Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Brief Treatise on Love

Today I woke up with a question in my head: What is love? I have read so much about love, I have heard so much about it and I have written about it myself, but I am still not sure what it is.

I have heard people talk about love as it is something we just decide to do. That has never worked in my life. People tell me that God is love; it isn’t something He has, it is something is. Well, I am truly happy He is love, but what does that mean? Then we have all those who say that love is the opposite of self-centeredness. They compare and contrast self-love and self-giving love. I can understand the difference between those two concepts, but they are still just academic notions to me.

Can love be understood, even far better, be experienced through words? Aren’t words just a limited means of communication? Can they precisely convey something which is beyond words? If that is the case, why I am writing this? Then we have all those who assert that love is displayed through actions. I believe they have a point. However, I find it tremendously difficult to plan that today I am going to be very loving and caring, because I have tried that approach. I don’t think my efforts convinced anyone, least of all myself.

Love is often used as a word to express expectations very few of us can meet. It has its cultural connotations which sometimes make the whole idea of being a loving person a terrible yoke. It is a word that has caused more condemnation that any other word. Every day there are souls rededicating themselves to God promising to become a better husband, father, mother or whatever. People cry everyday to God pleading Him to make them more loving. Their cry is often echoing their notions of love which not necessarily is God’s idea of love.

Those who have received the revelation that Christ is a living reality inside them and knows that He is everything they need might have this sensation of a slight disappointment. As Eva we might fall for the temptation thinking: “Is this all?” We can hear the accuser roar: “Has God really said that He is living in you as you? If that is the truth why do you have so little love? It is your responsibility to increase your love! ” However, the devil isn’t love so he really has no idea of what he is talking about. He only knows a perverted version of what God calls love. The devils idea of love is that it is something the creation has and not something God is.

Earlier today I had an experience which ripped my heart open and for a brief second exposed all of its pain and cravings. Then there came a sensation of balm being applied and something very soothing covering the wounds. Everything was completely spontaneous. I didn’t know it was coming and I didn’t make it happen. Something deep down in me exclaimed: “This is love.”

If this is so then my entire comprehension of love is in for a makeover. There is no doubt in my mind that this was a presence larger than me touching me with a gentleness I cannot express with words. Didn’t God do the same thing at the cross? Ripped His heart open for all to see? Is there a pain, a craving in His heart for love, companionship and relationship with His creation? Is love a mixture of exposing and healing? Is pain and suffering a prerequisite for love? Is need love in disguise? What is then love when everything is restored?

If His love is spontaneous, why must my love then be anything else? If He is living inside me then I can rest in the fact that His spontaneous love will surface in a tangible way when a situation or an encounter calls for love, can’t I? It’s beyond my conscious control. I can just enjoy and relish in the moment beholding Him making himself manifest through human flesh knowing that He just touched another human being through me. And the most incredible thing; I experienced the whole thing with my entire being. I did it, yet not I, He did it. This sets me completely free from boasting, this sets me completely free from achieving, from rededicating, from planning and it sets me completely free from being an example, that is, a “good” Christian. I assume love boils down to that I Am! And, hopefully this will allow me to just let others be.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Glorious Temple

Salomon had been commissioned the glorious task of erecting a temple to God. His father David had purchased and gathered the necessary building materials. It took seven years to complete this magnificent temple (1 Kings 6:38). The last thing they did was to bring into the temple all the things his father had dedicated to the building; silver, gold and all the vessels.

The building lacked one thing though; the presence of God. When the ark was carried into the building and the priests came out of the Holy Place a cloud filled the house of the Lord. The priests could not stand to minister because of the glory of the Lord.

In the new covenant we know that God doesn’t dwell in buildings. He fills every temple, in other words, every man into whom the ark, that is, Christ has entered. From our spirit, the Holy Place, His glory permeates and fills the entire temple, our entire being. Every corner and hidden nook is packed with Him. He is the sole and only occupant of this tremendous temple. There is room for no one other than Him. Thus the whole building is perfectly holy; spirit, soul and body.

The fact that the priests could not stand to minister due to His glorious presence symbolizes the end of the old dispensation of annual sacrifices which perpetuated a conscience of sin. Something far better would come into effect. A once and for all sacrifice has been carried out which states that I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me (Gal 2:20).

In 1 Kings 9:3 God makes a most astonishing promise: “I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.” As was the habit in the old covenant God then put forward His conditions for the promise to stand firm. However, as we all know; Jesus Christ has fulfilled every condition on our behalf so that we with boldness can continue our walk knowing that our salvation is eternally secured!

Monday, February 22, 2010

His Joyful Pride

There is a cry in every human heart to hear the words: I am proud of you! Those words are in many ways the ultimate confirmation of our being. There are people who are so hungry to hear that they are an object of pride that they are willing to go to extremities. Neglect and deprivation have left many with a sense of worthlessness and meaninglessness.

We find as we behold the world that we are all unique. This craving for acceptance is something profounder than receiving ovations for what we do. We long to hear that someone will boast of and find pleasure in our unique existence, a recognition which supersedes our actions. However, it might seem to us that those who receive most attention in this world do so because of their accomplishments. Hence we make huge efforts to conform in an attempt to resemble our idols hoping some rain will fall upon us as well. As an effect we occur as false versions of our true personhood.

Due to the lie we compare and contrast our life with others and adapt to the prevalent culture, or we make an attempt to stand out by opposing it. There are days when the pain almost smoothers us and we find that activity and noise alleviate our ache. We are willing to go to great lengths to avoid rejection, and each moment we make another adaption our inner being becomes more entangled. To our surprise we discover that this cry in our heart doesn’t diminish as we get older and supposedly more mature.

Every religious system that gives preference to works and appearances to mere being perpetuates the lie, and causes people to continue in bondage. Faith is the opposite of works. God has thus made faith prevalent in the new dispensation, because faith is an image of our innermost being where we are united in one spirit with the Godhead.

Our Father in heaven has through the image of his son experienced the same earthly afflictions as we encounter. He knows firsthand our emotions and soreness. Hence He is perfectly able to identify with his children in their quest for love. His desire to embrace and acknowledge His offspring is beyond words, and he displayed His eternal love and pride through the cross.

His sacrifice shouts out; I want you! It is a cry that qualifies our being as immensely significant to the creator of the universe. This goes far beyond our actions, because they are not impressive to Him who said: “I am.” To be is the foundation for His pride in us. Therefore He perpetually meets every son with: “Well done, my child! Everything was against you, but despite your adversities you found your true being in my Son.” His pride in us is displayed in a joy He cannot contain. He dances fervently and shouts out His joy every moment of our being. He pride in us causes Him to spin around under the influence of violent emotions (Zep 3:17).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The New Covenant

After Moses received the ten commandments engraved in stones on Mt. Sinai his face shone. Forty days in God’s presence made his face radiate from the glory of God. He had during his consecration to God gained wisdom from above, and he thus found it prudent to cover his face with a veil. Moses knew that the glory would fade away. He also knew man’s aptness to worshipping idols. The Israelites had exalted Moses when he had led them out of Egypt, but they had soon begun to murmur when he didn’t live up to their expectations in the variety of trials they encountered in the desert.

Christians in the modern Church have the same inclinations as the Israelites. They speak highly of their pastor when he is visiting the older, when he delivers great sermons and when he always has an encouraging word to share. His face shines and the congregation says: “He is truly a man of God, a very good Christian, an example to all of us.” When the days come when he fails to live up to the high standards they begin to complain and accuse him of having lost the anointing. This is how the outer law works.

A person might have been capable of not swearing for six months, and his face shines because of his accomplishment. Then the day arrives when he is assembling a flat packed cupboard. When he has finished the task and is about to raise the cupboard to its feet the whole thing falls apart…and he swears. His face is definitely not shining anymore. Due to condemnation it is probably ash grey. The glory of any outer law swiftly fades. Unfortunately, too many Christians lead a life where they alternate between glory and condemnation. This is not the new covenant in action, because it fashions the believer to have a consciousness of righteousness only.

In the Old Testament people needed the anointing from the Holy Spirit to operate in the supernatural. The anointing was an outward thing. This is how the old covenant works - It is about outward things. The new covenant, however, is not about anointing. It is a declaration guaranteeing that the Holy One dwells and lives inside the believer. This is not a life governed by static outer laws. The new creation is in a dynamic spontaneous relationship with the ascended Christ who governs the believer from the inside. Life no longer revolves around adapting to rules and regulations, but recognizing Another and having fellowship with Him.

Laws and letters are not alive. They cannot generate growth. Only Christ, who is alive, can provide growth in a person’s life. Since letters are dead things, when applied they produce death. The ascended Christ, however, is a life-giving Spirit. It is from His life that rivers of living water spring forth inside every person who recognizes His glorious indwelling life.

Christ as a living reality generates a glory which never fades. Contrary to Moses’ glory which faded, the glory of Christ which is shining in every believer’s face increases from glory to glory. This is the new covenant in action. "But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor 3:18).

One of the great challenges for the modern church is their preoccupation with the historical Jesus, the one who came in flesh. But, we do not know Him according to flesh anymore. We are in error when we spend all our time preaching about and meditating on the historical Jesus. We are studying a dead man. Our entire fixation must be on the ascended Christ who returned a second time to live inside ordinary humans. He is with us every second of the day. We cannot escape His presence. Wherever we are He is. We can look in the mirror and say: “This is Christ!” This is our new identity, this is the ascended Christ for people of today. When this becomes our reality the Spirit will breathe life into the scriptures and we can glean profound spiritual truths from the historical Jesus.

Today the historical Jesus is the veil which blinds many from seeing the new reality. This veil brings about movements such as “What would Jesus do?” As long as this veil is not removed we continue to struggle with our doings, attitudes and behavior. The historical Jesus becomes the law in a new garment. When we come to the end of our self efforts and turn to Christ the veil is removed. As long as we still can see the mountains of self effort rising above the water it will continue to rain until the ark is the only object on the water. The water, God’s works, must cover and supersede every death work of self effort.

The person who is joined to the Lord, who has entered the ark, is one spirit with Him. Two have joined as one. This of course goes far beyond appearances, because to the human mind this is a paradox; an absurdity. But, we have the mind of Christ and are thus empowered to accept this by faith. So when we look at ourselves without the veil of the old covenant we see an expression of Jesus Christ. We are saved by His life!

Moses received the law which is a perfect image of God’s character, but to man it is a dead outward thing, because he can’t do it. Now man has received Christ, who is a living inward reality. Recognizing the Another turns absolutely everything upside down. The outward law is now an inside law of love written on hearts of flesh. As Norman Grubb would have put it: “This is the key to everything.”

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Perhaps one of the most emancipating things Jesus ever said was, ”I only do what my Father is doing.” (Joh 5:19).

Rather plainly Jesus says that there is only One who he has to answer to, and that is His Father. He is responsible to no human. Moreover, He is also alluding to the indwelling life of His Father which directs Him, motivates Him and lives through Him as Him.

Jesus was not governed by a bad consciousness. Unfortunately are dozens of Christians taken captive by their consciousnesses which exert smothering demands on how to act and live. Jesus, however, followed the joy of the Father in His heart. He was thus empowered to see beyond appearances and behold the realities of the spiritual realm where the joy of the Father reigns.

Jesus was not governed by all the needs the world sent in His direction. They needed a new king in Israel. Jesus refused, because that was not the Father’s intention for Him during His time on earth. However, He responded to every other need the Father led Him to face. In those instances man was given the opportunity to see behind the veil, His flesh, and they were awestruck by His, compared to the creation of the universe, rather simple displays of power.

Jesus was not governed by the needs of the pastors or the congregation. He was a priest Himself, representing the Father. And so are we. We are declared Royal Priests by the Most High. We are led by the Spirit, and He goes wherever He pleases. He is not submitted to any earthly power structure.

Jesus’ Father is love, so given that His Father was in Him and He was in His Father He was love too. Love only does the truth, so that was the doings of the Father which were manifested in and through Jesus.

Jesus was never preoccupied with how to avoid sinning. In fact He had no consciousness of sin, because His Father does not have a consciousness of sin. He had a consciousness of righteousness. The exact same outlook and mindset we enter in accordance with the renewal of our minds.

In His Father Jesus was absolutely free to express Himself as a Human Being who was containing and abiding in the Creator. He didn’t have to put up an act. He didn’t have to wear any fig leaves. He was Himself through and through. Others’ expectations didn’t govern His life.

Most importantly, though, is that we have an identical union with the resurrected Christ as the earthly Jesus had with His Father. We don’t know Jesus Christ according to the flesh anymore, but as the resurrected Lord who has found a resting place for His head in our hearts.

We are thus everything the resurrected Christ is! And He is the truth, He is love, He is power and He is eternal life.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Bruised Reed

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice. (Isa 42:3)

God’s principal concern is always human beings – the pinnacle of His creation. His idea was to gather a family of sons under His wings. To make them true sons and be partakers of His heart and His nature, which main characteristic is self-giving love for others, He had to let them go their own ways so they could develop a consciousness which could compare and contrast between the negatives and positives in this world (Luk 15:11-32).

He Himself descended to this temporal realm to partake in the human project which was finished at the cross (John 19:30). His firstborn of many sons was made perfect through what He suffered so that He could be a high priest who is not unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebr 4:15). God in His humility walked with man on this cursed earth, so He himself could share the burden concerning the progress of man. He in fact chose of His own free will to carry the entirety of what He began when we created beings with a consciousness. His objective was that they could reach their completion in Him so that they in Him could experience that death works in them to life for others (2 Cor 4:12), that is, His sons promoted to priests.

In His heart we find unsearchable love and compassion for His beings. There is not a thing He will not do to see them return to His heavenly lap. He would rather die than see any of them perish. So that’s what He did. When His love has led them to a position where their fire of self-love is quenched and everything which is left is an ember of the eternity He has put in every human’s heart He very gently begins to blow on the ember until it bursts in to a flame nourished by His life. He never ceases to give or breathe His life unto His family, because that is who He is. Souls almost crushed by life’s many travails He with affection and tenderness bandages with His love. He would never condemn, preach to or lay heavy burdens upon a bruised reed. The heaviest burden of them all, the law, He fulfilled Himself so that every Human could experience His love which has no boundaries. This is His justice!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

His Truth

There Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press terrified by the Midian oppressors when God spoke His word of faith over him: “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valour.” As most of us Gideon was fixed on circumstances and appearances, and found it quite impossible to reconcile what he so clearly saw in the temporal realm with what God saw in the spiritual dimension. Gideon thus echoed a common theme in his reply: “My clan is the weakest one, and I am the least of them all.”

God calls into existence the things that do not exist. In Gideon’s case God didn’t appreciate the lie about Gideon which Gideon held fast to in the midst of his travails. From his viewpoint Gideon couldn’t see any further than the lie. When God has spoken His truth about a person or a situation His truth will come to pass despite every circumstance. So, Gideon became ultimately in the natural what God already saw in faith.

As new creations we are faith people. God’s intention with every one of us is to transform our entire outlook so that we can behold everything through faith. It is by faith that His love and generosity become manifest to us. It is by faith we understand that His desires are our desires. It is by faith we with firm boldness can speak to things which do not exist as they exist, because they do in the eternal realm. We might perhaps not see it come to pass in our lifetime, but ultimately it will become a reality.

We all experience situations which seem to overwhelm us, which we have no clue how to handle with our limited human means. We often encounter this devastating sensation of being nothing. In the natural we see our heritage, our humanity, the city we are from and our family line. We hear the mocking voice in our head asserting all the lies about our person which are so easy to believe, because the natural seemingly confirms his accusations. Then God speaks His truth unto us, and everything is turned upside down. And He persistently pursues His truth until it is established as a fact in our minds.

Twelve years ago I sat in church feeling as a complete failure as a father. Then this voice interrupted my outpouring and plainly stated which such an authority that my world was turned completely around: “To your children you are the best dad in the world.”

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

True Assessment

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God. (2 Cor 5:16-18)

Despite the fact that we are declared as new creations in the scriptures we rarely feel that way. It seems to us that we still are the same old person doing the same old things thinking the same thoughts we always have.

This is all a question of appearances, isn’t it? The new creation is new through and through. It can’t be regarded or judged according to the flesh. It belongs to a different realm. It is a spiritual being manifested in soul and body. What a wonderful gift it is when we are imparted to see beyond appearances and behold our true self in faith. The self which is one spirit with its Father. The self He has beheld from before the foundation of the universe.

What a beautiful picture of ourselves we see when our consciousnesses are renewed to the true image of our being. The image He holds up as a mirror. This is the image we are transformed into beholding with our spiritual eyes as we go from glory to glory. We see beyond appearances in our own life and we begin to see the beauty in others as well, because finally we have arrived to the place where we accept and love ourselves with the same acceptance and love our Father has toward us in all His dealings with us.

In a process of the renewal of our minds we have put off everything which pertains to that old self, which really wasn’t a self. It was just a distorted version composed of lies. In this process we rediscover ourselves and find to our surprise that we are just as He is. In the same manner as we have found peace with Him we have found peace with ourselves.

This desire to change, to better ourselves has dissolved into nothing, because it was nothing. We are everything God says we are. We have given up that old self and its distorted view of its being and found our new life. In the realm of appearances it might look the same, but it isn’t. We perhaps continue to do the things we always have done. We work, we watch TV, we eat and we sleep. This is life! This is the perfect version of ourselves.

He was just a simple carpenter from Nazareth, but He was God’s son! What everything boils down to is this; who is your father? What spirit are you of? He has cleansed us once and for all, and thus, for the pure everything is pure. It is all of grace! What an incredible mystery this is; He united to us living as us in a world seemingly full of paradoxes to the unskilled eye. We are one, yet two.

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Cor 2:9)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Beyond Mere Words

Everything in this world is endeavored to be defined by words. The words are not the thing itself, but the words attempt to give a precise description or definition of the thing in question. Since every one of us construe our reality according to our own preferences, experiences and perceptions the thing’s appearance will be formed in our minds differently. It is only when we see or experience the real thing that we are able to shed away with our misconceptions, and vagueness is exchanged with knowledge.

Words are static and lifeless in this sense. Their mission is often just to point to a higher reality. Words have the inherent power that when they are applied as just words they might limit and fence in life itself. There is perhaps no wonder then that the authors of the Bible refer to it as the scripture and not God’s word, because words so often are misused, notably words which we dedicate to a divine authority. We have all experienced firsthand how words uttered by man either build up or tear down. Criticism and rejection cripple. Praise and acceptance edify. God, however, utilized words to create the visible world.

Unfortunately, words are often used as a means of control. They are even used to hide behind and thus cover up nakedness. The word of God is never applied to further any of this, because it is more than mere letters. It is a dynamic life-giving person - Christ. Letters put together into words can merely present a shadow of His reality. The apostles wrote letters in order to help people get a clearer idea of His person, but only those who had met Him knew the real thing.

Paul warns his audience that the letter kills, and continues by saying that it is the Spirit that gives life. It is the Spirit who gives substance to what the words are hinting at. Only the Spirit can apply the scriptures correctly, and is the one in us who helps us discern which part of the written word that applies to our life right now. The Spirit is, however, not limited by letters; “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). This is our freedom in Christ - this is genuine life. Life is not fenced in by letters, whether carved in stones or written.

The word of God is not finished. Since it is a dynamic life-giving power it continues to create and the letters He writes are written on hearts of flesh. Every day of our lives a new chapter is added to His word.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Our True Origin

Jesus boldly proclaimed: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:19). To the disciples he explains that this is true because He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. Jesus also says that to acknowledge this is a matter of faith. The religious mob, that is, those who live by appearances and not faith, found it both appalling and blasphemous when Jesus likened Himself with God.

When John in 1 John 4:8 says that God is love we are inclined to believe him despite the seeming darkness which surrounds us. A question which is reasonable to ask in this context is; what is love? Since Jesus was the image of God and God is love it becomes quite clear that the most powerful display of love ever was the crucifixion.

Love in its purest form is love for others. The cross is God’s heart displayed for all to see. His love for others in such a driving force in everything He undertakes that it casts out every fear in the recipients and establish a secure ground on which we can relate to our heavenly Father. When His love is for us - we have established this is love that sacrifices itself for others - what can then separate us from Him? His love will perpetually seek our best, but most of all it will seek our hearts, because this is His heart’s passion manifested in Christ. His desire to join His heart with His precious children is like an irresistible flood. Nothing can prevent it from attaining its eternal purposes.

Why could Jesus exclaim that those who had seen Him had seen the Father? The child who was conceived by Mary was from the Holy Spirit. Jesus was born of God. He was the firstborn and foremost of many sons. Every Christian is born again by the Spirit, and thus a son. The Father is not ashamed of his sons, because He doesn’t appreciate the appearances which have a tendency to lie heavy upon them. He only sees our new spirit reality, which also is our original true origin.

In Him the invisible God is made visible again; in order that every one may recognise their true origin in Him, He is the firstborn of every creature. (In Him we clearly see the mirror reflection of our original image and likeness.) (Col 1:15 – Mirror)

Christ is formed in us when we renounce self-effort and self-reliance, that is, the law (Gal 4:19) and embrace His grace, which is Christ. His love is manifested in us with increasingly intensity as we are transformed from glory to glory until we one day find that we also are willing to sacrifice life itself for the benefit of others knowing beyond any doubts that there is a new body and an eternity in His presence awaiting.

By faith we can say: "Whoever has seen me has seen Christ." Simply because we are in Him and He is in us.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. (1 John 3:19-24)

Condemnation robs us from confidence, boldness, faith and joy. However, God is greater than our heart, plainly because He has given us a new one (Ez 36:26). In His magnificent generosity He calls the new heart ours and it is. Every one of us knows deep down within that we are a unique person. Every time our Father beholds our heart He sees a reflection of Himself. John further on says He knows everything, so there are obviously things that we do not yet see or understand, but those things are clearly so very much to our advantage that there is no need to experience any condemnation, which by the way is a residue from having eaten too much fruit from the three of good and evil.

God's objective is to have us standing in His glorious presence with confidence, which synonyms are self-assurance, poise, coolness and buoyancy. Now a wonderful promise follows: “Whatever we ask we receive from Him”. It should be clear that there are a lot of things we do not have to ask for, things He has already freely given us and which He wants us to understand He has given us (1 Cor 2:12):

•And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. (Rom 4:5)

•Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. (Rom 5:18)

•He has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him (Col 1:22)

•Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 5:1)

•And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Cor 3:18)

•Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin. (Rom 4:8)

•But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. (1 Cor 6:17)

•To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col 1:27)

•For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. (Gal 3:26)

Our Father is immensely preoccupied with our daily living, what we call the small things in life. He loves to show us His ability to make Himself manifest in every detail of our lives. One of my favorites is to ask Him find a parking place, and He always find one not too far from the elevator. Ask God about those things that concern your daily life, because it is here that He also lives and exists in us. He has found a dwelling place within us, manifesting Himself in human flesh in regular daily human routines. This is indeed a great mystery.

We receive because we keep His commandments, and they are very simple: Believe in His son and love one another. Our work is to believe in Him who He has sent (John 6: 28-29). Furthermore, He has done for us all of our works (Isa 26:12). When we rest from all our works we find that the Spirit within neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:4). His activity within is a well of joy and life. Love is just as easy; we love because He loved us first. It is a perpetual out flowing of His love.

John’s aim with these verses is to assure us that we are of the truth and reassure our hearts before our Father. It is as God says through him: “Be still and know I am God.”

Monday, February 1, 2010

Crossing the River

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

From the day we are born we are conditioned to think, sense and judge in accordance with appearances, that is, the natural world and how it presents itself. When we are born again it is vital that we learn how to perceive the kingdom of God which is contrary to everything we formerly know. Even if we have been involved in other religious systems which claim to know the spiritual world we need this renewal of the mind, because what characterize every religious system is self effort; what you must do to change, what you must do to satisfy the gods, how you must perform to make yourself acceptable to the deity.

The Old Testament conveys the most astounding and precious spiritual truths when the Spirit enlightens and renews our minds. Without this paradigm shift in our understanding this part of the Bible will remain nothing but pictures of lives lived and occurrences in ancient times. It will not render any deeper meaning than being a receipt for shoulds and oughts.

There came a day after forty years of wandering in the desert when the Israelites finally were in a position to cross the Jordan River (Joshua 1). But, Moses, representing the law, was not allowed to cross the river and had to die in the wilderness (Deut 32:48-52). The law’s presence was banned from the Promised Land, which is Christ. So, when the people entered Canaan they entered Christ who has fulfilled the law in us.

The promised land was abounding with milk and honey and flourished with fruit the Israelites had not cultivated. This is a magnificent picture of the fruit of the Spirit which is manifested when we are in Christ. The fruit of the Spirit characterizes God and his being. When you read Gal 5:22-23 you can meditate at God’s perfection which is portrayed in those two verses, and which through faith is a mirror of you. In the same manner as the Israelites received the abundance of Canaan we receive the fruit of the Spirit when we are in Him.

In the desert there was only bareness and hard work – there is no abundance of fruit when we are subject to the law. In the wilderness every man did what he thought was right in his own eyes (Deut 12:8), which denotes a Christian life of self effort and self reliance. In this religious system you are as holy as your best deeds. In Canaan holiness is imparted to you because of Christ (Hebr 10:14). We now clearly see that no fruit can grow and blossom under the law. In this system every self-effort will be devastated when tested by fire.

God led the Israelites to the threshold, but Joshua was the one who led the people across the river. They could dimly behold the realities of the new life ahead of them on the other side of the river, but they had to walk over themselves. The similarities to how we enter God’s rest are stunning. This entering in is a conjunction of revelation and faith. We are given to see the shadows across the river (Deut 32:49), and we then take a leap of faith to possess what is our inheritance. Unbelief will cause us to continue our tedious march in the wilderness where the only thing which will sustain life is manna from above. But, when the diet has been manna for too long a period it grows bitter in the mouth , and this will be reflected in a person’s whole being.

When you are in the desert you cannot return to Egypt and your unregenerate life, even though you long for those days when the law didn’t condemn you. You long back to the evil taskmaster and the food he served you. But, the Red Sea is closed again. Your salvation is perpetually secured, but the desert doesn’t offer much comfort or promise. You are saved, but you do not carry any fruit in the wilderness. In the Red Sea all the enemies who were against you, and who asserted ownership over you were obliterated. The Holy Spirit urges you to take the leap of faith into the unknown, but as the Israelites you are scared of what lies ahead. Those of us who have crossed the river can promise you one thing: Canaan really is overflowing with life and freedom in Christ.

Notice again that Moses had to die before anyone could enter the Promised Land. We cannot bring the law into Canaan, because there a different law operates; the law of life. It is only by the renewal of the mind that we can understand the spiritual realities which all are contrary to what we have always beheld in this natural, temporal world. We are unable to see grace and the union life – Christ in us – us in Christ, and our new identity in Him when we are in the desert. All these wonderful truths are obscured under the law, that is, in the wilderness.