Last year I was determined to cultivate a space for worshiping in my home. For me, that meant purchasing a new rug. I wanted to be intentional about designating this rug as my special place before that Lord. It’d represent for me, a season of intentionality. Now, when I sit down on that rug, the Father and I both know it’s a sanctified and special time between us. Much like going on a date with your spouse, sitting down on my living room floor, Bible in hand and heart open, has become my space for practicing intentional intimacy with the Father. It’s what I call learning the art of laying down.
Now, I don’t mean physically laying down, though I highly recommend it during moments of worship. I’m talking about the laying down of your heart and life before the Father on a regular basis.
At the beginning of my semester at Charis Bible College, we were worshiping when I had a vision. In it, I saw myself falling face-first at the feet of Jesus. Falling. In slow motion. And even though I knew that the impact of my face to the floor was coming, there was no hesitancy, or fear, or struggle. I simply fell. In fact, there was an overwhelming sense of peace.
Then, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “naturally, when falling, you’d do whatever necessary to avoid hitting your face. You’d lean toward either side, backward, or you’d catch yourself if possible.” As He spoke these words, I watched as at the very moment my face hit the ground before Jesus’ feet, the ground gave in like a pillow. Then He spoke, “[falling face-first] won’t hurt like you think it will. The only pain will be in wishing you had fallen sooner.”
I realized in that moment the Lord was issuing an invitation into greater intimacy, as His words so often do. He was inviting me to lay down those vulnerable places, the places in my life I often try to protect from the impact of His grace, out of fear, a lack of understanding, and a resistance to discomfort. But vulnerability is uncomfortable. If it weren’t, we’d be better at it. Opening up before the Lord, relinquishing our plans, being honest with Him about our thoughts and motivations is a painful and uncertain process. But it is the process that releases His victory in our lives and it requires practice. Laying everything down until you’re so in love you’d do whatever he says do, and go where ever he says go, is a process.
Often times we want to do what God says and go where he says because we want God-results in our lives. That’s an excellent desire! But we can easily begin to desire the benefits of sonship apart from relationship with the One who’s made us sons. We simply don’t have the time or patience enough to figure out how to hear from and interact with God, so we settle for what He can do for us, missing out entirely on our inheritance, which is God Himself. However, this too, is an empty pursuit. Life is found in knowing and being known by the Father, and this begins at the feet of Jesus.
There is an art to laying down, to falling in love with the Lord’s feet. It is what John the Baptist understood when he spoke the words, “I am not fit to untie his sandals. ” And yet, at the word of Jesus, John baptized the Son of Man. It is what the woman with the alabaster jar understood when she washed the Lord’s feet with her hair and tears. It is what compelled her to pour upon his feet that perfume of great price, even in the face of those who would scoff and accuse her of wastefulness.
If you will pursue a place at Jesus’ feet, beyond your own hang-ups and the hang-ups of others, with less regard to time spent than love exchanged, and if you will pour out the perfume of praise and adoration (especially when it’s costly), you will come to know true and lasting fulfillment. You’ll wish you’d fallen sooner. Your life will be a testimony akin to Isaiah’s, proclaiming, “beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who bring the good news.” Let’s be a people that practice surrender, and like Mary, find our home at the feet of the Teacher.