Had to post this extra one today. Jesus prompted me to write this through a dream I had last week. This is what I saw.
Certain people have a passion for life. They may be writers, poets, artists and film makers. Or just ordinary non-literary folks who tap into the wonder of life. They love to immerse themselves in the wide sky of the outback, or camp near a river or just smell the air in the cool of a winter’s evening or after the rain at harvest time. Not only do some have a passion for life. They will sacrifice their convenience, personal comfort, themselves and even their friends in order that this extravagant life may be known, preserved, expanded and multiplied. God so loved the world that He gave his only Son.
There are people who say they love nature. But they love the economy more. They will opt for jobs and job security when it come to deciding between their interests and that of the earth we live in. Great moralists they may be, but they are not averse to raping the earth. They can quickly spot an investment opportunity with a view to transforming that which was once fresh and exquisite into the abstraction of dead money. Dulling down and robbing the essence of life has become the common wisdom – the wisdom of many of the churched but not of the spiritual. Thus we have the despoliation of the earth on the grounds of ‘investment.’ But investment in what? Certainly not in life.
‘The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small-- and for destroying those who destroy the earth’ Rev 11.18 NIV.
I am not a political person. But I have seen passion in their faces, fire in their eyes, righteous anger in their stance and outrage in those who object to the destruction of the earth for worldly gain. They are regarded as folks of slight importance; as impractical novices by the establishment, those who parasite off the common good while posing as benefactors and those whose personas are wrought in the mould of the status quo. These living souls are angry because they love life and are willing to commit themselves as an obstacle those who will accept the various forms of death whenever there is a chance to make a buck out of it. Never let it be said that we become immune to the forms of non-life because we have made religion out of it. When we are not fully alive we are partially DEAD.
This attitude is a parable of those who deny life while accommodating themselves to the abstraction of religion. They make a life from the shadow while denying the reality who is Christ. They live in this phantom because they have made an investment in religion - in an identity, a perspective or a denomination that they are not about to jeopardise for the sake of life to the full. They have made a contract. ‘We will accept a degree of death in exchange for maintain our deadly beliefs.’
‘And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’ Matt 7.23 ESV.
Settling for a non-life in a non-gospel, they acclimatise themselves to the counterfeit they have embraced and drag around a body of death as though it is something to be proud of. Christianity as religion is not Jesus any more than a monetised piece of natural beauty is the wonder it once was. Don’t expect to suck the marrow out of life if you are not willing to step outside the cage you were born in. Don’t be among those who go round and round in circles, vaguely conscious of their stagnation. But continuing to live semi-sighted and half alive because you will not embrace life to the full.
INVITATION TO LIFE WITHOUT LIMIT
All of us are on a journey. Our journey can be one of safety conformity and decay or one of excitement, adventure and increasing life. We are by nature creatures of becoming. Never meant to be stagnant we are made in the image of God and find spirit and life in the continual advance and expansion of our onward moving spirit.
Robert Rohr writes, “Always [there] are the ones who have heard some deep invitation to "something more," and set out to find it by both grace and daring. Most get little re-assurance from others, or even have full confidence that they are totally right. Setting out is always a leap of faith, a risk in the deepest sense of the term, and yet an adventure too. The familiar and the habitual are so falsely reassuring, and most of us make our homes there permanently. The new is always by definition unfamiliar and untested, so God, life, destiny, suffering have to give us a push and usually a big one - or we will not go. Someone has to make clear to us that homes are not meant to be lived in, but only to be moved out from.”
There comes a tide in the affairs of men and of women when we must decide if our Jesus is to be The Christ of God and our message is to be the plan of our Father or if ‘Our Christ’ will be ‘What we have always believed.’ If we choose Jesus of Nazareth we will follow Him on dusty paths and end up crucified, possibly more than once as we live out the pattern of His death and rebirth in His person. Each resurrection is more exciting than before. We are elevated to ever higher realms of glory and increasingly intense degrees of spirit and life. Then again we can stick with what we know, make a Messiah out of our familiar ideas. Like a misguided a Lazarus we can wear our grave clothes forever and take pride in them - even though the Spirit of the real Jesus has set us free.