We can live from a belief system and an intellectualised matrix of propositions and assumptions. We can live from a Christian routine, yet never know God or experience God. Then again we can be like Paul for whom Christ was life and rejoice in a powerful intellectual life. Spirit and life is not knowing about God. It is knowing God in Jesus Christ. Here we are surrounded by the One Spirit in the embrace of the trinity. Face to face in God we can progressively know God as He is and be nourished into authentic sons and daughters of God.
‘If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him’ John 14.7 NIV.
It might surprise us to realise how tied to religion some of us can be. Yet if we are living from the law either overtly or covertly, religion will be our instinct and this shell will be our mode. We will not know God well or be able to see ourselves accurately, let alone free ourselves from the web of religion. Religion can dull God and reduce us to a spectre of our real selves. In Jesus you can live in God Himself. So don’t fall for living in the things of God. Don’t commit the following of ascribing sacredness to things.
‘But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces ? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you’ Gal 4.9-11 NIV.
There is no substitute for Christ our life. Here we find the reality of God and our real selves.
Tied to a system we are numb to ourselves, numb to God and numb to the fact that we are not purveyors of spirit and life. We are a dripping tap rather than a river of living water. In the matrix of the knowledge of good and evil we intuitively live from the system. If we are grounded in law we are grounded in the system. Whether this system is the our religion or the church or the world, it remains the system that is the knowledge of good and evil. It is without spirit and life. But we were made to live in God and have been positioned back in God. Here we are living representatives of Him and His life. We are sons.
We are either addicted to life or have made our peace with substitutes.
I groan for those who are married to a system because it means they only think they are married to God. Dorothy Day writes, ‘The trouble is, all of us still believe in the dirty rotten system. As long as we believe in the dirty rotten system, we’re going to have problems. For we don’t question it. We think we can genuﬂect before the system but go say our private prayers. But it won’t work. There is probably no one more truly radical than real persons of prayer because they are beholden to no ideology or economic system, but only to God. Both church and state are honestly threatened by
true mystics. They can’t be bought off because their rewards are elsewhere.’
The living are positioned to know everything. The dead know not anything. They don’t know they are dead or the extent that they could be alive if Christ alone was their fullness.
So where is our reward? Is it in our religious-ethnic identity, our assumption that we have the truth or an obsession with our presumed right to a perspective that negates the way to life to the full? Or is our reward simply that we are a daughter and son who will abide no substitutes for life because you are against all that is dead?