Frances Ridley Havergal received Christ at a young age but struggled for years with Christian victory. I had hoped that a kind of tableland had been reached in my journey, where I might walk awhile in the light, without the weary succession of rock and hollow, crag and morass, stumbling and striving; but I seem borne back into all the old difficulties of the way, with many sin-made aggravations. I think the great root of my trouble and alienation is that I do not make an unreserved surrender of myself to God; until this is done I shall know no peace. I am sure of it.

She struggled throughout her twenties and thirties, pulled in one direction by the acclaim of great London crowds who loved her singing, and in another direction by the Holy Spirit. Then one day at age 36 she read a booklet entitled “All For Jesus,” which stressed the importance of making Christ King of every corner and cubicle of one’s life. Frances made a fresh, complete consecration to God. Years later her sister asked her about it, and she replied: Yes, it was on Advent Sunday, December 2, 1873, I first saw clearly the blessedness of true consecration. I saw it as a flash of electric light. There must be full surrender before there can be full blessedness. God admits you by the one into the other. He showed me this most clearly.

Shortly after, Frances found herself spending several days with ten people, some of them unconverted, and others of them Christians not fully surrendered. “Lord,” she prayed, “give me all in this house.” Before she left, all ten were yielded Christians. On the last night of her visit, Frances, too excited to sleep, wrote her “Consecration Hymn,” the song that became her life’s theme. She took its words seriously and prayed earnestly over them every December 2nd, making changes to her life and lifestyle as needed. The first verse says:

Take my life and let it be,
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.

I have been nailed to the cross with Christ. I have died, but Christ lives in me. And I now live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. (Galatians 2:19b,20)

Robert J. Morgan, On This Day : 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997). Dec 2.

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