There’s a paradox in our worship of God. While our salvation is about us - our immersion into the truth of God - it is that it’s about Him before it’s about us. Yet it’s about Him so that we can be who we are. So the situation is not either or. It’s Christ our life. Which means that we are whole and fully alive in relationship to God when we believe we are. What is this relationship? We are one with God. We and our Father are one. We belong as sons and daughters in the Family of the Trinity.
‘"Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them’ John 14.23 NIV. But we are not one with Him because we believed enough. We are one with Him because He has made us one with Him in Himself. God is not somewhere else. The presence lives in you.
We can live in this reality as a real self. Then again we can live in a self-constructed self of externalities. Like walking the treadmill at the gym. Going nowhere but at least helping to employ the people who run the gym.
IDENTITY – AUTHENTICITY – MUCH FRUIT
Jesus is not with you because you are performing a miracle. He is with you because He is with you. Jesus was exactly who He was as Jesus of Nazareth and the Son of God. In the moment and the season, He did exactly what Father meant Him to do. He had agency, was always Himself in spirit and truth. Due to His fullness, He watered every person and situation with spirit and life. He was alive because His spirit was alive and His soul was vibrant with the companionship of Father and Holy Spirit. If you want to be whole you need to live the incarnation.
The glory of God is to be Himself. It is the same with us. You have a design and a destiny. Who you are in God is the ground of who you are as yourself. Whether we walk in vibrancy depends on no great feat. It it does depend on right belief – and living in that belief.
Jesus lived in and from His Father. Unlike Adam, Jesus and Father were one. Jesus lived from this oneness. In doing so He did all that Father had planned for Him to do. In this relationship Jesus experienced the joy of mission and by the end of His life it was said of Him that He had accomplished all that Father had intended for Him to accomplish. The paradox is that hidden in Christ we experience the unfolding glory of ourselves as sons of God in spirit and truth.
FRUIT THAT LASTS
There is nothing as satisfying as doing what you love to do for the Lord. This is not so much ‘service’ as it may be called in ‘works’ driven communities. It’s just being yourself in the joy of the Lord. You will be very fruitful as a person if Christ is your life and you are working in a community where most are in this union of being with Jesus. If not so fortunate you will find yourself swept into well-meaning and ineffectual tasks that we call Ishmaels. Tasks that did not come from God and ways of ministry that belong to others but not to you.
Paul is quite clear on spiritual gifts. You are anointed to flourish in the Gifts that are the expression of you.
FRUIT NOT JUNK FOOD
When you and Father are one (which you are) the church will be fruitful and the Kingdom will advance because the seed that has fallen into the hearts of Believers is the Christ of God who is both The Sower and the Seed that multiplies into eternal life. Activity directed by works driven leaders and their old covenant hangers-on can produce more religion but never more sons and daughters of God. They produce tares. Living in your new covenant union with God and filled with Holy Spirit, you and your colleagues can expect to release spirit and life and engage in projects that will have a ripple effect into eternity. Be aware that the flesh accomplishes nothing for the Kingdom. This is because it happens in independence of God and is frequently about our need to be needed or to earn acceptance with Jesus and with others.
NEW COVENANT REALISM
If you persist in seeking life for itself and do so because your heart recognises that Jesus is this life, you will find it. But not on the treadmill of religion. You will find it when you stop striving to be your life and allow Jesus to be you. Frank Viola observes,
A SABBATH REST
“We discover that our relationship to the Father is actually Christ’s relationship to His Father, it changes everything. Our souls find rest. Even our vocabulary changes. No longer do we say things like,
“I’m working on my relationship with the Lord.” …
“I’m struggling to be a better Christian.” …
“I’ll eventually get to where I want to be someday.”
If you peel back those statements to their core, you will make the startling discovery that YOU ARE AT THE CENTER OF THE CHRISTIAN WALK.
These statements betray the fact that the Christian life, in your eyes, is all about your ability to be a good Christian, your walk, your testimony, your spiritual growth— you, you, you.
Discovering that God has given us His relationship to Christ causes the entire focus of our lives to shift radically. All of our self-centred “I need to do better” language evaporates. Instead, we begin to speak about what is real in the eyes of God now. We take our place in Christ and we stand there boldly. We then live from that high mountain.”
Father’s relationship to Christ is your relationship.
It is from this ‘mountain’ that we draw our life; that we become alive and that we release rivers of living water instead of badgering others to do what Jesus always meant us to do. Unless we are living in this unlimited life that is Jesus and the trinity, all our efforts to impart life to others will leach life from them and leave ourselves exhausted. Jesus is divine rest for human restlessness. With Jesus as our life we are both at rest and amazingly fruitful for the Kingdom.
(1) Viola, Frank. From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God (pp. 253-254). David C Cook. Kindle Edition.