On the Establishment
Away for the weekend again, I’m heading to my in-laws house partly to visit Seth’s almost 93-year-old grandma who longs to lay a new set of feet on a street of gold. She has time here yet, but being near someone at the end of life is like a great big waving flag to follow hard after what sticks. Last time I was there, she writhed in pain and said, “This is the day that the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” It’s a thin place there.
I’ll hole up to finish this proposal, too, and my mother-in-law said she’d take me out for Indian food as a prize. Though my sample chapters for it are complete, it seems like I’m dragging it out forever.
I’ve loathed thinking about the business parts of a book proposal, how to sell it and who would want to buy it. For a while I let myself believe it’s contrary to what I’m writing to set my mind to the actual selling of a book He’s given me to write. The stick-it-to-the-man in me says that if the book is good, then it will sell on its own, so let’s leave it at that.
Let me tell you what a big load of Poor-Pride that is, and I know it. If God gives the message, and we all have one from Him, then why would I not ask His near Spirit to give me wisdom, humility, and creativity to shout it from the mountains? Why would I not call His message in me good? (His message, by the way, is gospel.)
This is the verse that has helped me figure out between humility and pride, and I reckon I’ll unravel it for a long time:
“For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness” (Romans 10:3).
Following His voice is not a matter of establishing any agenda, selling a message, or planning an outcome. I am not ignorant of the righteousness of God, so following Him in whatever He’s called me is a matter ONLY of submission. When my proposal begins to feel like I’m establishing my own greatness, that’s what the delete button’s for.
There is so much to lay down, so much to pour out. There’s an emptying of self that says I can’t do this that then allows Spirit to fill me, and there’s a kind of emptying that says I won’t do this that protests God’s good intention for a broken life. Knowing my depravity does not mean to be self-loathing. It means that on my own, I have no power, but that also means exactly that He’s made me with the capacity for Himself.
This weekend we all journey to either establish our own greatness or to submit to the righteousness of God. The Spirit establishes. I submit.
Please pray the Spirit establishes the humility of Christ in me. I would love to hear what He’s establishing in you, especially, too, as you pour out your own self-loathing.