From Adam to Christ
From death to life
From old to new
From darkness to light
From works to rest
From law to grace
From judgment to righteousness
From exhausted to seated
From me to Him
From busy to content
From do to done
From anxiety to peace
From religion to relationship
From “what’s next” to “what’s finished”
From “have to” to “want to”
From temporal to eternal
From glory to glory to glory
Wynema Clark 5/26/15
The majority of my Christian walk has been riddled with wild and exciting expectations. With every new revelation came a fresh sense of revival or rapture. Every unveiling brought a goal of something dramatic and big. I remember sitting at the edge of my seat as a young woman thinking that I could be one revelation away from walking right into Heaven. I’m serious. These expectations kept me hungry, in fact I think they were even a little addicting. But it wasn’t really a hunger for Jesus it was a hunger for something more. The promise of a big event, a big feeling, something more and something better. That was where the excitement was found.
Even in practical life there was an expectation of more. More money, more health, more happiness. I had been conditioned to expect it. But what I’ve learned is that more is never enough. The more you have, the more you want. And that mentality is exhausting. In it there is no contentment. In fact, contentment, is a bad word. But it’s not.
For me this New Covenant understanding has been something completely new, fresh and exciting, because it shines such a blinding light on the biggest event of all time, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It actually completely disarms my need for drama, because I can’t think of anything more dramatic than what has already been done. I mean God will do what He is going to do regardless of my expecting it or not, but if I don’t know what He has already done I am robbed of the joy of completion in that work, the understanding of the deepest kind of love possible, and the total freedom in who I am today.
If God never did anything else (and I am not saying He won’t) I could spend a lifetime utilizing what He already did. I believe we have only experienced the tip of the iceberg, the cherry on the top of the chocolate cake of redemption.
I am so thankful for what He did and this new covenant of grace that I am able to walk in every day. I am thankful for the freedom and peace that it has brought. For the surety of a love that is bigger than my mind could ever grasp.
Have you ever studied christianity as a way to live? If you’ve gone to church I’m sure you have. Often we hear ministers quote great educators and speak of social change. We have learned positive thinking techniques that are designed to lead us to health and wealth. Although all of these are interesting and have a degree of truth to them they are not really any different than any of the world religions. You can choose your philosophy or political view in the confines of your own head, but none of these are the gospel. Some of these are good news but they are NOT the gospel.
What sets the gospel a part from the religions of the world is that Jesus came to give us LIFE. He came to restore the missing part. No message of self improvement, social justice, or philosophy can put life into a human spirit. We stand as believers in possession of a treasure. A shining light of life to offer a world full of darkness yet we spend our time focused on self improvement, social justice and how to make and keep wealth. This leaves the believer without the basic understanding of the very treasure that now lives within them, LIFE. It also fails to offer the world the only cure for their darkness.
Life isn’t what you do, it isn’t how you live, it is Who lives within you. It is what makes this gospel unique. If the believing body knew what they actually possess now, which is the very life of Christ, their lives would be transformed from earthly minded bits and pieces of self improvement to a Heavenly rest within whatever social, political, financial situation they face. The indwelling Christ is the hope of glory. I feel like we haven’t even begun to touch on this Life that lies within and yet it is the greatest single revelation for social justice, self improvement and world change possible.
Not feeling all that poetic
But having much to say
From a passion rising briskly
Like the ocean to the bay
Is the love of Christ my Savior
As my eyes are opened wide
To His mercy and His kindness
And the life He does provide
So complete is His provision
So entire is His being
That it feels the nooks and crannies
And awakens me to seeing
Even with my body weakened
And on earth I live today
His life is like the ocean
And my life is like the bay
It will never be depleted
It will never cease to be
It’s a life that lives forever
It’s His life that lives in me.
So I rest in this knowing
I am righteous, I am pure
I am ever in His pleasure
And poetically secure.
In response to a ministers attempt to tackle the issue of sin:
Thank God that in Christ God dealt with our sin. Not just the sins prior to Christ but all of them. He even dealt with the nature of sin that was left to us from Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22) and the sin that is a result of the weakness of our flesh (Romans 7:24-25).
The old covenant dealt with each individual sin through the law, but this could never bring righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because of the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:22) we now live our lives in a perpetual state of forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7) and in eternal righteousness with God because we are In Christ.
James 4:17 says simply “sin is knowing what you should do and refusing to do it”. In our American culture there are certain sins that repulse people and the church has a hard time loving people in that kind of sin. But it is those very people that Christ died for (Romans 5:8). I heard someone say, but once they come to Christ then they have to change. Ideally yea, but not everyone will and if they don’t does Christ forgiveness stop? Does the blood payment get returned as insufficient? The answer is “No”.
As a brother or sister in Christ begins to grow in grace and an understanding of who they are in Christ the natural progress will be change. When that time comes there are counselors and teachers that are there to help. But if that change were to never ever happen Christ blood is still sufficient, and the forgiveness that he bought continues forever.
Rather than focusing on how the broken people need to be set straight. Perhaps we should ask ourselves how can we see the broken from the eyes of mercy and grace. To bind their wounds and give them a place to heal. Instead of being repulsed by their sin we need to love them as Christ said in John 15:12 “My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you”.
There is a beautiful story in 2 Samuel 9 about a boy named Mephibosheth. He was the only son of David’s blood brother Jonathan. David had a covenant with Jonathan and I believe David is a type of Christ. After the death of Saul (the king) and Jonathan David ascended to the throne and Vs3 of 2 Samuel says this “is there not someone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the (unfailing, unsought, unlimited) mercy and kindness of God? Ziba replied, Jonathan has a son who is lame in his feet (in other words he cannot walk this out). David immediately went out to get this boy, brought him back to his house, set him at his table and he lives forever as a child of the King. Vs 13 says “so Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the Kings table, even though he was lame in both feet.
I tell you this story to say that the covenant that we have today is sufficient for all even those who may never walk it out. That is the heart of our loving God. That is how much greater the work of Christ is than that of Adam, than the work of Moses and greater than your finest effort to clean up people’s mess.
That is why we don’t need to worry about sin…
For by the death He died, He died to sin[ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life He lives, He lives to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him].
Here’s a bit of brutal honesty. Try as I may, I seem to say something dumb at least once a week. It’s not intentional. It’s born of frustration or emotion and although it’s hard to admit, sometimes it’s just ignorance. Am I alone in this? I think not…I hope not.
The most challenging times are in the passenger seat while my daughter is driving, or in a department store trying to convince her that the lesser expensive pair of sweatpants are equally as good as the ridiculously expensive sweatpants. Truth be told, the expensive sweatpants are probably better, but heck, they are sweatpants and they are ridiculously expensive! So in the heat of the argument I say something that seems appropriate to me but painfully hurtful to her.
Unfortunately my brain doesn’t register, “inappropriate” until she hits back with a verbal upper cut. Suddenly we both find ourselves suffering from emotional internal bleeding. Then it all goes quiet and I know I’ve done it again. I know I’ve spoken out of the heat of the moment instead of the truth.
Once the arguing stops, I explain my point of view. We argue some more and finally I apologize…again. I say “again” because this ain’t my first rodeo. Once we stop and listen to each other, I mean really hear each other out, it ends up in forgiveness. But there is still a deep sense of shame and regret that I’m not aware enough to avoid these mis-steps.
Then I think about my Heavenly Father and the fact that His plan made allowance for my humanity. As if He knew somehow that in the eons of time Wynema and Hannah would need a lot of grace. That because of the blood of Jesus I am allowed to make mistakes and my daughter is allowed to desire the expensive sweatpants and I am allowed to tell her “no”. The emotions of the moment are still real, the words just as painful. But at least I know it’s going to be good, it’s all ok. I think as His grace is working in me, it can work through me toward Hannah or whomever happens to need it at the moment. And hopefully through Hannah toward me who need grace quit consistently. I’m growing, she’s growing, all God’s children should be growing in Grace.
Jesus is the ultimate balance for life. My identity comes from my life in Him. My identity doesn’t come from a label placed on me because of something I may or may not believe. Who cares if I believe in a rapture or not, or if I vote republican or democrat. Endless arguments, division and labels are placed when our personal opinions become our religion.
My theology is evolving, but it is evolving into something very streamlined. I may or may not be correct when it comes to my end time beliefs or politics but I am 100% sure of my relationship with Jesus and what He accomplished at the cross. I am absolutely confident that within Him is everything I will ever need. I say that my theology is streamlined because I want nothing more or less than what is Christ. If it’s found “in Him” I want to know what it is and if it isn’t found “in Him” I don’t.
I find balance in Christ because in knowing Him is found all the elements to Christian living. Things religion has worked centuries to develop come naturally. Try really knowing Him and not having faith…it’s impossible. But faith outside of him is exhausting, because it’s dependent on “me”. Once you know Him as the author and finisher of your faith there is rest. I just trust Him. I can “be” without it being all about me.
Rest and balance in Him doesn’t mean I have it all together. It means in the midst of my life on this earth, my life filled with drama and irritation, decision making both right and wrong, that it’s about His goodness, His bigness, His ability, His accomplishment, His plan, it’s about Him. So if life were a giant scale and on the one end is me and the other is my problems then I suppose the scale would be Christ because in Him I am always in balance.
I am sitting at the airport in Dallas eating an “Art Vandelay” (yes I wrote that correctly) while waiting on my flight, which was supposed to leave at 12:25 and is now backed up till 3:40. Missed seeing my husband last night because his flight was also backed up due to bigger things going on in NYC than us, till there were no more flights to be had. After waking refreshed and ready for my trip this morning I receive a text from my ride letting me know he couldn’t take me to catch my flight due to work conflicts. Life is full of changes in our plans, and this is a completely normal part of life. I have realized in my forty-three years that trying to control thing is “futile.” So I will sit back and recapture a blog I lost after the last Apple update, which I’m sure was designed to make things easier…😁
Unexpected change and disappointment happens every day. It’s life and if you cannot handle sudden change then you will be very stressed, anxious and “yes” even angry. We humans have a keen desire to control things; like our kids, our jobs, traffic, flights, other people, our destiny, I could go on and on.
Recently I have taken another look at the one who is really in control! I feel as if I’ve been re-introduced, although He has been right here all along. Now I know Him as Master of the Universe, and my loving Father who knows what I do not know and what I think I know, while He is teaching me gently and patiently. The one who has made provision way in advance for my life and has filled me up with Himself in Christ.
Because of this I am able to sit here at Dallas-Love Field and enjoy an “Art Vandelay” totally relaxed. I am able to learn that when you park in long term parking you should always get a ticket… 😏 (another story for another time). I can navigate speed bumps in life and trust that my Heavenly Father has a better understanding of My life and my world than me. I can rest knowing that His grip on me and my life is bigger and more secure than I have on my life. Knowing this fact allows me to relax, release my grip and let Him have complete control. I trust Him, faith is easy when you know the Master of the Universe. God has answers before we ever have problems. He will fulfill his purpose. You might as well sit back and enjoy the ride.