Monday, August 11, 2008

Close and Yet Separated

My wife has been watching the Olympics. Yesterday, a remarkable surprise occurred in the women’s individual medley. An American woman was heavily favoured to win, and although it was close, she was in the lead right up to the very end – but she made a fatal error. She touched with the flat of her hand instead of her fingertips, and that 7/100 of a second meant the difference between gold and silver (close but not close enough).

Isn’t it remarkable when you consider particularly from a religious mind set, how two of the greatest figures, Moses and Elijah, from the Old Testament hall of fame, as close as they were to God, there remained yet a distance between them and God. These two men could not yet fully stand in the presence of God because they did not at that time have the right life to do so. By the way, I fully believe that they now have that right life.The closest position made available before the fully processed life of Christ as Jesus was either as a servant, or one step up, a friend.I know personally how often I wished if only I could be a “David or Moses or Elijah,’ not knowing that within me was the only life-nature (totally pleasing and acceptable) available, and along with that, a status no other position could compare with.

The point is that no amount of doing can earn us a place in the Father’s presence. This includes great and miraculous doing that is in obedience to the Father’s will. There is no kind of doing that can win us a place in the Father’s household because no amount of doing can make God “Father” to us.

Relationship with the Father is an issue of life and nothing but life. This is why when God moves it is always His place to take the first step: (
Romans 5:8). When the Father made His greatest commitment to humanity there was no question of any action being required on our part. When Christ died for us we didn’t even understand what was going on so action on our part was totally out of the question.

In being brought to see with ever greater clarity that our only Life is Christ, then why are we trying to be ‘like’ Christ verses, ‘as’ Christ? By surrendering to the nature-life of the Father in us, is this a ‘work’ we’re doing or is it a choice totally available to us, trusting Him to fully form his Son in us as us?
Paul clearly establishes this thought from (
Romans 5:9-11): "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin's dominion) through His resurrection] life."

Isn’t it but a moment by moment trusting, surrendering (choice) to our Father the author of the real life in us which was initiated by our Father, verses through the energy of our fleshly desires to produce ‘Christ likeness’? Is being close (having a form of Godliness) what we want, or is it the longing of our heart to have Christ fully formed in us?

Rich

4 comments:

Free Spirit said...

GOOD WORDS, brother!
I feel like I've spent a lot of time, so close to Him and yet oh, so far away!!

Amy said...

Rich,
Amen. Great Blog!

This post contains several excellent points. I love:

"...no amount of doing can earn us a place in the Father’s presence."

"...when God moves it is always His place to take the first step."

"...When the Father made His greatest commitment to humanity there was no question of any action being required on our part."

"...When Christ died for us we didn’t even understand what was going on so action on our part was totally out of the question."

In answering the questions in your last paragrah: Yes! Life and faith in God IS indeed a moment-by-moment trusting, surrendering (choice) to Father.

It is NOT anything we do...any energy required through our fleshly desires to produce "Christ likeness?"

All Believers are given a New Heart at the moment of salvation. Because the Spirit now resides in us, we all desire Godliness. We all long for Christ to fully manifest in us.

However, I have a "problem" with the common cliche so often misused, "I want to be just like Christ." Now, yes...I want to "be" like Christ, as in living love, living grace, living fruitfully, living relationship and living by sinning as least as possible, having relationship. But I so often think people think that being Christlike means literally ditching their own unique personalities, interests, hobbies, skills, and gifts to the wayside to literally be more like Christ. This idea is totally wrong. Being Christlike, to me, means being our whole true selves that we were meant to be as our Maker uniquely created us as. Of course, this also includes walking/living out the Godliness characteristics as I mentioned above.

~Amy :)

Rich said...

free spirit,

I liked what you said here, the kicker imo is this, that even though Christ is IN us, without revelation that freely flows from Papa's heart to us, we will try to bridge that supposed gap.

One of the main issues I see all around me within the body of Christ is this. The devil was powerless in stopping who-so-ever from being reborn, but we and that also includes who-so-ever when we give a mind to the flesh, we cease growing.

Papa's ultimate intention is not the birthing of sons, but the making of them imo.
We are reborn in a second, but its the fully formed life of His son in us that is the making of those sons.

Rich said...

Amy,

Loved your thoughts, thank you so much.

I see the uniqueness of who we are in Him being those very expressions of His unfathomable grace, and each of us displaying a unique facet of His amazing Grace. :)