The reason the world is turned off by Christianity isn’t because we, as Christians, aren’t good enough. It’s because we are very flawed but we present ourselves as if we are perfect, so we are fake. Glorified actors, who really have no idea who they are or what they really have to offer. Going through the motions. Doing what we believe looks like what a good Christian should be doing, what is acceptable in the religious community but to the world looks like fakery. Religion has essentially bound us to expectations and perfectionism. In some cases since early childhood. So much so, that our creativity and individual expression havent been allowed to blossom. The problem is that the world sees through it, teenagers see through it and anyone who thinks sees straight through this act. How are we as believers freed from expectations, preconceived ideas, perfectionism and being fake? Actually the message of the New Covenant authenticates the reality of our Christian walk. Grace frees you to be very real, because you see that it’s all about Jesus anyway, and now you can relax. Then you are faced with “now what” because for so long your actions have been determined by religion and now you are free to be you. All that you are left with is the expression of life that Christ can live through you and only you. Are you good with that if it looks different or if it sounds foreign to the religious ear? You are His workmanship, not the the religious establishment. What would that even look like? It’s a great big surprise but I can promise you that He will be seen. This is what the world groans for, not our fake smiles and politics. The world craves Jesus.
On this day darkness met light
Sin met righteousness
Life met death
A reconciliation of all things and all people into One
Not a sin forgotten
not a nationality left out
For God so loved the whole world
For God’s plan included the whole world
And into His Son would be placed all sin
In Him would be the final seperation
In Him would be all law exacted
In Him would justice meet love
In Him would the blood make its final payment
Darkness fell and the earth shook
The wages of sin were deposited into the bank of eternity
Making way for the gift of God to be withdrawn
Unto all and upon all them that believe
Days later Light broke through
Righteousness came forth
and eternal Life conquered death
What was without was placed within
What is now within is being seen
Out of death came Life eternal
and it’s exceedingly, abundantly above anything we could ask or think.
Heaven on earth, Heaven in earth
It is finished!
Wynema Clark 4/3/2015
Have you ever tried to bake a cake with the wrong ingredients? It just never quite turns out. This example has been used by church leadership and ministries many times to evoke a need to re-evaluate what we are doing to see a desired end result in our lives. The other day I woke up thinking about this. As I lay in bed meditating on what that means from a new covenant paradigm I thought the most logical thing: If I am the cook then all this cake needs is Jesus to be perfectly perfect. Then the Holy Spirit stopped me and said why do you suppose that you are the cook in the equation? I had never thought that way before. I had always assumed that I had the major role in what goes in. But as I lay there in bed I realized that everything I need for life and Godliness has already been placed within me in Christ, so the ingredients are already there. Then as I rest in Him, He is cooking up His life and His nature through me that is as fragrant to a hurting world as baked cake is to a hungry nose. Neither the cook nor the ingredients are up to me the only thing I do is put myself in His hands and believe that He is cooking up more through my life than I could ever cook up on my own. I yield to His life within me, rest in what He has already done and then taste and see that the Lord is good. And when I say good, I mean Jesus, He is the “good” that will be seen in me and He is the fragrance that will be smelled on me. God really does have it in our lives.
2 Peter 1:3-8; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:21; Hebrews 4; Colossians 1:27; Romans 6:13; Psalm 34:8
Walking in the spirit doesn’t mean doing churchy things. Doing churchy things can and often is very very fleshy. You know as well as I that the more you do the more you feel you have to do. If you pray an hour you feel two is better. If you give there is always more needed and if you go to classes there is always another class to take. Then have you ever tried to step away from these things? Yikes watch out because forget what you have done it’s a perpetual state of do do and give me, give me, give me. This is the life of your everyday enthusiastic church goer. This life is exhausting!
When your churchy actions are done to gain something from God or even keep something bad from happening then you are depending on what you do and that is walking in the flesh. By definition walking in the flesh is dependance on you and your actions and walking in the spirit is dependence on Christ, who He is and what He has already done.
Walking in the spirit is very simply resting in the finished work of Christ that has already been given to you when you believe. That includes righteousness, favor and blessing. All of this in Christ now, today without doing a single churchy thing. It is faith and rest “in Him” and what He already accomplished. See “you” died with Christ (Colossians 2:20, Romans 6:8, 2 Corinthians 5:14) and then Galatians 2:20 says he gave us Christ life and it’s out of His life that we live. Do you think God is counting how many times Christ is going to church or taking communion? No way, Jose! And His life is your life. That is the life of grace instead of law.
This isn’t laziness or doing nothing, this is the capacity to actually be more productive doing what you were put on this planet to do. It’s the most natural way to live (as a spirit being) and it is all from a place of rest.
Now before you run to FB to set me straight, think of the story of Rachel and Leah. Jacob fell in love with Rachel and worked for seven long hard years to have her. In Hebrew Rachel means “ewe or lamb”. So Jacob worked for the lamb (see the picture). Only when you work to gain the lamb you wake up with Leah. What! After seven years of hard labor Jacob woke up on the wedding night with Leah. Leah in Hebrew means “weary”. That is a dirty rotten trick, but it happened. And that is what you get when you work for the lamb you get weary. After that Laban gives Rachel to Jacob and Jacob works seven years because he has her. So you can work to get and end up weary or you can work because you have and end up at rest. God’s plan is good!
This story illustrates to us that when you work to get you will end up weary. Or you can realize that the lamb is yours, that He loves you already and gave His life as you and for you and to you. The truth is you will get more done from love than from fear and obligation. It isn’t about your churchiness but about His life in you.
Do you realize that you are perfectly compatible to be the dwelling place of Christ on this earth? Did you know that we are called the temple of the living God, as well as the temple of the Holy Ghost?
To be called a temple is a big deal. Have you ever read the specifications for the tabernacle in the old covenant? I don’t recommend it unless you like lots and lots of details because God was amazingly detailed. I mean he was pretty clear with Moses that every little stitch had to be perfect or He wouldn’t move in. Amazingly Moses built everything to scale and God indeed moved in. Of course that still meant that only the High Priest could talk with Him and that is another story for another day.
I think we have had that same kind of idea about God’s presence. That we need to make everything ready for Him to come, like our heart, our attitude and we certainly can’t have any un-forgiveness, that’s a deal breaker for sure. If you have all of these things just right and the mood is properly set you could get a visitation from God. And some people go from conference to camp-meeting just to be present for one of these visitations.
News flash!! In the new covenant, on this side of the cross you do not go to a location to meet with God. In the new covenant, because of Christ and His finished work He made you the temple so that God could move into YOU. You are His temple. Where Moses was the builder in the first house, Jesus in the builder of God’s house today and you are that house!
Remember that I said, everything in the first tabernacle had to be perfect on every level and every detail or God would not move in. Well, Jesus the builder of the last house got every detail right, He finished His job with perfection so that God could indeed move in. You are that house he finished, every detail of your heart was made perfectly right. All of your old stuff was moved out and all of God’s stuff was moved in when you believed. There is no need for visitation because God moved in!
So the next time you are feeling less than right, remember that you are His workmanship, his craftsmanship, that the builder who is Jesus got all the points right, God inspected it and said well done good and faithful servant and then He moved in. He got rid of all your stuff and brought all of His stuff therefore you must be A-OK!
Reference: Exodus 25, I Cor. 6:16-20, I Cor. 3:16, Hebrews 3:4, Ps. 127:1, Gal. 2:20, Eph. 2:10