The mystery of the new testament age is the incarnation. The regenerative power available to all since Pentecost is Christ’s life as yours and your life in His. Paul likened the effect of this on our once dead lives as the presence of Christ’s resurrection in us. But it’s not a platitude. It’s a fact.
Jesus is gracious and Father grows us into our maturity as daughters and sons if we are teachable and willing to be led. It’s up to us whether we be stunted or profligate with life. We have an unadulterated life in Jesus. But this life can be smothered and we become numbed whenever we choose substitutes for Him to nurture us. With Christ as our life we will be spirit and life. With His stuff as our life we can never rise above being a sincere but damp squib.
Some believers release as much life in a day as others fail to deliver in a life-time. But both do the same amount of work. The former live in union. The latter in a separation mindset. Yet none need live in the latter because UNION IS OUR INHERITANCE.
Since Jesus’ resurrection infinite life has become available to us. But there has been a war against fullness in Christ. Satan may not be able to cut this life-flow off entirely. But He can reduce it to drops so that the promised rivers do not flow. So we are speaking – not of rivers of activity – but rivers of spirit and life. If its not this ‘ignition’ flowing from us its not the kingdom. It’s what Jesus called the flesh that accomplishes nothing for the Kingdom of God.
WHAT ARE YOU EATING?
Our ability to advance into the fullness of Jesus depends on what we are eating. If we are sustaining ourselves on the vibes we get from our work or imagining that eating religion is the same as eating Jesus, our growth will be slow, our discernment poor and our advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven limited. In fact in some instances it is minimal because we eat so little of Jesus that we are semi-blind and unable to tell the difference between running a religious program and opening doors to the pure flame of Christ’s presence.
Spiritual gifts or an outreach program are fruit of the Spirit when they arise from our union with Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We need not contrive this. We possess it. We just need to live in it. In this mode we are spirit and life and all we do is flush with spirit and life. Paradoxically this is ours when we assume that it is ours. But not ours when we are striving to get it, or feel the need to do something to make ourselves worthy. You have already been accounted worthy so live and act from where you have been positioned.
‘The Spirit [of the new covenant] gives life; the flesh [of the old covenant] counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you - they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV. What are these words? They are that Christ Himself by the Spirit is our life.
IDENTITY AND AUTHENTICITY
Acts done from obligation have no Kingdom power or authority. Neither is anything done ‘To pay back Christ for His cross.’ The reason. Such actions are really about ourselves. They lack spirit and life. Living in the Spirit of Jesus we do intuitively what He means us to do. There is no religiosity and no contrivance. The presence of the Spirit in us, is like intuition, but it is more than this. It is you and Jesus being one. It is you only doing what Father is doing – through you. Life-giving activities are seldom what others persuaded you to do, cajoled you into doing or manipulated you into some religious obligation. Your activities that impart spirit and life are things that are you – that are part ofyour design from before the world was made.
Again, if we are sustaining ourselves on a feeling of satisfaction and a sense of self-importance we get from ministry or the adulation and respect accorded us for our contribution to people’s well being, we will not be in a position to minister the kingdom let alone discern what things are Kingdom and what are merely of man. We minister life WHEN WE ARE LIFE. We are life when we have asked Jesus to BE OUR LIFE.
‘Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them’ Matt 13.12 NIV. This is why some of us advance in spirit and life and others of us stagnate. The old covenant had a use by date that finished at the cross. The new covenant is the guarantee and God’s gift to you of infinite life.
YEAST AND MUSTARD SEED
Life and spirit come together with God. They are the essence of Himself, along with personhood. It comes from one place alone. The womb of the trinity. But there’s more. This trinity lives in you!
Since Jesus is life itself, anything less has the effect of deadening our sensibilities and making us satisfied with junk food rather than the bread of life. This bread is Jesus Himself who will flood our spirits and warm our hearts when we seek Him for Himself. The sad thing about ministry in the flesh is that those who operate in this mode are usually unaware of its stifling and benumbing effect. Unknown to themselves they drag about behind their being the body of death Paul wrote about. It’s the attitudes and spirit of dullness that is the old covenant Adam. Reject it. Leave it at the cross. In Christ you are made alive!
All life comes from Jesus. All that is fresh, robust and energizing flows from His person into us by the Spirit. He makes us alive and all we touch sing!
When Jesus is your life, the resurrection from the dead is your life and your possession IN PERSON. Now you go about alive yourself, raising dead people and dead things from torpor into vibrancy. As such you have the capacity to revive flesh-mongers into their life in the Spirit. If they have the humility to listen.