Lord, I give up all my own plans and purposes, all my own desires and hopes, and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee, to be Thine forever. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt. Send me where Thou wilt, and work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.~ Betty Scott Stam
Last year on this day I arrived in Heathrow International Airport, London, England. I met two of my very best friends. I saw the lights of London from an aeroplane. I caught my first brief glimpse of Oxford. I rode in a bus and a minivan on the left side of the road. I made my first trip to Sainsbury's. In short, I commenced four of the most stretching, rewarding, challenging, gruelling, wonderful, and inspiring months of my life.
This year I look forward into a mist of uncertainty. I have a few goals regarding classes and a job that I would like to apply for. There is the ever growing list of books that I want to tackle. Much Scripture that I want to read broadly then study in-depth awaits my eager eyes and heart.
There is no England, no promise of 6 or 8 hour days in the library, or the gloaming hour reverently passed in evensong. This year, if growth will come it must be at the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, my own bank account, books at my fingertips, good conversations, asking better questions, and perseverance in daily study. If I seek a deeper relationship with God then I must be willing to invest more hours in prayer, seek good commentaries, and read, read, and re-read Scripture. I must be willing to let God change my selfish, arrogant, wretched self into a woman clothed in humility, authority, strength, and holiness.
Already I feel the tug between my flesh and the Spirit. So far the flesh is winning the battle... But I know and am confident that the Spirit will win the war. It is a matter of seeking His strength daily and saying 'no' to the temptations of sloth, gossip, idleness, anger, lust, pride, and smug self-righteousness. Discipline is about to become a word I cannot ignore or set aside. Indeed, Discipline and Surrender are about to become my closest companions.
Father God, I submit to You 2012. It is Yours, and so am I. Rid me of myself. Cause me to decrease, that You may increase. Teach me holiness and love as I have never known them. Let me know You. Let me see even the train of Your glory, that I may understand how great You are. Let me see more and more of YOU.
May I, too, pray with sincerity: Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Use me as Thou wilt. Send me where Thou wilt, and work out Thy whole will in my life at any cost, now and forever.