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Let There Be Light
Are you aware of how abusive our society has become? Words are wounding, killing the spirit and eroding the soul. The laughter on TV sitcoms has to be "canned" because the scenes and language arenít funny. Whatís presented is designed to cause us to accept life as a reality of power struggles, a huge game where one wins at anotherís expense. Belittling, mocking, smirking, scorning, patronizing, insulting, walking off, etc. rise as dead flowers pulled out of stale, slimy water to pollute the atmosphere with the stench of corrupt communication. Mostly, however, the abuse occurs in private, "behind closed doors."
I guess we donít think often enough about the language environment we create and maintain. With freedom of speech we just say whatever we want when we want without giving thought to how it may be corrupting the airwaves and/or hurting others. Maybe since the dropping of the atomic bomb there are unspoken fears of helplessness and powerlessness. Maybe we just like to feed the dragon within that would breathe fire on others so we have some sense of power over another. Maybe that gives a few seconds of reprieve from feeling our fears, from facing our hurts, from walking around numb, from feeling the pain of our grief and losses. Itís all part of the reality of the first Adam humanity that wants to be as God, defining, controlling, and owning.
But God doesnít operate in such a reality. We find God in another reality, one free of corruption, pollution, darkness and death. God does no harm, for God is love. God is faithful. God has integrity and so doesnít lie. Whatís inside is the same as whatís outside. Thereís no mixture, no insincerity. God has all the power, does what He pleases, speaks and it is done; yet God empowers us. God lifts us up from the ash heap (Psalm 113). God graciously and mercifully speaks to us so as to deliver us from ourselves, from sin. We are made clean by the words that Jesus speaks (John 15.3). God can be trusted because the thought and intent of His heart is holy, pure, clean, good, and for our good.
We are not diminished. We are developed. We do not walk away disparaged. We come away encouraged. We do not go out devoured, bitten, disintegrated, trivialized, having no voice or one that doesnít count. We leave our times of communication with God better, built up, strengthened, more secure, edified, restored, alive.
The Holy Spiritís focus now is on preparing the Bride of Christ. In the third day Jesus was perfected. Itís time to clear the airwaves of lies, whoredoms and error. Itís time to clean up our language so as not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4.17-32). Jesus is coming for a holy Bride and desires His people to be holy, clean, legal, pure.
The union of every believer with God is analogous spiritually to the marriage union (Ephesians 5). In the OT God entered into a covenant with Israel, making them a people, a new collective unit. He didnít do this because they were holy and so worthy of being chosen. He chose them and so made them holy because they were now in covenant with Him, who is holy.
God established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, commanding the fathers that they should make them known to their children. The purpose for this was that the generation to come might know and set their hope in God and pass it on to their own children. Then generations would remember the works of God and keep His commandments. (Psalm 78)
God did all these marvelous things, yet the people rebelled, sinning, provoking Him, grieving Him, and limiting Him. They did not remember His power. They acted unfaithfully. Yet they kept right on building a religious system that would become so bound in tradition and legalism that when Jesus the Messiah walked in the midst, few recognized the Anointed One, this One who is the Son of the Highest, born of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus did not let people define Him. Neither did the people own Him. The people did not control His personhood. As the Son, Jesus spoke only as the Father told Him and did as He saw the Father do. He was filled without measure with the Holy Spirit so as to withstand all the external pressures without.
When Jesus came, He said, "Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of lightÖ He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges himóthe word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day." (Luke 12.35, 36, 44-48)
To those living in the first Adam humanity reality, Jesus seemed a "pushover," easy for someone to "get over" on Him or have power over Him. Meekness was seen as weakness, not "God is my defense." Jesus came empowered from within. He keeps delineating Himself from those around Him. He encouraged others to do likewise.
"Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." (John 12.42, 43) You can read what Jesus thinks about the Pharisees in Matthew 23!
The Pharisees paraded piety in public, flaunted an attitude of superiority, reduced Godís covenant to a religious system of ritual observance that kept people off-balance, shamed, and in bondage. The Pharisees said and did things that kept people powerless, in fear of being put out of the synagogue. The people looked to human leadership for approval, for praise, for acceptance, for recognition, for the way to rise up in status, and the Pharisees liked it that way. Giving people power? Scary.
Jesus calls it abiding in darkness. He was about to endure events that the world deemed total failure of purpose and life. He would die accursed, forsaken, despised, rejected, outside the camp as refuse. This is the way?
Yes. The cross is the way. We preach Christ crucified. It isnít any more popular now than it was then. It seems like foolishness. It seems like there has to be another way than this. What is this? There has to be a way to circumvent the cross and get to the good part, the resurrection and ascension into glory. How about just preaching the end without the means? Isnít it better to fill the sanctuaries and have people walk out feeling good about themselves? Do we really want people to come under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit? Sin sells. Itís easier to laugh at it and ourselves than to admonish people with the truth that the wages of sin is death. Itís easier to blame Satan for everything instead of dealing with the sin that opened the door in the first place. Yet Jesus died and rose that He might give us the Holy Spiritó"I give unto you powerÖ" (Acts 1.8)
"Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread." (1 Cor. 10.16-17)
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged. The word of God defines us. The love of Christ controls and constrains us. The people of God are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for Godís own possession. Jesus laid down His life for us. Thus we are to lay down our lives for the brethren. Only then can we know that we have passed from death to life. We are to be sons of light.
The cross is the way. As all that first Adam humanity reality is crucified with Christ, we come out on the other side empowered to live in mutual, open, honest, relationships. We donít need to have power over others. We arenít helpless, powerless, or hopeless. We have the Holy Spirit within. So we come to Christ, carry the cross, rise from the ash heap, and find ourselves able to:
Wash one anotherís feet (John 13.14)
Love one another (John 13.34)
Build up one another (Romans 14.19)
Accept one another (Romans 15.7)
Admonish one another (Romans 15.14)
Serve one another in love (Galatians 5.13)
Forbear and forgive one another (Ephesians 4.2, 32)
Be subject to one another (Ephesians 5.21)
Teach, comfort and encourage one another (Col. 3.16; 1 Thess. 4.18; Hebrews 3.13)
Pray for one another (James 5.16)
Show hospitality to one another (1 Peter 4.9)
Be clothed with humility toward one another (1 Peter 5.5)
(Thereís a lot more. I encourage further searching into the scriptures!)
We can share what we are and what we have because when we give, we are not diminished. Within us is an ever-flowing spring of life and love, of power and plenty. As we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. Divine law and absolute honesty govern the boundaries and limits. We are to be "sons of light" walking in the light.
God the Father comes to us as the Father of lights, giver of every good and perfect gift. As we receive, as we come to Christ and God comes to us, we are to go and make disciples of all nations. We are not to be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are not to put the light under some basket to hide it. We are not to tout the ways of the world, but seek first the KOG and His righteousness, asking the Father for the Holy Spirit, His gifts, His fruit, His presence, His anointing.
What does it all mean? If we want to live within the veil, we must also be willing to die without the camp, bearing the reproach of Christ that we might bear His brandmark and become the bride of Christ. How? By grace; by coming boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and to find grace and favor in our time of need (Hebrews 4); by growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as those using the means of grace; by seeking the Spirit of Grace, the Spirit of Christ, knowing that apart from Jesus we can do nothing.
Preparing the Bride for the Bridegroom,
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another; for love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4.7, 8)
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