BEYOND A PHANTOM BELONGING
Last night on the ABC prior to the news there was a skit about the flurry of fake concern in America that emits from politicians and others every time there is a gun massacre or some other preventable disaster. In the skit, the actors cast themselves as a bunch of angels in heaven in the Receipts of Prayer Room.
They were busy stacking boxes – some entitled ‘Our thoughts and Prayers’ and others of more weighty note – ‘Our Heartfelt Thoughts and Prayers’. The thrust of the skit was that it was easier to utter these platitudes than it was to actually do something about the issue – with the result that nothing of substance ever gets done.
WITH AUTHORITY AND NOT AS THE SCRIBES
While aimed at politicians it reminded me of the kinds of prayers I was used to, which I prayed and which were seen as normal in churches I attended for most of my life. Personally we never really expected a real answer to prayer. We used terms like ‘May they have travelling mercies’, asked the Lord to ‘remember aunt Sally’ as though God were somewhat senile, and we ‘blessed’ this and ‘blessed’ that and any other thing that we thought could benefit from a god-unction no matter how vaporous and devoid of accountability. It’s easy to engage in this kind of chatter if we live from a religious life. Not if we have a real life with a real Jesus.
We can be incapable of offering more than ‘happy thoughts’ and ‘heart felt prayers’ because we have faith in faith rather than a relationship with real persons and real beings with the power to realise their authority in Believers lives. It’s not until we come to the realisation that a relationship with religion is no relationship at all that we can become a real person.
There came a time in my life when I encountered people who enjoyed a life with God that was more than religious and much more than the routine of living out of an ideology and a belief system. Later in life I was privileged to get to know people who knew Jesus personally and who moved in His authority. You might remember that ‘Jesus had authority, not as the scribes’, which is to say He could do better than the religious ‘chattering classes.’ Rick Joyner presents a cute picture in one of His visions where there are authority figures who have cardboard weapons and in contrast leaders who possess real weapons. Whether you have this kind of authority or not depends on whether you believe you do.
I was teaching a class on religion once and mentioned that we could engage in a better prayer life than ‘bless this and bless that.’ I mentioned that we did not have to repeat behaviors that made it easy to rationalise no answer as the norm. A pastor was in the group and he was not pleased. I don’t suppose you would be if you made a living from marketing religion with no real content.
There comes a time in our lives when we see a door; a door presented by great love or great pain. This door is Jesus. If we go through it we will be reborn from religion into union with God.
Those who live in religion are offended when it is suggested that there is more Godliness on offer than what they have accommodated themselves to in their perfunctory externalities. The true gospel is offensive. Offering dead people life will either offend them or ignite them with joy. You can have a real relationship with Jesus, with Father and with Holy Spirit because they have already related to us and are in fact with us and in us.
Your inheritance – your treasure in the field - is that because God is God and you are you, you now possess the relationship Jesus had with His Father. This is the relationship each of the trinity have with each other. It is the source of real life as distinct from religion and the ownership of a real faith in place of a bunch of beliefs.