I noticed that this is a long post. Bear with me and I will try not to bore you with non-life.
We can give a logical exposition of divine truth that bubbles with spirit and life and we might give a similar discourse that is a river of sand. What counts is not our sincerity or preparation. The difference is union with God – or not.
I was embarrassed once when I observed a friend giving a talk that was going nowhere. If we like public speaking, we need to have something to say.
There are reasons for ‘droning on’ with good intentions. One is that we are not on top of our subject and do not understand it, so that our very address is a wandering and muffled attempt to present truth that is not actually part of us. Circumlocution in a talk is often the unsuccessful attempt to ‘nail’ a topic that could have been ‘nailed’ before we stood up. However the ability to impart life is not limited to being on top of information. We impart life when we are life – I mean the life of God. Jesus spoke words of spirit and life because He and Father were one. So are we now – if we are living in this reality instead of living in religion.
I did a course in public speaking in my twenties. I learned how to capture people’s attention. The Lord gave me a reasonable mind, so as a public speaker I usually had something of modest weight to say. When I moved to Christ my life – which was much later in life, I sensed that when speaking, life was going out of me as I spoke at church gatherings. I could sense that there were people in the hall who had tuned into that life and knew that more than talk was happening here.
If we have made the jump to new covenant living, we will have been born again into our union with God and we will in a sense – be the topic. We will impart spirit and life as did Jesus when He spoke to the people. And we will sense spirit and life flowing from others for whom Christ is not a religion but their life as a state of being.
If we have remained in the regime of the old covenant through misadventure or choice, whether we know it or not our culture, our sense of meaning and epistemology is the knowledge of good and evil. In religion we remain in separated Adam.
In this realm of separation from God we are destined to be the servants of externalities. We are outside the truth and the truth is outside us. We may attempt to define spirituality and speak of its tenets but this will always be from the outside because life in the Spirit is not part of us – even if we have made a thing about Holy Spirit and the gifts and live in the illusion that we are ‘in the spirit.’
If we are one with the law, we are in separation from God. Not in reality but in our minds. Covet the mind of Christ.
NOT A CYLINDER
What has come to be called being Spirit-filled and operating in the gifts is not a self-contained compartment. Prophesying and healing people without living from our union with God is applying band-aids when our entire body remains dead from Adamic separation. We can heal people in the grace and power of God when we remain as dead folks walking in an old covenant separation and body of death. But God’s primary goal is to heal our Adamic separation from Him. This is the soil of infinite life. Healings and signs are deployed to advertise the incarnated companionship of ourselves with the trinity. The essence of our present life is our already gained union with God and our nurturance and instruction in the fellowship of the trinity.
IN HIM MEANS ONE IN BEING
‘As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him’ 1 John 2.27 NIV.
YOU HAVE DIRECT UNION
Richard Rohr observes, “Perhaps one of the greatest weaknesses of institutional religion is that we’ve given people the impression that the [pastor] could know for us, or the experts could know for us, or the Bible could know for us—that we could have second-hand knowledge of holy things, and could be really invested in the sacred because someone else told us it was true. God ended up being an outer “thing” and largely remained out there, extraneous to the experience of the soul, heart, and even the transformed mind. Yet God has no grandchildren, only children. Thus, we tried to know God through objectified knowledge, which finally became a boring facsimile of knowledge because we weren’t in on the deal; it was literally outside us and beyond us. This is much of organized religion.” (1) Rohr has given a good description of living in separation and externalities.
GOD IS NOT BORING BUT WE CAN BE
This is true not only of organised religion but of religion that is based on the law, has a law-culture and is a system of belief more than the life of God infused into our being. This is the reason why some ‘spiritual talks’ can be so boring. Boring because they are religious and separated from the life they are attempting to extol. We will not be streams of spirit and life unless Jesus and not the law or some externality like religion, is personally our life.
‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. No attachment to externals here. In a law-based ideology we are insulated from God, from ourselves and from life. In new covenant reality you are part of God, God is part of you and you are part of the creation that we call life. ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 Failing this we live in separation.
YOU AND FATHER ONE
Jesus spoke words of spirit and life because He and His Father were one. One not in intention or metaphor but in being. This interwoveness of being is ours today – if we are humble enough to enter it. The poor in spirit will possess the Kingdom of Heaven, the pure in heart will know God and themselves and the meek (humble) will take the place God has appointed them to in the earth. Should we be humble enough to receive the simplicity and profundity of the Gospel of Jesus’ Kingdom without adjustments and additions of our own, we can expect the aforementioned rewards. But more than this we will become life-givers – life giving spirits alive in our bodies and the very actualisation in our persons of Christ come in our flesh.
(1) Rohr, Richard. The Divine Dance: The Trinity and your transformation (Kindle Locations 832-839). SPCK. Kindle Edition.