Friday, January 16, 2009
The ‘main man’ in our life is to BE none other than the man Christ Jesus - period! “For there [is only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”
Over the years, off and on, I have pondered a great deal about the unfolding scenario of umbilical cords being disconnected from the matrix of religion and being joined to Christ. Allow me to elaborate regarding the expression “matrix of religion”: I see that, prior to Christ apprehending me and even afterward, the ‘god’ of this world had totally blinded me to any other reality than that which the father of lies (Satan) wanted me to see. It’s important to understand that when the scriptures forcefully stress that the whole world lies under the direct control of the wicked one, it is not mincing words. That is the only other so-called reality available apart from Christ!
What stirred this up afresh was reading some things Barb has been writing about on her site: “A Former Leader’s Journey” specifically, her posts: “Closets and Leaving,” Closets and Keeping a Record of Wrongs or Not Forgiving,” and “Hope Deferred-A Heart Flat Lined."
While shoveling snow this morning, I sensed Father speaking to my heart regarding this convoluted, perverted lie that has permeated all flesh (yes, the Christian’s flesh as well) of trying to establish an identity apart from Christ.
We just do not see nor understand the spiritual power in and behind spoken words. Hang on here - I’m not referring to the “word of faith” stuff; I’m simply saying that we are all sightless to the influence of the spirit in and behind words that conspire to infect and affect us.
I know first-hand, having been in ministry for a good portion of my life, how the leaven of lies corrupted my desired walk with Father. For example: I was led to believe that I needed to be teachable, pliable, and malleable, otherwise others would not recognize me as being fit for leadership. So I did whatever it took to comply with this template, to show myself as being all these things, in order to facilitate the longing within my heart. Little did I realize how this was further corrupting my soul, because although all these things were ‘good’, the Word admonishes us to “receive the engrafted word with meekness”. However, I was striving to show myself ‘teachable’, etc. in order to advance my own selfish plans.
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”
I was so blinded at the time that I simply could not see. What I failed to realize was that all attributes of meekness (being teachable, pliable, and malleable) are direct manifestations of His life operating IN me, AS me. The believer has nothing to do but relax and let Christ’s life flow out of him/herself. On the contrary, what I had been striving to do was to pummel and strictly discipline myself into being pliable! How stupid is that? Yet, until our eyes are opened to the truth of who we are in Christ, we all are guilty of adding to the resident corruption of our souls with more religious, dead efforts at the hands of the ‘Minister of Righteousness’, Satan himself in order to steal the heart affections of believers unto himself.
"And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds."
I say all that to say this: so many have left organized religion with a victim mentality. These believers rail at the institution for all the wrongs that had been committed against them – as if those in leadership in their former churches had been conniving and scheming to keep them blinded. The truth of the matter is, the leadership was blinded also! They too have been beguiled and led away from the centrality of the truth of the gospel by the father of all religion. And make no mistake, Christianity as a RELIGION is no better than any other religion on the face of the earth. What makes the difference is having eyes opened to seeing Christ as LIFE.