Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Confusion in the Body of Christ over Identity. Christian Schizophrenia

There is a lot of buzz about identity, particularly among Christians.  People want to know their purpose.  Who God wants them to be.  What they should be doing. 

Some of this comes because we thing our identity is something we are in Him.  That we live doing or being what He wants us to do or be.  That is upside down.  Our identity is best described as who HE is in US. 

Colossians 2 has much to say about this issue.  You can read it here in the NLT.

Here are a few TRUTHS that will help people figure this out.  It's not about you, It's about HIM in YOU.  The hope of Glory.  Italics are mine:

2:2 I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. 3 In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  You already have access to all the hidden treasures, they are there for the taking.  Don't reach out, reach in.

7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.  Knowing who He is will help you know who you are.  Learn to probe the depth of His attributes.  There are over 100.  Dig deep as a tree does in fertile soil

8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers  of this world, rather than from Christ. 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.  10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.  So much of what passes for theology is in reality psychobabble recast.  Your union with Christ is not You and Christ in you, that's true, but more accurately you IN CHRIST.  The father sees Jesus when he looks at you.

13God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.  Jesus made fun of your accusers by the victory at the cross.  He neutered them.  We only give them validity if we buy into the lies. 

16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. 18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels,  saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, 19 and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.  Even among evangelicals we find ourselves doing self denial. We find ourselves navel gazing.  We suffer in a way Jesus didn't expect us to.  It is up to us to look to Him, Who he is, don't get tangled up in fake theologies.  He loves you, even likes you and wants to do good for you.  Live in expectation of good.

20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.   We all have evil desires.  We all have things we suffer with and from.  BUT.. we don't have to.  We can live above them.  IF we know our position.  It's not a quest, it's a fact.  You are free..even if you don't feel like it all the time.
 Chap 3: Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.  Here's where the real rub comes in.  And it's a tough one.  We are busy trying to fit in here on earth and don't see our real position in heaven.  We are seated in heaven already (think eternity) at the right hand of the Father.  A  place of authority.  A place of power.  A place that is far above anything we can think of on this earth.

Eph 2: 6  God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, demonstrated by His kindness to us in Christ Jesus  So if you are wondering about your earthy identity, first get a handle on your true identity and it will all come into focus.  You are what HE is, you sit where HE sits, you carry the authority HE carries.  There's your purpose.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Dream of Being Lost and Yet Not

A recurring dream of mine is being lost.  Most of the time it's in the city.  I guess as a country boy I'm pretty good in the wild.  I think I can find my way well.  No, it's nearly always in a city.  Taking a wrong turn, ending up in a place I didn't want to be.  Losing time. In danger sometimes.  Sometimes in a trap.

Sometimes these dreams have me going down a road a long way to find my destination.  Most of the time on foot.  Sometimes in a building or in a hotel can't find where I supposed to be.  Lots of variations on this dream.  Too many to talk about.

The wrong turn lost feeling comes because I set out without a clear direction. I have stumbled and ended up where I didn't want to be.  This is a sinking feeling.  There is almost never somewhere to find and rescue me.  I don't die or am not injured, just lost and not where I want to be.

I have wondered what this means.  I believe I know.  I am now convinced that this comes from not fitting in and knowing my place in the WORLD.  I know my place in the grand scheme but in the world I am a stranger in strange land.  My mastery is not of worldly things, but of other.

I feel like the old Hymn:

I’m But a Stranger Here
By: Thomas R. Taylor
I’m but a stranger here,
Heaven is my home;
Earth is a desert drear,
Heaven is my home;
Danger and sorrow stand
Round me on every hand;
Heaven is my fatherland,
Heaven is my home.
What though the tempest rage,
Heaven is my home;
Short is my pilgrimage,
Heaven is my home;
And time’s wintry blast
Soon shall be over past;
I shall reach home at last,
Heaven is my home.
Therefore I murmur not,
Heaven is my home;
Whatever my earthly lot,
Heaven is my home;
And I shall surely stand
There at my Lord’s right hand.
Heaven is my fatherland,
Heaven is my home.

So I will finish the race even if I don't get where I think on this earth, My home is elsewhere

Knowing the End from the Beginning is the Key to Peace With God

In many Westerns when a person is about to be killed, hung or somehow dispatched the person doing the dispatching will ask or say "Make your peace with your maker".  

Some think that is about heaven.  Some think that is about saying a prayer.  It's not actually.  I have seen what it is to be at peace with God.  Being at peace with God is knowing he knows the end from the beginning. 

If there is a movie you enjoy that you have seen several times, you watch it because you love the story, but you don't get upset like you did the first time when you watched it without knowing the end.  You became un-peaced.  Then the movie finished up.

I just watched the Superbowl Rerun from last Sunday.  Watched if from beginning to end, commercials and all.  I knew how the game came out.  I cheered and feared when it was in real time.  In rerun, I had no fear or cheer to offer since I knew the end from the beginning.  That's how God sees us.  He sees the end from the beginning.  It's a wild ride, but since we know He loves us and since we know we can trust Him no matter what, we can have peace. 

You see, when you entered into salvation, you were already sealed. Eternal life began.  Formerly dead, you came to life.  Your expected end was already achieved.  And it can't be lost unless you decide to reject it.  Some do not preach this well.  They have believers hanging over hell on a rotten stick.  They play the Superbowl rerun and tell you this time the Patriots might win.  No Game Over. 

Knowing your end from the beginning brings PEACE.  Live in it.

A Dream of Clown Christ

I have been having dreams of late.  Some are even disturbing.  I know Apostle Eckhardt is involved in Dream Interpretation.  I don't engage in it much.  Too many strange translations.  I have done so and will if asked, but usually as a prompt to a word from the Lord.

I had a dream a few days ago that bothered me.  One was of a play, a stage.  On it were characters of various types.  One strange character was gaudy and clown-like.  I asked someone what that was supposed to be, he said "That is the Christ". 

He didn't look like it and I knew at once it was a mockery of Jesus.  Yet why?  Then I got the impression from the Holy Ghost that this is how the world sees the Body of Christ on the earth.  We look like a clown show to them.  Some of the shenanigans we see in the Church of Jesus reinforces this idea.  They don't take us seriously any more.  We have lost our power and influence by becoming clowns in the world.  Dancing and jigging to the worlds tune.

How did we get here I asked?  "By not representing who I really am" was the answer I got. Do we not understand who HE is and who we are in Him?  I don't think we do. 

There is going to be a presentation of Jesus Christ Superstar on TV on Easter Sunday.  It stars John Legend, Alice Cooper and Sara Bareilles.   I don't know where they come from spiritually.  It doesn't matter, even though I enjoy the Music from JCSS, it may contribute to the clown Christ.

I have had this dream more than once.  Sometimes in a courtroom with the defendant being lame and then identified as Christ.

As this has persisted I thought it's time to say to the Body of Christ, Take off the clown hat, lose the red nose, be yourself and take your place.  It's not about being respectable, it is about being salt, light, hope, encouragement and freedom to a lost and dying world.