Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Broken; Brought To The End Of Yourself

Has it ever happened that people came to you uttering the following statements?

Let us do this and that.

Let us save the world.

Hey brother, we can't just stand here and watch. We've got to do something!

Hey! Why is it that you ain't seeing what we're seeing? Where is your zeal?

And it seems all you could do was watch their desires, passion, zeal, agitation, ambition, sympathy, sense of morality, etc with a cold reactionary stance. You've felt all they wanted you to feel yet, something in you wasn't snapping. You actually wished you could be aroused too — to be touched and won over to such persuasion—for in the past, your desires would have ascended to such lofty visions, but now it seems you just can't act on them. Something in you which was there before is no longer there. You have come to the end of yourself, you are broken.

''I cannot'', this was all you found yourself saying. For how could you explain to them you've come to a reality where you find no sufficiency in yourself? How would they understand you? How would you explain to them that you had once plunged wholly into the active life, hoping that the harder you tried, the more your achievements for God would be? How would you explain you had once gone off thinking you were strong enough, thinking your gifts and skills and talents were all you needed? How would it sound in their ears that you had once esteemed yourself so highly thinking if there was anyone on earth for the job ahead, definitely, it must be you.

You had been brave. You were ready to tackle the job. You thought it easy to deal with whatever would come. You were so full of yourself. But alas, something happened; all the efforts you ever put in, all the best strategies you ever brought to the table, all the brilliant ideas you ever moulded with your intelligence, all your greatest strengths, yes all, lay in a hip of rubbish — worthless and useless. And when you saw this, it dawned on you who you had been all along. You were nothing, simply nothing in every sense of the word! And since nothing only begets nothing, all you ever did amounted to nothing. Logic went further to tell you that what you would ever do from that point onwards would also be nothing. This reality was too much for you to bear and your knees buckled and you fell broken.

You are broken, yes, brought to emptiness. All eagerness to jump into activities has suddenly grown wings and flown off. This is the state the Lord all along has been trying to bring you. For until you die, you cannot live. Until you come to the end of yourself He cannot begin to live through you. All this while, you were so busy with yourself — busy pampering and acting on your emotions, your sympathy, your sense of morality, your desire, your ambition, your intelligence, your passion and your zeal. It had been you living. But now, that dispensation is past. It is for you now, a new day; a new era. An era you have to die for Christ to live. An era you stop finding sufficiency in yourself so that you can lean on His life in you and allow Him to live instead of you.

Brethren, all along, Christ has been trying to bring you to the I-cannot state. There is no skipping it, and no fast-forwarding it. You must get here and pitch your tent. Are you surprised you have to erect a tent here? Don't be! For on this ground is where the Christian life is lived. It is the place of emptiness. It is the place you find no sufficiency in yourself. It is where you rest and lean upon the Lord. So settle down. Erect your tent. Sit in its shade and embrace this permanent abode. If you have truly come here you will never says any of the lines that follow:

We were once there, brother.

Oh, we've seen it all and done it all.

Oh, see the memento I got from there.

Oh, we are over that and we've moved on.

No, anyone who comes here stays, never to leave.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me. (Gal 2:20).
There is no moving on. This is where you pitch your tent. This is where you rest permanently. Your profession changes when you get here. For all that comes from your mouth henceforth is:
I cannot or
 Not I or
No longer I.
'I' has died. 'I' is broken. The ego-self is crushed. 'I' has come to the end of itself. Praise the Lord!

Oh! How many of us have had this experience? How many of us know true brokenness and emptiness? We have so many Christians who are full of themselves. Who still go about living by the fullness of the soul and its sufficiency. They are living through the power of the soul, yes they are living in the stead of Christ. May we all truly know brokenness. Whether it comes by revelation or experience —whichever the Lord may choose to employ — may we truly be brought to this state. And may we be willing to give ourselves to Him till He achieves this goal in us. Amen!

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Monday, 7 January 2019

On What Ground Do You Gather?

When we gather, on what grounds do we gather exactly?

Most often, we gather around a concept or an activity rather than a person — our Lord. We gather around what we have tagged "church service" and all the activities and programmes therein. We just get occupied doing church services. Fine, there are those who feel we must come out of church and find another way to fellowship. But then there is a question still to be asked. When those who come out of church and all its endless religious services fellowship, on what grounds do they too actually gather?

Too often we gather around the concept: how to do church. We gather around the concept house church, and we get so occupied doing it and trying to conform to it. Yes, it is mainly about our concepts — our ideals on kingdom community, the ekklesia, fellowship, etc. We are not different from the church people. We have fallen into the same trap. A true gathering of believers should be around Christ — the person. And not Christ — a concept. It has to be the living person. Concepts are dead and death can only produce death. The body of Christ is alive, and isn't it true that we are the body of this Christ? Can't you see, beloved? We are the body of a living person and not a concept! So how logical is it to gather around a person whose body we are?

Most often, our gathering comprises people of like minds. People who share the same concept with us — what Christianity is, how to do church, our definition of kingdom community and the ekklesia, etc. When you have this kind of people you definitely end up gathering around this shared concept.

To gather around Christ (the person), you must have a people who have come to know Him as a person, developed an intimate relationship with Him and consequently are full of living experiences in their walk with Him. Yes, when you find such a group of people, then it is possible to gather around Christ. For as they gather they would talk about this Christ they have given so much of their time to, the things that they did with Him, how His person has influenced them, and the beautiful moments they had shared with Him. Yes, the meeting becomes all about relationship. Not religion, not theology — not those lifeless and dead stuffs. The meeting becomes alive. Yes, alive! You virtually see life in the faces of the people. When you look at them, you find them talking about a living experience and not some concept in their heads. Some even burst into tears as they speak about this person they have come to know so intimately — this beautiful man, this man that goes about doing good. He is truly alive to them and He has filled their lives with His goodness. They can't stop talking about all the wonderful things they've experienced in their walk with Him.

And when the moments go sober, you find those who have had a greater walk with Christ encouraging others and telling them of His unfailing ways. They encourage one another in hard times, reminding all how good Christ is and how He never fails to show up and bring His own out of the pit and strengthen them more for the walk ahead with Him.

Beloved, you will notice what is going on here is not mere religion. This is no religion. This is bonding! These people are bonding. They have all come to know the same person and on that ground they meet and begin to bond. A strong relationship is being built; they are becoming a part of one another's lives because this person (Christ) has become their life. Everything is based on this person and not on some concept or ideology. He (Christ) is their bond. He is the ground on which they gather. He is their goal and pursuit. It is all about Christ, yes the person of Christ.

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Sunday, 6 January 2019

The Wisdom Of God In A Mystery

The work is in the rest. If we truly want to do the work of God, then we must first find the rest of Christ. Only in this rest will we find work. Any work outside of this rest is a perversion—a work of the flesh. It is not at all christian. The true work of God only exists in the rest of Christ, and the deeper we enter into this rest, the greater work we are able to do. So in seeking to do the work of God, we are to seek for this rest, push to enter into it and press on to be filled with it. We seek rest not because we are irresponsible or hate work. Not at all! We seek rest because we greatly desire work. We really want to work! And we have seen that the only way to this work is rest.

To be dead is to truly live. Only in dying in Christ can we be able to live by Christ. True life is found only in death. We do not emphasize death because we are sadists, or because we just like the idea. We talk about death because we really desire life. We want to live; we want to live the real life—the life that is Christ—that is why we keep pushing for the reality of death. Our main goal is to live, but we can't live if we don't die. So we press on to death. We talk about it and how important it is. We seek to experience it, to have it work in us. That I might be conformed to His death, then I will experience the power of His resurrection.

Here we go again emphasizing weakness like a group of people with an extreme low self-esteem. True strength is in weakness. For my strength is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9). Our true desire is not weakness but strength. And this strength we are crazy about lies deep in weakness. So we are left with no choice than to seek weakness. The weaker we get in this, the stronger we become. The more we are emptied—finding no sufficiency in ourselves and falling to lean completely on God—the more we would demonstrate the glorious strength of God. Yes, we purposely seek to be weak; yes, we purposely refuse to find any sufficiency in ourselves; yes, we consciously refuse to find any strength in ourselves. All we do is look unto God and Him alone! He is our sufficiency and our strength. Beloved, it is important to reiterate if possible for a hundred times that until we come to this state of weakness, we will not have God as our strength.

The last is the first, this is why we seek the last position. Yes, we seek the last position! Did that sound strange to you? It is the wisdom of God in a mystery. While others are busy pursuing first we are busy pursuing the last. We are fighting to be last, for only when we are last are we truly first. The world does not understand this truth, for it is a mystery onto them. Do not be shocked when you see us making ourselves look foolish, accepting insult, refusing to put ourselves first, or refusing to insist on our rights. We give ourselves to serving the little ones, pushing them forward, and giving them all that honour while we stay behind, seeking not to be acknowledged or approved by others. Are we dumb? No, we aren't. Our goal is to be last For only when we are last are we truly first.

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Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Knowing The Concept Or The Person

a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. (Eph 1:10).

Christ is our all in all; He is all things christian — yes the sum of it all. He is the only thing in Christianity; the one thing that is all. Please do try to read my previous posts in order to catch up. We were reconciled into a relationship — not enrolled into a school. All things christian are not about concepts but about a person. They are not about a concept called salvation, but the person of salvation. We are not called to know a concept called "grace", but rather the person who is our Grace (Christ). And definitely, this is not about learning or teaching concepts such as healing, spiritual power, faith, wisdom, love, gentleness, self-control, discipline, faithfulness, righteousness, holiness, etc.

We are called into a relationship with the person of God; to know this personality, become acquainted with this person, learn to walk with Him, to do everything together with Him, to become so close, so inseperateable and so intimate with this person. Yes, it is all about relationship. It is not about don'ts and dos, laws, terms and conditions, religious obligations or responsibility, rituals and rites, etc.

We seem to treat the things of God as if they are dead things, and we get so acquainted and intimate with these dead things. This is why we are producing so much death! Yes, concepts are dead things, they are things merely subject to the human mind. Death can only decay, disintegrate, divide, break down, degrade and become ugly and stink!

Look around you. What do you see in today's Christianity? Do you agree that there are a lot of division, breakdown, degradation, ugliness, putrefaction, and all these are a proof that we have given ourselves to death. Concepts are dead things. Christ is the only living thing.

Let me demostrate further how approaching the things of God as concepts (rather than a person) can lead to so much death. We may both look at grace and you say that is what grace is, while I say no this is what grace is, and the both of us end up in a debate. Concepts are subject to human minds — to human perception — and people perceive things differently so we can never find unity on that ground. We will always have different opinions on what these things are.

Now let's look at grace as a person. Isn't he tangible? He is not subject to our minds. You can't just think whatever you want to think and say that is what grace is. If the both of us have come to know him through a long period of relationship, then our eyes are opened to see him. So when we look, we are actually seeing the same thing. We are in relationship with the same person. We have come to know him by experience, so when I say a certain thing about him you are also able to relate. And then we end up talking about intimate moments with him, we exchange living experiences, and then unintentionally we have begun to fellowship — talking about this beautiful Christ and His sweet personality.

Yes, when we have relationship with the things of God (which is Christ himself) we will easily have fellowship with each other. Fellowship will come so naturally, and rather than spending so much time arguing, we will spend much time fellowshiping.

It is lack of relationship that makes us meet and begin to argue and argue. We meet on the grounds of concepts, on the grounds of dead things, and death always produces division. If we approach the things of God as a person and we meet on that ground, even when we disagree, we can always ask the person himself. He is not dead, he is present with us!

The good thing about tangible things is that they are very objective, unlike concepts. If we are both looking at John, for example, we can easily tell if he is black or white. There is no argument about this if we can both clearly see. John is not subject to our minds, so we can't just think whatever we like and say this is what John is. If there is any kind of disagreement, we can always call someone who can see more clearly, or better still we can ask John himself.

You see, by this, we can actually be united in faith and knowledge of the Son of God (Eph 4:13). Our many arguments will finally cease. We will be mature as we have now come to know Him in a living way — as a person, yes as a personality! We will truly know him, because intimacy is how a person is truly known. We would remain so divided, producing much death if we continued approaching the things of God as mere concepts. Beloved, this is not the path to maturity. The real path to maturity is relationship.

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Monday, 31 December 2018

Christ Is All Things Christian

Christ is the essence and origin of all things Christ. He is the meaning of every Christian term, doctrine, and theology. If that thing cannot trace its origin and meaning in Christ then it is not Christian. Too often I get put off by how Christians try to explain Christian things. They talk about them as if they are a thing in themselves.

It has to be Christ, if it is not Christ then it is not Christian. If you can't tell me how that term or theology is Christ then I am not interested. If you want to define salvation then start from "Christ is our salvation", if it is not Christ you are talking about then it is alien. You hear preacher talk about grace as if it is a; a thing called grace that is this and that and that. I am not interested in hearing about things, I want to hear about Christ.

Tell me about Christ, tell me how this beautiful man manifest himself as grace, how he express himself as salvation, how he demonstrate himself as righteous and holiness in us. Stop talking about holiness as if it is a thing that I must conform to. The only thing I want to be conform to is Christ, the only holiness in Christianity is Christ, tell me about this Christ. He is our obsession, he is all we talk about, all we see, all we hear.

"a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth." (Eph 1:10).

God has summed up all things Christian into Christ. Christ is now every thing in Christianity. He is the discipline that we must have, the self control, the gentleness, the humility, the faithfulness, the righteousness and all other thing that is Christian. So we are not talking about gentleness as a virtue but as a person, he, Christ, is our gentleness.

He is the author of all things Christian, they must all trace there origin and meaning from him. "a pastor is someone who is...", no, no, no. Let your definition start with "Christ is the pastor", then from there you can now draw attribute of Christ that constitute the function that is carried out in the pastoral. Yes, it must be drawn from Christ, for he is the origin of it all.

We need to retrace all things back to Christ, only then can we find the excesses and then know how to reform ourselves and become conformed to Christ. You see, we are not called to conform to a doctrine, a thing, a theology, a set of virtues etc. No, we are called to conform to Christ, we have been predestined for this.

"For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son," (Rom 8:29).

We must be careful that it is Christ we are conforming to and not some teaching or some cooked up doctrine, or a moral code. It is not a thing but the person of Christ, he is our all in all.

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Sunday, 23 December 2018

To Us, All That Exist Is Christ

For us Christians we have nothing else but Christ, he is our all in all. In him we live move and have our being, he is all that there is. It is sad how we continue to see Christian things as just things, the truth is that in Christianity we only have one thing — Christ.

This Christ is the new creation, in him we are seated in heaven with the Father — he is our heaven. We exist in him, anywhere you see us we are in him. In heaven we are in him, on earth we are in him, in the realm of the spirit we are in him. It is always "in Christ", we cannot get out of him, we can only exist in him.

We are in this world but we are in Christ and as such the corruption of the world cannot touch us. He is the shield around us, a bubble that cover us entirely. Yes, that is how protective God is, He forms an impenetrable bubble around His own and that bubble is Christ. Here nothing evil can touch us, here all that exist is Christ.

Where we exist there is nothing else but Christ. This land is Christ, the air is Christ, every part of this creation is Christ, he is the essence that fills all things. He is the Lord and the people, the head and the body, the husband and the wife, the Son and the sons, the tree and the branches, the food and the eater, the water and the drinker, there is nothing else but him, he has filled all in all.

"He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." (Eph 4:10).

"This is in accordance with the terms of the eternal and timeless purpose which He has realized and carried into effect in [the person of] Christ Jesus our Lord," (Eph 3:11).

He has carried out and already achieved His eternal plan in Christ. This eternal plan is to fill all things with Christ and in Christ all things is filled with Christ, all things is Christ. He is yet to achieve this in the world but in Christ he has already achieved it. The reality we find in Christ is where the Lord and the people is Christ. He is the one giving the order and he is the one carrying it out, he is the one giving directive and he is the one taking it.

He is the one speaking and the one responding. The first time I experienced this I was shocked; God was talking to me and God was answering back in me, I just stayed and watch this interaction between God and God. The Father was talking to me and the Son in me was responding back and I was just died somewhere, because in Christ nothing else is alive but God. Christ is the only one living, the only life.

"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Phil 2:12-13).

He is the one that gives us the commandment and he is the one obeying it in us. He gave a command, "work out your own salvation", yet he is the one working it, doing it in and through us. He is the one saying and the one doing. It is only him that can obey his commandment, only him can be faithful to him, only him never fails him. Do you see, it has to be Christ and Christ alone, this is God's eternal plan and He has accomplished it in Christ.

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Wednesday, 19 December 2018

The Flesh, Forsaken On The Cross

"My God My God, Why Have Thou Forsaken Me?" That is the cry of the one on the cross, the one abandoned to die and forgotten. This is the plan that God has for the flesh, it is God's purpose for the flesh.

Yes, the flesh is to be abandoned on the cross, left to die. "Why have thou forsaken me", that is His will for the flesh and the sons must declare, "not my will oh God, but let your will be done". God has forsaken the flesh, it is time we come in terms with that.

Look at us, so busy decorating the flesh, empowering the flesh, exalting the flesh, trying to increase your self-esteem, to boast your ego, to attain a status, to attain self development or self-improvement all those activities directed toward furnishing and adorning the flesh.

Can't you see, the flesh is to be forsaken on the cross, if you can see this you would not waste so much time decorating the flesh. It is destined for the cross, it is destined to be emptied there. Whatever you are using to decorate the flesh right now it will all be emptied on the cross. Can't you see, it is a big waste of time, you have been wasting your time with the flesh.

"Why have thou forsaken me", you should have known all these while that this is where the flesh will end up, forsaken, yes forsaken. All of your efforts gone down the drain. You will meet with frustration, that is just the way it is when you go about occupied with decorating the flesh.

Some try to decorate the flesh with a kind of righteousness, one that they produce by themselves. Some say they need money before they can do the will of God, so off they go occupied with empowering the flesh. Little do they know that when they finally come to God in surrender He would first take them to the cross and put to waste all their efforts in empowering the flesh. Yes, He would empty it all, and then you will realize that you have wasted your time, "Why have thou forsaken me".

Your thinking is wrong, you have swallowed the wrong teaching. God is not out to do self-empowerment, every self is destined for the cross, forsaken and left there to die. Forget that rubbish they have been feeding you with, forsaken it now, for God has forsaken it.   Focus instead on Christ and on growing into the fullness of him.

Stop crying, "why have you forsaken me", focus on the power of the resurrection. Stop holding on to the flesh, it has been forsaken, you need to forsaken it too and move on. Focus now on Christ, let him be your only focus, your goal, your pursuit, your life's purpose. Yes, surrender to the cross that which belongs to the cross, and move on to experience the glorious life of the resurrection power.

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