Those dazzling heights too vast to climb
I got so high to fall so far
But I found heaven as love swept low
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground
[Hillsong United, Touch the Sky]
A Prayer That Changed My Life
Every now and then I feel prompted to pray a prayer that I know will change my life.
These prayers are the hardest for me to pray.
“Jesus, take me higher as I learn to go lower,” was one of them.
Maybe this post will give some insight in what that prayer meant for me.
There have been times in my life were I have tried to go higher (more influence, more impact, more revelation, more opportunities) on my own.
I’ve tried to make these things happen. I’ve tried to reach new heights in my life through striving, pressure and hard work and may be most dangerously, pleasing people.
The heights have been where I believed my life would be fulfilled, my potential would be reached and all the things of God possessed and achieved.
So, I worked to get there.
And when I got to the limited heights I had scrambled to find, they couldn’t hold me long.
A fall was imminent.
Up there on my own, standing on my small and unstable ledge, I didn’t find what I was looking for.
This wasn’t the ‘higher’ I was made for.
Thank God when we fall, and we all do, we do not fall to our ruin but our impact is cushioned by the very kind, unconditional, and unrelenting love of God.
I fell in love. Not in the romantic sense. But when I fell, I fell in to nothing but the love of God.
Maybe that’s why it’s called falling in love, because you experience the love of God through falling.
Through messing up and getting it wrong.
It’s on the fall, we learn to fly; like a bird that falls out of its nest for the first time.
In its falling, it flaps around and it may not be pretty or dignified for a while but then, it soars.
Maybe we are like those young birds. When we fall we have nothing to do but stretch our arms out (as undignified and unnatural as it may be) towards the one who will not only catch us, but will allow us to soar.
Because, this time, we are reliant on God our father.
This time, we know that we can’t make it on our own; we can’t fly without Him who holds us up, Him who takes us higher.
Down here I can see more than what I could when I was on my own ledge. Up high, I was too concerned about staying up and not falling off than taking time to look out and see beyond myself and position.
Kind of like when you are up high on a mountain ledge: it’s steep and you’re on unstable ground, so you don’t take the time to appreciate the views around you, your main concern is holding on, gripping tight.
Surrender Takes Place in Prayer
We all want to achieve, to be successful, and to reach our potential. We all want to go ‘higher’.
This is not wrong, however, I have found that we are not meant for small, lonely, unstable mountain top ledges that bring us limited impact, influence, revelations and opportunities.
We get there by striving, people pleasing, leaving God out of our day to day lives and, most tragically, choosing not to surrender our whole lives to God.
Surrender stops our striving and admits ‘I cannot do this life alone’.
Surrender doesn’t scramble up towards the top, it bows the knee.
Surrender doesn’t hold on to things that are temporary, it trusts that there are far better things to come.
Surrender doesn’t limit you and your life, it’s the making of them.
Most of all, I have learnt this: surrender doesn’t cause us to fall, but to rise.
Our mistakes and mess ups cause the fall, but once we recognise our need for the love and grace of God the Father in every moment of our lives and choose to lower ourselves, we will reach new heights.
More influence, impact, revelations and opportunities await us in our surrender.
These new heights I’ve found have come only through choosing to bow the knee. When we do, we rise.
He’s with us when we rise and when we fall.
He’s with us through it all.
“If we’re not falling we’re not flying. You can’t have love without the pain.”
If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.
Mark 8 34-35