Monday, April 26, 2010

V is for Van De Venter

V is for Van De Venter

The bible is replete with teachings, admonitions, and directions stating that the pre-requisite to blessings and even usefulness to God is brokenness. David wrote of this in Psalm 51 when he wrote in verse seventeen, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

David also reminded us how precious a broken spirit is to the Lord when he wrote in Psalms 34:18, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed spirit.”

When you read the New Testament clearly sans any preconceived notion otherwise, it teaches us that God is pleased to bruise, crush, and break the spirit of his children. It seems he does this so that we are made willing to deny ourselves in order to submit and surrender our will to His.

It seems that no one, either in the pages of Scripture or from the pages of history, has ever achieved true spiritual greatness until he has full surrendered him or herself to God. Living a Christ like life is only possible when we are willing to surrender ourselves to the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul often speaks of this “condition” of our being as becoming a δουλος or a bond slave. A bond slave was the lowest of the slaves in ranking. A bond slave was considered to have no will of his or her own, but the bond servant’s will was given up and over to its master.

Although many times we make the Christian life or experience to be a struggle, God intended for us to examine Him and determine that our best is in the simple acquiescence to His perfect will. In other words, we are to submit to His authority in all areas of our life.

Judson W. Van De Venter knew the futility and pain of this struggle. Listen to his words:

“For some time I had struggled between developing my talents in the field of art and going into full time evangelistic work. At last the pivotal hour of my life came, and I surrendered all. A new day was ushered into my life; I became an evangelist and discovered down deep in my soul a talent hitherto unknown to me. God had hidden a song in my heart, and touching a tender chord, He caused me to sing.”

After the agonizing struggle of whether to pursue his desires as an artist or submitting to the internal leading of God, Van De Venter surrounded all of his life to his Lord. He actually had a blessed and extensive ministry as a result.

You may know the song that Van De Venter wrote shortly after settling the struggle in his life. It is sung in most churches during what is known as the invitation. What was the song that God had hidden deep in his heart? The song was I Surrender All.

All to Jesus I surrender;
all to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

All to Jesus I surrender;
humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

Refrain: I surrender all, I surrender all; All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.

Where are you today? Are you still in the midst of a never ending struggle? Well, stop it, stop struggling. Find a quiet corner, drop to your knees, open wide your heart to Christ, and say to Him – all to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give, I will ever love and trust him, in his presence daily live. I surrender all, I surrender all, all to thee, my blessed savior, I surrender all.



An awwesome post Gregg, most enjoyable to read.

Have a good day.

RCUBEs said...

Only by being broken, that's when the redemptive power of the cross works best! By being broken, He makes us whole. By being empty, He fills us up until it overflows. God is awesome. And if we don't learn to trust in Him completely, we surely miss so much of what He wants to happen in our lives. Great "V" post brother Gregg. V for victory in Jesus. God bless and have a great week!

Linda said...

Knowing the history of the great hymns of the church always brings those words alive. Thank you for posting this and the story of Van de Venter. And the reminder of surrender.

Lisa said...

I realize that surrender is the ONLY way. And that is where I'm at. I want every bit of God in every area of my life. Nothing/No one else will do!

Another great post Gregg -- from the heart!

Wanda said...

Enjoy this one. Thanks for the reminder that surrender is the solution to the struggle.

Loren said...

Love this hymn and never knew the history behind it! Thanks for sharing and teaching....I am so blessed to have found your blog!

I am with Rosel ~ V is for Victory :)

Brian Ray Todd said...

Was talking to a lady this last weekend about God's Plan of Salvation through the remission of sins in the atoning and redeeming work of His son Jesus Christ on the cross. She told me that she did not believe that just believing that Jesus paid for our sins would save sinners. I told her that the Bible says that salvation is in the Savior Jesus Christ alone, but she replied that she does not believe that the Bible is true in many areas (ie. Adam & Eve). She believes that many different people around the world calls God by different names and that there are many ways to heaven (excluding Jihad). She said that she believes that God created everything and that God is love. She believes that we just need to have our lives in tune with God. She says that she also believes that homosexuality is not a sin and God will not keep the gay out of heaven. Your thoughts please.