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16. Strive to Enter His Rest

And so, on a regular basis, I must grab myself by the shirt collar and wrestle my own mind back into a place of certainty that Jesus is my life, I have no other life. Me, all that I am, in all of my sin and flesh and humanity, He carries utterly inside of Himself. And all that He is, He is right now living inside of me in all the messiness of my human person. There is nothing inside of me that is not Jesus.

16. Strive to Enter His Rest

© Daniel Yordy 2009

God is filled with contradictions. Modern Christianity has erased most of those contradictions with a simple understanding that salvation is, “I have a ticket (I asked Jesus into my heart), and when I die, that ticket lets me go to heaven instead of hell. Meanwhile, while I’m here, I try not to sin, but I will never succeed because I will always sin, even though I shouldn’t. I also try to get a few people saved, and I make sure I pay my tithes.” 

To be honest, the complexity of God and the New Covenant has been reduced to this simple thought.

God says “Work at resting.” One group gets the work side, another group gets the rest side, and then they point fingers against each other. The closer you walk with Jesus, the less sense God makes – AND YET – suddenly, these incredible contradictions make perfect sense and you see as He sees.

The New Testament is complicated and contradictory. Most people simply let someone else tell them what it means. Then, the Old Testament really makes a mess. I have read, studied, written out, been taught countless hours, the Bible all of my life. I know what it says; I know most of the ways it is interpreted. I have been taught profound truths by the Holy Spirit. I have studied and taught church history.  God doesn’t make sense, and anyone who tells you they have the basic premises of the Bible figured out, knows very little about God or the Bible.

Jesus said that He spoke to hide the truth; He said that His kingdom would be filled with lies and that He would do nothing to remove them.

Why am I saying all this? Simply because we will never know Jesus if we try to “figure it out” from the Bible. Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures, thinking that in them you have eternal life, but they speak of Me, and you will not come to Me that you might have life.” At the same time, we will never know Jesus if we allow someone else to define for us who He is.

The cross has already reconciled all men to God, but the life of Jesus inside of us is what saves us.

Here is the gospel.  “You in Me and I in You”

Salvation is NOT a doctrine or a ticket or a destination. Those who think that “going to” heaven is salvation will be savagely disappointed and confused. A location called heaven will save no one. Salvation is the living person of Jesus living His life in the living person of me right here in this world.

Living “according to the flesh” is imagining that I have a life and a nature other than Christ. The moment I think that I am one thing and Jesus is another, I fall from union with Him, I am now walking in my own ability to “make it,” and I am condemned to live in this hopeless quandary of not doing something I cannot not do. I cannot stop sinning, but I must try very hard to stop sinning. I am bad, and I must “repent.” But I can never come to the end of repentance. I must weep and weep before the cross. I must “die” but I never really will. What a religious hell! 

Did you know that this is why God abandoned the temple of Solomon – they were weeping and weeping before the “dead one” (Tammuz — T — the cross).

May I introduce you to Jesus.

The entrance to living in this religious hell I described is found in the words: “Seek God’s will and not your own.”  

The doorway out of that whole mess is Galatians 2:20. I am already crucified with Christ. But I live, only it’s not me living, it’s Jesus living in me, in my flesh. (My paraphrase.)

The gospel is Christ in me. Everything else in the Bible must be seen out of – Christ is our life. 

Jesus is my life. My life is Jesus. The cross says that I have no other life. I do not weep before the cross; I live because of the cross. The argument – that there is a life in me that is not Jesus, and that I must bend that false self to the will of Jesus – only drives a wedge between my Saviour and myself.

As He is right now, so I am in this world.  I exult boastfully in the victory of Jesus inside of me. I walk boldly into the Holiest rejoicing in the presence of God.

More than that, I live in the Holiest of all, I am the very throne of God, my flesh is His temple. My dying body is filled with all the fullness of God. And all that I am and do flows out of the Holiest of all.

The thing that is “the flesh” that cannot please God is this business of seeing one’s self as separate from Jesus. This business of looking at one’s self, at the heart, and closing one’s eyes to the glorious risen Christ who lives there and mucking around, seeing sin inside a life that is already made free from sin by the blood and cross of Jesus, this whole way of thinking IS the carnal mind.

When we look at ourselves, we can see sin or Jesus, but we cannot see both.

Here is how we strive to enter into His rest.

The other day, I was again worried about “making it.” The need to press through, to overcome, to rid my life of all shackles and bondages had once again turned my mind away from Christ living His life in me in the messiness of my humanity.  Immediately Jesus was far away and I was on my own with the heavy, heavy responsibility of crying out to God in order to “gain the victory.”

You can see all the unbelief in that line of thinking, unbelief bordering on denying Christ. But that is what we hear from so many directions.

I will not live separate from Jesus in any part of my thoughts. If it’s up to me to subdue my flesh, or even to get Jesus to subdue my flesh, I am lost. Jesus will not do something He has already done; He will not reinforce my rejection of Him.

And so I was searching for the word that defines the gospel. “Receive” came to mind, but I knew immediately that “Receive what God has for you” can be passive unbelief. We cannot receive what we already have. I cried out to God for years that He would fill my heart with His love. At what point, in all those years of passionate unbelief did I ever accept that He had already done so regardless of my present emotions?

Then the word the Lord gave me was REST. And then I understood that REST is an active, almost violent position. And then, extraordinarily, God made a bit of sense to me, I could see by the Spirit what He meant.

All the suction of the world, false Christianity, the carnal mind, demon spirits, even “the Bible says,” comes to separate me from Jesus in my own mind, so that I see Him as One and me as another, with the obligation now upon me of bending myself to Him.

And so, on a regular basis, I must grab myself by the shirt collar and wrestle my own mind back into a place of certainty that Jesus is my life, I have no other life. Me, all that I am, in all of my sin and flesh and humanity, He carries utterly inside of Himself. And all that He is, He is right now living inside of me in all the messiness of my human person. There is nothing inside of me that is not Jesus.

More than that, everything I need to deliver me into full victory in all the fulfillment of the New Covenant in this age and on this earth, He has already perfected concerning me.

Yes, there is a labor that I engage in while in the midst of His rest, but that is a labor of agreement with the One who is already doing all things perfectly. I do not walk by what my eyes see or by what my feelings feel. The striving of labor is to keep my eyes on Jesus, and to never, ever look at sin or to see myself as fallen or to see myself as a self separate from Him.

Jesus is my Savior; He is living His life in me. He knows what He is doing and there is nothing in me that is in any way separate from Him.

If there is one thing that both Satan and the religious zealot hate, it is God living in the flesh. 

Jesus has no problem being human.