There was an ad I saw once that said, ‘Be what you want.’ It’s easier said than done. We may not have the intelligence to be what we want, the personality, the opportunity or the self-control to be a chosen self, let alone our ideal self. A modicum of peace and self-respect can be had by being a person. But pleasure and self-satisfaction are enjoyed when we live as sons – as sons and daughters of God.
The satisfaction of sonship is enjoyed when we rest rather than in striving. Our multiplication of living water is also large when we are at rest in who Jesus is and who we are in Him.
THE LIVING WAY
Richard Rohr observes that real freedom is found in the ability to be ourselves in all circumstances. In religion we may live in this only partially or not at all. The ‘self’ in religion is busy doing what it things it what it thinks other things the self should be doing. But those one with Christ are at rest in God and are able to totally be themselves. They release rivers of living water.
Jesus lived completely as Himself – not only being Himself as authentically I AM, but in fulfilling His life purpose by achieving all that His Father had set for Him to d0. Growing up into Christ means growing up into our real selves.
Many Christians know what it means to be religious but not what it means to be a person. This is because their Christianity is more about a religion and a framework of belief than it is about living from the person of Jesus. Christianity is less a faith and more Christ as you. This is the meaning of Paul’s statement, ‘Christ our life’ and of the incarnation where the holy trinity dwells in us by the Spirit sharing their nature through our individuality. This is the difference between the gospel of the Kingdom begun by Jesus and all the kingdoms of this world. In His Kingdom He lives in us and is with us by His Spirit and the companionship of angels.
THE WIDE WAY
Many Christians live in an implied or explicit version of the knowledge of good and evil as an attempt to please god and be their better selves. Godliness, which means to express the spirit and character of God, is not to be found in busy work, activism or even works of charity. Acts and words of spirit and life are the effect of God’s life, alive in us. We are not Godly because we are busy. We are Godly because we have accepted that we are one with God; that we are sons and that every moment place allows the expression of His life. We are the manifestation of His life. This is profoundly different to living out a religion of good works and moral probity.
The sad fact is that the religious and the striving release the least spirit and life – meaning that they can be a liability rather than an asset to the Kingdom. Two conditions produce poor discernment in the Believer. Old covenant living and the attempt to gain self-worth through our work.
One will not necessarily become Godly by leaving one religion to join another. The life of God and Godliness are ours because He is our life. So let us not live in reaction or distinction to others and their beliefs. Live in Christ. Feeling right because someone else is wrong is not wholeness and life. This is a substitute for really being whole. ‘We need to be living in yes, before we can give a wholesome no,’ observes Richard Rohr.
Many Christians are unable to make sense of the gospel of the Kingdom because they have lived all their lives in a partial gospel or a false gospel. The pattern here is living Moses with Jesus’ help. This creates a mindset of separation because here we have settle for living from things like the law, a moral frame-work, or a belief system but not really from the Son of Man. Here our ‘Christian life’ consists of walking on the white squares of the draft-board while attempting to dodge the black ones. A Christian life such as this is not the life of the Kingdom. It’s not what Jesus has for you. He is what He has for you. He offers Himself as your life.
Real life and real spirituality is a life in God. This is ours as a gift. The gift of Christ our life. Heaven has united to give us union with God. In spite of this many are living in the illusion of separation. In Jesus you have been drawn into fellowship with the trinity. In Jesus you and Father are one. In Jesus Holy Spirit is with you and in you. In Jesus you belong. He has your sin problem covered. His life is your life. You can concentrate on being alive and being yourself in spirit and in truth because Jesus is your life.