“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.'” Matthew 16:24-25
I wrote this song in April 2019, it is my testimony song. As part of our prison ministry team each of us shares our testimony around our physical birthdays (Johnny, of course, shares his a lot more), I was sharing at Boonville Correctional Center and I said I just had to give up and give in to Jesus. And I immediately said “that would make a great song” 🙂 I started writing the same day I wrote ‘This Jesus’ but something wasn’t quite right so I laid it aside until the next day. Sometimes in song writing everything starts to sound the same or like something else you’ve written. When I picked this back up to finish it I was pleased with the result, it is a fun, upbeat song.
“Peter began to say to him, ‘See, we have left everything and followed you.'” Mark 10:28
My story – I grew up, off and on, in church. I knew all the right answers, I believed that Jesus was the Son of God, that He died for me but I didn’t have that peace that surpasses all understanding. I remember hearing about someone being “saved” around the age of 12, maybe? I may have heard that before but at this particular time it really stood out to me. I prayed that night when I went to bed for Jesus to save me and I would look back at that time and claim it as my salvation experience many times in the future even though I never told one single person about it. And you know what, I don’t even know for sure if that was my point of being reborn but I do know this…Jesus was pursing me and there were times I would run to Him and times I would push Him away. A couple/few years later we had moved and were attending a little country church, the pastor came to our home and talked to my mom and the next thing I know my sister, myself, and my brother were getting baptized. Then I went to church camp and rededicated my life to Jesus. And for the next 13 years I would rededicate my life to Jesus several times over and would secretly struggle with doubt and torment over my salvation. I would see occasions in my life where it is clear I was not following Jesus and at other moments that seemed how did I make those kind of choices without faith in Him. Over and over I would be prompted to make things right, and I so wanted peace, I so wanted to be sure that I belonged to Jesus and that I would live in eternity with Him. But I would consistently listen to the lies of the enemy or do the “self-talk” and continue living unsure of everything. I would wake in the middle of the night crying, scared that if I died I would go to hell and begging God to save me. Then one day… I was standing at my kitchen sink, again doing the self-talk “you’re ok, you did that a long time ago, what would people think” thing and I said out loud “ok, Lord, I give up”, “whatever you want me to do Lord”. I needed to surrender, to declare in front of everyone who thought I was a follower of Christ and surrender my life to Jesus. A Sunday morning shortly following this encounter I ran to the altar after the sermon, I can’t even tell you what the message was about but the first chord on that piano and I was giving my life to the Lord. And you know what? I got that peace, I got free from that doubt that was crushing me. Hallelujah! Jesus saves! I got baptized (again) in that little country church a short time later.
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5
My greatest sin was pride and I almost let that pride send me to hell. Some people think I was saved all along, I really don’t know but I do now and that’s what matters. I remember hearing those sermons when the preacher would say “do you know that you know” and I didn’t know! If that’s you, if you are struggling with doubt or fear or you just don’t know if you are His…all it takes is surrender. This isn’t about walking and aisle, saying the right words or doing something a certain way. Christ has already done the work on the cross to set you free, to save you from your sins – you just have to surrender.
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” Mark 8:35
“When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’” Luke 18:22
“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” John 12:26
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” John 14:6
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Below are the lyrics and a video from a rehearsal last year. I am so looking forward to recording this and putting on the next album.
Are you running and fleeing, trying to hide
Not knowing that His peace is on the other side
Are you searching for meaning, a way to get free
Wondering and fearing, what will they think of me
Just give up, give in
Lay down your pride and let Him in
You can trust in Him and win with Jesus
Can you hear Him, He’s calling, to you once more
This Jesus is greater, just walk through the door
Are you bound by sin and your chains?
Squandering His great grace?
Satisfied with your pain, today?
Are you trying not to fall apart?
Ashamed you’ve fallen so far?
Longing to give Him your heart, but how?
Oh surrender, just surrender
© 2019 Christy Hoagland
ASCAP Sing for the King Publishing