The Affirmed I
Back in the early 1980's, when I was first discovering for myself the reality of Christ in me, I began to have urges to start a publication that would proclaim "Christ in you." There were already publications that did that, of course, but for some reason I wanted to do it, too.
So I went through the dance most of us go through, when we have dreams, hopes and ideas that impress or urge us somehow toward a new action. It is the dance of, "Is this desire coming from God, or from some lesser source?" In other words, "Is this the will of God?"
That began a time of several months, in which I waffled back and forth on my answer to that question. My dilemma boiled down really to one thing -- I had to believe in the totality of Christ in me, living as me, in order to trust that desire. I had to trust, to believe against appearances, that publishing a little magazine about "Christ in you" was not a self-indulgent thing, something for self-promotion, but that "the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works," period.
My greatest fear was myself, or put another way, my fear was that Christ really wasn't my reality, and that I was still the same self-interested egotistical person I had been all my life.
But there came a point in that process, in which I came to a waterloo, and I made a leap of faith to jump over all the ever-present self-doubt and self-absorption ("What will people say? What if I can't do it? What if people think I'm trying to get attention? What if I start it and it fails?"), and just do it anyway, believing without any sort of evidence (no voices, visions, fleeces) that this was a right thing to do.
So, with the help of my friend Cal Owens who offered printing & typesetting on equipment he had access to, we started a little magazine called "ACT" -- (Action in Christ Today), 16 pages I think it was, published quarterly, and we began printing and sending them out to a small mailing list of a couple hundred -- which grew quite a bit over the two year period we did it.
I can't begin to tell all the things that have happened because I saw that inner urge, which I questioned for months, through to completion. That little magazine was right in the stream of living water flowing out of me in God's grace, and began a river journey that is still going on, and the delta is still yet to come!
I couldn't have told you that then. It was small, insignificant, with few tangible "results," and I was as unsure of every successive step as I was the first one, yet kept taking them anyway, like finding your path across a stream on slippery rocks.
The same battle is sometimes joined in me today, more than two decades later. The same self-doubt, the same self-absorption. Yet the answer has pressed itself deeper and deeper into my consciousness as faith has gone from glory to glory. And that has come to me these days as a once-for-all complete and total affirmation of what is to me the personal word of the Lord, that without equivocation or qualification He is my life and no other, that He has made me "accepted in the beloved," He has presented me "faultless" and "without blame," that He "imputes no iniquity" to me, that there is no condemnation whatsoever in Him toward anyone, that He is the source and completion and the fulness of all things, and that He and I are one spirit, which means we are one person, and to say that is to say what Jesus said, and to claim the same unity -- unity -- with the Father that Jesus boldly claimed. I and my Father are one.
Jesus even prayed specifically for that, that "they may be one as we are one." "Glorify them with the same glory with which you glorify me." That's the whole enchilada.
When I wrote the words above "that little magazine was right in the stream of living water flowing out of me," I had a twinge of, "That sounds like you're claiming to be something," go through my mind.
But what else can we say and live in faith and not unbelief, except to say that "God is mighty in me"? What other truth is there?
I affirm I. I and my Father are one. My desires come from Him. My meat is to do His will. The fulfillment of them is by His Spirit. Rivers of living water flow out of me.
Is that conceit? Maybe. If so it will have its reward. It will be burned up.
Is it dangerous? Yes, totally. It is the greatest risk in the universe. The stakes are the ultimate. To touch the mountain of God is death.
Is it Truth? Absolutely. There is no other. (Person, that is.)
I and my Father are one.
"I am the bread from heaven, if any man eat of me he shall live."
Jesus isn't walking around as Himself anymore. He's walking around as you, so you'll have to be the bread people eat. And you are.