A few years ago, a CD came out called, "My Utmost for His Highest". The songs were based on excerpts from the Oswald Chamber devotional book. They were sung by various artists. One that has been on my mind today is the song, "God of All of Me", which was sung by Sandi Patti.
There is this hunger inside me, this longing for God to have every bit of me. Every molecule. Every atom. To have total control of every thought, word, and deed. For my every move to be that of a Spirit-led child of God.
Yet there is this "other" me. The one that says, "I can take it from here, God. Just step aside for awhile. I've done this before. I can handle this one. I'll get back to You when I really need You." That's the part of me that gets me into trouble.
The part of me that worries when the car needs to be fixed--again. The part that worries when the utility bills are higher than I'd expected, for no apparent reason. The part that gets angry when people don't act/respond in the way I expected them to act/respond. The part that withdraws into myself when I'm hurt or angry, instead of trying to work it out in prayer. The part of me whose tongue speaks venomous words in a moment of anger.
Paul talked about this battle between spirit and flesh in different ways. There's the Romans 7 passage, where he says something to this effect: "I keep doing what I shouldn't do. But I don't do what I should do. It's this sin dwelling in me! " (vs. 19-20) (This passage always confused me when I was a kid!) Then there's the familiar passage from Ephesians 6:12, that talks about the truth of the battle in a different way: it's not about what we see, but about the spiritual forces we cannot see.
So there are two elements to this: my own sin, and those spiritual forces who are cheering for my sinful self. Those are some mighty big obstacles to overcome, to get to the place of GOD being in control of "all of me".
The great thing is this: God WANTS me to be victorious in this battle. In Romans 8, Paul wrote: "Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (v. 37) God isn't on some power trip. He wants me to conquer my sin and those spiritual forces, because He loves me!
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, nor electric bills nor car repairs nor unruly children nor bad hair days [pardon the paraphrase] shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (vs. 38-39)
God knows that hungering inside of me. And He has given me the way to get there: through Christ Jesus my Lord.
"Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Corinthians 15:57)
I close with a short praise song I wrote many years ago.
Take All of Me
Here I stand in Your presence
Lord, I want to give my all
So as I come to Your presence,
Oh, dear Lord, please hear my call:
Take all of me
Every part--take all of me
Take all of me
All my heart--take all of me
It's all about surrender.