Reception, Recognition, Reliance

These three concepts encapsulate contiguous and concurrently compounding phases of experience and expression of God’s Abundant Quickening Life that is available to us in Christ’s Life through His (and our) substitutional death. They are both the acts and the states of Being that describe a maturation process from child to adolescent to a fully grown, complete and mature son of God. Ask God for wisdom now. He gives to all freely and liberally without finding fault. You have not because you ASK not. Ask, Seek, Knock (ASK). “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

By God’s wonderful and seemingly serendipitous circumstances (though absolutely God-orchestrated and God-ordained) you were brought to the knowledge of Truth—Him. Some have been brought here and thought about it too long, trying to figure out an angle. They saw and then went away sad, perhaps realizing (to some extent) the cost. I do not know what hope remains for them, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened… to renew them again unto repentance.” (Read 2 Tim. 4:10 and on). But that is not you right? Right? You have received Him. You have opened your heart by the instrument of Faith and invited the Skill and Knowledge of the Surgeon General to operate, receiving the saving Word, which is Life, a deposit of Him.

Well aren’t we special? And we are peculiar indeed! We are chosen not for our own merit or genius but by grace, His Grace. Now and sadly for decades, possibly centuries this is what they celebrate down at the church-houses. We are chosen, we are chosen! If you repeat that often enough you will begin to think it has something to do with you. That you were special and that is why you were chosen. God forbid!!! He is Special, and Wise and Sovereign. All the credit is His.

Yet in the stage of Reception many crystalize in the thought of their own specialness and chosen-ness. There comes this putrefying, festering self-contentment which stews into a morbid self-congratulation that when full blown yields the fruit of unrighteous self-regard, the same as can be more easily seen in others, particularly those dirty rotten Pharisees, — Religion. You were never bought and paid for so that you could enjoy you. He, the Christ of God bought you, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, UNTO the praise of HIS GLORY [emphasis added]. Eph. 1:13-14.

So you have enjoyed a Reception. Your Life in Christ was a Gift from God. Just as Lucifer was gifted and made to be the Head Honcho of the Heavenly Host and lost his perspective, do not clamor for and exalt yourSelf to a higher place. Do not think equality with God something to be grasped and say in your heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” For this is exactly the end product of a full-blown religion centered on our own worthiness. The church that first saw God as all-merciful, then all-wise eventually might include His choosing me as part of His wisdom. It wasn’t that you were special. He IS.

This Self-annihilating, self-depreciating thought is the first step toward Recognition. We do not yet know God as He is. We must seek Him daily and come near to His Presence. As we approach Him in sincerity of heart, in humility of mind, we are at once stricken with our own unworthiness. Only holiness may approach Holy. If you have feelings of Self-worth you are miles, perhaps galaxies away from God’s Presence. If you were ever to have a sense of your true worth it would not come from Self but the sense of Him who is worthy of all praise and honor and glory Who lives in you. It is not you who is worthy of praise. “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” Psalm 115:1.

Our Recognition is just this—that we see ourSelf correctly when we see Him correctly. Until this time you have placed many veils over who you are for you have not yet seen Him. You do not need physical eyes to see Him, you need spiritual eyes. These eyes are the spectacles that the Great Eye Physician, God’s Holy Spirit must fit you with. You see clearly when you seek and find the Light of Him Who is Truth and Reality. He is to be found most easily in His Word where you submit yourSelf to the Word and its mind-renewing and transforming abilities. Which by the Spirit is unto us Life and Peace. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Rom. 8:6.

We experience Recognition when our spiritual glasses clearly show us Him, God Incarnate. He is the exact, EXACT, representation of the Father. “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” Col. 1:15. When we look on Christ, “My Lord and my God.” we see Him Who is the inexpressible, expressed in earthly form. Not the shape of his body and the features of His face but the creating, healing, teaching, loving, helping, serving, encouraging, leading, protecting, providing, etc., etc. and all the Good Works of God manifested through Him.

Recognition comes also when we see Him in His creative works, in everything that He made and that is submitted to Him for His glory. He is All-in-All yet we have shrouded and obstructed our vision by seeking Self and not Him. Recognition—sonship—begins when we seek Him. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2.

In the adolescent phase of our Walk we are tempted to get a little cocky. We again congratulate ourSelf for our efforts — efforts to die, efforts to serve, efforts to know, efforts to change and become like Christ. In this too we have our mind focused on Self. We have again realized ourSelf and placed him in position so as to obstruct our perfect view of Him. Yet God in His wisdom and loving mercy and tender kindness will begin to allow trials and afflictions to come to those who are sincerely seeking Him, His Person. A persistent seeker will tactfully, strategically, gingerly be “handled” by His Spirit. There will be this continual tug-of-war. And to be sure it is a war. Self wants to gain back and keep hard fought and lost territory and the Spirit is seeking to establish His Kingdom on earth (your earth, in You) as it is in heaven.

God’s Kingdom is not established by might nor power. No. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD.” Zech. 4:6. So how is it established then without might and power? By yielding and depending and Reliance on Him. “For the kingdom of God is… righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Rom. 14:7. We do not fight the world, the flesh and the devil. We yield ourSelf to God. When you fight you engage the flesh and Self. A simple illustration should help. If someone were to try to push you, you would immediately become resistant to them, engaging your strength and effort, yourSelf. If on the other hand, you were to be pulled upon there would be little you could do to prevent them from pulling you their way. Yielding is trusting Him, not exercising Self effort. Self-protection, self-awareness, self-gratification, self-effort, and all other self-directed and self-generated activity is sin.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” Rom. 6:12-19.

It is during the heat of the battle that the crisis is greatest. What do you do when you are attacked, offended, taken advantage of? Do you strike back, dig in, resist? Of course you do. It is natural. What is not natural is letting go, yielding, depending and trusting upon God. Reliance only manifests itself in the battle for Self’s territory. Can you turn also the other cheek? Can you go the second mile? Can you love your enemy as yourself? No. Only God can. When you are poked, what is inside spills out. And be careful for those who are full of Self. It isn’t pretty. Only one who is “like God”, only a son of God spills love when poked. This, in the end, is the fruit of righteousness that God wants to show the world. That is why your loving Father allows all this.

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Heb. 12:11.

This Reliance upon God bears the fruit of righteousness that reveals that you are truly a son of God. That you are like your Father. “And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:18.

And these are the sons of God.

Reception, Recognition and Reliance.