On the road to my ultimate Home, my Savior has taught me some simple truths that I still find challenging in application. Their current runs contrary to the natural instinct of my human condition. I find they thrust me against the gravity of a hostile climate and my sojourn of struggle. So I continue to learn this: It is only in surrender that I find freedom, and only in death that I find life. It is only in the bowing that I am raised, and only in my submission will I be exalted. For me this is simply difficult.
The insurgency of my soul is being summoned to defeat, yet it fights on for its rights with the vigor of a militant terrorist. It contends for its country, its domain of darkness to ensure the strongholds of the enemy are secured with the tyrannical chains of sinful pride. It reluctantly peers through the cracks of battered fortress walls to see rays of righteousness seeking to pierce their garrisons of weight and sin.
But how can I convince the darkness of my soul and flesh to conform to the contrasting light of Life? How can I serve self with the writ that suspends my Habeas Corpus? In Latin that means “we command that” “you have the body,” or in simple terms – you have the right to petition the (body) court. Unfortunately my “body” commands its lazious corpsus. Even after the spirit has surrendered to the custody of Christ, the soul and flesh continue to seek the loophole by which justification is subverted. When none is found, they seek to plea bargain as a means of escape instead of deferring to the mercy of the Father and His body.
As part of the body of Christ, can I rely on the body to function in concert with the Head? I should be able to but I can’t just yet. Not because the body doesn’t want to reach that goal, but because we haven’t quite embraced the white raiment strapped to a pole. The discomfort of our sin has not surpassed our ability to medicate our pain. We continue to treat the wounds without regard to the cause of our injuries. We war on with ourselves and each other. We bring our agendas and battle plans to the table ready to own them at the expense of others, and yes, even our own redemption, because we know we’re right – god told us while we looked at him in the mirror this morning.
Thank God for His mercy; the mercy that bleeds. What greater price was ever paid? None. Ever. Jesus is the soldier that jumped on the grenade that otherwise would have ripped mankind completely apart. He took up arms against sin and submitted them to the cross. He strapped on a backpack and carried it on his open wounds to bring us wholeness and soundness. Yet, if I’m honest, I’m ashamed to admit there are times I’m unwilling to carry the burden of another. I’m pretty good about “throwing up a prayer” and leaving it at that, but to actually get in the quagmire of cost and shouldering another’s cross, I fall woefully short.
Most days I let my own cross lay in the dust of lethargy and complacency. I try to ignore it which works for a season until I succumb to the awful sound of its base dragging behind me, carried by the One who bore it in the first place. In my spirit I see Him smile and wink as if to say, “I’ve got your back.” I know He does. This gives me strength to take it up again and soldier on. He willingly hands it back to me for my benefit, wipes my brow with his holy “Do-Rag” and reminds me His grace is sufficient. Amazing grace found in surrender of the soul and flesh. I surrender again. I journey on.