Take My Life and Let it Be

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
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.

Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r 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.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

There are several tunes used to sing this hymn. Two popular tunes are by
Henri A. C. Malan (1787-1864) as can be heard here and that ascribed variously to Wolfgang A. Mozart (1756-1791) and Wenzel Müller (1767-1835) which can be heard here.

About The Hymn

Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) was the daughter of a church rector. In her love of learning, she grew to become an able scholar and a talented singer and pianist.

Havergal suffered poor health and was taken by the Lord at just 42 years of age. She expended the majority of her life’s labours in writing prose and poetry that would be spiritually beneficial to the saints.

The story of “Take My Life” gives a good picture of the kind of passion and joy she had in ministering to others. She once recounted the story behind it:

“I went for a little visit of five days [to Areley House]. There were ten persons in the house, some unconverted and long prayed for, some converted, but not rejoicing Christians. He gave me the prayer, “Lord, give me all in this house!” And He just did. Before I left the house every one had got a blessing. The last night of my visit after I had retired, the governess asked me to go to the two daughters. They were crying, etc.; then and there both of them trusted and rejoiced; it was nearly midnight. I was too happy to sleep, and passed most of the night in praise and renewal of my own consecration; and these little couplets formed themselves, and chimed in my heart one after another till they finished with ‘Ever, Only, ALL for Thee!'”

Lyrical Study

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in endless praise.

To be consecrated: to be dedicated to a sacred purpose; to be made holy or to be dedicated to a higher purpose.

Our lives as Christians and disciples of Christ are not meant to be compartmentalized, some minutes of the day for Christ and other minutes of the day for ourselves or others or (as weird as it might sound) for the devil. Every moment of every day is to be lived with the consciousness that we belong to Him and live for Him. In fact, the reality is that we are to be so submitted to Him that He lives in and through us.

“I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, TLB)

So even when we are at our daily marketplaces (our places of work or business), it should all be about pleasing Him and representing His kingdom.

“Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.” (Colossians 3:17, 23-25, MSG)

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.

My body is the Lord’s so I must go where He says go and do what He says do.

 “Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that he lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you. For God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God because he owns it.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, TLB)

Take my voice and let me sing,
Always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

This verse is a challenge especially to those of us to whom God has given the gift of music. There has been a long standing debate over if a Christian with the singing talent has to sing only gospel music. While I believe the choice is for the individual to make and I don’t think that choice with determine one’s attaining the goal of Heaven (but possibly the crowns attained…lol), I am persuaded that the more you fall in love with God, the more you want to do everything for Him. If we are seeking His will, our heart’s desire should be to use every arsenal He’s put at our disposal to further His own agenda here on Earth rather than enrich ourselves because let’s be honest, if there as much money and fame in gospel music as there is in secular music, the debate wouldn’t be as heated…..more Christians would sing gospel music.

Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

Havergal lived what she preached in her hymns. In 1878, four years after writing the hymn, she wrote a friend: “The Lord has shown me another little step, and, of course, I have taken it with extreme delight. ‘Take my silver and my gold’ now means shipping off all my ornaments to the Church Missionary House, including a jewel cabinet that is really fit for a countess, where all will be accepted and disposed of for me…Nearly fifty articles are being packed up. I don’t think I ever packed a box with such pleasure.”

Do we recognize that everything we have is not really ours? After all, what do we have that we haven’t been given? We are just a channel and God can ask of us to give of what He has given us to another. We ought not to hold on to material things too tightly because it’s all temporal and earth-bound.

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.

Once we can take our eyes off our worldly needs and really focus on God, we discover that He has a plan and desires to be carried out on Earth and in every life. Yes, we have our own desires and it is no crime to express these to Him like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane but we must ensure we end with the same words (and mean them from the depth of our heart): “yet not My will, but Yours be done.”

Jesus must be enthroned not just in Heaven but in the heart of every Christian. He must be Lord – the Boss, Master, Owner, King.

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

The story of the woman with the alabaster box is such a graphic image of love being poured at our Master’s feet. The core and foundation of our relationship with God through Christ is LOVE. Love initiated by Him and which we reciprocate to Him. Anything done for any reason other than love means nothing to God and He always looks at the heart behind every word and deed. Let’s not pick and choose which areas of our lives to give to Him. He wants and deserves ALL of our being, now and forever more.

 

 

Resources: hymnary.org; challies.com; christianity.com