All or nothing.  Hot or cold.  One side or the other.  Although I live in a world that prefers middle ground and gray areas over black & white, I follow Jesus who said to come after him without looking back.  He said if we weren’t for Him, we were against Him.  He said the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  He can ask that of us because He’s done that: given all, right down to his very last breath, for our sake.

It will probably be an ongoing battle, as I think it is for each of us to some degree, to surrender all to Jesus.  How easy it is to sing that song “I surrender all” or aspire to deny myself each day, pick up my cross and go after Christ, but infinitely tougher to actually give in and give up every little part of me.

I recognize little ways I indulge myself, like spending on big sodas and extra things for the house that we don’t need, when we’re trying to pay off stuff and save up to fix our van.  I admit there are times I cut pieces of cake or any other yummy dish and want the bigger piece for myself, or I save that last little candy bar and hide it away so I can have it later, etc.  These may seem little and insignificant to you, but they represent to me selfishness yet to be dealt with.

Then there is the bigger issue, which I’m still a little puzzled about, of being busy in the mornings getting ready, checking messages, Facebook and more instead of sitting quietly with God when I hear Him inviting me to do just that.  I read my devotional and look up some Bible verses but I am not making time to just be still and talk with Him, listen to Him.  It’s no wonder I feel restless and frustrated.

Getting rid of self will only happen if I surrender all every day.  Because, you see, those little indulgences are a way of controlling something in my life, of feeling like I’m in charge, at least for that moment and in that scenario.

What if I were to really start the day and tell God I would obey every whisper to not indulge, to think of someone else and not myself, even if it means stepping outside of routines and habits I’m very comfortable in?  I’m a very structure-loving, routine-loving person so that is an extra challenge for me.  That’s why it’s so hard for me to relinquish control, even down to the last penny, the last attitude, the last thought, the last-minute of my day.  Hands tightly clenched to having my way even in small things keep me from having empty open hands that can embrace Jesus, receive from Him, love others better, and more.  Have you ever hugged someone or tried to help them with your hands balled up in tight fists hanging onto something?  It doesn’t work so well.

Forgive me, God and help me.  I know and remember that without You, I am empty and lost.  I know that to follow you means all or nothing, complete surrender, dying to myself.  You have to show me how.  Please continue being patient with me.   I know what I should do, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do.

This song has moved me and spoken to me so much in the last few days:

There’s a voice that cries out in the silence
Searching for a heart that will love Him
Longing for a child that will give Him their all
Give it all, He wants it all
And there’s a God that walks over the earth
He’s searching for a heart that is desperate
And longing for a child 
That will give Him their all
Give it all, He wants it all

And He says “love me, love me with your whole heart”
He wants it all today
“Serve me, serve me with your life now.
Bow down, let go of your idols”
He wants it all today
So give it all   (by Forever Jones)