NOT WHAT YOU DO
Spirituality is not determined by what we do. It is what we are. A busy church life, a charitable expedition to help flood victims does good. But it may not be a sign of spirituality. It could be an evidence of our mistaken drive to be always earning credibility and acceptance with God and others. In that case it would be mis-directd faith. Then again it may spring from a good heart. All the same, Jesus said that we can heal and perform signs without knowing Him and what He has done for us.
Godliness is not always exhibited by our works. Sadly, some of the most active people resist the Spirit of God because they are absorbed in proving themselves ‘godly.’
‘Jesus looked at him, loved him, and said to him, “There is one thing you lack: Go, sell everything you have .. and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me’ Mark 10.21 NIV. We call abandoning the religious self repentance. Real spiritual advance comes to those who are willing give up all they had ever thought about God and themselves to embrace God’s ideas of Himself and them.
Godliness is firstly a state of being. It’s BEING ONE WITH GOD. It’s Him in you and you in Him. It’s the interweaving of spirits – hence spirituality. Real godliness is the state of being a son of God. What you do and the things that motivate you in ministry is a function of your union with God and your union with your real self in Jesus. ‘Real self’ implies that there is a false and religious self that needs to be shed before we can minister in spirit and in life. This is the new birth. The question is: Have you been born again?
There are nice people who love Jesus, whose concept of who Jesus is and what He has done is distorted by their own ideas of religion. These ideas come from our guilt and misgivings about God and from what we have been taught in church.
But Jesus said, ‘Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent’ John 17.3 NIV. Jesus and our Father are known as they are in a new covenant framework. You will not know God as He is or yourself as you are wearing old covenant glasses.
Our sonship - is something we do not have to work for. It is what we need to believe in however. This is God’s truth about you and about Himself. You are a real son/daughter. He is your real and loving Father who is excited about you and who you are in His Son. ‘Sons’ is what we are because it is what He has made us. This is our new covenant inheritance.
We always were sons – disinherited sons due to the subterfuge of the Enemy. Under Adam and amidst the illusions of the knowledge of good and evil; in separation from God as a result of our fearful and guilty hearts. But not because we had been disinherited. We were sons notionally, but not in spirit and in truth. We are sons in real life when we agree with who he says He has made us. Since the Kingdom if of the Spirit we live in the Kingdom when we embrace our new covenant life of union with God.
Jesus made the two one. He has undone this separation and in Himself made us worshipers and sons in spirit and in truth. This is the way – the new and living way – that is Christ our life. This saying, ‘Christ our life’ expresses the core of the new covenant. This is the vicarious life of Christ in all things for the sons and daughters of God.
LIVING IN A FALSE SEPARATION
Sadly, much pleading and a good deal of intercession consists of a passionate crying out to God for what we already have. I mean crying out for union with God in word and song when we already have union with God. We have His life in us to be our lives in day to day living. The above is a sincere, yet misguided view of God that is based on poor doctrine that is an illusion foisted on Believers by the Enemy. The fact is you are in Christ. You are one with God, liberated from the law and bound to the spirit and life that is alive and burning in you. In Christ you are righteousness personified.
Old covenant living in the new covenant age is not only misguided. It dulls the human spirit and stultifies the soul. As we said at the start. Doing good works is not always Godliness. Being a son and living from the spirit of sonship is Godliness even when you are doing nothing! Get a grip on this. It may save you from becoming a Christian workaholic and a fountain of dead water.
You as a daughter or a son is the living out of our new covenant inheritance as a person filled with His spirit and life. You are a manifestation of Jesus!
So having a ministry is not the sign of His leading or a guarantee of the favour and blessing of God. Neither is the fact that we go overseas and make a contribution in a foreign land. How many people have gone to foreign fields as spiritual cripples in their old covenant wheel chairs to make disciples that are as crippled as they are!
The new covenant is expressed as the Spirit of Sonship because the Son of Man manifests as you. There is nothing more radical than new covenant life and nothing more overlooked by the spirit of religion.
His life as yours is the new covenant in macro and micro. This is a life of rest in God while multiplying the love and the authority of Jesus. As an Indian pastor teaches his flock: ‘Rest harder in God and you will manifest Him in power and glory.’ Here’s the bonus: At rest in the new covenant you will be a real son/daughter in the manner of Jesus. Here you are truly alive in the spirit of sonship. Because Christ is your life He has come in your flesh to manifest through your persona. Because you are one with Father, you do exactly what He is doing in a specific situation. Why? Because He is manifesting through you. The expression of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the world is you!
‘Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work’ John 14.10 NIV. This was Jesus. Today this is you!