5. Faith Makes Christ in Me Personal
It dawns on me that I walk in a garden of peace, with a delight of oneness with Jesus that I have never known before. The joy of knowing that an unending discovery of Jesus in me and me in Jesus lies before me. Jesus, as He is right now, lives His life in my life, as I am right here. And I? I am hid with Christ in God.
5. Faith Makes Christ In Me Personal
Although I have had this list for some time, it is only now that the Lord has released me to send out the first letter. The Lord took me through a time of proving my faith and brought me through into a most pleasant, flower-filled meadow of rest in my union with Him. I have never known a more delightful joy.
When the Lord first shows us that He is our life, that we have no other life, that He fills every part of our human self and that every part of us, including the ugliest parts, He carries in Himself and has always carried in Himself, when we first come to that understanding, it is so foreign to everything that has ever screamed at us, from our own mind, from the pulpit, from Christian “theology”, from do-good others, that it takes many months for the whole thought processes of our mind to change.
Last summer, I started building an Internet publishing business in an attempt to support my family in a way I am able to do, with the hope that we can somehow get to a country property. Focusing many hours a week on business takes one’s mind “away from the Lord.” Then, in August, school began again, and I found myself once again in the desperate place of needing God to come through for me on a regular basis. I disagree with most of the Christianity that is presented in the school where I teach, yet I see Christ certainly visible in the brethren with whom I work. I am not a bold man, nor confrontive, and the situation the Lord has created for me to walk through is not easy. I do not speak, nor would it be the Lord if I did, yet I am very distraught over many of the things I believe are in open opposition to the Lord Jesus Christ, yet made to appear “Christian.”
That is the setting, but what I want to share with you is the truth on the inside of me. Always in the past, if I FELT rebellious, or angry, or frustrated, or far away from God, I believed that I was “in the flesh,” and that I was, in fact, far away from God. At the same time, I once believed that if I FELT mightily anointed, with joy welling up in my soul, that I had now entered His presence.
It is easy to see how absurd that notion is. Is Jesus my life only when I FEEL a certain way? Does my FEELING bad indicate that He has departed from me? When I FEEL raunchy, does that mean He has removed my sin from Himself and placed it back upon me? When we look at it this way, it is obvious that we do not determine truth by what we see with our eyes, but by what God says.
God says that I am crucified with Christ; God says that I am in the Spirit; God says that old things are passed away and all things are brand new, all things in me are of God; God says that He creates the want to and the doing of His will inside of me. Truth is what God says, not what I feel.
But then we get into the hard press of life. I feel unannointed; yet I desperately need God’s help to survive the day. My Christian brethren assure me (through their devotional statements and prayers) that I am “in the flesh, in the carnal mind.” All the old arguments that weighed against me for so many years crowd into my mind. “Give it up, Daniel, you know God is displeased with you. You’re in rebellion, trying to do something that isn’t of Him.”
Yet, I will not. Jesus is my life. He lives His life in all of my humanity. All of these ill feelings that seem to work against me, He carries in Himself. He is simply sharing with me the agony of His people. I groan and weep over the false teachings being presented to my own children. I grieve over the idolatry being mixed with the Holy Spirit of Christ, knowing that innocent people are being murdered right now, today, on the other side of the world, as a result of that idolatry.
It can be a terrible and fearful thing to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The belief that I am “bad” had worked against my faith in Jesus for many years. We can accept doctrine that exalting a so-called “self” by always “putting it to death” is disobedience, but it is another matter to make the leap through the dark, feeling bloody and battered, yet holding without wavering to what God says.
Jesus is my life; I have no other life. “I AM (NOT must make myself) crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life I now live IN THE FLESH, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loves me and who gave Himself for me.”
Christ lives in me! Oh, we sang it for years and never believed it once. Always, we compartmentalized Jesus. Yes, He lives right over there in that part of me, but that part of me has very little relevance to all the rest of me, and since I refuse to believe that He lives in ME, I must create a doctrine of Christianity that says that it is now up to ME to open all the rooms He does not live in and let Him in. And so I pretend to seek after God, all the while refusing to believe what He says.
It is enough for me to say that Jesus lives in me – in all of me, in all of my humanity. And those raunchy parts of myself He has always carried them utterly inside of Himself – He carried them all to the cross long ago, and He has never offered to place them back upon me.
It is faith. It is believing against the sight of the eyes and the feelings of the human.
And so I have believed that Jesus is my life, that I walk in utter union with Him, He in me, and I in Him, without regard to any feelings or circumstances whatsoever.
Hold to that belief!
And then the darkness passes as if it never was, and it dawns on me that I walk in a garden of peace, with a delight of oneness with Jesus that I have never known before. The joy of knowing that an unending discovery of Jesus in me and me in Jesus lies before me. Jesus, as He is right now, lives His life in my life, as I am right here. And I? I am hid with Christ in God.
And the difficult circumstances I face? They are the cross He has for me right now. The cross is not inside of me, Jesus is inside of me as He is, risen above the heavens. His cross is outside of me, that which I bear with joy, knowing that it is He who is bearing it, not me
And at the same time, I can build my business, knowing that He is building my business through me. And I see His hand causing favor to surround my efforts, with patience.
I no longer seek His will. I live in His will with all confidence of joy.
Jesus is my life; I have no other life.
Every word God has spoken to us, every word He speaks in the New Covenant, He is fulfilling in our lives right now. Jesus is the Word God speaks. This is God’s doing. We are simply, as Fred Pruitt shares (see the box on page 26), the bush that is not consumed. God is the fire. Yet He has chosen us, and all we can do is laugh with joy and embrace Him with all of our hearts.
Right now, the doorway into the fulfillment of the New Covenant is wide open. My purpose in these letters is to share with you what God is doing right now in me, both the truth of His Word and the experience of His fire. My hope is that some, a few at least, will find that God is doing the same precious work inside of them.
Two words I want to place in front of you. Two words that could become life to you, if you wanted them to.
The first is “Call those things that be not as though they are.”
The second is do not limit God, ever. Do not say or think, “Thus far and no more.” There is not one word God has ever spoken into this earth that He does not intend to fulfill in our lives right here on this earth, right now in this age.
Do not limit Him. Let’s reach for the farthest words God speaks:
Come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
That you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.
How can this be talking about us?
We call those things that BE NOT as though they are.
Most of God’s people gamble. They bet that God will not fulfill what He speaks inside of them, at least not here and not now. Sadly, they win their bet.
What do these powerful words God speaks look like fulfilled in our lives? I have no idea. We are no more than the bush that is not consumed, living our lives in this world. But God is the fire, and God does what He says. And whether I live or whether I die, I will live in faith, and I will die in faith, believing that ALL THINGS that God speaks, He fulfills in me.
When God says, “As He is so are you in this world,” He means two different things. First, He means that as we live our human lives, we are Jesus living His life through us. This word God speaks is not what “should be,” but what IS. We do not “get” Jesus to live His life in our human lives, He just does. He is Salvation!
Let me share two things that happened to me in the last couple of days. First, as I was lying awake in bed, I could sense what I have always understood to be shame inside. A sense of a barrier. It is my habit always to place myself inside of Jesus and Jesus inside of me in the seeing of my mind any time a shadow falls upon me. But the sense of shame did not leave. Then I understood.
Always I see the human me as Jesus living His life in me. I suddenly knew that sense I had always called “shame” was not shame at all, it was jealousy. Jesus is jealous over me. That feeling was not me, it was He in me. He loves me so much and delights to be my joy and light. He freely gives me all things richly to enjoy. But He is quite miffed when I look elsewhere for anything. Always before I had pictured an angry God who was stern against my “sin,” and though l I knew His forgiveness, I could never draw close to One who required so much.
How very sad. And what joy now to know the truth. I live with my head leaned against His breast. When my attention is caught elsewhere, He chides me, and I, remembering my Beloved, return joyfully to His embrace. This is living by faith.
The second incident was this. I was worrying about an incident with one of my students in my mind as I have done for years when I got into something that confused me, something I knew wasn’t right, but had no idea what to do about it. But this time, I saw Jesus in me.
Suddenly I understood that I had always read myself wrong. This “worrying” was Jesus in me, not that He worries, but that He intercedes. Intercession had never appealed to me in the past. Most intercession seemed to become a groveling before an unwilling God. — “Have mercy on me.”
No, this was Jesus, sharing with me His own agony of heart. He is the One who intercedes. And so I prayed for this student in expectation of faith, knowing that I was simply expressing the intercession that Jesus was already performing for her. I did not pray long, but I joined her and Jesus in my own heart. Then, with all certainty, the need to worry the thing in my mind lifted and I felt it no more.
I had not known that my worrying a thing in my mind was Jesus, expressing His intercession inside me, wanting me to join my heart in agreement with Him. All the years of loss makes the present revelation of Jesus so very precious.
And so, when we look at our own messy life in this world, we see that it is always at all times, Jesus living as us. And never do we think that we are obligated in any way to make things happen.
But the opposite is also true at all times. Jesus is living His life in us as we are, and we rest in that certainty at all times. But Jesus is much more than us. “As He is, so are we in this world,” includes everything that Jesus is right now. He is the Creator of the universe, the resurrected Christ ascended above all the heavens. He is the defeater of all of His enemies, He triumphs by fulfilling in this dark and fallen world every word the Father has spoken through Him.
He is the fire, we are the bush. All things that He speaks, He fulfills in us and through us. At the same time that He always lives in us in all of our human weakness, so He always lives in us as all that He is in His divine glory and power.
Do not ever limit God, in your own life or in anyone else’s. Believe in Jesus.