Friday, December 4, 2015

Following, following, following //

He restored us to Himself. We didnt have to earn it. He would have done it no matter the cost. The joy before Him was always His beloved restored to Himself. So we're free, and we are pleasing -- no matter what -- but should we use this covering to sin, remembering that sin no longer reigns in our bodies as the children of Light? Heavens, no! What is the freedom for, then? And what does rule in our members now that sin doesnt? The freedom is to choose to follow, and as the Spirit of Christ is our life now (and Christ was the image of the Father) its safe to say that He is what reigns in us now. I believe that Jesus fulfilled the law in Who He was, and all the new commands He gave were not so much something to strive after doing in order to retain the Father's goodwill, but instead was the description to us of how our resurrected-with-Christ selves are built and born to function. Like a manual, we can read commands and say, "Oh! So before I would have sworn out revenge -- an eye for an eye -- but the new me blesses when cursed and loves -- is patient with, kind, polite, forgiving to, and long-suffering with, etc -- his enemies. Thank you, Jesus! Thats how I respond now." And this, I believe, is what it is to follow. We're freed for, filled with His life for, this -- yet we get to choose it. Even this is not forced upon but surrendered to, like a Bride to her Groom's kisses.

"Follow Me," He says and this is what I believe He means: I gave up my rights as Heaven's heir when I came to the earth to restore what had been lost. I am Love and My rights are quickly cast aside to allow Who I am to come through. This is losing your life, not loving your own life unto death. Denying yourself, picking up your cross, and following Me is just laying down your rights in order that Love might come through in every circumstance. Im your inheritance, your birth right, and I cannot be taken from you. Your "right" to possessions flies out the window when faced with someones lack, you treat what you have as the supply to their need, because thats what love does. Your "right" to be offended by someones hatred doesnt exist anymore to your mind because it would separate you from them and your desire is unity and peace, because thats what love does. You dont earn the badge of "picked up his cross" by scheduling good deeds into your life or devoting yourself to a mission field or selling all you have to live with the poor. Rather, as you live like Me, surrendered to My life and ways already written in you by My Spirit, in every circumstance what will come out is Love, the lavish generosity of heaven. And that might look like selling all you have to live with the poor or devoting your life to a mission field. Just remember that who you are determines what you do now, not the other way around.

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