The crux/core/bottom-line of Christian living
In Church, Bible Study or even in casual conversation I may hear hard questions. Questions that may require an honest assessment, a well as a choice. It is simple to sit there and give mental assent to what I am reading, hearing or sensing in my spirit. However, later during the day, when I am actually walking through and living life, do I still agree? Do my words, actions and attitude testify to my agreement? Is my agreement with the Spirit of God making a difference in how I live my life? If not – I am being a hypocrite and dishonest. A hard statement? Yes, but if I really want to live for, with and through Jesus I need, in fact I must see things as they really are!
Nouwen makes this statement in his book, “Out of Solitude” (pg14) “In the lonely place Jesus finds the courage to follow God’s will and not His own; to speak God’s words and not His own; to do God’s work and not His own.”
This is amazing when I realize who this is, this Jesus. God’s Son. Deity. This is God, who took on flesh and became a man. Fully God – fully man. And yet in John 5:30 Jesus states, “By Myself, I can do nothing…I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me.” Jesus lived for the Father; doing what Father wanted Him to do.
When Jesus fully lives in me, it will show. His life becomes evident. Not by my effort but by Jesus very life; by who He is in me. This is important to realize. Jesus, who He is, as He is allowed to live through me, as I submit and step back into the shadow of His wing, will be seen, heard and experienced. Why, because His person will show. I don’t have to be “like” Jesus, I only have to let Jesus “be” Jesus.
In the same verse in John, Jesus said, “I judge only as I hear…” Jesus didn’t have to worry or try to “be” a good judge – He had only to listen. He trusted that God was already a good judge. Therefore, God the Son – submitted wholly – to God the Father.
I can hardly wrap my brain around this truth. However, I don’t need to fully understand, to trust and faithfully believe it. Believe God, believe Jesus, and believe Spirit – all three God. God will not and cannot lie. (Numbers 23:19) I can trust Him. It is my choice whether I will or not. Jesus trusted Fathers Word. He staked His life on it; He staked our life on it. And today, as a result, Jesus lives, in His risen, glorified flesh, at the right hand of Almighty God.
Again in John 14:10-11 Jesus reveals to us, “…the words I say to you are not just My own. Rather, it is the Father living in Me who is doing His work. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.”
And the same way God was in the man Jesus – Jesus by the Holy Spirit is in me…that is a heart stopper. A courage builder. A soul changer. If I stay intimately close to Jesus everyday – all day, I will be changed. There is a saying, “You are who you hang out with.” Who a person associates with will influence who he/she is. People are influenced by the people closest to their hearts. If someone doesn’t matter to me, I won’t pay attention to them. I will not store up their words or actions in my heart and soul… they will not influence me. But if I care, admire them, respect them; then I will listen. I will pay attention to what they say, how they say it and how they do things. We imitate what we respect and love. We learn and it becomes a part of us. Its how we learn as a child – I imitated my parents, talking, walking, and living. Jesus is Jesus in me, by His Holy Spirit. He doesn’t change. (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:18) But I, my soul and heart will change because of living with Jesus! Not only am I influenced by Jesus but I am being influenced by others and others by me?!
Again a question – Am “I,” meaning me, Ulrike Grace, influencing others or are they being influenced by Jesus in me? Do they hear and see Jesus or Ulrike Grace? I can also ask am I influenced by Jesus in them or by the person themselves? Am I looking for, listening for Jesus or do I hear only hear my friends. It goes both ways especially amongst Christians.
I have sung this song often,
“This little Light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”
First: the light we sing about is (or should be) Jesus, if not, the light is darkness.
Second: the light is NOT little; it is the Light of the world, of men. John 1:4) The Holy Spirit declared in John 1:4-5 “In Him [Jesus] was Life, and that Life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness…” Only as I submit and trust; as I get to know Jesus in me will I have the courage and the will to want to (Philippians 2:13) live in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91:4) and let Jesus shine. We need to see and hear Jesus – not each other.
Will I trust Him?
Will I spend time with Him in the lonely, intimate place to get to know Him?
So that I can trust Him fully when the crunch comes? It’s the only way I’ll stay in the shadows and not rush forward to take back control.
Oh Boy – now that’s a word – Selah!
© 2010 UlrikeGrace