Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Truth

Standing before Pilate Jesus said he had come to bear witness to the truth. Then Pilate posed the obvious question: What is truth? Jesus never answered him because there are no answers to that question. It was and still is the wrong question. Ever since the fall the question Pilate posed has haunted mankind. We have tried to answer it in every possible way from sex to complex theology. The answer continues to evade us until we pose the right question: Who is truth? Jesus came to bear witness to himself. He is the truth. He said: I am the way and the truth and the life. The startling fact is that every new creation is truth. You are truth. It doesn't matter if our knowledge is wrong. We are still the truth. If our confession is contrary to who we are we are still the truth. In every now the Father recognizes us as the truth. It is an inescapable fact that every son is the truth on account of that the Father is truth. You want to know the truth? Behold yourself. You are it! And as we all know it is the truth that sets us free. There is nothing more freeing than recognizing Christ as us.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Called to Freedom

Total freedom can only exist is an environment of no condemnation and no fear. Perfect love thus casts our fear so that we can trust our hearts, souls, emotions and desires in all things even though we not always understand their inclinations. Every moment God encourages us to walk in faith and not by what we see because in trusting ourselves we trust Him. Condemnation will always threaten our freedom and make us doubt our choices and ways, which in reality are His choices and ways. God never wondered whether He was in sin or not when He crucified His own Son or when He made the devil aware of Job’s perfection which led to Job’s sufferings. When God asks us to trust Him and ourselves in seemingly hopeless and contradictory circumstances it is because He is God and knows all things, whilst we are not God, merely His means of expression in glory, and thus we are inhibited by a limited sight and therefore faith is our means of seeing through to God only.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I Am Not the Head

By Andrea Garzon

The head’s function is to master the body. Jesus is the head and we are the body (Colossians 1:18). Acknowledging this fact does not make Him the Head, for He is, whether you reckon it or not, just as the law of gravity works whether you believe in it or not. Living by any form of restriction or self-government states: "I am the head" (for the head runs the body). This completely negates my condition of dependence upon Christ as the source of my wisdom and illusory establishes my humanity as such. Satan deceived Adam with the same lie he deceived himself: “You can be like (a) God”. What ‘a god’ is? A god is a source, a creator, a separate self-sufficient being. Obviously Satan's proposition was a bluff, a mere illusion because we were not created to be something of our own, except from expressers, vessels, tabernacles, branches and containers of the one and only true Deity.

I am sure God's desire is that we live a life of adequacy, but that is solely achievable after going through the acknowledging process of “I no longer live”. This is certainly a stage we cannot omit or overleap. Which part of us no longer lives? That which was bound to the obligations and demands of the law. We died to considering ourselves as heads (self-controlled beings), although this is a mere illusion because there is only one Source in the universe.

Walking after the flesh (under the Law) can be defined as living by any source apart from the Head, although this “independence” is nothing but a deception because a body cannot walk without a head. The Spirit takes us through seasons of “trying to run our lives” in order to expose that illusion of separation, and settle us in the reality of Christ living our lives as us, which brings a sense of competence.

Our sufficiency rests entirely on our dependency upon Christ as the Head, but do not approach this dependency as, "I must depend more on God" or "I must consecrate my life more". Forget it! There is no such thing as “I” apart from Christ; this is still part of the deception, as if this union reality with God was something external. This dependency I am talking about here goes beyond the mere concept of reliance; it is a life or death matter, as the tree is to the branch. You can still be deceived believing you are the head (your own source), although this does not diminish a single bit the truth that you are not.

The true ‘denial of self’ is actually renouncing to that illusion of independence (false self). The term ‘flesh’ has nothing to do with ‘wrong doing’, but with wrong ‘seeing’. This detachment, falling away from grace, or alienation from Christ that the Bible often talks about, is of the consciousness (seeing/focus). The Word does not say God was our enemy, Colossians 1:21 says we were enemies of God ‘in our minds’ (consciousness).

Jesus said: “Take up your cross and follow me”. I believe the ‘cross’ he was referring to, is the realization deep down inside our inner consciousness, that we are not running our lives anymore, and this is a process that unquestionably involves agony (no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful). Of course, it is not when you reckon yourself as dead that you die, that is a fact, but the reckoning allows you to experience and enjoy your new resurrected identity. We do not need to 'know what to do' because that is the role of the head. Colossians 2:10 says: "And you are now complete in him, who is the head of all rule and authority..." That is why there is now no condemnation; if the head cannot be condemned, the body cannot be condemned either. Forgiveness and acceptance is a quite inferior description of what the good news are all about. The gospel is about an exchange of owner. We were once containers of the spirit of error (vessels of wrath), now the Spirit of truth indwells us (vessels of mercy).

Although it takes a while to be established in the reality of Christ as the Head, once we are settled in this glorious truth, we are able to experience that peace that surpasses all understanding and enjoy His sufficiency as our own. Now we can shout "I can do all things...".

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Wind Blows Wherever It Wishes

“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).  We can only speak about what we know and bear witness to what we have seen. Only that which is born of the Spirit is spirit and can behold the heavenly things and testify to their glory. Reason and our senses can only testify to what we hear and behold in the temporal. Spirit truth must therefore circumvent our senses and enlighten our minds by other means. We are alluding to the Spirit’s expansion of our minds as far as we are willing to receive His teachings.
The realization of the reality of which Jesus draws an outline can’t be found within the limitations of what we encounter in the natural and it must far surpass outer laws and regulations. To be a wind that blows wherever it wishes denotes an inner awareness that merely carries vague memories of concepts such as sin, guilt, moral, ethics and duty. To be bound by nothing and accountable to nothing but one’s inner reality of freedom, which is heaven as so far we belong to Christ, is that wind which no man can control, but merely observe in either astonishment or annoyance.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Real Thing

By Andrea Garzon & Ole Henrik Skjelstad
Almost all of Christianity is obsessed with this idea that we have to change. In the church this quest for becoming more holy and righteous is characterized by self-effort. The emphasis is on you and what you have to do in order to improve and become a better person. In grace circles the stress is put upon correct teaching. If you just get to learn how much God loves you and how righteous and holy you are that change in your life you long for will quite effortlessly come to pass.
Let us for a moment speak about geography: Would you call a mountain an imperfection or a flaw because it's not flat? Or a valley an imperfection because it's hollow? God’s view on beauty and perfection as displayed in nature is fascinating. And this applies to our personalities too! His creation might seem “crazy” and from a human perspective marred when we only focus on outer things like mountaintops that are not flat and erupting volcanoes.
Let us also be pragmatic for a moment. I can't change? Can you? Why do we encounter this emphasis on change when God lives His life as me? Can God change? No! How can the immutable God change? If He wants my valleys to be deep then let them be deep. If He wants my mountaintops to be ragged, well, let them be so. May our inner eyes be opened so that we can embrace ourselves in our stunning and amazing perfection!
The fact is that those who preach a gospel of change are opposing themselves. To put it bluntly, they look like a bunch of clones trying to "be more like Jesus". We are not supposed to be clones. God’s idea is that we are supposed to be “more like ourselves”. There’s no need to be afraid of ourselves, because it is Love that drives us. When we have tasted the Real thing, we cannot go back to a gospel that put all its emphasis on that we are not whole and need to be changed.
Behind all these "doctrines", no matter the label, unbelief reigns. To enter the gate of Gal 2:20 is scary because that in a sense implies zero control for man, but the paradox is that in the instant we enter that heavenly entrance we find ourselves in Christ with all His resources at our disposal. It is when we recognize the PERSON, the Real Thing, as us confusion must end. When we learn what a person is, that is, a person is a person containing a PERSON, and recognize this person in work in us as us that quest for change becomes void and nothing.
To be depraved of the knowledge that God is the one acting and working in us is, however, a necessary preludium to possessing our heritage as free sons. It is most necessary that we learn that change is impossible by either this or that, so that the Son can emerge in us. But, this is not either our full heritage. True freedom is attained when we “forget”, that is, “not knowing or perceiving” that it is God acting in us as us. We are just ourselves in true freedom.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thou Shalt Love The Lord With All Thy Heart

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, the lawyer answered Jesus when Jesus challenged him concerning what must be done to inherit eternal life. I assume the lawyer soon enough found out that he hadn’t it in him to love like this. Since there is only One who is love in this universe the reality is that no human can love like this. It is beyond our capacities. God only requires himself so we can only love God with His own love. But, a most crucial question is how is this love expressed in our relation to God? Is it a matter of emotions? Is it related to how much we do for God? Has it something to do with obedience? Or is it expressed in faith?
In what ways did Jesus express His love towards His Father? It is true that they often spent time together, but not that often. Jesus spent most of His time with friends and His disciples. He was even accused of being a glutton and drunkard. The question thus still remains unanswered. How did Jesus love His Father? We are so accustomed to gauge, think and assess in terms of outer realities and appearances that we assume to love God is something outer, for instance, like good works.
If that is the case we have fallen for one of the enemy’s tricks, because love is something inner. It is simply saying yes to God and trust His reality when He opens up our awareness to things far beyond the scope of our natural minds and which shake the foundations of which our reason is secured. It is to dare to jump into the river and get soaked in whatever the Spirit shows us concerning our identity in Christ. To love God is to dare entering the reality in which He moves lives and has His being, that is, total freedom to be being accountable to no one save our personal inner reality. This is what Kierkegaard called existentialism. It was Eckhart who said that when the Father begets the Son, He gives Him all His nature and essence! We are that son in our unique expressions of Him. If we are still caught up in a sin-consciousness, questions about the law and things that pertain to our temporal earthly abode we haven’t yet dared penetrate the infinite abyss in which God dwells and by that expressed our love and trust in Him.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Love Cannot Go Wrong

Co-authored with Andrea Garzon
“As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him” (Psalm 18:30). What does it mean that His ways are perfect? We find in the scriptures several instances where God speaks about His ways. He says that He will cause us to walk in His ways. We also learn that His thoughts are not our thoughts, and that His ways are not our ways.
What we now are going to share is based on two revelations which make the foundation for our exposition: “Contrary to common belief, God’s goal is not to improve us. The new creation is perfect, how could you fix perfection? There is nothing more spiritual than being yourself and enjoy it” (Andrea). “‎"Freedom is the ultimate form of life because it is God's kind of life" (Ole Henrik).
"God's kind of life" implies that we are free to choose and that ALL choices are okay! All of them are righteous and holy because they are born out of freedom. We often think there is one specific plan God had for us and this is what we call "His ways" for our lives. However, "His ways" really means "His ways of doing things" and "His kind of life", and both are perfect because He is love. God is free, therefore we are free and whatever we chose is perfect! That completely takes off from our shoulders that heavy burden of "what if I mess up?" The quoted verse from the psalms confirms how God is free and how He shields our choices in freedom! To trust ourselves and our choices means that we trust God and the quality of the new life we have been granted!
In Genesis 20 we find a most curious story. Abimelech, King of Gerar, took Sarah because Abraham lied and told everyone she was his sister. When God intervenes all blame is put on Abimelech, and Abraham goes free. In fact Abraham’s riches are increased in the course of everything that transpires. We never find that God rebuked Abraham for his actions. On the contrary, Abraham is commissioned to pray for Abimelech so that God saves the king’s life. This account is a most startling testimony on God’s faithfulness and how He treats His own. Abraham acted out of his freedom to choose and God shielded his freedom to be himself in whatever form that would appear. To our natural minds it seems quite unfair that God blamed the king for everything. What to us appears as apparent unrighteousness (Abraham lying) isn't so to God, because Abraham was righteous, that is, in a New Testament understanding indwelt by God.
Whatever deed we did under the influence of the spirit of error was evil. WHATEVER deed we do now is righteous. There are plenty of things that look really "unfair" due to our conception of "right living", but according to God's perspective EVERYTHING we chose is okay, and this is His will for our lives; that we can chose. We have often believed that God's perfect will is like a target and if we miss the target we would have to conform to His "second will" (or plan B or back-up plan if we somehow mess up.) There is no plan B, everything is plan A.
It demands a huge leap of faith to dare to enter the reality of His ways, that is, to act and live in total freedom which is His ways. Do we dare to trust that He is our shield no matter what, and that everything works together for good for those who love God? And isn’t it so that the greatest love we can show God is to trust His reality when it opens up to us and boldly enter into it? We often think God is saying: "Ok, you are free, BUT if you chose wrongly, assume the consequences!" Well, yes, in a sense there are consequences due to our choices but they are all God's will.