Thursday, June 28, 2012

I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord

It was Paul who exclaimed when I am weak then I am strong. Paul had discovered the great secret which has the inherent power to alter every new creation’s view of himself and thus move into the full reality of the cross. Far too often we are victims of the flood of occurrences that come against us. Humanly speaking many of the things we face are too big for us. A sense of defeat, depression and impotence can hold us in a tight grip. Some of those seasons are merely the Spirit teaching us that He comes perfectly through us whether we are sparkling or are down, which is an important lesson to learn for many of us.
But the majority of our defeats are a result of us trying to find the resources to face our challenges by human means. Paul had visited that place of nothingness and thus been persuaded to look somewhere else to find the strength to be an overcomer. Christ in Paul was his strength. He had thoroughly learned that he could reckon on the indwelling Christ in every circumstance. This doesn’t mean that whenever he faced opposition or difficult circumstances he would always fall on his knees in prayer. No, to the contrary, he would face whatever he met as Paul knowing that he was Christ in his form with every resource in the universe to his disposal in order to bring redemption to his world.
"And the Lord said to Moses, 'Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it; and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea'" (Exodus 14:15,16). In effect God is saying to Moses: “Why do you want me to do it? Do it yourself. I have given you a new self, a new identity. That rod of old is cleansed. The snake is dispelled. You are new through and through. Stretch out your rod (express your new self) and divide the sea.” Moses had said to God, “You do it”, but God said: “You do it.”
Every one of us starts our walk on the highway of faith with much of the old grave cloths from the Fall still upon us. Separation from God has been our blatant reality. We know the weakness of the flesh and its inclinations. We are more used to visible lack and need than the bounty of supply in the invisible. But when the new word comes which objective is to undress the grave cloths a question arises; do we have ears to hear? The prophet had and hence cried: “But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD.” (Micah 3:8) In effect the prophet is saying: I am God’s mouthpiece and I am to call into existence things that do not yet exist.
Norman Grubb wrote: “You feel weak, you don't sense the presence of Christ, you feel loveless, and of little faith, and all the rest of it, because you still live in the devil's lies of the have-not life. But you have all things. All is within, if Christ the Savior is within. Burst through those bonds of feelings. Say, 'Though all men and devils say I have not, I say I have, on the authority of God's word.”
It is the personal, intimate and deeply private revelation that we are one with God which empowers us to go against the grain and boldly recognize every stirring within as a safe desire which first originated in the heart of our Father. Oneness finds no other explanation to those stirrings and as a consequence affirms the prophet’s words; “I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord.” We finally have the key to Mark 11:24: "Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." Our faith focus isn’t arbitrary any more when Oneness is our outlook since we then are not governed by condemnation. Condemnation makes us see need everywhere even where there is no need. It brings confusion and we always fall short of its demands. The truth is that God has given each and every one of us a sphere of influence which we swiftly recognize when we operate in the freedom of the Spirit. No man can tell us what to do when our sole motivation is those joyful inner promptings which are an interwoven part of our makeup as new creations.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

So, You Need to Be Changed?

A saying which we frequently encounter in Christian circles goes like this: “God loves you like you are, but He loves you too much to keep you like you are.” I wonder from where this saying originates. I cannot find any scriptural basis for it. Jesus never prayed such a prayer for us. What was His main concern? Wasn’t it that every believer should be one with God in the same manner as He was one with His Father? Evidently this prayer has been answered, because Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians revolves around eyes being opened to what is already accomplished. Paul never prayed that God in His love should change anyone. Why? Paul saw perhaps clearer than most that those who had entered God’s kingdom were forever perfected (Hebr 10:14, Col 2:10).
If you are one of those who feel that God needs to change you I am afraid I have to ask: Who has told you that you are naked? To the Romans Paul spoke about a process he called the renewal of the mind. What was he speaking about? If we are forever perfected, which we are, there must be a Spirit led process going on in each and every one of us which end is to unfold everything accomplished through Jesus Christ. We are talking about a gradually unfolding of His consciousness in us because we are one with Christ and have His mind. Every barrier, every impediment, every inconsistency is removed in Him. As our eyes are increasingly opened we go from faith to faith. It is never a question about what we should be or any striving on our part. It is forever finished. The light which shines upon us unfolds what already is. Its purpose is not to reveal any bad spots in us, but to unearth who we truly are viz. Christ in our forms.
The battleground is our souls as they are drawn to and fro on account of the circumstances we encounter in our daily lives. Many of us drag with us this utopian notion that when God has finished His work in us we will become super-Christians, whatever that is. Every day we are tempted to think due to our reactions, emotions and actions that Christ isn’t our life, that we somehow are separate selves always erring. But it is in the midst of those storms that faith is operative and we confess the truth until it one day is a settled fact. To become a teacher took me four years of higher education. Then I began working as a teacher. It took me two years in the profession before what I had taken took me and I and teacher became one in my consciousness. In no way could I advance the process. It had to run its course in the midst of sensations of stress, failure and insufficiency. However, I was a teacher every second of those two years. Those around me regarded me as a teacher, but this truth of what already was had to be settled in my consciousness. I don’t know exactly when that took place but suddenly one day I effortlessly practiced my profession.
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” This is Paul’s word to the Romans. Is he speaking about a process or is this an already accomplished fact? Do you or God have to turn every stone in your life so that you can be conformed to the image of His Son, or have this already taken place so that when you open your eyes this is what you see? The first alternative excludes faith whilst the other depends wholly on faith. Are we called to walk by sight or by faith?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jesus on Lilies

When Jesus wanted to teach the disciples about faith He spoke about lilies. One of the most potent parables concerning faith is found in Matt 6:28; “See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin." Jesus is offering us a preposterous idea. Something can grow without putting any labor or sweat into it. How can this be? Those lilies are created with a couple of amazing faculties. Its seed is planted in an environment of soil and air. It didn’t plant itself, but everything it will become is in that seed. How does it germinate and grow? Simply by receiving water and light! And Jesus likens that receiving with faith (v. 30). By a mystic process which still leaves scientists flabbergasted those lilies absorb everything they receive and become stunning beauties.
Imagine that you are a flower in the midst of a beautiful meadow. You cannot do anything except receive sunlight, water and air. As a flower you have not the power to change either yourself or your circumstances. That would have been like uprooting yourself and moving yourself to another part of the meadow and replanting yourself there. We know that flowers cannot do stuff like that, only the Gardener can.You cannot prune yourself either. After Jesus has introduced the disciples to this magnificent image of faith He tells His listeners: Are not you more worth than any of these flowers!
Where does the light emanate from? The sun! And the sun can do nothing but give light. By that same token God is the eternal giver of light. In the similitude of God the sun is a giver. We are the recipients of every good thing from above. Receiving is faith and is Jesus’startling message to a world which is caught up in labor by the sweat of their brow. Can the flowers create their own light? Nope! They do not even try. They merely rest in the hands of their Maker.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Two Ways

One day we come to a crossroad. We are hard pressed from all sides. Current circumstances almost overwhelm us and we do not understand everything which takes place inside of us or around us. The crossroad forks into two roads. One says faith. The other says unbelief. To choose the faith road means that we accept ourselves as we are accepted. It means that we choose ourselves like we are chosen. Daring to go the faith way also means that we finally can relax because in the instant we go that way we acknowledge we are taken over in totality by God. Everything we are is He expressing Himself in our beautiful humanity. Every step we take on the faith road creates an echo which shouts in our awareness:  God can nothing but reproduce Himself in every now as us.
“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true” (Søren Kierkegaard). “We live by faith and not sight” (St Paul).

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Art of Receiving

God doesn’t sow sparingly. That would to be to contradict His nature, and He who can nothing but give abundantly will therefore never reap sparingly. He gives as He has decided in His heart, never reluctantly or under any compulsion. God is a cheerful giver, and thus He is able to make all grace abound to us, so that we at all times have sufficiency in all things. He is the one who supplies seed to the sower and who will multiply our seed to increase the harvest of our righteousness (2 Cor 6:9-11).
He requires from us nothing but Himself so that the seed He has lavished upon us we cheerfully disperse and when we as His image give abundantly, from what we already plentifully have been given, more will be given us. He gives richly so that we are provisioned to supply copiously in all things. We can never outgive God, and we can never give anything apart from what we have received. That is the nature of giving. We first receive and then we give. Our inner teacher thus works mightily in us to teach us how to receive and how to recognize what we already are given.
Giving isn’t confined to the realm of money only. It covers every area of our existence, since all things originate in God. “That is why the primary function of all creation, animate and inanimate, is receptivity. Your basic function, and mine, is the same – simply to receive” (Norman Grubb). Every day we behold this principle demonstrated in nature. All things in nature spring to life because what nature receives it utilizes to spontaneously and naturally produce fruit, colors, fragrances etc each according to its own unique kind.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Two Laws

Co-authored with Andrea Garzon
The most “radical” message we hear nowadays sounds something like: “we are not perfect, BUT God is so merciful that He relates to us ‘in spite of' us." One of the most important topics in order to grasp the fullness of the redemptive work of Jesus is the “sin” question. Sin and righteousness represent two persons, Satan and Jesus, the spirit of error and the spirit of truth. Thinking otherwise, unavoidably makes us face a host of incongruences.
These are Jesus’ words on sin:
“If you were blind, you would have no sin; but because you now claim to have sight, your sin remains. [If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but because you insist: ‘We do see clearly’ you are unable to escape your guilt.]” John 9:41
“Then, the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked…” Genesis 3:7
Adam’s transgression opened our eyes to a dimension of separation, dragged us from resting in all-sufficiency to the anxiety of perpetual lack. We fell into a world of externalism and strife. We were made in the image of the One who is Love and love expresses itself in freedom. It is imperative to understand there are two laws: "the Law of God" (the law of love) and "the law of commandments" (the law men). In Colossians 2:20 God Himself refers to the Ten Commandments as "commandments of men". We may think this was the Law of God because He gave it to Moses, but all these regulations were nothing more than a mean to expose Satan's seed in man, that is, the illusion of independence.
“By the law came the knowledge of sin” Which sin? Self-righteousness, which plainly means we think we can become like God by our own powers. The "law of men" alludes to that God was talking to His offspring in their own language: "You want commandments? You think you can produce anything apart from me? Here they are!" That external approach to God that we inherited through Adam refers to the law, flesh and sin. Paul said 'sin' deceived him through the law. Which sin? Covetousness? No! The sin of “trying to be good" (self-righteousness).
We could say the outer law is for those who live by the outer and the inner law for those who live by the inner (law of love). The inner consciousness regard the outer law as something inner already fulfilled in Christ, and since He is our life we are that law of love, something we spontaneously fulfill every now in righteousness because we are love. Thus we do not regard the law in outer terms, that is, judging by appearances. Outer people, however, only see a list of ordinances they have to fulfill.
By the Spirit's mighty work in us we learn to see through everything to the core of things and acknowledge that we are beautifully made, and those "warts" we all have are a part of God's wisdom so that His glory can be manifested in everything. As we penetrate further and further into the Promised Land we do not see the outer law anymore. It is erased from our consciousness. Everything is inner and we are only accountable to our personal inner reality, which is God. Thus, those still seeing sin in relation to outer laws basically lack the faith to move on across the river.
Sin basically is a person, Satan. When we were indwelt by him we did his works and we were sin. Now, indwelt by God, we are righteousness and it is His deeds we now do, more and more so as we move past should's and ought to's (Romans 7). But, on a deeper sense we are still doing righteous works even when under the law, because we are still God's and He is using our outer failures to condition us to take that leap of faith and go from outer to inner where we find rest from our works.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Pillars

The types, shadows and parables which abound in the Old Testament all points to Jesus Christ, who is All in all and the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the earth. We cannot escape the fact that we are inextricably united to Him so that many of the processes we are taken through in the temporal have a clear and distinct goal, namely to expand our consciousnesses so that we in increasing measure can come to terms with His “allness” in everything, including us.
God led the Israelites out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and He led them through the desert by His Spirit who appeared as a pillar of clouds during day and a pillar of light during night. The pillars are a parable of how God in the desert appeared to the Israelites as in a separate visible form, as if He was another person apart from them. This is how we all begin our faith journey. We see God as a celestial power separate from ourselves. He is in heaven somewhere, whereas we are stuck in the temporal with all its apparent limitations.
However, when the Israelites crossed Jordan this separation gap had been bridged and it was no longer God external, but God internal, because in the instant they entered the Promised Land the pillars were gone. This is the exact same transformation or transition which takes place in us when we take that leap of faith Kierkegaard referred to. This leap of faith aligns our consciousnesses with what is and not what seems to be. This is a bold and daring maneuver on our part since we have to leave behind everything we know, that is, self-effort, and start a process of possessing or conquering a land of promises.  It is here that we finally find out that Christ ultimately is All in all.
It can be no other way. A land of promises is governed by faith, and excludes any effort on our part. By faith we take what is ours to possess and lay hold on our inheritance among the saints. How can this be? When our ears are opened we hear “It is finished” reverberating through the ages. Christ has done it all and by us His word of reconciliation is dissipated to the ends of the world. It is by that same faith we recognize that God is the sustainer and upholder of everything. It is by faith we joyfully see that our nothingness is filled and is running over with His abundant life.
This renewing of our minds, or transformation of our consciousnesses, as it were, relocates heaven from the sphere of abstractions to a tangible reality, viz. in you and me. We have by a mighty work of the Spirit internalized the cloud and the fire. This further connotes that we no longer operate from a state of mind where we think we are led by a God apart from us, but we rest in the faith reality that God expresses Himself spontaneously and naturally as us. The pillars have in a sense reappeared to us in a new form. In our minds they manifest themselves as human beings like you and me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Let There Be Light

Let there be light God proclaimed as recorded in that first chapter of Genesis. John has told us that God is love so letting light burst forth is love in action. As we all know God is an eternal being outside time and thus found in every now. In our spirits we hear Him say let there be light in every now manifested in us as desires, wants and willing.
Praying is responding to His love-drive and cooperating with Him in manifesting His love-will in everything. Prayer is not us calling Him into action as He somehow needs to be persuaded to intervene on our behalf. No, prayer is simply moving in harmony with His initiative to let light dispel darkness. In faith we recognize God pressing us through in love and perfection towards His gracious ends concerning His creation.
When that inner urge drives us towards praying for a person we, from our position, 'randomly' meet on a street it often seems to us that we are persuading God into revealing Himself to that person. Our prayer will then lack the convincing and sure faith that what we prayed will actually happen. But when we recognize that we are merely responding to God's love-drive in us we can pray with conviction.
Our greatest challenge is perhaps that we do not perceive ourselves as reliable and trustworthy sons in regards to our desires and willings. Both our prayer life and those actions we a desire towards will suffer when that is our outlook. The thing is that we cannot by our own powers become reliable sons. God has made us reliable sons in Christ owing to the fact that He is our life.
To make righteous judgments is to see beyond appearances and trust our spirit union with God and that everything in us is an outworking of His self-for-others love nature. We are made joint heirs with His Son. This is not something we will become, but already are. A co-heir is a reliable and responsible person. This is something we progressively come to know as we go from glory to glory.
A crucial aim for God in His dealings with us is to reveal this tremendous fact to us. How does He do that? It is by letting our own attempts at becoming something we already are fail miserably. It is by taking us through a season where our vanity is made into nothing and our imagined self-reliance is exposed as an illusion. At the bottom utterly helpless we are finally in a position to acknowledge what He has already done for us in Christ.
Far too often we pray with a conviction that our prayers merely are meeting some selfish ends, and as a consequence our prayers do not accomplish much. However, the branch-vine relationship means that we are conduits manifesting God in our daily living. He takes the initiative and we respond. Faith is receiving and faith is recognizing what we have received. Let us make righteous judgments concerning ourselves and trust ourselves as God trusts us.
Jesus final word to us in this context is: You can do nothing without me. That gives us a platform to pray boldly and with conviction in all matters expecting to see our prayers answered in glory. To step out of our mistaken identity as selfish and that we are not reliable sons is another facet of that obedience of faith to which Paul refers.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Treasure Hunters

Being a son of God means standing in the frontline of human liberation. It also means to be persecuted and ridiculed in the midst of peace. Each son is assigned different missions so that the body is whole and lacking in nothing. The commission each and every one of us is given is in perfect harmony with our inner consciousness of who we are and our drives and whatever we are geared towards.
Some in the body are given the task of leading their sisters and brothers into a larger understanding of who they are in Christ and have a special drive towards exploring the mystery, that is, Christ in you. They are willing to take great risks in their undertaking and are willing to stretch God’s grace beyond what is commonly recognized in the community of believers. Thus they will invariably face opposition from various holds on account of that their findings often challenge people’s inclination towards self preservation.
However, they cannot but speak about what they have seen and heard, and if they have gone to the extremes, which they often do, they are confident that the Spirit will correct their understanding if they have taken it too far. They are also well aware of that some of the things they are granted to see will perhaps in an early stage come out somewhat immature, but that is no problem to them since they acknowledge that an expansion of the consciousness will sometimes lead to slight misunderstandings. But, what they one day saw as in a glimpse will one day come out as fully matured knowledge edifying those who are in a position to and willing to receive.
To be taken beyond the letters of the Bible is what they desire and when God who is more than willing to share His secrets opens up their minds they become like small kids eagerly sharing the treasures from above hoping that someone will receive and eat the fresh manna from above.