The wearing of a burka or the keeping of a Sabbath has no power to transform a life. God is not involved in such preoccupations. His concern is that we live in His provision: The provision of the infinite life of His son that is relevant to the moment and the life-span.
How can you know God’s will? God’s will is Jesus. God’s love is Jesus revealed. God’s love, life, will and Spirit is His life come in your being. To reflect Jesus is not primarily to exhibit a bunch of behaviors. It is to be life as yourself! Sure such a life will overflow with grace and truth. But grace and truth in God is a person. Never an abstraction. In Jesus the adventure of life is you!
‘He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit’ Titus 3.5 NIV.
Christ is entirely our life. There is no spiritual life in any object, practice, discipline or belief. Eternal life and temporal life in infinite freshness is found exclusively in Jesus. It wells up to eternal life. So don’t add something to Jesus by thinking you, your ministry or denomination has some perspective or behavior that anyone should adopt for life. Jesus is the water of life.
‘But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life’ John 4.14 NIV.
The woman at the well, hoping to strike a pious note and gain a religious point with Jesus asked, ‘Should we worship here or in Jerusalem?’ Jesus quickly dismissed such a trite notion of godliness. ‘What counts,’ He said, ‘Is worshiping in spirit and in truth.’
To worship in Spirit and in truth is to be engulfed in Jesus. This is an impossibility if we are actuated by works of the law. It is as natural as breathing when Christ Himself is our life. Paul unwrapped this further when He assured us that things like circumcision and Sabbath-Keeping had no effect whatsoever on the well-lived life of generosity, vision and Godliness. What counts is a new creation. You are transfigured with His spirit and life. This new creation is a person, a spirit and the power to transform. It is Christ in us, Christ expressing Himself as us. Christ multiplied in humanity is the new creation life of the Kingdom and the rejuvenation of the nations.
Paul’s ‘somehow’ in the scripture below is not a ‘somehow’ of doubt or confusion. It is a simple statement of Christ our life. Speaking of law and the religious rites and stances he declares them trivial pursuits in comparison to the infinite life that is ours when Jesus is incarnated in our person.
‘But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead’ Phil 3.7-11 NIV.
It is daily resurrection from the dead known as new creation life that ends in the reality of eternal life with Jesus.
To live the life that is Christ our life because you have rejected living from what Paul called trivial pursuits and shadows instead of the reality of Christ is to attract reproach and persecution. People will attempt to kill what you have out of mistaken loyalty to God and out of ignorance of the new covenant. But more than these, it is to invite death to the natural man, to our life in Adam and the carnality awoken by the law in our flesh. Death to this life, so that we agree with Jesus that He is our life and we are not our own but bought with Himself and therefore privy to the great exchange that is His life as our life every day!