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