Take My Life and Let It Be

It was on February 4, 1874 that Frances Ridley Havergal wrote the great hymn Take My Life and Let It Be. If her names seems familiar, perhaps it is because she also penned another gem, Like a River Glorious

download (2)The story behind this hymn is an interesting one. Havergal had been spending a number of days visiting with ten friends. They were enjoying their time together under one roof. Some were unbelievers—and so she had set out to share Christ with each of them before this special gathering would conclude.

By the end of her five-day visit all had come to faith in Christ! As you can imagine, her joy was full!! She was especially humbled to have been used by God; and was extremely excited for each of those she loved dearly. They would now need to learn how to live in Christ.

It was on that evening, 143 years ago, that she stayed up most of the night—unable to sleep—and wrote this hymn:1

Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as thou shalt choose,
every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne,
it shall be thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee,
ever, only, all for thee.

Yesterday, I had shared this hymn in my Old Testament Sunday school class as we began to examine the book of Numbers. A theme found throughout the first ten chapters is the idea of living carefully (as opposed to casually) in the presence of God. It is no careless thing to be in His presence; certainly not something we should take for granted.

Havergal’s hymn of consecration (i.e., dedication) challenges us to be deliberate in our daily walk with God. As one member of the class wisely shared, “it is all to easy to become distracted and to drift.” He’s right. Instead, we must be diligent.

Here’s one way we can do so: why not take a verse for each day of this week and make it the meditation of your heart throughout the day? “Ceaseless praise” for today…

1 Hymns of Grace (Los Angeles: The Master’s Seminary Press, 2016). 393.