Low and still lower

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5: 6-7
Chad Johnson

Chad is the founder of Come&Live!
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The first word in this verse is humble. We would be wise to lace conversations, wants, needs, desires, with humility. Especially with God. He lives in a high and holy place, yet also, with each of us living here low and sometimes still lower. God cares vastly more than I could even remotely comprehend. My problem is living generally unaware. Making it all the easier to assume I’m my own best friend. I’m so wrong. What first pulled me into relationship with Jesus was relationship.

It was Cornerstone Festival 2008 where I first heard these Peter-words. A friend who attended the same church shared a prophetic word with me based on this verse. How God was going to produce a rude awakening of a change. At that point life was going about as smooth as it ever had. I was making great money, working with a host of successful artists, settled into a nice Seattle home, and was content having Jesus spaced loosely between it all.

I received a near identical prophetic word from three entirely unconnected sources within a three-month window that summer. All were saying I should humble myself, and when the time was right, God would raise me up. No to worry, He cared for me. They were also saying my time in the music industry was coming to an end, and God was going to place me in full-time ministry. Now it’s easy to discern His glory and goodness spread sweetly throughout. Back then, totally different story.

Within six months of receiving these words, I had quit my posh industry job and was naively floored to be living out on the edge. The timing wasn’t my own. Nor is the timing ever ours. The role God asks us to play is laying low and still lower. Humbling ourselves. Admitting we are faithless and inviting King of glory to replace our less with His full. God’s proper time is rarely my idea. Yet, I look back and what do I find? A plan more thought out, more clearly developed, and grander in scale than I ever could have devised. Give Jesus your plans. Give Him yourself - in humility - surrender whatever you’re thrilled about and invite Him to exalt you in His time.

Anxiety is always an easy pill to swallow but a beast to cough back up. Once I’ve embraced anxiety, there is only one way for me to go and it’s down. Until I’ve confessed my worried soul and until I’ve apologized to Jesus for missing grace, it’s a spiral with no floor in sight. Thankfully, Jesus is incredibly adept at working with men like me. He loves transforming us into His likeness, and He is shockingly capable.

Give your life and plans, or life plans, to God. Go humbly. He will raise you up when the time is right. Throw anxiety on Him. He’s strong enough to take it. His heart is full of concerned care for you and your story.

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