Little gestures done with much love change me. I thank God for His invitation to come and live with a heart of complete surrender.

I’m learning to die to self and let go of my opinions.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

I’ll admit I have days when I don’t die easily or I don’t die at all. I’ll never forget a quote I once heard about dying to self: “Dead people don’t have opinions.”

If I want to live a life fully devoted to Jesus, I have to let go of my excuses and opinions and die, so that Christ may live in and through me. I must surrender all. One thing at a time. Exchanging my messed up life for His. So today I trying to learn a new song. It goes something like this.

I surrender all my fears and gain faith.

I surrender all my questions and gain understanding.

I surrender all my anxiety and gain peace.

I surrender all bitterness and gain forgiveness.

I surrender all my desires and gain His.

I surrender all safety and gain adventure.

I surrender all apathy and gain true love.

I surrender all. All to thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.

Amazed by the beauty of Pikes Peak, Tiffany Stuart and her family live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She and her husband Derek eloped to Las Vegas in 1991. Yes, an adventurous start to marriage. Today, she's an active mom of a funny teenage son and a joy-filled preteen daughter. Want someone to cry with you? Tiffany will be right over. Some of her greatest memories include talking and praying with cancer patients and incarcerated teen girls. Her favorite hang outs are the Goodwill for more books (which she doesn't need), Starbucks for fellowship or freelance work, and her recliner or back patio where she watches and listens to songbirds, journals, and blogs from her laptop. She writes and speaks from her heart to encourage women. Visit her website for the latest updates on her ministry.

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Singing I Surrender All

by Tiffany Stuart time to read: 3 min