Archive for September 25, 2010

Listen v4.7 The Two Shall Become One

The Two Shall Become One

There is this recurring theme of becoming one, joining two in a way that the individuality of the two (not personality) is lost and consumed in the union. Oswald Chambers, (perhaps my favorite author), says that individuality—self-assertiveness of my identity—is the husk of the Believer; while personality—our personal identity as we have been created in Christ—is the kernel, our Being in Him.

I will put it this way: The tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil took the pure and perfect personality of man and wrapped him into a husk of personal ambition and self-assertiveness—his individuality. Now there is a veil between who we Are, created in Christ, and Christ Himself. The two are divided by this husk that we willingly and recklessly put on ourselves. We must remove it and Christ is that Helper who will do it when we are willing to undergo the surgery of denial and ultimately the death of Self.

We are uniquely formed from the dust of the earth. God breathed His Spirit into the dust of the earth and we became a living soul. The soul, the particular expression that is You, is the unique combination of the Spirit of God and the particular dust You are made of. The thing that is notable about the dust we are made of is that the complex of dust which is me is distinct from the complex of dust which makes you. Dust being material and temporal is differentiated from other dust. Or as the scientists say it, matter can only occupy one space at one time, it has a fixed presence and a fixed capacity.

That I am I and you are you is indisputable and undeniable. Yet we were not created to be individual (i.e. self-assertive) but to become One in Him through the free-will sacrifice and moral decision to yield Self to Him. We are not robots in the sense that we can choose whether we want to be in Christ or separated from Him. That choice as determined in Time is Eternally sealed by Death. Will you live to Self and die to Christ? Or will you die to Self and live to Him? Those that are His, give themSelves, (their rights of Self) up for Him. Those that are not His assert their own rights above Him and never gain Him. It is in dying that we gain Him. It is in living to Self that we lose Him.

Here is the daily arena and battleground—the mind—where the outcome is played out—that outcome being stated—whose will shall be done?. Who will I submit to? In the Garden (pre Fall) we walked with God in the cool of the day. That is another way of saying we were united and One with Him in our will and mind and desires and at Peace with that arrangement. God gave us a will, the power to assert our Self, to see what was in our heart, or more accurately so we could see what was in our heart, our desire. The mind was to act as judge between the power to act—our will, and the desire to possess—our heart. Without temptation you would never see your own heart, its capacity (apart from Christ in you) to be desperately wicked. God created you to be dependent upon Him because He knows that you need Him. But do you know it? Not initially. It takes Time to realize it.

In the Garden, we were at Peace in our will and our heart because we had judged that this was Good. We had a mind, yet it was unchallenged in its thinking. Satan gave us an option. He dangled the shiny bauble in front of us and said, “You have rights that you can assert.” You can choose for your Self. And we did. We failed to trust our Father and instead resorted to Self’s assertion of rights and our perceived fear of loss, exercising both a newly found independent will and a hitherto foreign desire of our heart. We took the bait—hook, line and sinker as it were.

In this transaction, which had definite eternal consequences, we inverted God’s design. We were and are spiritual, being made like Him, we have a soul, that ability to express desire, and will and judgment, and we live in a body. Now that we have, by an act of our will, given our life over to Self by succumbing to his will, we have made him master. We are in a place that we were never designed to be. Dead, separated from Him, by a choice to give our will and power over to Self. Now, we must make the decision based on faith in Him, by His Word and His Spirit, to deny Self and take back what we once willingly gave up. God has sent Christ to break the chains and release us to do this. We must do it experimentally, in practice. Not only by revelation are we saved but in the working out of that salvation in this body, on this earth in actuality by the yielding of our will back to Him. It is in that act that we correct the misalignment of Sin and become One once again. We reattach to God by realigning under authority, both immediate (by delegation) and Supreme.

This is the two that must become One. God has revealed His Will by His Word. We who have exercised faith have received it by revelation. Now we must put it to practice. These two are the Bridegroom and the Bride. These two are the Word and the Flesh. These two are Male (husband) and Female (wife). These two are the Spirit and the Soul. Even our Revelation and Practice must become one. We must be who we are revealed to be in Christ. We must manifest in Reality.

In each case, note that the First is the intended Head and Authority of the Second. Yet in each case, (in most all situations) we have allowed the Second to become the First. The Bride, the church, is not submitted to the Bridegroom; the Flesh is not submitted to the Word; the wife is not submitted to the husband; and most tellingly, the Soul is not submitted to the Spirit. We have a serious problem with submission. We have a serious problem dying to Self. We have a serious problem which is division, rugged and rampant individualism.

The Lion (Self) must lie down with the Lamb (Christ). The two must become One. When the will of the Second is submitted to the will of the First, Oneness can be achieved as designed by God. Then there is Peace. We can once again walk with God in the cool of the day.

Quote Title Quotation Source
A God of Love or A God of Wrath? Yes This was exactly one of the paradoxes in which sceptics found the creed wrong; and in this I had found it right. Madly as Christians might love the martyr or hate the suicide, they never felt these passions more madly that I had felt them long before I dreamed of Christianity. Then the most difficult and interesting part of the mental process opened, and I began to trace this idea darkly through all the enormous thoughts of our theology. The idea was that which I had outlined touching the optimist and the pessimist; that we want not an amalgam or compromise, but both things at the top of their energy; love and wrath both burning. G. K. Chesterton – Orthodoxy, copyright 1908 by Dodd, Mead and Company
Via Dolorosa There are times when everything in life seems to be a trial. Sometimes there is only suffering. Still, the heaviest cross must be carried in peace. Sometimes the cross must be carried or dragged. Then you can only fall down beneath it, overwhelmed and exhausted. I pray that God may spare you from suffering as much as possible. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
Walking By Love vs. Walking in Fear Seeing, then, that sin has no place here, there can be no anguish of conscience, no fear, no heaviness. That is why St. John says, Anyone born of God does not continue to sin (1 John 5:18). But if there is any fear or grief of conscience, it is a sign that this righteousness has been withdrawn, that grace is hidden, and that Christ is darkened and out of sight. But where Christ is truly visible, there must be full and perfect joy in the Lord, and the conscience is at peace and thinks, Although I am a sinner by the law and under the condemnation of the law, I still do not despair and do not die, because Christ lives, and he is my righteousness and my everlasting life. In that righteousness and life I have no sin, no fear, no string of conscience, no worry about death. I am indeed a sinner, as far as this present life and righteousness are concerned, as I am a child of Adam; where the law accuses me, death reigns over me and wants to ultimately devour me. But I have another righteousness and life above this life Christ the Son of God, who knows no sin or death but is righteousness and eternal life. By him, this body of mine that is dead will be raised up again and delivered from the bondage of the law and sin and will be sanctified together with my spirit. Martin Luther – Commentary on Galatians – circa 1520; Crossway Publishing © 1998 by Watermark
Reality is Not Bound By Logic or Reason The theological view ought to be constantly examined; If we put it in the place of God we become invincibly ignorant, that is, we won t accept any other point of view, and the invincible ignorance of fanaticism leads to delusions for which we alone are to blame. The fundamental things are not the things which can be proved logically in practical life. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
The Nursery Business is Booming What then are the reasons for not growing? Perhaps there are two. On the one hand, it may be due to the negligence of those who, watching over the souls of the younger believers, may only speak to them of the grace of God and of their position in Christ but neglect to encourage them to seek spiritual experience. (Nay those who watch over others may themselves be ignorant of life in the Spirit. How then could such ones ever lead others into more abundant life?) On the other hand, it may be because the believers themselves are not keen on spiritual affairs. Either they assume that it is sufficient enough merely to be saved or they have no spiritual appetite or they simply are unwilling to pay the price for advancement. As a deplorable consequence the church is over-stuffed with big babes. Watchman Nee – The Spiritual Man, circa 1920, copyright 1968 Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
Finding and Remaining in The Zone Pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). Pay strict attention to your heart and watch over it, so that it does not give admittance to thoughts that are evil or in any way vain and useless. Without interruption, whether asleep or awake, eating, drinking, or in company, let your heart inwardly and mentally at times be meditating on the psalms, at other times be repeating the prayer, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me. And when you chant, make sure that your mouth is not saying one thing while your mind is thinking about another. Philimon – The Philokalia, Discourses on Abba Philimon – circa 600; excerpted from The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism by Bernard McGuinn copyright 2006 by Random House, Inc.
Prayer – A Symphony with Love The highest promises made to prayer are made to those who agree or, as the Greek more beautifully expresses it, symphonize on earth. There is no place where we can love our friends so beautifully or so purely as at the throne of grace. There is no exercise in which the differences of Christians melt away as when their hearts meet together in the unity of prayer, and there is no remedy for the divisions of Christianity but to come closer to the Father, and then, being together at the throne, we shall be closer to each other. A. B. Simpson – The Life of Prayer – circa 1890, © 2007 Bridge-Logos
A Matter of The Heart not the Hands The goal of true Discipleship is not concerned with what a Christian should do but Who Jesus Christ is. We are not to seek to imitate what He did but to have that Divine Disposition that was behind all that He did. It’s not about doing, it’s about being. Christ must be the center of your life as God the Father was the center of His. Here is the Disposition of Jesus Christ in you, which, as a disciple must work out so that the Word may become Flesh in them; loving, seeking, depending, trusting, following, seeing, hearing, yielding, hoping, knowing, waiting, going, sharing, giving, sacrificing, suffering, dying — in all things — to and for Christ and His Kingdom and His Glory. Never me, always You. Tom Van Hoogen
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