30. Did We Forget to Ask?
"I ask You, Father, to transform me right here, right now, into the image of the fullness of Christ, into His full stature upon this earth. I ask that, from the DNA of Christ inside of me, You would create me as the fullness of Christ, without measure, manifest upon this earth as the second witness of Your glory."
30. Did We Forget to Ask?
Without faith it is impossible to please God. For those who come to Him must believe that He is and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
Faith is specific to the word God speaks.
Trust and hope are general. We trust in the Lord with all of our hearts, knowing that in a general way He directs our paths, together with us causing all things to work towards good. We hope in that which we do not see, that glory fills every part of our future.
But faith is not general, it is specific. Faith is that human quality that receives into itself a specific word God speaks, comes into union with that word, and brings forth its life.
Faith is the seed of the woman. Faith is Christ living as us.
You have not because you ask not. James — We know that we have whatever we ask when we ask according to God’s will. John — Whatever you ask, believe that you have received it and you shall have it. Jesus
In a recent chapter I talked about the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Inside that caterpillar, when it is still in the egg, the DNA code of the future butterfly lies dormant. It sits there unused surrounded by caterpillar parts through all the life of the caterpillar.
Here is another way to see the three levels or three Feasts God Himself ordained for our transformation.
The first is Christ in us; when we are born again, the DNA of our future glory is planted in us. Everything we will ever be is right there, in code form, but it lies dormant and we do not know it. We imagine that we are nothing more than a Christian, learning God’s word and doing Christian things.
Then, the life of the caterpillar, eating, eating, eating, is Christ as us, having taken upon Himself our messy human form, living as us in this world. Yet, even though we call forth those things that “be not,” knowing that God always leads us in triumph, in celebrating a victory not yet seen, still, when we look at ourselves, we do not see the reality of Christ that we read about so plainly on the pages of the New Testament, a reality that most Christians have put off to heaven.
But right now, God has us inside the chrysalis, in a quiet, enclosed place. All the while we were a caterpillar, we were Christ living as us in this world, the problem is, we didn’t know that. Now, in this enclosed place, in the final part of the Holy Place, the Day of Atonement in the Feasts of Israel, we know that He is our life; we have no other life.
What is the will of God? Paul said that the will of God is our sanctification, that is, the completion of the caterpillar state, as everything that is in us is turned into the reality of a butterfly.
The butterfly is Christ through us, when everything that is Christ in fullness, moves through us to set creation free.
The will of God is who we are, not what we do. What we do comes out of who we are.
The kingdom of God is not heaven only, but heaven and earth. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” God must become visible in time and in flesh.
Therefore, looking across all that God speaks, there is no more important word for us than the word of our transformation – Romans 8:29 and 2 Corinthians 3:18.
We must place that transformation specifically, since faith is not general, it is specific. In other words, it’s no good to “believe” that maybe someday we will be like Jesus. Neither is “Christ as us” sufficient by itself. The first is where we start; the second is what takes us there.
Let’s give an even simpler picture. The first level is to get into the car. The second level is to ride in the car to the destination. The third level is to get out of the car and be where you are going. That destination is NOT “heaven,” it is being conformed to the full image of Christ, revealing Him in all glory.
But both the caterpillar and the Holy Place in the temple/tabernacle show us that there is a final transition place. That is the chrysalis/altar of incense. Technically, we are still in the car, still in the second level.
It takes great faith to get out of the car. That’s why so many people draw back from the third feast or third level. The car is comfortable and familiar; the caterpillar/chrysalis is all they’ve known. It takes great faith to step out of them. “Christ as me” is not the end of the matter, but it is the only way to get to our destination. But still, once we get there, we alone must get out of the car.
Faith is specific to the word God speaks.
One of the most important and most powerful things I have written is the article, “Ask.” But Friday I was driving down the street when it suddenly dawned on me that I had never asked God specifically for this most important thing. You see, once we have asked God for something according to His will, then we can from then on believe that we have received what we ask for and God will do it.
Right then and there I asked, and now my faith is specific.
We are in the chrysalis. Everything we have been as Christians in a caterpillar state has been dissolved into nothingness. We have let go of everything. We no longer “need to” do whatever Christians do, it is all Christ living as us – that is, we have finally come to the place the Christian life is all about.
But the Christian life is temporary; it is passing away.
Inside of us, the only thing that has not dissolved into the Word-filled soup we have become is the original DNA of Christ Himself, the DNA, the Word, that will reconstruct out of our sticky parts the fullness of Christ Himself.
Transformed into that same image.
Right now, something incredible is taking place inside each one of us. The DNA of Christ in us is rearranging every part of our being, spirit, soul, and body, into the fullness of Christ. But we do not just “hope” that this is happening; we do not just “trust” God to do it.
No, trust and hope have their critical place, but they are not faith, and faith alone is what pleases God. God never forces anyone to do anything. He never forces anyone to get out of the car.
Everything God does in us and through us MUST pass through our faith; it is dependent 100% on our full involvement as an equal with God in this most incredible of endeavors – birthing Christ as a manifested son a second time into this world.
Mary and God were equal in the birthing of Jesus. However, even though it took God to conceive Jesus in Mary’s womb, it took Mary to birth Jesus into the world. All God could do was “wring His hands” in anxious excitement, and then, after Mary had done what only a woman can do, rush around the countryside telling everyone He had a new baby boy.
I live in a full trust in God, that He has seized me in His grip and is working all His will in my life, that all His ways concerning me are perfect. I walk in hope in the glory of Christ, calling those things that be not as though they are, boasting confidently in the full victory of Christ in me though I see it not.
And that’s just it, I see it not. When I look at myself, all I can see with my natural eyes is a weak human heading for the grave.
Faith is found in asking God for the most important thing. It dawned on me that I had not done that. Let’s do it together. Pray these words as yourself.
“Father, all my life I have partaken of You. I have eaten Your word; I have learned Your ways. In all my ways, I acknowledge you. You have seized me in Your grip. You have set me aside from all the bustle of Christianity, and You have me now in this quiet, enclosed place.
“I ask You, Father, to transform me right here, right now, into the image of the fullness of Christ, into His full stature upon this earth. I ask that, from Your DNA, the Word of Christ inside of me, You would create me as the fullness of Christ, without measure, manifest upon this earth as the second witness of Your glory.
“Father, transform me now into the full image of Christ.
“And Father, I believe that I have received what I ask for. I know now that with swiftness every part of me is coming together into an entirely new arrangement. I am completely different on the inside and on the outside from what I was as a Christian. I am patterned after the fullness of Christ, as He is now, exalted above the heavens, seated upon the throne of Glory, coming in the clouds of heaven.
“I am just like the Lord Jesus Christ, for I see Him as He is.
“Now, Father, You have also promised me a grace to cast off this final outer shell that covers the glory You have created me to be. I ask you, right now, for all the fullness of that grace. That right now, You would give me all the strength of heart I need to cast off every vestige of the curse, every strand of this covering that yet hides the glory of Your Person in me.
“I thank You, Father, that I have received all that I ask for. I thank you that I have the grace to cast off the chrysalis, the veil of the covering, and to stand upon this earth revealed for all to see as Your son, manifesting Your glory and mine, setting creation free into the glorious liberty You have wrought in me.
“I know, Father, that this is Your will for me, because You SAY it is.
“You say it is.
“Father, I believe what You say.”
I have found, many times through my life, that when I wanted someone to do something for me, it was no good to hope they would do it; it was not even any good to trust that they would do it. No, I learned, sometimes the hard way, that if you need something from someone, you must ASK them for it. But with God, asking has two parts, first we ASK, and then we believe that He is doing, that we have received, what we ask for.
This is the first time in my life that I have asked this specifically of God. Funny, isn’t it, how easy it is to assume without asking. Yet faith is found only in asking.
But here is the reality. God could not birth Jesus into the world; Mary had to do that. God cannot reach down and remove the chrysalis from off the butterfly; the butterfly must break the hold of the chrysalis and cast it off all by itself.
God will run around and tell everybody; He will “pass out the cigars.” We don’t have to do that.
This is our glory. This is the wonderful trust God Himself has placed in us. This is the task given into our hand – to cast off the covering that hides the fullness of Christ that we are.
As the new butterfly casts off the strands of the chrysalis, the life and strength that is in it flows out into every part of it, hardening the wings, enabling it to soar in the heavens.
But remember this (I am mixing two metaphors, the two primary metaphors God uses all through His word to speak of this glorious thing happening right now to us), remember that when Jesus came out of Mary’s womb, the first thing He saw was warmth and love and tender hands and swaddling clothes.
We live in a world at war. The first thing we see as we come out of the womb, as we cast off the chrysalis, is “the dragon’s gaping maw.”
And the dragon stood before the woman to devour her child as soon as it was born.
“And her child was caught up to God and to His throne” does not remove us from the battle. We are hurled into the final showdown, the final contest, the silencing forever of that hideous accusation against God from the beginning.
The manifestation of the sons of God has three parts. First, we come bursting forth out of the curse. Second, we manifest the second witness of Christ in this final showdown upon the earth. Third, we set all creation free into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
You know, I think I’m excited!
It is time. Even so come, Lord Jesus.