"No, not today, I don't!" I exclaimed.
"Yes, remember? The weeks were switched."
Oh yeah, she was right and so shortly thereafter I found my self seated at the piano to practice. I opened the hymnal.
You have longed for sweet peace,
And for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest,
Or be perfectly blest,
Until all on the altar is laid.
Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.
Would you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His Word,
And have peace and contentment alway?
You must do His sweet will,
To be free from all ill,
On the altar your all you must lay...
The words to that song, touched my heart. I'm sure we've all had times when we've prayed, when we've sought, when we've yearned and longed for peace and rest, and victory. To feel Jesus near and to know that we have his sweet smile. Yet we seem so far - so out of reach of divinity. No doubt, I have felt this way. I've asked "Why? Why Lord? Why do I feel so far away from you? Haven't I prayed, read my Bible, attended prayer meeting, church, bible studies, etc...? What is going wrong?"
The answer comes: "Is your all on the altar? Have you given your all to the Lord?"
I can't expect God to give me peace, or do for me what He longs to do if I don't give him my whole heart. It's kind of like telling someone to make bread and only giving them flour and salt. They can mix it and stir it and even put it in a pan and bake it in the oven, however, without any liquid, what do they end up with? Just a white or brown powder that's far from being anything even like bread. You have to have all the ingredients to make bread, not just a portion.
The answer is simple: “No servant can serve two masters...Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Luke 16:13
God can't give me a new heart, if I don't give him the old.
He can't give me peace, if I don't give him my cherished idle (sins, dreams, plans, rights, or whatever it may be. It's an idle if I love it to much to give up.).
He can't give me freedom, if I won't leave my prison.
He can't be near to me, if I don't first remove the walls of doubt and unbelief in his promises.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8 There is no room for double mindedness, or lukewarmness in my spiritual walk. Either I am wholly the Lords or I'm wholly not. As the rest of the song goes...
O we never can know
What the Lord will bestow
What the Lord will bestow
Of the blessings for which we have prayed,
Till our body and soul
He doth fully control,
And our all on the altar is laid.
Who can tell all the love
He will send from above,
And how happy our hearts will be made,
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at His feet,
When our all on the altar is laid.
~ Elisah A Hoffman
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over...” “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
~Luke 6:38, Psalms 37:4
If we give God our whole hearts He will give us strength and victory. If we believe in His promises, we will have peace. If we seek God where He may be found, He will draw nigh to us. If we give God our dreams, and our desires and delight in Him, He will give us the desires of our hearts. If we ask God to make us willing to be made willing, He will work in our hearts and give us the strength.
Oh, let us remember, what we give God will not compare to all that He will give to us in return. It will be more than we can fathom. God loves you and me and He longs to do so much for us, if only we will accept the conditions.