Over thirty years ago there was a moderate dump of snow on Mt Wellington near Hobart where I was living at the time. This mountain is of moderate height (4170ft). When it snows one must take advantage before the snow melts. The summit of Mt Wellington is a small plateau which in summer is covered in with native flowers, shrubs and cushion plants. The latter rejoicing in various shades of green and in some places even maroon and yellow-green. In summer the mountain is a walker's a delight. In winter a modest fall of snow makes small drifts between the snow gums. Snow graces the branches while the leaves become covered in a sheaths of ice that tinkle in the breeze. It is a scene of magic and delight.
One afternoon I grabbed my cross-county skis and spent three hours skiing the summit. The beauty marinated me in the numinous - the presence of God. My heart was drawn into praise to the Father in response to the stunning beauty of the snow draped rocks and magnificent terrain - and this before I had ever heard of such a thing as praise and worship or the infilling of the Holy Spirit. I had always respected God and attempted to live towards Him. I read a lot of books and tried to please him in a legalistic way. I was not particularly close to Him at this stage of my life. You might say I had a religious rather than a personal relationship. Yet my spirit, on this occasion, responded to what I saw and felt of the Spirit of Creation manifesting around me on the summit.
The Spirit of Creation is not a force. It is the person of Jesus Christ.
Something awakened in me and I began to perceive that the Bible and church were not the only way God speaks to us. Not only did the Raw Presence encounter me. I began to experience what it was to communicate with God as a Person. As yet I knew nothing of the Holy Spirit living in and with one in a real way. I knew of this conceptually, but this was all. I was yet to experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the normality of waking at night with instructions to 'Pray for Robert Smith' or 'Lay hands on Syd Morrow' or to find later that the Lord had healed Syd as a result of His presence in me. I’m not saying this because I am special in this way. I am reporting it because all have the capacity for intimacy with Jesus. The first step is to desire intimacy with God. The second is to agree that you already have it. The third is to stay in His company because you are there on the grounds of what you have done but on what Jesus has done – and who He is for you.
TREASURE IN A FIELD
There is a belief in God and a relationship with Him; a relationship with Him and intimacy with Him; intimacy with Him and union with God in the experience of 'I and the Father are one.' This is not the possession of the pious. It is the possession of every new testament Believer. Ordinary folks are welcomed by an extraordinary Jesus.
It's possible to have a generic belief in God and a conceptual relationship with Jesus as a construct. But since this is our construct this is a relationship with ourselves. A real relationship with God starts with receiving the real Jesus who lives with us and in us. It's at this point that we start becoming real as the person He made us to be. As such you may well like your born again self, more than your old religious self. This is because your life is graced with His life and because the husks of conformity and the scales of the false you are falling off and you are being liberated from a worker into a daughter/son.
Christ as one's life often makes the religious uneasy. And this is not because one become a jerk. It’s because you are done with the accoutrements that other have defined as holy but which God has not. And because where the Spirit of Jesus is there is liberty – freedom to be who you are and freedom to be radical in your outlook on life as an agent of the new creation. We can never be our unique selves until we abandon our attachments to the law and to performance. Indeed we can never be fully human and fully alive if we are attached to anything else than the Son of Man. Yet when Christ is our life our personal glory will be revealed as well as the glory of Jesus Christ.
IF YOU HAVE SEEN ME
Jesus is the human face of our Father. In the new covenant you are the human face of Jesus. In the age when you are reborn from Adam into Jesus, you are a manifestation of God. This is called daughters and sons.
‘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. The trinity expressing themselves through you beats any words on stone, formulae and letter derived program. This is life without limit.
The Son of Man is in heaven and the Son of God is in you. Any Believer in the new testament age can have more of God than Moses or Isaiah. The fact that Christ is your life means that God is your life. The family of heaven is interleaved in your being. It's significant that Father noted David not for His sin by for his heart for Him.
David pre-figured the spirit of sonship. Yet every son/daughter of God today has more of God than David. David loved God and enjoyed His presence. Minding a flock of sheep in the wild was never ordinary for David since he relished fellowship with the almighty. David's companionship with God was more than personal. It was intimate. David is known for his friendship, passion for God and His intimacy with Him. David performed remarkable feats of bravery in the Spirit and power of God. But God did not live in Him. Incarnation awaited the Christ, the cross and Pentecost. In a sense incarnation awaits you. But all you have to do is agree with it.
'Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me' John 6.57 NIV.
Any Believer in our time can have more of God than did David. David had God's Spirit with Him. He enjoyed an anointing for certain tasks. But he could not enjoy union with God. Not like you can. No Old Testament person could. The Lord's supper is the sign of this greater reality; the reality that as food becomes part of our being, so does Jesus becomes one with the being of those whose heart feeds on His person. Incarnation had to wait for the Christ; for the Son of man to join us to the Father in spirit and in truth. Jesus who was one with the Father would incarnate Himself in the Believer, joining us to Himself and so the Father.
'I in them and you in me--so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me' John 17.23 NIV.
UNION WITH GOD
Jesus could say, I and the Father are one. None could say this before the atonement or Pentecost. Today all who believe can say this by faith in Jesus. This, despite our sins, failure and the poor fist we often make of 'godliness.' The fact is that despite this, Believers in Jesus consistently release much grace, love and the water of life that comes from the throne of God.
'For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed' John 5.20 NIV.
Today the living Christ is in incarnate in you as result of the cross, the Holy Spirit out-pouring at Pentecost and by the mysterious plan that Father had unfolded in Christ. This is the mysterious reality of Christ in us and more; as the reality of the Son of Man as our life.
'But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him' 1 Cor 6.17 NIV.
Before the cross we were separated from God and ourselves. Today our union with God is a fact. This is our starting point. We are loved. We are loved whether there is great spiritual progress, little progress or no progress. Our oneness with Father is assured. We are loved because God is love and has expressed this in Christ who is our righteousness. This is the ground of our being, the ground of forgiveness and the source of our advancing purity and regeneration. It is our love and the source of our ability to love others without condition. It is the source of our communion with God and each other. We are one in Christ in the one spirit or as we might say, in the Spirit of One.
'And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth' Eph 1.10 NLT.
While there was none greater than John the Baptist any son of God in the new testament is greater than he. The new creation flows from our union with God. The emergence of heaven on earth begins in you. Today. We are sons and not workers. We are alive in our spirit and not dead. Christ’s resurrection unfolds in us every day. We are the righteousness of God in Christ.
Yet we are more than righteous. Real life cannot be described in terms of good and evil. Fullness of life cannot be experienced in that realm. This is why Adam was put to death at the cross and why you rose with Jesus on Sunday morning. Life is God. Real life is you as a son. The son you actually are. Life is union with God. Life is Christ your life. Anything that is not Jesus is not eternal. It is limited and it is death. The life of the Son is infinite and constantly expanding to fill the entire earth. This life, this Jesus lives in you!
'And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his' Son' 1 John 5.11 NIV.
We are alive as sons in the spirit of our Father. As Father is I AM, we are who we are. In Father God we are truly sons – not ciphers or clones but truly unique and being conformed to our real selves and our purposes for being created. Sons in the resurrected Jesus are the agents of the new creation.
'You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth' Rev 5.10 NIV.