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?

Rachel  🙂

Finding Perfect Peace

You don’t have to look far to find someone who struggles with anxiety.  Maybe you know several people in your church who deal with anxiety.  Maybe it’s someone in your extended family, friends, or work group.  Maybe it’s even someone in your home.  Or perhaps you are like me, and you’ve struggled with anxiety yourself–at least to some extent.

Finding Perfect Peace

According to this article from Elements Behavioral Health, here are 8 “facts” about anxiety and anxiety disorders:

  1. It’s normal to worry or feel anxious about some things in life.
  2. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States.
  3. There are many types of anxiety disorders:
    • General anxiety disorder (GAD)
    • Panic disorder
    • Social anxiety disorder
    • Major depressive disorder
    • Phobic disorders
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • Separation anxiety disorder
  4. Women have double the risk for anxiety disorders than men do.
  5. Anxiety disorders are often accompanied by other related disorders.
  6. Anxiety can cause or exacerbate physical illnesses.
  7. Anxiety may be hereditary.  (“Many researchers and medical professionals also believe there’s such a thing as inherited anxiety, while others think it has more to do with learned behavior than genetics.”)
  8. Anxiety can be managed and treated effectively.
    • Talk therapy (psychotherapy)
    • Coping strategies
    • Medication
    • Alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation and acupuncture

So apparently, as you probably already knew, anxiety is pretty common.  But what about for Christians?  What does the Bible say about it?

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

“Be anxious for nothing.”  That sounds like a command!  So even if “It’s normal to worry or feel anxious”, God is commanding us not to be anxious.  If you struggle with anxiety, you might be thinking, “Easier said than done!”  I get it, but the Word goes on to tell us what to do instead of being anxious.  (The world call this a “coping mechanism”.)

“In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”  Whenever you feel anxious, STOP letting those feelings go through your head.  Get on your knees, if possible, and dive into prayer.  Tell God about all of your anxieties and ask Him for a solution.  Make your requests to God, instead of just worrying about them!  THANK God for being there, for being powerful enough to handle whatever it is that is worrying you.  Say that phrase out loud.  “God, You are strong and powerful.  You can handle this.”  Keep saying that phrase, until you believe it–even if that leaves you saying it for years!

If we do this, the Scripture leaves us with a promise!  “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Wow!  Now, you might be a skeptic.  That’s okay!  God says that you can’t possibly understand this peace, or how this peace is even possible!  You won’t understand it!  Quit trying to rationalize or understand it before you obey God.  You’re not going to understand, but you can begin to believe it if you will obey.  You can believe it, because when you obey–when you take your requests to Him and offer thanksgiving to Him, regardless of how you are feeling–HE WILL ALWAYS FULFILL HIS PROMISE!  If you are faithful to obey, you will experience His peace!  That’s a promise!

Lest you think that this one paragraph is all you have to lean on in Scripture, it’s not.  The Bible gives hope for you all throughout it’s pages.  Now, I’m not going to pretend that there might not be physical or hormonal imbalances that are causing your anxiety.  However, I will still say that God has an answer!  He might help you through His Word AND medicine, or through leading you to change your habits or even by changing the very circumstances that you are in.  Or he could just change your heart to one that is less anxious.  He can do that!  And He will change your heart if you will follow, obey, and seek the things His Scripture says.

Not long before Jesus died, He told His followers, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give it to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  (John 14:27)  Jesus left us His peace!

Psalm 94:19 says, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.”  When you are anxious, He can comfort you and be a delight to your soul!

Matthew 6:31-34 says, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Do you often get caught up worrying and feeling anxious about tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or even 30 years from now?  When our minds focus on all that has to be done, or all that could possibly go wrong, it’s nearly impossible to find peace.  But when we seek FIRST the things of God’s kingdom, God will take care of us.  He knows our needs.  Let HIM be the One to worry about them.  You just focus on today.

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.  Because he trusts in You.”

Is your mind stayed on the Lord?  Stayed.  That word means exactly what it says!  If your mind STAYS on the Lord–and doesn’t wonder from circumstance to emotion to worry to fear–but truly STAYS focused on the Lord, thinking of Him all throughout the day, then God will keep you in PERFECT PEACE.

PERFECT peace?  Not just a little corner of peace or a moment of peace.  Perfect Peace.  He will keep you there.  In perfect peace.  Why?  Because you trust in God.  When you trust in God, you will have peace.

Is your mind stayed on the Lord?  If not, this is where you begin.  Not in life change, or in seeing doctors, or in taking supplements.  God might lead you down that road as you seek Him, but don’t start there.  Start with the Lord, and trust that He is powerful enough to handle anything–even your anxiety.  Trust Him.  When we are weak, He is strong.


May your day find you in perfect peace, as your mind is stayed on the Lord!