‘The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone’ John 1.4 NIV.
Religion can be stagnation with Jesus added. But life is Christ in you!
As a small boy I resented religion. Even today, I don’t enjoy the company of those who are opinionated and who talk because they can whether in religion or out of it. Current events reveal that truth is not enough, evidence does not count. People will cling to ignorance and folly because it confirms their prejudice and self-interest.
‘The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding’ Prov 4.7 NIV.
I don’t rejoice with those who live inside a forty-four gallon drum sighing ‘don’t change anything!’ through the bung-hole. Talk for talk’s sake, doing things because they have always been done and doing religion because it is our religion and our perspective holds no joy for me. Being filled with spirit and life turns me on. This turns anyone on because this is life Himself. Life is not an ‘it.’ It’s a Him. So is wisdom.
Wisdom is demonstrated by the wise and its lack by those fixated on their own ideas. Wisdom is God expressed in people and folly flows from the father of lies into the stubborn and set in their ways.
The first deacons were chosen for the church because they were filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit. Could it be that a boy’s heart perceived that religion was unwise; that it was vain repetition and that religion was not actually about life? Like drinking the carton instead of the milk or attending a flying school where nobody ever gets to fly?
Wisdom hangs out with truth and life. It is the spirit of liberty in that it protects from folly and is the door to infinite life.
‘No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person's praise is not from other people, but from God’ Rom 2.29 NIV.
As a kid I would say the same prayer every night and bore myself and probably god with my evening litany. I write god with a small ‘g’ because my god was made more in the image of religion than the God revealed as Jesus Christ. As a youth I attempted prayer in similar vein. The formula of ‘prayer and Bible study’ as the way to spiritual progress was esteemed by the earnest. But there was no life in it. I found the method tedious and Bible study a chore. There is a new and living way that us God Himself – God in you!
‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation’ Gal 6.15 NIV. Paul writes in this way because what counts is not rite or regulation or religion. That which counts is life!
‘Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die’ John 11.25 NIV. Jesus is your eternal life because He is your life in the moment and every day.
I used to pray more formally than I do now. I came to the Lord in a real way many years ago after a great trauma. I’m glad I did because today I enjoy God, enjoy life and I enjoy being me. God is alive in me and in us, which means that the present and the season is continually charged with infinite possibility. The door is wide open for enjoying and redeeming life. As sons and daughters in Father, we are life-givers – ‘life giving spirits’ Paul calls us. We are reborn in the image of Christ. To know Jesus is to know God. To see Jesus is to see yourself!
Earlier in my journey of being drawn into the Lord, I would return from a Christian conference inspired and determined to be intimate with Jesus and live in His presence. I did not realise that I was always in His presence and He was in me and that I need not strive for what I already had. This is the delight and safety of the incarnation – Christ in you.
Besides, in my pursuit of intimacy, I ran out of things to say and could not keep it up. I did find that I could talk to Jesus well in my bed before I went to sleep or when I woke up at night. I found also that I would wake up with a thought He had seeded into my mind and be able to pray about it asking that it become my life – which it could because this piece of life was part of Him. In the new covenant we are part of Him.
Being the trinity, God is the Source of fellowship and is fellowship. Touched by Him we are not only drawn into the circle. We are known as we are and He reveals Himself to us as He is. Father is known in Jesus and Holy Spirit lives to reveal both Jesus and our Father to our hearts. We can live in this God-consciousness without effort and in full peace. If our godliness is a chore it’s us and not Him. So no, I don’t do a lot of formal prayer. I live in God and with God. Jesus said we will never be orphans as participants in His life. In Holy Spirit He is always with us and in us.
Life in the new covenant is Kingdom life. It is life in our Father and life as a son/daughter in spirit and in truth.
Avoid mechanical law-based religion that has a dob of Holy Spirit anointing. It cannot be maintained and will capture you in limitation. Jesus is here to set you free from such futility with His Isaiah 61 authority to lose and empower. Don’t perpetuated the illusions of your childhood and youth in the name of God.
I’m a fan of life. A fan of He who is life and the life He has created in His physical creation and society. I’ve no time for Christian cultures that drag around with them a body of death because they are tied to the law and a mish-mash of false and futile doctrines. You may not be saved by doctrine but you can be dulled because of it.
Jesus is grace and Father is love. His face is seen in good people, some of whom do not know Him personally but who release His goodness through their interests and passions. Prayer is more than talk. It is being with God. It is intentionally being with Him in the relationship of union that is already ours. This fellowship is unearned and gifted to us through grace and the delight He finds in your company.
Our life in God and our stepping into His fellowship heals our split from life itself. There’s no sacred and secular in the Kingdom of God. No compartments and divisions. No dichotomies. Only a river of life which is His presence and in which you are invited to swim.
In Him we are at peace. Enfolded in Him we are one with His life and here we become givers of life rather than people desperately searching for life through activism and strenuous religion. We can be at our most lifeless when we are obsessed with doing His work and striving to earn what is already ours. But we enjoy deep satisfaction and real peace resting in the heart of God where He has placed us through Jesus. This is our Sabbath. Live from where you are and you will be a life-giving spirit, a much nicer person, less of a pain to others and a spreader of love and life without limit!
‘Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence’ Job 15.31 KJV.