This post is an invitation to engage in introspection – to contemplate who and what we are and why we believe it. I have found in later life that Father is revealed as better than most of us think and that the Jesus we follow is far better than we have imagined. In Christ and in contemplation under instruction by the Spirit we can know God as He us, enter into fellowship with the trinity and know ourselves as we are and as we are becoming. There are lines in Joyner’s Torch and the Sword that assure us that God is always moving. He never stagnates. He advances into life and is life. He invites us to join Him in this magnificent journey flourishing in the companionship of the 'three personed God' and knowing ourselves as we are and are becoming!
Robert Rohr writes “None of us go into our spiritual maturity completely of our own accord, or by a totally free choice. We are led by Mystery, which religious people rightly call grace. Most of us have to be cajoled or seduced into it, or we fall into it by some kind of "transgression," believe it or not, like Jacob finding his birth right through cunning, and Esau losing his by failure (Genesis 27).
Those who walk the full and entire journey are considered "called" or "chosen" in the Bible, perhaps "fated" or "destined" in world mythology and literature, but always they are the ones who have heard some deep invitation to "something more," and set out to find it by both grace and daring. Most get little reassurance from others, or even have full confidence that they are totally right. Setting out is always a leap of faith, a risk in the deepest sense of the term, and yet an adventure too.” THE CHALLENGE
There’s a way to participate in infinity and a way to limit yourself to what your know already. You know that Jesus loves you unconditionally. The issue is, do your love Him in the same way? This post is about the integrity of our motives and the focus of our commitment – in other words it is about WHO IS THE CHRIST OF YOUR LIFE?
There’s a way of following Jesus and a way of appearing to follow Jesus. The living way is this: ‘I will follow you wherever you choose to lead me.’ The pseudo way is this: ‘I will follow you as long as I do not have to abandon any pre-conceived notion, the beliefs of my community and the identity I think I have in this tradition.’ As I said we are talking about integrity and motive here in the manner of ‘examining ourselves.’
‘Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith [or in some deviation from the faith]; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?’ 2 Cor 13.5 NIV.
What would you do if you had given your life totally to Jesus; you had decided to follow Him wherever He led; your following Him was unconditional, not partial. Your following meant abandoning any teaching that was non-Biblical and non-Christian; your following meant that you had brought your ideas and the ideas of those you grew up with and went to church with to the cross and the laid them down - laid them there with yourself and all that might be considered as you. You did this in exchange for the revelation and the ever expanding revelation of unlimited fullness in Christ?
What would you do if you had already decided that you would not walk in a daze nor anesthetize yourself in any rationalization, any conceit that would lessen who Christ is for you and yours; that you would deny all that would make Him smaller or reduce Him to the understanding of a particular group or ‘other gospel?’ What would you do if your came to realize that the teachings of your tradition where not just some legitimate perspective on some aspect of Christianity. But that your tradition had undone the gospel of the Kingdom, exchanged the Christ for the law and perpetuated a body of death in the name of hope and life?
What if you had to admit that in fact the christ you had known, was a lesser christ, a false christ - not the Christ of God but a minor christ who is subservient to the law and therefore not God. And not the Christ of God who is one with the Father and the exact expression of His being? What would you do? Live in death of die to it and rise to your adventure in life without limit?
Would you plod on ignoring the new covenant and passing over its real meaning because, innately you knew that if your understood it and adopted it as your own, your denomination would be kaput and you would be denied the comfort and fake status you imagined in the special identity your think you find in your church? Would you continue in what you had discovered when you saw that what you had believed was a cleverly designed fable? Or would your repent of this ‘other gospel’ and find your real identity in the person of Jesus? Would you by stepping unconditionally into the all or nothingness of the cross by sharing it with Jesus share in the adventure of His life – a life that is never constrained and always without limit.
Robert Rohr in his book Falling Upward observes, ‘Integrity largely has to do with purifying our intentions and growing honesty about our actual motives.’