Here Am I: Take My Life (#1)

Often when I’m studying God’s Word, a song comes to my heart to sing.  Lately it’s been an old favorite that I first heard in college:  “Take My Life” by Chris Tomlin.

Each line compels me to a deeper level of holiness.  It draws me into dying to myself, giving ALL of myself to the Lord.  I’m going to do a series from the song, focusing on each line, and what the Scriptures say about it.

This week I’m starting with the first line:

Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee.

Take.  My Life.

Here am I

We are singing this song to the Lord, asking Him to “take” our lives.  We are offering to Him our very living.

This is what salvation is.  It isn’t simply “asking Jesus into your heart”, or “accepting Him as your Savior.”  Those things happen at salvation, but becoming a Christian isn’t just about “being saved.”  It’s about dying to yourself, GIVING your very life over to the Lord.

Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  God loves me.  Jesus gave His very life for me, and in return–He asks for my life, too.  The life that I live today, though in the flesh, is not even supposed to be “me” living.  It is to be CHRIST living inside of me!

Is that how I’m living?  Am I living, as ME, myself, living MY own life?  Or is Christ living in my body?  Is the Holy Spirit in control of my actions and my thoughts?  Am I living, or is Christ?

Romans 12:1 says to “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”  According to Scripture, it is reasonable that I should sacrifice my entire life for God.  It is reasonable that I should not keep anything for myself, but should present my very existence to God as a holy sacrifice.

So many times when I feel convicted to give up something for the Lord, my first instinct is to think that having to give that up is simply unreasonable.  “Why would God expect me to give that up?  It’s not sinful.”   Yes, sometimes God even asks me to give up things that are not sinful in and of themselves.  Things that I consider perfectly fine.  Things that I think I should be able to enjoy.  But the Holy Spirit pricks my heart and says, “Let it go.”

If I am a living sacrifice, that means that nothing is off limits.  It is completely reasonable for God to ask me to give up everything I own and everything I enjoy.  It is completely reasonable.

The thing is, I don’t want God to have to always be making me give things up to Him.  I want to be a living sacrifice every day, no matter what.  I want to wake up and say to the Lord, “Take my life.”  I want to offer myself, everything I own, everything I do, and everything I think to the Lord as a sacrifice.

And when I give Him my life, I want Him to consecrate it to Himself.  The definition of “consecrate” is to “make or declare something sacred.”

Sacred?  MY LIFE?

The answer is yes.  In and of myself, my life will never be sacred.  But when I offer myself to Christ as a living sacrifice, and when it isn’t actually ME–but Christ–living my life, then it can become sacred.  And so today, and every day, I want to offer up my life to the Lord so that it can be consecrated to Him.  So that my life can be sacred.  So that my life will no longer be mine–but fully belong to God Himself.

Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee.

This is my prayer.  Is it yours?

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Rachel  🙂

A Desire to See God

Last night at Revival, the preacher talked about Exodus 33, where Moses was asking for God’s presence to be with the Israelites.  After much discussion with God, Moses says “Please, show me Your glory.”  Although God says that no one can see His face and live, Moses is begging to SEE HIM.  So God agrees that Moses can see Him from behind.  He hides Moses in the cleft of the rock, covers him with His hand, and then uncovers Him so that Moses can see His back.

Desire to See God like Moses

At this time, Moses has been meeting with God for a while.  A lot has happened since the burning bush–which I came across in my daily reading this morning.  In Exodus 3, when Moses sees the bush, he was intrigued and wanted to see what “it” was.  God calls to Him and stops him, telling him that he must first take off his sandals.  He then introduces Himself to Moses, saying “I am the God your your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

When Moses hears that this is GOD speaking to Him, the Scripture says “Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.”

Moses was AFRAID.
Afraid to SEE GOD.

Often in Scripture we see the reaction of people being afraid of God, and even of angels.  Since the Fall, man’s natural response to seeing that level of holiness is almost always fear.  Immediately after the fall, we see Adam and Eve–who had previously walked with God often– now hiding themselves from Him.  Mary was afraid when the angel came to tell her that she would give birth to the Son of God.  When Saul met the Lord on the road to Damascus, he was trembling.  Granted, Jesus hadn’t just shown up as a guy walking next to Him.  When Jesus appeared, Saul became blinded by a great light.

At first response, man sees God’s holiness and wants to hide.    In comparison to God’s holiness, we feel guilt.  Shame.  We want to hide.  Even in my own life, when there is sin in my heart–my first response is to close my Bible.  If I’m not willing to give up my sin, I generally don’t want to face God.  And when I do face Him, I come to His Word with a sense of trepidation.  I’m nervous, because I’m expecting His conviction to set in and I know it’s going to change things.  I know it’s going to change me.

So what about Moses?  He started the same as many of these other men and women.  He was afraid to see God.  And just thirty chapters later, He is begging to see Him.  What changed?

A lot happened in those thirty chapters.  Moses had gone to Pharoah asking for his people’s freedom.  God had performed signs and miracles through Moses.  He had sent 10 plagues on the Egyptians, and had saved Israel from the worst of them–via the Passover Lamb.  God had parted the Red Sea to save them.  God had provided water from a rock, and manna from the sky.  Had guided their every step of the way with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  Perhaps it was this myriad of signs that drew Moses to the Lord, but I don’t think so.

I imagine those signs would only further prove the Greatness of God in a way that would leave most of us lying face down on the floor, ready to obey His every command, but still afraid to lift our faces and behold His glory.  I imagine there was something else going on through all of this–something that seemed even MORE miraculous to Moses.  Through all of these signs and wonders, through Moses experiencing the greatness of God, Moses was also given the grand opportunity to meet with God often.

In Exodus 33:8 we see that whenever Moses would go out to the tabernacle to meet with God, “all the people rose and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle.”  And as Moses would enter the tabernacle, the people would watch as the pillar of cloud came down to the tabernacle.  There, the Lord would talk with Moses.  And all the people would worship God.  Can you imagine?  All the people would see Moses heading to the tabernacle.  They would ALL quit what they were doing, and watch Moses–knowing that GOD HIMSELF was about to come down.  And though they couldn’t see God through the pillar of cloud, they were able to worship His greatness.  It’s unfathomable to even imagine myself one of those Israelites, nevertheless as Moses!  Can you imagine what was going on in Moses’ heart and mind during those times?  During that walk to the tabernacle?  What was he thinking as he journeyed to the tabernacle?  Was he expecting God to come down and meet Him?  Or did he wonder, “Will God show up this time?”  Obviously we can’t know what he was thinking, but beyond a shadow of a doubt, I can know one thing:  He was able to meet with God, and through that He developed a desire to see Him.

What used to be fear became longing.  The more Moses got to know of the Lord, the more He wanted to SEE HIM.  What had changed?  For Moses, it was more than just the miracles that every other Israelite was a witness to.  For Moses, it was one big change:  Relationship.

Moses had a relationship with the Lord.  He had spent personal time with Him on a consistent basis.  He had experienced God meeting with Him each time He went to the tabernacle.  God was faithful to Moses.  He knew Moses by name. 

How did Moses respond?  With one statement.

“Please, show me Your glory.”

Moses’s response to God’s presence?  He wanted to SEE GOD.  I’m the same way.  In my flesh, I first come to God with nervousness.  Sometimes even fear.  My sinfulness placed beside His holiness is overwhelming.  I feel unworthy to face such a holy God.  But just as God came each time Moses approached the tabernacle, the Holy Spirit is always there when I open His Word.  He lives inside of me, but my sin creates a barrier between me and Him.  When I open His Word, He’s faithful to come to me and help me tear down those walls.  And brick by brick, as He removes the walls of guilt and shame, He creates the same desire in me that He created in Moses.  A desire to SEE HIM.

The more I experience God, the more I WANT to experience God.  The more I know Him, the more I want to know of Him.  His presence in my life, though met with fear, creates a relationship that dispels the fear and replaces it with longing. 

I long to see Him,
and to know Him more.

Do you?  Or have you allowed your fear to keep you from His presence?

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Rachel  🙂

Here’s a song to enjoy: