Immersion in His Daily Life


Thursday Morning, August 16, 2001

Pondering Jesus and His Ways while in South America last week, I was reminded of a Kingdom Principle. I was thinking that this Truth is well illustrated by the process of learning a language—that is, learning a language that is not one’s native tongue.

I can’t help but share this story, as we build our thoughts together over the next few minutes, about the Jesus-Life....

This past year, a professional sports figure (from the United States, which makes this news story all the more believable : )) traveled to South America to perform in some exhibition games with his sports team. During an interview upon his return home, he remarked with great enthusiasm about what he had seen there. He was most impressed with the intelligence of the children he had encountered in this South American country. “Those children down there are really smart! Every child I talked to, even the really young ones, could even speak Spanish! Can you believe that??!! And Spanish is a really hard language! The children down there are really smart!”

Ummm... : ) I’m thinking this athlete didn’t get through school on his academic prowess. : )

The point is still well made. It is “really hard” to learn a language that you didn’t grow up learning, or do not have exposure to in all of the daily events of life. I’ve only known one person who was able to learn a language as easily as he can tie his shoes, and I believe there are supernatural reasons for his particular ability to do so. Grace-with-a-Purpose. Generally though, (and I’ve seen this exercise many times, and have participated in it as well) we take a “foreign” language class (or many such classes) in “school.” We get “A’s” in the class, and can still barely speak or understand a word, realistically, when in the midst of “real life” pressures. We purchase course after course from the bookstore (French For Dummies, Russian in 30 Minutes a Day, and Power Japanese In a Week) and rack our brains for about three days trying to learn a language that even children can speak (!) in their native lands. Thousands of “dollar-hours” are spent with results that cannot parallel even a six-year-old child—in a native land. After personally “acing” four years of a foreign language in “high school” (the government factory version I was enrolled in growing up), I found myself on a train in that country not long after—and was virtually helpless to “put into practice” what I thought I knew so well! It just didn’t work! I was deaf, dumb, and blind—though “highly instructed” and quite successful in that sterile laboratory of the “classroom” and “studies.”

Is there a point to be made here about the Kingdom of God? You had better believe it.

Why are there 5000+ denominations, and 30,000 more lukewarm, meandering, confused, leaven-filled and poorly Taught “house churches” and non-denominations? Why are there clergymen (protestant and catholic) by the tens of thousands or more who can speak glorious things of the Scriptures and of Jesus—but their lives are as empty as those who cannot speak such things? They can make money off of the Good News of Jesus, but show little of it outside of the “show.” WHY? Why do the pagans roar in laughter at the worldliness and hypocrisy of virtually every expression of “church” they have ever seen? Why are foul language and choices, unGodly attitudes at work and at home, lust, greed, pride, deceit, divorce, blind and destructive child-rearing...why are these as commonplace amongst the christian world, as with the unBelievers? WHAT IS THE DEAL HERE??!! Why, with all of our books and CD music and conferences and weekly religious meetings...WHY are weakness and compromise and drifting and aloneness so ubiquitous—obvious even to the pagan world?!

Is there a point to be made here about the Kingdom of God? You had better believe it.

Here it is: Some fight desperately to protect their “way of life”—the prideful, disconnected independent worldly lifestyles that caused God to say to one Church in Paul’s day, “Your meetings do more harm than good!” Some say, “We have our own lives to lead, you know! Let’s just schedule and orchestrate a few spiritual meetings and social activities on our calendar (and lead “the good christian life” in between, of course) and that will be fine. But let’s also conjure up ‘the 18 inch rule’ (Gen. 4:9) and everyone will stay out of my business and I’ll stay out of theirs, and we’ll just have great times at meetings.”

By contrast, GOD said, “Unless you die to yourself and your ways and desires, denying your very self daily—you cannot even be considered My follower.” GOD said, “Unless you are engaged daily, shoulder to shoulder (“para-kaleo”) in life-changing discernment and dialogue and infusion into one another’s lives, you cannot avoid becoming hardened and deceived. As long as it is called ‘Today’—these words remain True.” It was GOD who said a “hundred mothers, brothers, sisters...”—INTIMATE DAILY RELATIONSHIPS—would be the very definition of what He had died and was raised from the dead to bring to Planet Earth by the Power and Glory of the Father...His CHURCH. God said it was for this very INTENTION, side-by-side with the Atonement of the Lamb’s Blood that Jesus was Sent.

So, we wonder why we cannot really, effectively learn a language in a classroom or by cassette tapes? We wonder why “even children” : ) can surpass our understanding and execution and effectiveness, if we have merely learned by “meetings” and books and tapes—rather than by LIFE together in Him. As Paul would say, regarding the Kingdom of God and His Church, and our Knowledge and Experience of Him: some things are irrevocable Principles, illustrated by His Genius in innumerable “shadows,” for all who watch and pray. “It is the same now.”

God Designed us to learn by immersion, not by academic procedure and method and meeting! IMMERSION into LIFE is how a language and its under-girding existence and reality are learned! The foods, the furniture, the transportation, the clothing, the occupations, the decisions, the weather—all of these “words” and ideas were meant to be learned as a child learns a “very hard language” : )—in REALITY, in three dimensions (or four or five)—NOT in the “FlatLands” of two-dimensional, “Let’s-describe-what-we-read-in-a-book” kind of existence. Live there! Be IMMERSED in the life in that Place with others, and you will change! It won’t be easy, and you may miss some meals out of your awkwardness, and find difficulty in daily life for awhile (as you would in a country whose life you were learning!), but you will learn and you will change! Even the CHILDREN can learn what “scholars” cannot—when they are IMMERSED IN LIFE rather than in a test-tube.

“Impartation” is God’s Way... Mere “information transference” cultivated in emotional or sentimental or worldly religious contexts (man’s way) will never deliver very much. At best, the “formaldehyde” or “cryogenic” properties of “attendance-based” christian expressions serve the purpose of protecting His Lambs from both TOO much harm—and TOO much growth. At worst, those “traditions of men nullify the very Words of God.”

Impartation, Immersion into God’s Way to be all we can be!

“The LIFE became the Light of men” (John 1:4).

“He came to be WITH them, that He might send them out” (Mark 3:14).

“The Word became flesh, and DWELT for awhile among them” (John 1:14).

“The things you have SEEN and heard in me, amongst many witnesses....” (2 Timothy 2:2).

“I was a father to you, a mother, a brother...night and day, house to house, with tears” (Acts 20:18-20).

“Since I am baptized in the Spirit, and into one Body, I have NEED of you!” (1 Corinthians 12:13ff).

“ALL the Believers were together, and had all of life intertwined with one another.” (Acts 2:44, 4:32).

“The LIFE became the Light of men.”

“The LIFE became the Light of men.”

“The LIFE became the Light of men.”

Daily immersion into Life in the Body of Christ, similar to learning a human language is the only way to truly be who you were Designed to be! It IS God’s Plan, as the Apostles well knew from both their Experience with Jesus while He was here with them, and their lives together after His physical departure. Even the children, as our sports hero mentioned above came to believe, can and will surpass the Maturity and Understanding and TRUE Fruitfulness of those who have impressive speech or programs. (Don’t be confused by smoke and mirrors of the choreographed “show” on Sunday, or at the conference, or the boasts and claims of externals.) When we Learn of Him HIS way—IMMERSION into LIFE, rather than bible verses and programs and meetings devoid of daily intertwined lives, “from the least to the greatest,” amazing things can happen.

Solo—is soooo low. It’s not the way to Fly! Jesus showed us and taught otherwise! Do whatever you have to do, barring some Audible Voice giving you a reason not to, to live where you need to live to lay down your life in vulnerability, “confessing sins to one another that you may be healed,” “admonishing one another daily, that you will not be hardened and deceived,” “bearing one another’s burdens, and so fulfilling the Law of Christ,” “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ,” and “taking up your cross (for others—this is the cross Jesus spoke of and bore) daily, deny your very life, and come after Me.” This, and this alone, is “the Church” that He is building. Against THIS CHURCH the gates of hell can not prevail. “God’s Intent is NOW, through the Church to make known His many-faceted Wisdom to the principalities and powers.” Pray to the Lord of the Harvest, and the Comforter, and the Master-Apprentice-Maker. And do what you have to do to not allow self-satisfied thoughts, or compromising falsely motivated teaching, laziness or fear stand between you and IMMERSION into the Spirit of Christ and into His Body!!! (1Cor. 12).

You may be (read: “WILL be”) tested and tried to see how deep you run (Jdg. 3:1-4; 1Pet. 1:3-12; Deut. 13:1-4; Heb. 11:17), but you will never regret it! Satan will regret it deeply—but YOU and JESUS and all of those who love Jesus and need YOU...will never regret it. Life here is short. Don’t waste it by allowing yourself to be buffaloed by those who have something to lose (Shame on them, but even that can change... “It’s HARD to kick against the goads!”), or by our own procrastination and fear. Let’s all go forward together! “None of us have it all together, but all together we have it all.”

“People who say such things show that they are looking for a Country they can belong to. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better Country—a Heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a City for them” (Hebrews 11:14-16).

That is, “A City set on a hill that CANNOT be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).
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