God says to us, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind” (Lk. 10:27). ALL. That word, “all,” is particularly piercing to me—entirely, wholly, ALL. I usually stumble around the “how” of it: how do I love God with ALL? How do I ever even know that I’m doing that? But right now, it’s about the “all” in His command. Ignited by the Holy Spirit, my question changed to, “Do I actually have my ALL to give?”
I don’t intend to be cryptic with that question – I mean just what it says. Are you intact? Is my “all” intact and mine to give? Am I whole in my heart and mind and soul and strength? Now, I don’t mean whole as in “undamaged.” This isn’t about wounds or scars or hurts. No, I mean whole as in I’m in complete possession of my sacrosanct will that is the gift of God Himself.
The Lord just opened my eyes to see that I must have a ME to give Him. What do I surrender to God if I have handed over my will to another? If I’ve sold my heart and soul for the promise of love, then what do I have left to set upon Him? It’s not enough for me to be willing to surrender. I’ve got to have a life to lay down, a will to submit, a whole heart to set upon the Lord. I gave it away, and it’s mine to take back.
Martha often says that we’ll all do anything for love. I’m no stranger to this, and better acquainted in the last few days than I’d like. I’ve given my will to more people than I can accurately track, for the mere promise of love. I never really understood what it meant in the practical to “give my will” to someone else, but the Holy Spirit has shown me more than I’m comfortable seeing. Every time I bowed to another’s demand to be silent, even at the expense of my very heart and soul, I gave away my will. Every time I gave into a demand that I speak, when thus speaking violated the very essence of my being, I handed over my will. Every time I agreed to be or say or do something that was untrue to myself, I gave away my God-given free will.
I will end by asking my question again, “Do I actually have my ALL to give?” My answer was no, but that “no” was just the beginning of a truly wild encounter with God, one that is still under way. I hope to share much more on that, but I would end on a note of hope for any who discover, like me, that they are not intact. God gave us free will, and it is inviolable. We can – and do! – give it away, but it’s a lie of the enemy that says there’s no getting it back. I gave away my will, but it’s MINE to take back, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable!”