FRUIT THAT LASTS
You might remember the story of Martha who was anxious to make sandwiches Jesus did not ask for and Mary, who fed Jesus’ heart by receiving words of life at His feet. We are not important because we are busy. Neither are we necessarily advancing God’s cause because we are active. We can note the following points about Jesus’ activities:
He and His Father were one.
He only did what His Father was doing and
His actions released spirit and life.
RIVERS OF LIFE
Jesus warned that that actions in the flesh mean nothing for the Kingdom. It’s just ‘busy work.’ The advance of the Kingdom is never about filling a religious opportunity with a piece of religion, information or behaviour modification. We are no longer in the realm of the knowledge of good and evil where any piece of information will do. We are one with God. We are living in God in the fellowship of the trinity and are instruments of spirit and life. This is if we are in the Spirit and not in the separation and artifice of the law.
When Jesus worked life flowed out of His being because He and Father were one. We are able to do the same in the new covenant age because the essence of the new covenant is union with God. It is ours. We are the expression of the trinity in any and every situation when we live in this mindset - the mind of Christ in which we realize that ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20. In this mode, in this mindset we are always life-givers.
WHEN DOING IS KINGDOM
‘Doing’ is useful. But not necessarily Kingdom Life. The latter is always bulging with the spirit and life that flows from the trinity through you into your situation. ‘Do gooderism’ may not be spiritual at all, particularly if it is done to make an impression, persuade God and ourselves that we are worthy or part of our Christian workaholic syndrome. I have seen active people, surrounded by a cloud like atmosphere of death. This is the effect of living from the body of death instead of the Spirit of Life. Paul wrote,
‘What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?’
Rom 7.24 NIV. We have been rescued. We are one with God. Paul is talking of our separated Adamic life under the law and old covenant.
We can ensure that everything we do is life-giving, useful and Kingdom enhancing by one simple means. Agreeing that Jesus is our life. By this means we become life and all we touch advances the Kingdom because we are channels of spirit and life. As we grow in being alive in Jesus’ life we will experience the joy of being ourselves and multiplying spirit and life in the freedom of being us. Charles Ringma writes,
“Spirituality is not simply an inward disposition. It is not only a peaceful and tranquil state of mind. Spirituality must also come to expression in acts of kindness, deeds of love, and thankful service. Such service need not always be hard, sacrificial, demanding, and burdensome. Service can also be joyful and liberating. It can be an important expression of who we are, an outworking of our giftedness and the realization of impulses that seek to bring about the good and the beautiful. But service needs to be focused. We cannot do everything. Nouwen makes the realistic observation, "If I were to let my life be taken over by what is urgent, I might very well never get around to what is essential.” (1)
There are millions in need in the world. You can’t meet every need and where never meant to. You will be fruitful in multiplying spirit and life (a) When you are doing what Jesus means you to be doing. (b) When you are doing that which is an expression of your sonship/daughtership and (c) when you are acting in the timing of Holy Spirit. How do we do these things? We agree that Christ is our life and we live in Him and nothing else. Because you are living in the Spirit and not in the law or the garb of religion, everything we do will be the expression of God in you and of the real, life-giving you.
(1) Charles Ringma. Dare to Journey--with Henri Nouwen (Designed for Influence) (Kindle Locations 429-433). Kindle Edition.