It’s not about having boils on our bum, sores on your face. It’s not about flagilation.
It is about holding the contradictions of our faith without going to one extreme or the other. No not those contradictions…
Rather the ones about serving a sovereign God as beings of free will.
That the great must be servants.
Or to gain our lives we must give them up.
We are called to stand firm, yet he who thinks he stands take heed least he fall.
The last shall be first, but if we make ourselves last so as to be first, do we already have what we should get.
A bigger contradiction is prayer. Prayer is not a shopping list for our desires, but a surrendering of our wills to God’s desires.
The sweat of our determination does not change God’s will to our agenda, our fasting, intercession, duration of praise and worship, does not finally pester God into action. Rather these things are meant to break us down then build us up into His likenesses, to render us by renewal, that is the removal of the old to the planting of the new, into His same attitude, so that we are transmuted in to the place where His will already is.
All these things are uncomfortable to us, for individually we know where we need to change, what ain’t right, not matter how well we hide it. Surrender does not come easily for this body of flesh.