As a thirty seven year old I came to the knowing of know God with a jolt. One grows into the knowing of God. Never to the boxing of him into tidy compartments. He is knowable – but not all at once. And since He is infinite He is always an adventure because there is always more to appreciate and understand. We are persons, always ourselves but always in a state of becoming. This is a reflection of Father. In Father we live in the spirit of sonship. We know Father in Jesus. So no need to go on about how big He is. Or try to get a grip on Him by being awestruck at the Rocky Mountains. He is not a thing. He lives in us and His spirit witnesses to our heart. He is knowable, He lives in you and desires to share Himself with you as a son. But one might not know this in fundamentalism. God can get to be reduced to the letter.
Personal trauma of no mean proportions signalled that what I had once called faith was thin and that even as an active teacher in the church I did not know God. I thought I did but much of what I knew was a projection of myself and the way I had been socialised into an old covenant believing church. I am amazed that so many have joined the church I once belonged to on the grounds that they thought is possessed life and truth. It really involves a rolling-back of all that had been accomplished for all in Christ. Sincere men and woman patrolled the roads and tracks hawking what they thought was an improvement on Jesus gospel and the apostles teaching.
The fact that such a denomination ever got off the ground is evidence of the fact that for a long time the truth of the new covenant and the incarnated life of God in people has been very thin on the ground amongst all Christians. It is today. Not only in the plainly legalistic churches but in the churches were a more subtle and cultural legalism is the norm. This is always the case where the things of Christ rather than Christ Himself is our life. If we are paddling along in religion we will not have discerned that these things rather than Jesus Himself is our life. Jesus’ Kingdom is not an attempted following of His teachings and values. It is His life lived in us by His Spirit. The Kingdom is not the knowledge of good and evil with Jesus added, just as it is not the charismatic outlook with Jesus added. The Kingdom is Jesus.
As a friend of mine says, often what we have as Jesus is a construct rather than the reality. The reality will not force Himself on us. He is always with us and takes every opportunity to draw us into Himself and His life. He can seize the moment when a vulnerability occurs in the tissue of lies and illusions that we have called our faith. Anything that is not Jesus is not real in the spiritual sense. Yet in us He confers reality on all we do.
I came to a place where it was plain to me I was misinformed about God; that I had not got a hold of who He really was and what mattered about Him and me. I immediately asked Jesus to teach me about Himself, to open my mind to an accurate revelation of Himself and His Way. This has made the difference in my journey between life and religion and living in a cage of false belief versus the freedom of Sonship. I can testify that if we surrender what has been ours totally to Jesus we will set out on a satisfying adventure in the revelation of God and ourselves. Then again we can plod on in our own assumptions, crippled in spirit and dulled to the fullness of an infinite life because we have made a decision. We will have Jesus as long as we can have a pet beliefs, our religious identity and out denominational culture. The sad thing about the latter is that we can believe we are doing ok when we are dull of discernment and crippled of spirit and life.
Many Christian myths result in the dulling of the revelation of Christ and our inheritance in Him. One is the attempt to live from the law towards God. A friend once told me about the satisfaction of intimacy with Jesus. But it was plain that she believed that this intimacy was something she earned by performing good works and abstaining from sin. Fortunately intimacy is something we have. It is the gift of God. It is our union with Him that drives our sin and delivers us to ourselves. The more common myth is the living of an old covenant life is what Jesus meant by His Kingdom. It surfaces as try-harderism and the living out of Christianity as a religion. But the new and living way is the living out of Jesus as you.
‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers’ Rom 8.38 NIV.
‘For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it’
Eccl 12.7 NIV.
Some denominations are substantially a delusion. They have changed what could have been joy into something sparse and mean. They have exchanged the extravagant luxury of our union with God for separation and severity. They live in scarcity when God has given them abundance. In fear of death when God has assured us that at the death of the body we go to be with God. Where Jesus offers life without limit the Enemy robs and lies with fables masquerading as godliness. But as the story of the apostle Paul reveals, none are so deeply embedded in perverse doctrine that they cannot be retrieved to Gods glory and our own glory as sons of God. Our glory is to be who we are. Gods glory is seen when we know him as he is.
‘I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far’ Phil 1.23 NIV.
There is a lot in being. Everything actually. God is Himself as I AM. I am a son in him. Originally, as Jeff Turner correctly suspects, God and Adam just were. There was no sacred and secular, no holy times and sacred places. God was simply all and in all and Adam and Eve were in this state of being... being Father and being sons. There was no sense of God being other from Adam. He was just Father and Adam, and they were authentically themselves. Their wholeness was found in relationship just as the trinity was whole within itself. We are here describing union with God of the kind Paul quoted when he wrote, ‘In him we live, move and have our being.’
In this union nothing in us is lacking and nothing is superfluous. But in religion all of it is.
People can have stuff hanging off them, baubles, bangles and beads that they clutch for security. But they have nothing to do with God or their genuine selves. Adam and Eve lived in the total reality of who God was and who they were. In our home our daughter says, ‘I like being me.’ She is able to be who she is in our home. You can be who you are at home with Father, if that is who He is in spirit and truth. I am talking of Father as He is – not of a father of personal conjecture or religious artifice. Spirit and truth is different to conjecture or cunningly devised fables. Spirit and truth is who He is and who we are In reality. The real instead of the shadow. We know this when Christ is our life.
Adam and Eve lived in the freedom of totally being themselves without accoutrement or artifice in their identity as sons. Unless we understand this unfettered and uncomplicated life we will live in a manner that debilitates ourselves and others. We will dilute the life on offer with our pieties and religious motions. We will not possess this pearl of great price but perpetuate some version of the knowledge of good and evil as religion. Sad, if what we are present is not spirit and life but a cancer in the body of Christ.
Any teaching that undoes Gods restitution of our original and restored freedom is a form of abuse. It is a degrading of humanity that is as real as sin and as degenerate as death. Jesus really did set the captives free. Free of humbug and all things that dilute our being and tend to death in the name of life.
Don't embrace cunningly devised fables that negate your freedom to be human and to be sons of God. Don't let anything stifle the unfettered life Jesus died to give you. Don't let anything quench the fizz of the life He lives to impart to you.
There are people who think to make a life out of patterns and motifs. But there is no life in them, at least no life of God. In our present union with God, spirit and life is with you as it was in the beginning and in you because the trinity has made their home in your being. You are one with Father. Your life in Him is all encompassing. You are a son invested with His life and Spirit. You impart this life to people and things.
INVERTED CROSS AND CAPSIZED GOSPEL
The quandary of the religious is that they seek life through things and fail to impart it to people. Rooted in religious practice we are not joined to life and are incapable of imparting the spirit and life that is the difference between the Kingdom of God and religious effort. Bluntly put, WE DO NOT MPART LIFE.
The tragedy of such ministry is that the mendicant is not aware of the lifelessness of her efforts. And sometimes not aware because the spiritual formation that has shaped her is a gross distortion of God and results in a misshapen Christ. The result is eyes that cannot see and ears that will not hear. But they think they do. There is a way out. Ask Jesus to put His mud in your eyes.
Recently I read a book in which the author urged us to embrace the real Jesus and lay our distorted Jesus at the cross. He meant the Jesus formed from our own imaginations and conditioning. A subtle way of not loving a person is to never learn who they are and never let them be themselves. Today I am urging that we seek to know Jesus as He is since this is the only way to love God and to be known as we are. Jeff Turner’s prayer is an example of the way ahead for those who would know God and Jesus Christ and His infinite life.
'God, I don't care if I have you figured all wrong, I lay all of my theology and sacred doctrines down on the altar. If you are someone completely different from whom I've thought you to be, reveal yourself to me, because what I have is not working! If you reveal yourself to me as you are through the scriptures and by the Spirit, I'll follow you. I don't care how much it offends me or how crazy it might seem when compared to what I believe right now — just show me the truth about yourself!'
As stated, some of our ideas are personal myths and veils amplified by the father of lies. Others are delusions taught by denominations. Some of these are a devious and subtle perversion of the gospel of the Kingdom made even more mischievous by being labelled as the truth. They are cunningly made by distorting the scriptures to make another gospel – a devious gospel that substitutes itself for the truth by calling itself the truth. We have no right to such a perspective. But we do have the right to life. There is an infinite table of life in the Christ of God. He is infinitely more cunning than the most devious fable and insists on revealing Himself to all who would know Him as He is. IN Jesus you will never walk in darkness. You will have the light of life.