The Power of Weakness
Q: I thought I would sort of “rumble” to you concerning our “already-areness” where the rubber meets the road. I realize that Christ as us is our already-areness since He is unchangeably complete with all the fullness of the God head dwelling in Him bodily. Thus we in Him are complete. The problem that I often face (and I’m sure that I’m not alone in this) is that many of life’s circumstances seem to make a lie out of this reality. When I say life’s circumstances, I’m not just talking in general terms rather what I mean is common daily personal situations e.g someone offending you, your body not feeling well, a shortfall in your finances, making a wrong decision etc. In the midst of these circumstances, one does tend to be confused and infact our already-areness in Him seems furthest from ones mind if not plain unrealistic. Fred, how does one consciously live in the reality of our already-areness in Him where the rubber meets the road in life? In fact tell me more about this “our already-areness” in Him
I got this from you a few days ago and I think I have in some sense experienced everything on your list in these few days in which I've thought about what you wrote. Everything you mention -- being personally "offended," feeling "unwell," financial strain, uncertainty with our own actions or decisions -- is as you say common to us all. That's the privilege of being an "earthen vessel" which operates in weakness while displaying in that weakness the power of God (2 Cor 13:4).
I think there is a misconception, that is also common to us all until God shows us something different. The misconception is that to live Christ-like is to live without being affected by and/or reacting to the daily stresses and strains of human living. That we would somehow become "spiritual" persons who feel no negative emotions, no thoughts of any kind except holy thoughts, never a twinge or ache or pain in the body, money out of a fish's mouth anytime we want it, and total self-confidence that all we do.
Few would admit to it, but I'm pretty sure that's what we all think. It is pretty much everybody's defacto living mindset in starting out this life. It is everybody's REAL theology. That is, that to live a holy life and pleasing to God, to be Christ living, would mean an elimination out of our lives the problems you mentioned above, and conversely that if we are experiencing those things, then they are indicative that we are somehow out of sync with God, and really couldn't be Christ living in us in this present moment (despite Gal 2:20).
I saw a lady on TV the other day, who undoubtedly was talking to multiple thousands of people at that moment, maybe many more, and she was telling them that they couldn't be in God's will if they were sick. If they were in God's will, then they would have no body ailments.
I almost wept on the spot for the thousands who heard that, many of whom were probably tuning in because they were hoping for a healing, and most of them not getting a healing, and then to be told they cannot be living in God's will if their bodies are sick.
Each of the things you mentioned above are places of faith, as I'm sure you know. To live Christ is to swallow up personal offense in Him, and to realize that nothing comes to us that first of all doesn't come FROM HIM, no matter by who or in what form, and then even more mysteriously it is received in us IN HIM BY HIM, so that whatever offense or evil might have been intended, He swallows it up in us by His life and turns it around in some way into His glory and manifestation. (Gen 50:20; Jn 18:11)
Regarding our bodies, I only know one scriptural body guarantee -- our new body in the resurrection -- and until then this one is mortal and "perishes day by day." It can be "quickened" (given new life) by the Lord in sickness or health, and in either condition can and does manifest the life of Jesus. Because it is an immortal life we exhibit, a life not of the physical body, but of the Spirit, in and through our flesh as long as God gives us to live in the flesh -- and in whatever physical state we are given. Certainly we can pray for and expect healing as we are led of the Lord, but in all things we trust the Lord and Him only,whether we see healing or not.
Shortfall in our finances? If I knew a surefire in the flesh cure-all for that I would fill stadiums and I'd be the richest man in the world. Job lost everything and praised the Lord. Then he got erything back double or more and used it to bless the world.
Paul said he had learned to be content in all things, to be "abased or to abound." To be full or to be hungry. He was the same in all things. The same Christ living, whether by strength or weakness, in abundance or poverty. Believe me, this is something ONLY Christ can accomplish -- but HE DOES in us, beyond and above our human ability and understanding.
Uncertainty about our choices? I'd worry about you, brother, if you didn't have a little uncertainty. I think only the devil has moral certitude. And he often uses that moral certitude to proclaim that he is eradicating evil. The devil can be the biggest promoter of supposed righteousness and the fervent leader against a crusade against evil -- in the name of God. He has no qualms whatsoever! The devil has no self-doubts. I think he sleeps fine at night.
But our human doubt is the springboard into faith and the sign of a vital life in God. It's the privilege of sonship, to doubt. To become aware, "by the exercise of our senses to discern good and evil," as Hebrews says, which is our growing up into Him who is the Head. Doubt precedes a big influx of darkness and stress into our lives. We are unsure; we don't feel right; things aren't going as we wish in some way; we are uncertain. Just like Paul said, "For when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears."
Now this is exactly what God has intended for us, in each situation, as we come to know that this life is not we trying to live it and we trying to figure out God's will and to then to apply principles and such like, thereby improving ourselves into becoming "like Christ." Though it seems to be righteous, that path is really the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil -- "eat this fruit and you'll be as wise as God (Gen 3:5)"
It is instead God filling us with the Spirit of His Son, whereby we cry, "Abba Father." Since it is God's life in us, it originates in Him and not in ourselves, and instead of us then trying to always catch on and catch up because we can never measure up nor figure it out, we find we are instead at the forefront of the revelation of Christ in our world, since it is He as us. "We are His people and the sheep of His pasture: it is He who hath made us, and not we ourselves. (Ps 100:3)."
And faith is really what this is all about. From day one through all the eternals faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith itself IS the substance and IS the evidence.
And that finally is where we live. In our faith. And not faith "in" our faith, but faith received as a gift from God which testifies that God is in this place right now. That the invisible (God) is true and HERE. (Gen 28:16)
Then you ask how does one "consciously" live in this reality?
Well, you already are.
God has revealed to you the truth that you are in union with Him, that when He entered your spirit two became ONE! (1 Cor 6:17) That knowing that you have "experienced" -- where does it come from, where does it reside? It resides in your "inner man," or your spirit, the inner sanctuary of our essential self, where God dwells. Paul says we know the deep things of God by the spirit within us, but our "outer man," i.e. outer mind, doesn't necessarily catch on to what is inner truth in us. That doesn't mean that the "outer man" is somehow some separate part of us that is wayward, sort of like a lower nature or something, but rather it is that our "outer man" has become, just as our inner man has, the dwelling place and manifestation of the Lord Jesus. When we walk in the Spirit, i.e. as Christ living in us, the outer man is "the life of Jesus manifest in our mortal flesh." (2 Cor 4:10, 11) The outer man just doesn't know it as clearly as the inner man does.
But we may still be, as Paul said, even while "manifesting the life of Jesus in our mortal flesh," filled with fears within and fightings without. Those feelings are outer, soulish -- but WE live by an inner consciousness of Christ living in us, and that is not something we necessarily "think about" during the day. We just ARE "it." You don't think about being yourself -- you just are yourself. You wake up, get out of bed, and you're just "you." No effort.
Same thing with Christ living in us, as us. It's just being ourselves -- no effort. He is living in us. It is us, but it is He. One cannot "fake" that. It is impossible to "act" like Christ. It either IS His life in us, or it is not. But if He lives in us, then it IS -- He in our very selves manifesting Himself! (Rom 8:9)
Sometimes being ourselves finds us smack dab in some circumstances we'd rather not be in, maybe with some people we'd rather not be with, feeling like we wish we didn't feel, wondering if we're in the wrong place at the wrong time. And right there the inner word comes from the Spirit and we hear it because we are His sons (Jn 10:27). When we are living and walking in Christ, every single moment, EVERY SINGLE MOMENT, we are exactly where we are supposed to be, doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing, because we are not our own, but have been bought with a precious price -- the blood of Jesus. Now having experienced the resurrection to newness of life, we are joined with Him in His broken body as bread for the world, broken for all, we included, He broken for us, and we broken for others.
All those negatives we feel and experience are His life pulsing through us for the comfort and raising of OTHERS (since it has now become an "other-oriented" life), so that's why we can count it all joy and know it will all bring many sons unto glory. We trust the Lord who brings all things to pass.
Please write again. I am privileged to be sharing with you.
All my love,