Monday, February 21, 2011

Which is Born of the Spirit is Spirit

One of the most fascinating conversations ever recorded is found in John 3. Jesus is giving Nicodemus a lecture in the principles of the Kingdom. As the rest of the Jews Nicodemus believed that Messiah would establish Israel again as a prominent nation. They thought that God would install Israel at the helm of world affairs. That His Kingdom would be a literal kingdom. To Nicodemus Jesus established that the Kingdom would be an invisible Kingdom inhabited by those who were born again by the Spirit.

Ezekiel prophesized, “I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land.“ The Kingdom of heaven is our own land. We are merely sojourners in this temporal realm. We belong to another dimension – unseen by the natural eye. There we live, move and have our being.

A few sentences later Jesus says a most stunning thing to Nicodemus: “…that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”. When Jesus meets the Samaritan woman He informs her that God is spirit. A spirit is invisible if it hasn’t any means of manifesting itself. The universe is thus a manifestation of God. He who is all in all can be found in everything for those who have eyes to see. In the same manner we express our true self – our spirit - through our body and soul. Those who have eyes to see can the glory we have from our Father. We manifest our spirits in a lesser scale than God, hence He calls us gods.

The Kingdom of God isn’t referring to a future bliss. It is here and now populated by those who are born again by the Spirit. About those who haven’t accepted Christ John writes: “Whoever does not love abides in death” and “…whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” We pray and hope to see them join our ranks of born again spirits. Paul states clearly that every man is reconciled to God, but evidently not everyone has the life. Man is reconciled to God, but only those who are spirits and born again have life.

Do you believe that you are a lover? John says you are if you have the Son of God. You can’t help yourself; you love people and you love everything God loves. Remember you are a spirit. You are a partaker of God’s life. You are an other-lover no matter how you feel or how you perceive yourself. As spirits we function on a quite different level. We do not live by sight, but by faith. And by faith we call into existence the things that do not exist. Be patient with yourself and do not judge according to appearances. As spiritual persons we make spiritual judgments.

When the full extent of the fact that we are spirits sinks in a most glorious thing happens in our consciousnesses. A wave of relief and freedom wash in over us. We recognize that the abundant life isn’t something into a dim future. It is here and now. We clearly understand that as spirits born by God we are not limited by any law. We are driven by His love which far supersedes any law.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Who are You, O Great Mountain

I ask you my friend to never think disparaging thoughts about yourself and what you consider as failings or warts in your personality while in this temporal realm. I have been in that place where I always fought what I perceived as flaws in my personhood. I have begged God to improve me - to make me more loving, more caring, a better listener, more energetic etc. I have tried with all my might to become a better person. The measuring stick was the law and manmade codes of ethics.

My seemingly flaws seemed as mountains to me which I had to conquer and flatten. Listen what God said to Zerubbabel: “Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain.” How is that possible? There is only one answer: “He shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of 'Grace, grace to it!” The shout of grace is reverberating through the universe and when your ears hear its call you know the answer. From the top of your consciousness the truth about who you are will reach every corner of your being. Can you hear the shout?

When the truth settles you will see that what you perceived as flaws and shortcomings are plains from God’s point of view. In His time He will make them your biggest assets. Yes, we are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are His works, and we are a work of His hand. When that spirit of error was kicked out of the temple and God’s Spirit filled it God declared over us: You are perfect! Do you believe it?

In Noah’s days it continued to rain until all the mountains were covered by water. God’s work will always cover our mountains of self effort and our erroneous notions about who we are. The water from above will make everything level. Can you see it?

Well, who are you, O great mountain? You are the lie from the Garden of Eden. You said we had to become like God. We have disclosed your lie. We are like God. How can it be any different when we are created in His likeness? It is a magnificent work of His righteous right hand. My work is to believe that He has done what is impossible for man. So, let’s go to work with a light heart.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Refreshing Taste of Freedom

The following constitutes a part of Paul’s greeting to the Galatians: “For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Paul is referring to the Gospel when he utters those indeed bold words. The gospel he was sharing was not given him by any man; it came as a revelation of Jesus Christ. It should then be clear that the good news that Paul preached was something quite different from what he previously had been taught by the men of the law.

In verse 16 Paul makes a most astounding observation: “God revealed His Son in me”. Some translations have made this into; “….revealed His Son to me”, which is something quite different. The Greek preposition used in this context is “in”. What we can infer from this and what also align with our own experiences as Christ is formed in us is that Paul and we go from outer reality to inner reality and we realize that we are inner people.

The inner life is governed by utterly different principles than the outer life. Contrary to attempting to follow outer ordinances and regulations the inner life endows us with the opportunity to be whole persons and not least true to ourselves and those around us. Following outer principles is a sure path to dishonesty and hypocrisy. We are a sick and tired of being pretenders, and as the outer pressures mount the cry in our hearts is: “I want to be real! There must be someone out there who loves me and accepts me as I am!”

That was Paul’s prime discovery! This was the foundation for his gospel. God is love and He loves you beyond your wildest imaginations. In fact you cannot imagine His love. You can, however, under those limitations we now are subject to to a certain degree experience His love, but more importantly you can by faith be fixed in your consciousness that He is love, and hence in everything you can count on this fact. In weakness, in darkness, in misery, in confusion, in affliction you can count on one thing: God is for you!

As this amazing fact begins to settle in our minds outer circumstances begin to lose their power in how we perceive ourselves and life in general. No matter what happens we are safe in Him. Of course, this unfetters those inner potentials we a period believed were against His will and good pleasure. For some it means that they can play card with their friends, for others they are now free to exercise the music someone told them was from the devil.

You have your history, and I have mine. What we have in common is this: We suddenly blossom in the light and love of our Father and can finally be who we were created to be without any inhibiting outer fences. Our motivation comes from within, from Christ in us and He was as you perhaps remember accused of being a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Serving God

The cry in most churches and denominations is that we must serve God. Well, then, how do we serve God? When Jesus came into the world he said: “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body has you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.”

This is plain and straight forward. God is not interested in man’s attempt at pleasing Him by making sacrifices and offerings which often is at the core of the message in regards to serving God. “You have to offer more of your money, time etc.” “You have to make some sacrifices for God, you know.” To be honest with you: God is not interested!

Asking for forgiveness and punishing ourselves mentally when we have failed is nothing else than burnt offerings and sin offerings. God takes no pleasure in our attempts to atone for our misdeeds. Jesus’ sacrifice was once and for all. There is nothing we can add to His finished work. Forget it!

However, what we know is this: God has prepared a body for us through which He who is Spirit manifests Himself. Secondly, we have come to do His will. How? We are conduits through which His life flows. That is serving God. We serve Him with our bodies so He can make Himself known to the world. This is the reason why Jesus said: Those who have seen me have seen the Father. Remember, we have the same oneness with God as Jesus had.

Those who attempt to serve God by their good works are nothing more than servants and their self-perception will be accordingly. However, those who by faith have entered a more elevated level in their consciousnesses do not regard themselves as servants. Jesus calls His brothers and sisters friends, and that is what we are -friends with the creator of the universe. To see this truth and hence enter into it is indeed a wonderful thing.

Those who know who they are have given up any effort towards serving God with their own means. They just are. Through those God’s life and light flow unimpeded. Since they know this precious fact they are unperturbed by appearances. They live by faith. They have moved into the New Jerusalem where everything is clean and covered with gold. To the pure everything is pure, Paul wrote.