MORE MEANING THAN MANY HAVE
THE MEANING OF PERSONS
One politician called another a shrunken and twisted soul recently. Sadly, it was an accurate description. Yet we all are to some extent misshapen.
The health of our personhood depends on our living in the reality: The reality that is Christ. As Leanne Payne observed in Real Presence, Christians can live in all kinds of substitutes for the presence of God. ‘Real Presence’ is Christ in us. ‘False presence’ is anything that is not Christ posing as a christ (a false christ). She called this living in substitutes. It’s essentially living as a tare.
SONS/DAUGHTERS ARE THE ULTIMATE IN PERSONHOOD.
We are persons because we have been created by God. We are profoundly persons when we live in God. We are soulfully healthy persons when we live in the reality that we and Father are one. Our personhood enters infinite possibility when our being is interwoven with God. The spirit of sonship is Father manifesting as Jill and Dave.
Satan’s initial insinuation that ‘Father was not what He seemed’ and that ‘we were less than we were,’ led to us becoming less than we are. We became less, because we became separated and began to look for life in things and behaviours. But we are only fully alive in relationship with God. We are alive as persons and brimming with life when interwoven with God’s incarnated life.
LETTER OR REALITY
We are not one with God because we have cited a scripture on it. We are one because we live ‘oneness.’ We can own incarnation in full. Or we can deplete and suffocate this oneness by smothering it with the law, moralism or any other substitute for the direct presence of Jesus in us.
New covenant life goes beyond citing propositions. New covenant life means that Christ is our life - not laws, self-effort and religion. These things insulate us from interwoveness with God. They form a barrier that dulls what is already ours: Union with God.
The letter/law as substantial as it looks has no substance. Only the spirit has life. “Henri Nouwen writes: Over the years we have developed the idea that being present to people in all their needs is our greatest and primary vocation. The Bible does not seem to support this. Jesus’ primary concern was to be obedient to his Father, to live constantly in his presence. Only then did it become clear to him what his task was in his relationships with people.
Saints of all ages have made it their business to be present to God, and out of this has sprung their truest vocation. They become, therefore, the ones who blaze spiritual trails for others.” (1)
SPIRIT MANIFESTS AS NEW CREATION
Jesus asserted this truth when He assured us that the flesh means nothing for the kingdom of God. Only the Spirit of the Father in sons and daughters multiplies spirit and life, which is the substance of the Kingdom of God (John 6.63).
It’s helpful to face the fact that we can engage in charitable work all our lives and not advance the Kingdom. Yet should we agree that Christ is our life and live in this reality we will release rivers of living water without artifice.
THE REVELATION OF GOD BY GOD
God said to Moses. “ I am who I am.” In other words, don’t put me in a box. This should undermine any notion we may have absorbed that God is law or that the Ten Commandments is His character. God cannot be defined in terms less than He is and this certainly is less. God is revealed as God is in Jesus Christ.
PERSON OR CLOCK?
Fundamentalism is a child of the law. It produces a mental fabric of the letter. It gives rise to mechanical thinking that denies the nature of God and the nature of human beings. But when the Spirit of Christ is alive in people, they awake from their mechanical mindset and enter the realm of BEING. This is why we should agree that Christ is our life and that we, the law and religion are not.
Life in the Spirit is the constant becoming that is the experience of the sons and daughters of God. John Powell explains that ‘becoming’ is the nature of God and the nature of the sons of God.’ The nature of workers is stagnation. Going from glory to glory is the creation and emergence of the real you with agency, according to you design as a son of God.
UNDONE FROM A MINDSET
Ignorance is distorted certainty. Ignorance and bigotry shrink our person whether we are ‘nice’ or whether we are rude. The truth is that Christ is us when we have decided that He has come in our flesh.
‘Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV.
Christ has come in us when we agree with Him that He has.
(1) Payne, Leanne. The Healing Presence (p. 34). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.