Get On Your Face

Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Grace, Lent, Struggle, Surrender | 17 comments

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

My baby girls says her evening prayers on her face and the first time she laid low to do it, I knew God was showing me something.

Only days into it, Lent pushed me to the floor, the sheer weight of my struggle held me down for forty days. Full immersion. A sputtering, choking confession, too long overdue. I’d prayed for resurrection but first there’s the dying that must be endured.

God speaks and I reluctantly heed. I live wracked with sin and a willful spirit that cracks back against the call to bend–to submit, to surrender.

Within the first week or two of the season, I’d consumed Brennan Manning’s book, All Is Grace. His words tore me wide open and in the saline bath of confessional tears, I finally lived the baptismal immersion my soul has long longed for and desperately needed.

God brought me right down, calling my face to the floor in a most uncomfortable position. These prideful knees resist bending. This Pharisee heart beats self-righteousness with each pulse and I knew somewhere, eventually, the drop off would come.

Humility is a foreign land that speaks a language I haven’t known. Love is humble and in living upright I question if I have ever really loved anything more than me.

There’s no bones about it, when I heard the firm whispers there in my closet, indeed, He told me to lay prostrate on the floor.

Here it is. The certain, necessary death, with my face pressed into carpet. I know I’ve lived a double life–one side of my mouth speaks about obedience while the other side rallies for the independent spirit to “go” “be” do!”

I didn’t know Lent would kill me.

Thank God for the dying.

I find myself walking immersed lately, neck deep–continually splashing my face with the waters of this faith. Drinking it, gulping it–gasping for it.

It’s all grace and Manning said as much and lived the proof of it, a broken man living a cracked up life, straddling the Truth and the flesh.

Dying to be re-made requires confession. Confession of pride and failures dumped out into the light to be washed away into redemption’s gutters, disappearing down drain pipes below.

Beyond the confession, the baptism, the forgiveness–awaits resurrection. I live, a new creation, fresh, wet–washed from the smears of a stiff-backed life.

Living full in Christ requires bent knees, bowed heads, humble hearts–confession, and in return He resurrects the dead–breathing new life where only a husk existed.

He is risen and in Him we rise.

“The God I have come to know loves me as much in a state of disgrace as He loves me in a state of grace, for His compassion is never, never, never based on our performance.  It knows no shade of alteration or change.  Jesus is the fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy:  the bruised reed of your life He will not crush, and the smoldering wick He will not quench, until He’s led the truth of your life’s story to victory.  This night will you let Him come to you on His terms?  Will you let Him love you as you are, and not as you should be?  ‘Cause nobody…is as they should be.” Brennan Manning

 


 

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  • http://twitter.com/lifesurrendered Michele-Lyn Ault

    Wow! I am speechless… my heart flooded with desire to know the same contriteness… knowing this is the sacrifice the Lord desires… I pray I have time today… in the middle of all the busyness… to lay low… find grace, again.

    I have been praying for you as you pour yourself out that you would be continually filled by His Presence. I saw all the beautiful comments that were left for you at your guest post. Even as they fill, you offer so much in your prayers and heart-felt replies. I believe the promise of Is 58:11

    Blessings to you my friend… with lots of love, 

    Michele

    • alwaysalleluia

      Michele~ Thank you for your prayers. Truly. They are a gift to me, as I desperately needed them. I did not anticipate the outpouring of hurting souls that came with that (in)courage post. I was humbled and blessed by the willingness of so many to be so transparent,and vulnerable. What a beauiful offering, seeing all of those struggles splayed out before the Lord,and others… I am still sort of processing…. 
      And praying for you, that you would find time to slip away, to get low, and let it out, to let Him in…. the process is still happening here, and though it burns it is good–because HE is good. But I won’t lie, these weeks have been challenging and many tears have been shed. Good, healing tears.  Bless you, my friend. You BLESS me.

      • http://twitter.com/lifesurrendered Michele-Lyn Ault

        I rejoice with you over the opportunity you had to share such liberating truth… Your light shines so bright! 

        Yes… the process of being changed into His image can be a painful one.. yet it reaps the fruit of righteousness… 

        I came back over to your place today to find a verse I had read. I have a very humbling opportunity to speak at a ladies meeting on May 5th and the topic is GRACE :)

        • alwaysalleluia

          Yes the painful refining. It’s worth the pain ;)

          How exciting, your speaking opportunity, I will pray for you.

          Did you find the verse you were looking for?

  • Wild Optimist

    Kris,
    We lost touch a bit recently, but seem to have had a similar lesson this Lent.  Your recount is beautiful.  I look forward to hearing what comes next!  

    • alwaysalleluia

      Ah, friend, I would love to hear more about your journey as well.. perhaps when time allows? Praying for you.

  • kdsullivan

    I didn’t know Lent would kill me…I could meditate on this until next Lent!

    • alwaysalleluia

      Indeed. Lent may be a forty day period but the humbling continues here… I feel as if I WILL be meditating on this until next lent. Thank you for your words!

  • http://youaremygirls.com Jennifer Camp

    Dear Kris, I know this place, the struggle, the rebellion, His guiding hand so lovingly asking me to let it all — all — go.  Thank you, dear friend. I am praying for your heart and am blessed by your vulnerable, beautiful, powerful words today.

    • alwaysalleluia

      Thank you, Jennifer. For love, for prayers… you bless me mightily.

  • HopeUnbroken

    hmmm.  time will tell, but this may be my favorite thing you’ve written.  still meditating on it, and will continue to do so for some time. (and i’ve really got to get that book!)
    blessings,
    steph

    • alwaysalleluia

      Yes, you really need to get that book. Thank you for your generous words. I am deeply humbled by them, by your generosity…. you have given me a sweet gift, my friend.

  • Ro elliott

    Kris…this is honest…raw and full of truth…oh I am with you on the carpet…been there before and continue to have to visit that place often…oh so thankful for God’s grace…His kindness brings us to repentance…always refreshed here…blessings~

    • alwaysalleluia

      Thank you, Ro. Your constant encouragement is a treaure to me. That place on the carpet can be so challenging, but God is SO good, even in the confession, He hears and knows and forgives…. what wild grace that is!

  • http://annieathome.com Annie | annieathome.com

    Love this & love you, friend. 

  • http://simplystriving.wordpress.com/ Nikki

    Well, now I know why this email was still in my inbox unread…as you know I just started this book yesterday. finished it tonight. I have no words. but am glad to know I’m not the only one…

    • alwaysalleluia

      Oh yes. I would love to hear your thoughts on it, as you process the weight of such a tremendous book.

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