IT'S A LIFE NOT A CONTRACT
A Christian life based on the law, proof texts and fundamentals treated as certainties; a life retained in the contractual bargain of the old covenant – obey and live - is not as removed from dogma as we might think since it is a religion of the letter. It’s letter culture even when it has Holy Spirit and the gifts bolted on to its engine like a super-charger. Such an orientation produces a phantom you and a faint kingdom of the kind that is a form of Godliness but without substance. Nevertheless it is this shadow christianity that is seen as normal when God’s normal is always His life incarnated as you and as His people.
Watchman Nee spoke of the ‘normal Christian life.’ Normal for God and for the mystic whose being is wrapped in God is God’s life as our life. Here is both substance and spiritual vitality.
REAL SUBSTANCE/REAL LIFE
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV.
This kind of ‘being’ is the reason we might deliver a well-researched sermon complete with a line of supporting scriptures and imparte little of Kingdom Substance. While another may have scant reference to the scriptures yet impart rivers of spirit and life. The latter life and spirit comes from union with God – lived not from piety or religious discipline or adherence to iconic ‘laws’ but from resting in the truth that Christ is our life and we are in His life and as such in God and in God’s fellowship with Himself and us. You do always what Father is doing because in Jesus, you and Father are one.
We can minister as a dead tree of a tree of eternal life. Richard Rohr observes,
“They rely too much on external law and ritual behavior to achieve their spiritual purposes. They know nothing else that feels objective and solid… The inner voice .. is experienced as the deepest and usually hidden self, where most of us do not go. It truly does speak at a level “beneath” rational consciousness, a place where only the humble—or the trained—know how to go. (1)
All can go here and be here. It involves loyalty to one master, and the choice to follow Jesus without limitation. We are talking purity of spirit, which enables us to see God, know ourselves and minister spirit and life.
Rohr, Richard. The Universal Christ (p. 86). SPCK. Kindle Edition.