Of Advent Sunday, December 2, 1873, she said: “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 this, in 1874, Frances Havergal had a five day visit to a house that had 10 people in it. Some of them were unsaved, but ones that long prayer had been invested. Others were saved, but not rejoicing Christians. Frances prayed that the Lord would give her all in the house, and all received the blessing of salvation, before her stay ended. Her last night there was such a happy one, she could not sleep, and so she passed the night renewing her consecration. While doing so, the poetic couplets formed in her mind, and the poem was written. The poem was a complete commitment to God for her all to be God’s.
Every December 2 after that she would sing that hymn and make changes in her life to move deeper in consecration to God.
In August of 1879, she decided to put the words “take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold,” and put them to practice once again. Instead of hanging on to her precious and very valuable collection of jewelry and family heirlooms, she decided to pack it up and donate it to the church mission house, to be sold for evangelizing the lost. She wrote that she never had so much fun as the time spent wrapping up those precious pieces!
Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee; 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 for Thee; take my silver and my gold—not a mite would I withhold.
Take my love—my God, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store; take myself—and I will be ever, only, all for Thee, ever, only, all for thee.
Kenneth W. Osbeck, 101 Hymn Stories (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1982), pages 239-240.
Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1990), page 256.