Archive for March 16th, 2009

16
Mar
09

If only I would listen…

….to myself!

God reminded me of some of the sentences that I keep saying to other people, but apparently I had forgotten the truth of myself these last few weeks.

If you feel burdened down, it’s because you’re carrying a burden that’s not yours to carry. Remember that Christ promised that his burden is light” I tell this to people when they are trying to fix everything and make sure that everything for everybody is going just the way it ought to according to their standards. I have felt quite burdened by the situation of friends in and outside of church and family members these past few weeks. These are not my burdens to carry! It’s not my job to rescue anybody.

Look at your hands! If you have marks after nails in your hands, it’s your job to save the world and the people in it, but if you don’t have those marks, it’s simply not your job” is another thing that I often say in conversation and teaching. Oh how hard it is for me to let go of my savior complex I want to save everybody! I want to make sure they see the life, freedom, joy and peace that’s only found in Christ! I want it so badly for myself and for other people, and often I forget that it’s all about Christ and what he is doing in me and in other people. He may be doing a work I can’t see right now. He may be (ok…let’s face it: He is!) working on a different time schedule than what I prefer, but as I also say:

God is never late. He is always on time“. That is something I often need to be reminded of. I am often incredibly impatient. I want my life to work out the way I want it now. Not tomorrow. Not in two years. Now! But God knows best. All the time. He is never late. Not in my life, and not in other peoples’ lives. He is always up to something (Romans 8:28-29). And he has promised that he will fulfill the work he has started in each one of his children (Philippians 1:6). He will also be the one to work out the calling he has given me. He will establish the right timing for everything he has promised to take place. 

Surrender to Christ’s leading. He may take you through the valley of the shadow of death or to the still waters (Psalm 23) at this point. It’s up to him. Trust him and allow him to be the Shepherd and you to just be a sheep“. There are definitely times when I fight Christ leading me to places of more brokenness, surrender, humility and not being recognized, understood, chosen or accepted by other people. I have fought him a lot this past month. It hurts. And I don’t want to go there. And yet I know I do. I do want to experience a deeper depth of relationship with Christ. And that takes place when I share in the fellowship of his sufferings (Philippians 3:7-11).

birds

So yep, God was basically reminding me of some of the truths that he has revealed to me and that he has allowed me to share with other people. It’s funny how strange it can feel to be reminded of your own words in this way. But there was a sense of encouragement as well. It was comforting to be reminded of life giving truths. And to see that I am changing and I am becoming more of who I already am in Christ. 

Dan Stone in The Rest Of The Gospel:

I’ve always liked the word awareness more than the word growth. Because what really happens in each of us? Our awareness simply expands. We become more aware of who already was. “Oh, I see more and more of him”. We’re not seeing more and more about him. We’re seeing more and more of him. He is the peace. He is the joy. He is the life. He is the love

Torben – who is glad that he can be teaching himself in a roundabout way 🙂

16
Mar
09

No need for change

We’ve been singing a worship song at church that I haven’t been able to get out of my head. The line is meant as a prayer to God and goes like this: “we need Your presence to change who we are“. That line has been nagging me for weeks now. Because in fact this statement is not true. Or at least it’s not true in the way that I understand it.

It’s true for non-believers that they need God and his presence to change who they are. They are sinners. They are born sinners as descendants of the first sinner, Adam, even before they commit a single sin (Romans 5: 18-19). This is who they are. They are sinners who unfortunately are on their way to Hell, unless they surrender to God and his miracle of taking them through a re-birth where they are born again (John 3) as somebody brand new: a saint! One of God’s children! A holy person!

That is already the reality for all believers. We don’t need God’s presence to change who we are. We are already holy, blameless, righteous in God’s sight. We are new creations. The old identity (sinner) is gone, the new identity (saint) is a reality today, whether we know that and live in that wonderful piece of truth or not!

Paul in 2. Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

and in 2. Corinthians 6:16 “For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people

Could we be the temple of God if there was something wrong with us? Could the holy God live in an unholy temple? Absolutely not! We are holy, pure, blameless, righteous. In fact, as Hebrews 10:14 “because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy“. We have been made perfect! That is the truth of us. The latter part of the verse talks about “being made holy”. That’s the process of sanctification. That’s the process of Christ within us starting to make real in our soul (personality, mind, emotions, will) and in our body (the five senses, our earth suit) what is already true in our spirits: we are holy and righteous, because we have received the gift of Christ’s righteousness (Romans 5:17).

Hallelujah that the job is done! There is nothing wrong with me! Let me quote the last part of Aaron Keyes’ amazing song Not Guilty Anymore where he sings about us as God’s children:

You are spotless. You are holy. You are faultless. You are whole. You are righteous. You are blameless. You are pardoned. You are mine“.

This may sound like heresy to some. This may sound too good to be true. But it is the truth of God’s own Word!

And here a few quotes from one of my favorite books, The Rest of the Gospel, where the author Dan Stone points to the same truths I’ve been trying to explain in this blog entry:

“You are not waiting to become holy and blameless and beyond reproach (Colossians 1:22). God sees you as holy and blameless and beyond reproach before him right now. When he looks at you, he sees the nature of his son. He sees you as love. He sees you as joy. He sees you as peace. He sees you as righteous. He sees you as redeemed. He sees you as justified. He sees you as perfect. He sees you complete” (page 103)

It is an affront to God to keep talking about how unworthy we are. It’s a statement of unbelief. “I really don’t believe what God says about me; I believe what I think about me”. We’re never going to anywhere that way. It isn’t being humble. It’s a false humility. It’s the teaching of tradition and the flesh, because it appears humble.What’s truly humble is agreeing with what God says about you. Nothing more. Nothing less. We are the righteousness of God (2. Corinthians 5:21). We don’t look it all the time. We don’t feel it all the time. We don’t think it all the time. But we are” (page 104)

Torben – who realizes that we need God to change us more into who we already are, but I can’t accept the sentence that we need to be fundamentally changed as children of God. That change already took place!




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