Response to "Results of the Second Birth and Being Abandoned to God"
This has really begun to have an impact on some of us here. Can you expound on this a bit more? There are questions that seem to be answered for us in Jesus’ teaching on giving up everything and considering nothing our own. The practical application of that is really scary and has proved quite trying for us. I personally am finding myself struggling to live up to my “commitment” to do so.
Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks : )
Ask Jesus to implant some Understanding of what I’m about to share with you, as well as I am able, right now? Here goes...
“Commitment” is actually a misnomer, in a way. “Consecration” is an abandonment that comes not from commitment (though commitment is the starting place, because it’s RIGHT, and He’s RIGHT!). It comes from the “loss” of FINALLY recognizing our INABILITY and the cessation of striving. We strive because we honor Him. Any less concern for His Ways and Truth and Life and Commands would be careless and foolish and rebellious. And yet, we learn from the total “commitment” that we are, in fact, unable. “What I do I HATE.” If we don’t HATE our sin and selfishness and pride and materialism, we have no basis to TRULY find a supernatural MESSIAH. It’s just religion, up to that point.
The PROCESS of death requires an earnest and passionate commitment, that we, in turn find we are inadequate for. Then, and only then can we be changed from “wooden boys” like Pinocchio, to Real boys, supernaturally endued with power from on High. There are no shortcuts. Apathy and laziness and presumption that hide behind a doctrine of so-called “grace” will never get us to Him. Only passionate pursuit to the fullest extent, no compromise can begin the Journey. This then, leads to death to self (if we are WILLING to “die to the world and the world to us”) as we recognize “we can’t get there from here.” We, for the first time REALLY, recognize we are foolish and inadequate and hopelessly far from the only One that matters. At this point, with pride crushed, hope lost (a hope built upon the wrong foundation that our expert theologies could never have grasped), flesh exposed, and failures rampant we are able to HONESTLY, from the heart “call on the Name of the Lord”—for REAL LIFE that we THOUGHT we surely already had!
So, how do you begin, since the manifestation of SUPERnatural Life is not within our reach? This LIFE cannot even be SENSED by those that don’t have an experience of it—they think what THEY have is the end of the road, and that everyone else is their peer, at best! How can a blind man understand a rainbow, or a deaf man understand an experience of Pacabel’s Canon? The way Home begins with, according to Jesus in Jn. 5 and 7-8 with obedience, or as you would say, “commitment” to honor Him in every thought, word, action, priority, relationship, and decision. NOTHING belongs to a doulos, a slave. “We are NOT our own. We are bought for a price.” That’s the way of the cross. Denying ourselves is the Way to follow Him. Taking up OUR crosses is not an option if we call ourselves His followers—”Christians.” And a dead man doesn’t have opinions or rights. Am I right? : )
A rare few will be willing to accept God’s Ways as Right, without any intention of compromise. In so doing, they are beginning a Journey that will lead to “Rivers of Alive water gushing from the inner man”—that most people only read about in their Bibles. A FEW folks know and experience “the power of an indestructible Life” and have “tasted the powers of the coming age” with “weapons of Righteousness in the right hand and the left.” Most folks just do bible studies, and attend speeches, good deeds, and staged music. Seldom is LIFE manifested beyond carnal fallen flesh, with religion and good deeds added to make it seem “Christian.” But “Christ-ian” has to do with Supernatural ANOINTED LIFE, by the very definition of the Greek word! And certainly the Scriptures and the lives of the men in the Scriptures back this up.
SO. “Commitment”? The ONLY place to begin the Journey. But not even “the means to the end,” really. This thing called “commitment” is only a “tutor” and “schoolmaster” that leads us to the Reality... JESUS HIMSELF! : ) Truly, “you can’t get there from here.” But to start, what we CAN be sure of is that “if you Love Him, you’ll obey His commands.”
By the way, NEVER believe anyone or hang around anyone that makes excuses and cries “foul, FOUL!” when an opportunity to repent and obey Him comes along. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing, masquerading as angels of light. “Get the log out of your own eye,” and “That’s LEGALISM,” and “That’s not practical” are the fleshly screams of spiritual felons and pretenders and blind guides.
HOWEVER, “commitment” is only the tool that God uses to show us ourselves, and ultimately to show us His Face in intimacy and power. He LOVES to give good gifts to His children—“to those that ask.” And yet, “I’ve been committed to you for three weeks (or three decades!) already, and YOU, GOD, still haven’t delivered me and given me what I want!” This is, of course, a pitiful example of flesh that lives on, and a life that “has no room in their heart” yet for Jesus to fill them with Himself. God will not transform us (“metamorphosis”—2Cor. 3:16-18) on any timetable of our making. He won’t bargain or barter with us. As long as we are holding on to this way of dealing with God, He will not meet us on His Holy Ground.
God is God. If you will, “at the Name of Jesus” soften your heart—allow your knees to buckle at the mere mention of His Name, always turning to Him in good and in bad, in “success” and in failure, daily laying down your life for His lambs in REAL ways... you will love how it all turns out. In the meantime, if you’re a spiritual carrot, be the best carrot He’s ever had. If you’re not there (and you should know it!), be His favorite toaster. Just be simple. Be obedient. Be sacrificial, without demands of God or need for recognition or appreciation from men. Just lay it out there, fully abandoned and committed to Him and to obedience and the cross. Leave the rest to Him. He IS the “Master Teacher.” He’ll get us there. For His own Glory’s sake.
Hope these seeds will be planted carefully and quietly in your hearts, without fanfare. As we’ve said often around here for the last fifteen years, “IF YOU GOT A ‘THING’ OUT OF IT, YOU DIDN’T GET A THING OUT OF IT.” : )
(more from that precious evening...)
Results of The Second Birth and Being Abandoned To God
...This is really subtle, but I want you to catch it. This is incredibly important. You will never have more of Jesus Christ living inside of you later on in life, if you have been born a second time now. I need to qualify that. There are a lot of religious people in the world that have never abandoned themselves into a second birth. Jesus said there will be “MANY” that call themselves Christians and are part of religious organizations, and personally involved in great deeds “for Christ”... but He never knew them, they weren’t really born a second time, and they are therefore not TRUE Christians, by Jesus’ definition! But for those that have been born a second time, you will never have more of Jesus Christ living in you than you do right now. Not even a million years from now. You will not have more of Jesus living inside of you then than you do now. Jesus is a person. You don’t have His arm and then later on you get His foot. Jesus either lives in you or He doesn’t live in you. If you have it in your mind that you’re going to die and go to heaven and then everything will be fantastic because now you’ll be just filled with the glory of God, you are really missing an important point.
If you have been born a second time, you are already filled with the glory of God. The difference between now and after you graduate into the Kingdom of Light and its fullness is that your understanding will no longer be darkened. When you see Him face to face, you will know Him. It’s not that you’ll have more of Him. It’s that you will know Him. You’ll be able to see for the first time in absolute clarity why He wanted you to go this direction in your life rather than that one. Why He wanted to give you this when you wanted that.... Why He wanted you to choose this rather than choose that. Why self-indulgence is so evil and so destructive and brings so much of His furiousness against it. You’ll understand those things. And as we see Him and we know, it will be very easy to let Him fill us and magnify Himself and bring us into the full glory, because we won’t be so stupid as to think we’ve got a better idea. That’s our problem right now. Your problem in whatever shallowness or sins or moods or broken relationships or lack of fruitfulness is not that you don’t have enough of Jesus. It’s that your darkened understanding is warring against the thoughts of God because you just don’t believe Him in every situation. You think you have a better idea, so you make choices that say, “Well this feels better to me than that does. I know He said that, but there’s probably a way around that. Surely He’s got a second or a third idea that we could all live with.” And so instead of abandoning ourselves into things that don’t make sense to us or are not desirable to us, we always have a better idea than God. As we’re warring against the thought and the mind of God, we’re making ourselves walk around in circles and not progressing the way He wants us to.
I need to make that distinction with you because if you have been born a second time, you won’t have any more Jesus in you even in heaven than you have right now. Jesus said, “If you believe in Me, you shall never die.” It’s not that you die and go to heaven. This is eternal life, that they might know You the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
I want this to be really clear: The thing that God did inside of you when you gave your life to Him and were born a second time is the fullness of everything in every way. It’s the fullness of the glory of the Godhead. Jesus made it very clear that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost come to live inside of us in their fullness when we give our lives to Him in the second birth, when we believe in Him, when we trust in Him. So your capacity for just totally banishing every evil thought, every evil action, every undesirable thing from your life, and everything you touch bringing glory, bringing life, bringing love and liberty, that potential inside of you is just beyond imagination. But it’s our darkened understanding and our unbelief and our pride that says, “I have a better idea. Well, not that, but this.” We’re negotiating with God when we ought to be abandoning. That’s the difference. When we see Him face to face, we’ll see how stupid that it is to argue with God. When we are able to see the end from the beginning as He does, we say, “Oh, wow! What was I doing? What was I thinking of?” And then as we are abandoned to His thoughts, the fullness of the Godhead will live and radiate out from us the way it should be right now.
I say this because I want to motivate you and myself to see it the way He sees it now.... To agree with Him now.... To abandon ourselves into His thoughts and into the obedience and liberty of being a follower of Jesus right now because that’s how the glory of God is manifest in our lives in this present age. The church brings forth the glory of God to the nations as we are abandoned to His thoughts... now! Not in the futility of our thinking and our darkened understanding. That’s what we war against. Understanding and believing God and trusting God. We don’t war against not having enough of Jesus in us. We war against believing Him so that He can come forth in might, love, power, patience, goodness, gentleness and self-control. The way, of course we would want Him to. And He could if we just believe Him, trust Him and obey Him.
Chew on all of that. There is no such thing as a second class, born-again Christian or a weak, born-again Christian that by nature is always designed to be always weak. That’s just not the case. If the Godhead lives inside of you, your capacity for expressing the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way is limited only by your trust, your belief, your obedience in the thought and the mind of God so that Christ can come forth in power out of an earthen vessel.
To me that is extremely good news because it is not a matter of achieving Christ. It is a matter of believing Christ and getting all of the competitive thoughts and attitudes out of our mind and trusting that He knows the beginning from the end. When we see Him face to face, it’ll all make perfect sense. But for now it doesn’t have to make perfect sense in order for us to abandon ourselves to Him.... That is, if we really want to walk with Him in the fullness that He designed us for. And that surely is the way also to enjoy Him in worship and love and deep relationships with one another and with Him in this present age. To abandon ourselves into His thoughts and into the obedience and liberty of being a follower of Jesus right now... is also the way to bear fruit, which isn’t the product of asserting ourselves in self life and striving. If we’ll empty ourselves of self and the thoughts of self, we can be filled in every way by Him!