DONT LIVE IN A HALLUCINATION
There’s a reason why real life is found in God and not in things. It’s because ‘things’ have no inherent life of their own. By things I mean objects and other entities such as ‘behaviors’ and ‘beliefs.’
When Paul writes, ‘In Him we live, move and have our being’ he is stating the foundation of personal and social life. The revelation of the Christ is that this ‘being’ is neither abstract or impersonal. It has a name. Jesus Christ is the human face of God and the Being that gives sentient and non-sentient objects their ‘being.’
My point is that things such as days and times or ‘correct’ places of worship cannot impart spiritual life. Only God does this and not God as a generality or as a body of law – but God personally as the Spirit who lives in you and becomes you.
‘In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind’ John 1.4 NIV. The mystery of Godliness in Christ is that in Him you too become life and light. He imparts Himself to you and you become YOURSELF as a son/daughter.
There are many religious ways of living as a false self. Someone has written, ‘Our True Self remains untouched for most of us, because any direct experience of God or explicit union with God was blocked, denied, and largely declared impossible. It always had to be mediated by a Bible, priest, minister, church, or sacrament, and very often the mediators, and the defending of their mediations, became the primary message itself.’
We could ask ourselves if our ministry is the promotion of the fullness of the Kingdom in Jesus or the pumping-up of our perspective and our denomination and it’s version of the gospel. Of cause there is only one real gospel which is why there is only one real you. The adventure of this life – if you are a genuine Follower – is to so lose yourself in His life that you gain your real self and your real life before you leave the body. This is the kind of ministry that Paul calls ‘competent’ because it is the kind that ministers spirit and life and not more religion.
PERSONS AND THINGS
Drawing our attention to the inert nature of the natural world and its externalities, Thomas Torrance observes,
“The universe is not self-supporting or self-explaining as though it had an interior principle of its own, but neither is it mere appearance for it is ontologically grounded beyond itself on God who has given it an authentic reality and lawfulness of its own which he unceasingly sustains through the presence of his Creator Word and Spirit. If he were to withdraw that presence from the creation it would vanish into nothing. Thus in the last resort the inherent meaning and truth of the universe lie beyond its own limits in God who loves it, sustains it, and undergirds it by his own divine reality.” (1) The reality of you lies beyond you in Jesus, the Son of God. Yet this reality is already in you. By believing it becomes you.
This implies that we are real when we are in God and not fully ourselves when we are not. It also explains why in the law we will be a mummified version of humanity rather than a robust, loving being of spirit and life. In things other than God and having made religion of them we will always be suspicious of unlimited life and even oppose life as if we are on the side of God.
KINDS OF DUNG
Religion can be an advance on legalism, yet as a variety of the knowledge of good and evil it too is ‘a thing’ and largely bereft of spirit and life. I say ‘largely’ because grace means that drops of life get through even when we have aligned ourselves with false gospels, false Christ’s and cunningly devised fables. Having said this we must keep in mind that fullness of life, freshness of spirit and health of soul depends on our having a genuine and personal Jesus and knowing that He has made us His own. Jesus did not bequeath us his arm or his leg or a torso but His entire self along with the instruction to ‘eat Him to live.’
There is a wide way that does not lead to immediate destruction but which produces lassitude, dullness of spirit and depleted powers of perception. It is guaranteed to produce congregations of sleep-walkers, who as active as they may be, are nevertheless not alive in their spirit. The mystery of Godliness and the glory of you and the sons of God is not hidden. It’s in plain sight. Your glory and the honouring of God is found in the fact that Christ is already in you and you are positioned not only in Christ but in the company of the trinity. Live from this reality, from this union with God and you will ignite every situation and the dullest of circumstance with the light of the world. The world of routine life will never be passé again because you will see in it the hand of God and know yourself as a river of life that adds to other rivers and draws from other rivers – to multiply life without limit.
Unlimited life begins now. You can swim in it and multiply it simply by agreeing that Christ has drawn you into His life and you are living in this fact. This is Kingdom Reality.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 101). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.