Are you celebrating Lent this year? Whether or not you are, we all have something to be gained when being intentional about the spiritual seasons we are living in. Just as Advent is a time of great expectation and celebration of the the gift of God with us, Lent is another preparatory time for the heart that knows it needs and has a Great Rescuer.
Lent is a holy time of going low in honor of God being lifted high on a cross and conquering the effects of sin and death.
There are so many things inside my heart that can easily set itself up against the knowledge of Christ. Too many to count. Every day I am in need of some minor heart surgery of one kind of another because it’s really easy for me to sit on the throne of my own heart and diagnose my heart condition (or even easier…the condition of other hearts). Pride is the insidious disease of my heart – of all human hearts. Just when we think we don’t have pride is when we have pride. In my pride I begin to think God got it wrong. I think he most certainly made a mistake, that He did not get the math right, and I deserve more than what I have.
Christ offers me living water and pride kicks a leaky hole in my heart to keep me from being satisfied and full.
I confess…I used to pinch, squeeze, push, and pull my body in order to make it work for me. In order to feed my fear of not being loved or noticed. It was exhausting and time consuming. What started out as a good desire, to care for my body and be well, flipped on me. I found myself pinned under the weight of this world. In my anguish I cried out and God was not offended. In His love and mercy He called me His own.
Revelation Wellness is a Christian fitness ministry that believes fitness has the power to heal. And if it can heal one person, that means it can heal two, a family, a community, a state, a country, and eventually the world. Yes…I know…big dream…big vision…and my Father will see it through because I am a child of His promise.(Galatians 4:28)
In order to pursue BIG Kingdom dreams of God being lifted high, God continually asks me for one thing…every day…my willingness to go low. Oh humility…you are the very thing I need and you still get stuck in my throat when trying to swallow most days. But I am willing. The more I decrease, the more He will increase. The more I encourage others, let others go first, and even allow them to stand on my shoulders, the stronger the Kingdom becomes in me.
Yup…humility…I am willing.
I hope this prayer encourages you in this quiet season of Lent, and that you would return back to this prayer as often as needed. Cut and paste this prayer and place it in your high-traffic areas. May it remind you that the only way up is down.
Take a moment to close your office door. Get quiet. And read this prayer out loud. Get ready…your heart is about to be pinched, squeezed, pushed, and pulled into the shape of Christ’.
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus. (repeat after each line)
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated,
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. (repeat after each line)
That others may be esteemed more than I ,
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should,