I love horses. I had my own horse when I was a kid. But I am not interested in racing or the life of the turf. Yet some love it and write of it poetically with a zest for this part of life. Here’s a quote from today’s Age about one who waxed lyrical about horses and racing.
“And so those who loved this brilliant, modest man who could give a dreary mid-week race meeting the gift of word-magic about horses and those who trained and rode them and lost their shirts to them, took Les Carlyon, newspaperman and poet laureate of the turf, one last time to Flemington to say goodbye.”
The stand-out words in the above passage are: “This brilliant, modest man.” There is no doubt that modesty encourages brilliance because a humble heart encourages us to ‘see’.
When we are humble enough to recognise from the bottom of our being that we don’t know everything we are positioned to search and investigate unlikely places and search out ways that the Bible describes as narrow rather than wide. Why is it that the pure in heart ‘see God?’
Humility makes for a nimble mind – the ability to switch quickly from old ideas to better and from nonsense to the wisdom of God.
Gregory Boyd writes, “Jesus came to establish the kingdom of God as a radical alternative to all versions of the kingdom of the world” This includes kingdoms of thought, denominational kingdoms and strongholds of the knowledge of good and evil posing as the gospel.
Grace is radical. There is nothing more radical as the incarnated trinity in you. Christ come in the flesh, so that you become the manifestation of Christ is as radical as you can get.
PURE IN HEART
Jesus said ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’ and know God as He is. It’s not difficult to convince ourselves that we have an undiluted loyalty to Jesus even if we are actually double-minded and committed to peddling our version of Him and His gospel. The tragedy for us in this mode is that we can never know ourselves. Never see God as God is because we have insulated our spirit from the Spirit of Christ. Never know ourselves as we might become because we have sheathed ourselves in layers of religion and law, when we could have been naked to Christ.
Jesus warns us that we can only have one master because our real loyalty under a ‘dual monarchy’ will be to ourselves and our proprietary ideas.
HABIT OF DENIAL
Don’t succumb to a reflex that thrusts up a wall of rationalisation each time we have a truth encounter. Don’t be a Trump. Don’t live in a smug addiction to our own ideas plus a passive-aggressive opposition to truth so that our theology consists of the multiple fictions we have adopted to prevent our new birth.
The pure in heart will see God. The double-minded will see what they choose to see and think its God.
WORKERS AND SONS
There is a false self and a real self. The real self is who we are in communion with Jesus. The false self is who we are in communion with the law and the externalities of life. We cannot be our true self in relationship to anything that is not Jesus Christ. In the new covenant Jesus is with us and us. We encounter Him in our living and He lives in us in our encounter.
IN THE SPIRIT
We are not in the Spirit because we are graced with the occasional ‘gift.’ We are in the Spirit when Christ is our life. If we are anesthetised by religion we will be unaware that we are not living from our real self or that we are without a substantial portion of our inheritance. Enclosed in the law we can imagine ourselves in the Spirit when we have never emerged from the flesh.
“We were created for union. But the place of union feels like nothing. We spend most of our lives projecting and protecting our small, separate self-image. Living instead from our True Self, hidden with Christ in God, feels like nothing and no place. It doesn’t come with feelings of success, others’ approval, awards, promotions, or wealth. In fact, others may think us foolish or crazy. And so we put off the death of our false self. We cling to our ego because it feelssubstantial and essential.” But it’s a vapour.
The place that appears to be nothing is everything and the place from which the real self grows from glory to glory is Christ your life.