Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Where is God? This is no trick question, I am literally asking you “Where is God?” Is he in the farthest reaches cosmos? Is He inside your church on Sunday, what about Monday to Saturday? Is He walled away in heaven, or is he near by among the dust of the earth? When we reach out in prayer or call out in worship do we know where He is or if we can even be heard. Are the cries of our lips merely echoes bouncing off the walls and ceiling or are they heard by the Almighty? Our answer to this will reflect our walk with God. Is He across an inseparable divide (as Lazarus and the rich man) never to hear or care about us. Or is He right here, near us, surrounding us, existing within us. Where is God?
The reality despite our doctrinal upbringing is that God is inside those who have bent their knees and hearts to Jesus Christ. Not far off as Isaiah saw Him but rather face to face as John saw Him. And we have been appointed the privilege of being living temples of God. No longer is His grace, presence and power are reserved solely for one building, in one city, in one country. But rather it is spread out to all who believe on Christ. As we see in
1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” NKJV
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.” NKJV
Understanding this is critical to our Christian walk, it is one thing to read these scriptures and go “yes and amen”. And it is a completely different thing to consider the ramifications of these statements. We are not beggars crying up to the sky hoping that God hears us, as we have been taught. We are not competing with each other to see who can impress God the most, so He will descend from heaven. The Spirit of God rests in us, at all times in all places whether we are aware of it or not. O how different our lives would look if we were aware of this at all times. To know that the one who hears and answers our prayers is ever beside and inside us. I challenge you this question, what would be the consequences of this reality that God is among us in every thought and action?
No longer would we have to maintain the mentality of “I have to impress God before He would notice me.” Rather we must have the mentality of “I am impressed by God, I recognize what He has done and I receive it and thank Him for it.” And we thank Jesus for the promise of the Spirit in,
John 14:16-18 “16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” NKJV
Christ made it so we could receive the living Spirit of God within our beings (spirit, soul, body) so that we could share the same relationship with them that Jesus shares with the Father.
John 17:21-23 “21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” NKJV
You see we are partners with Christ and not a competitor vying for God’s attention, affection and favor. We have been joined together for 2 reasons; first to have true deep fellowship with the Trinity, and second to be an even more powerful witness of the gospel here on the earth. We are to walk out in faith with the confidence that the Holy Spirit is with us in every action. Be it ministry, grocery shopping, or our time alone with Christ. He is always there and will never abandon us. And when we do step out in any form of ministry we will not be like spiritual weathermen waiting for a cloud to appear. Rather we knowing who and what lives inside of us can step out knowing that when we reach out He will act.
Knowing that God does indeed radiate from our beings, we know that if we surrender, He will change and renew us. He will make us more and more like Christ in our character, in our ability to love, and in power of the Spirit. Our spirit, soul and body will conform to our savior Jesus through the renewing of our minds. We surrender to God we will no longer controlled solely by fallen human nature, but by God’s nature, Christ’s holiness and the Holy Spirit’s power and wisdom.
2 Corinthians 6:16-18 “16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them, And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." 17 Therefore: "Come out from among them, And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." 18 'I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty." NKJV
1 John 4:12-13 “12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” NKJV
Now I shall ask again, “Where is God”? This question should be a constant reminder of who we are as Christians, not crying out into the night at idols and stars. But we are children of God speaking as a friend to our creator, sustainer and savior. We are ambassadors of the New Covenant, joint heirs of Christ no longer separated as Isaiah was when he saw the throne. No longer must we depend on Jacob’s ladder or the sacrifice of animals to know I AM. We have been given the privilege of having the same relationship with the Father that Jesus has with Him. No matter where we are, at every time and place we are never alone.
Written by Cameron Conway
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
Part 3; Manifestations of Reality
Hebrews 2:3-4 “3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will” NKJV
In Part 2 we covered the promises given to us by Jesus, concerning our authority to move in miraculous power when the Gospel was preached. Now in this third and final installment, I want to show you how the apostles and the early church responded to the invitation to given from Christ. It all began with obedience, the 120 waited and prayed for the day of Pentecost. Preparing themselves for the baptism (immersion) of the Holy Spirit and of Fire, as they were promised in Acts 1:8. And on that day 50 days after the death and resurrection of Jesus, God Almighty opened the storehouse and made what Christ gave to the 12 and the 70 available to all who followed Christ.
Acts 2:1-4 “1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” NKJV
Now the disciples could have been content with the infilling of the Spirit of God, they could of gone back to Galilee built a school and talk about that experience for the remainder of their days. However with the gospel in their hearts and the presence of God within their beings they could do nothing but fling open the windows and begin crying out to all who could hear them the great things that God had done through Jesus of Nazareth.
Acts 2:38-39 “38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." NKJV
From that moment on the Church was established, it was active and caring, and powerful. They knew their call, to destroy the kingdom of the enemy one redeemed soul at a time. To undo his works of suffering, sickness and pain, by shining the light of Christ onto all who would believe. No matter the amount of persecution they faced or how many of the “wise” men commanded them to be silent. Their accusers could not deny the power of God in action. And God continued to move all through out the book of acts, beyond its closing chapter, all the way into our present day. Nothing has changed Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Now let us read some examples of the Spirit of God in action through the lives of believers.
Acts 4:29-31 “29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus." 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
Acts 3:6-7 “6 Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” NKJV
Acts 5:12-16 “12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon's Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.” NKJV
Acts 6:8 “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.” NKJV
Acts 8:7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. KJV
Acts 9:32-35 “32 Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda. 33 There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed." Then he arose immediately. 35 So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.” NKJV
Acts 14:3 “Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” NKJV
Acts 14:8-10 “8 And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother's womb, who had never walked. 9 This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10 said with a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet!" And he leaped and walked.” NKJV
Acts 15:12 “Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.” NKJV
Acts 28:8-10 “8 And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. 9 So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. “ NKJV
Behold these amazing acts, the Hand of God moving through vessels of flesh. The ones seeing these miracles were no different than you and I today. The Apostle Paul was not in the upper room with the 120, yet moved in the power of Christ. So we have to excuse for why we ourselves cannot expect God to move in like manner in our lives as we preach the gospel. The Church of Jesus Christ cannot live by intellectualism alone, a new translation of the bible or another commentary series wont reach for the unwashed hearts of the masses. The words we speak and the beliefs we claim to have must leap off of the pages and enter our reality. Our daily lives are to be a reflection of what we believe, if we believe in stale ritual then our lives will reflect the same. Yet if we believe that God is a living cornerstone of our life. Then our lives should reflect the light within as a rainbow (or prism) of love, holiness, endurance, wisdom, compassion, justice, and power.
The primary function of every church and believer is to be a “Living Manifestation of the Reality of Christ”. We being recreated into His image have the responsibility, on one hand to act as Jesus did in manners of the heart and mind. Then on the other hand we are called to walk boldly in the unlimited possibilities of I AM. Not for our glory or to build popularity or even to fuel our finite ego’s. All this is for one purpose, to reach out into the darkness and bring back those who are lost.
Acts 2:41-45 “41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” NKJV
Written by Cameron Conway
Thursday, 9 August 2012
Part 2; An Invitation to Follow
Matthew 9:37-38 “37 Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." NKJV
In the first part of this series, we were laying the framework to support the fact that God still moves today, in our nation, in our city, in our church and in our individual lives. We must admit the fact that God can and wants to use us in a powerful way if we would only believe that He would. The reality of His everlasting power and dominion must resonate not only within us, but also flow out through our hands and lips. These messages are called “Beyond Belief” because we can all read the gospels and the Book of Acts and see these actions and miracles on the page, and never believe for Christ to act again. We must do more than just believe something happened we must take the actions beyond the page and into our reality. We must go from believing to demonstrating. This is what sets apart the Church of Christ from all others, our God and Savior is alive and is not afraid to move in divine power to heal, guide and deliver anyone who call upon the Trinity. Yet Christ does not work alone, he has an army that is qualified (whether they believe it or not) to do as he did, with their hands, hearts and mouths.
Now getting back to Part 1 you may be wondering where Paul could have gotten the authority to say the things he did in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, 1 Thessalonians 1:5 and Romans 15:18-19. This was the fulfillment of what Christ promised to His disciples and to all those who would call on His Name. These gifts were not reserved for the holiest of them all or those with enough seniority to collect them, no the Fruits and the Gifts are available to all. First we must begin with the words of Christ to His disciples and the permission He gave to them to do as He did. Let us take look at this moment in Matthew, Mark, and Luke
Matthew 10:1 “And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease” NKJV
Matthew 10:7-8 “7 And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” NKJV
Mark 3:14-15 “14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, 15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:” NKJV
Luke 9:1-2 “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. 2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” NKJV
Here we see the precursor of what Paul spoke of. That they were not only to preach, but were also able to perform these miracles. The very same miracles they had witnessed Jesus perform. Now take notice there is a subtle condition in play here, God’s power comes when the Gospel is preached. It is a sign to confirm the words they were preaching, and the words they were preaching was of the Messiah. Not of man’s wisdom, not of psychology, not of pop-culture but the pure gospel. These powers are not to amuse the crowds or our egos, but the purpose of to illuminate the hearers to the light of Christ. And at the time of this ordination of the twelve Christ still hadn’t been crucified, and yet they had results as we see in.
Mark 6:12-13 “12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.” NKJV
How much more must we do the same now that Christ has been raised and is King of All? Now even today must we swallow our pride and step away from fear, and pick up the weapons given to us. We must embrace Faith, laying the security of tracts and scripted prayers. We too are called to move in the miraculous, we must only believe, the question has never been can Jesus heal but rather will. All through the gospels all who asked received, Jesus felt compassion on them and reached out His hand. Today we are those hands, we are the ones who feel compassion on the lost. We are the ones proclaiming the Good News of His atonement of our sins and His free gift of salvation. We are the beacons of light, not of paper.
Yet despite all this there is a very popular argument against what I am speaking of, that this power was reserved for the apostles alone. Which cannot be true because Jesus also commissioned the seventy to go out and do the same works in Luke 10:1. And after a short time they returned also with the following report.
Luke 10:17-20 “17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." 18 And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven." NKJV
The gifts are never for our own pleasure, they are the tools from the Almighty to reach the lost, be it healing, deliverance, prophecy, or the rest. We have free access to all these in order to advance the Kingdom not our own islands. Our job is to speak the gospel, then to reach out with our hands and let God be God. We are simply to believe that He is, He will, and He did.
From the twelve to the seventy to all those who would believe the invitation and the commission was sent out. To all those who believed, to all those called to the harvest, to all those who have been adopted. We are one body, with one purpose, and one King
And our King after His resurrection proclaimed to all those who would follow Him that they too would walk the Earth in the same way He did in Holiness, Love and Power.
Mark 16:16-18 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." NKJV
These promises are not for another day, but here and now, no longer will fear bind us to the shadows, we are to burn brighter than the sun. Our pasts, the failures of others is not what our faith is based on, it is based on what Christ did. There is nothing anyone can do to change what Christ did, no one can nullify His actions or words, or commission to His children. We have a choice, will we become like a mighty rushing river of the presence, power and love of Christ. Or will we become like a Dam trying to control the waters of life?
John 14:12-15 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. KJV
Written by Cameron Conway
Saturday, 15 October 2011
Word and Power
Part 1; an Introduction
1 Peter 4:10-11 “10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” NKJV
It’s been 9 posts in the last two and a half months all focusing on reinforcing our foundations, to know the name of God, the power of Jesus, the gift of covenant, the function of the church and how each one of us should be acting 7 days a week. I’ve spent all this time preparing in order to present these messages that will follow to the next few weeks. With out these foundations these messages would do more harm than good and leave us to put our trust in things other than a love for Christ. For those who have missed the past messages, the Archive is waiting for you.
For the better part of the church’s 2000 year history we have been consistently working at one thing, talking. We can preach from dozens of different translations (just in English), attend hundreds of universities and Bible Colleges. And leave merely with an ability to talk the gospel each and every Sunday. We have even created our own dialect called “Christianese” glory hallelujah amen, in order to explain the deep things of God without actually explaining the truth behind them. We can talk yes, but so can the Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Mormons and Scientologists. A gospel in word only is like a bird trying to fly with only one wing, or a car racing without tires, or Christmas tree with out electricity. This is a safe gospel, an intellectual hands off gospel, one where converts are birthed through our own limited wisdom rather than the grace and power of I AM. One that never takes the risk of relying on the Holy Spirit to show up and move in a miraculous way or even in a subtle whisper. No, this is a gospel Paul warned us about in,
2 Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…”
It can be hard to break centuries of tradition, from 300AD to 1700AD, what I am going to talk about would have been called blasphemous or reserved for only the most senior and elderly ministers. But over the past 300 years Christ has given us back our Bibles, the knowledge of our Identity and Authority and the truth of
John 4:21-24 “21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. KJV
Yes, now is a time for us to receive all that the Father has for us and to go out and show every creature that salvation has come. Not merely in vain words that may erode the minds defenses but leave the heart untouched. But rather in the power of the Gospel that is accessible to every believer and follower of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Removing vain excuses administer by those who have rejected the power and mercy of Christ. Those who have raised their voices and decreed that “those things were for a different time”. Such words are a farce, in our day we live on a world with 6 970 000 000 souls compared to the 250 000 000 that walked the earth in the days of Jesus and the Apostles. And we are to believe that despite these numbers that the Hand of God is no longer needed or wanted? Far be it, in these days we must shine brighter and brighter we have 1200 years of history were the church looked more like the devils “butt-crack” than a shining city on a hill. And relying merely on our natural tongues will do nothing to rebuild the church of God into a Lighthouse for the planet. There must be something more, something that was and must be again. There have been glimmers and flashes of this light, yet were extinguished through pride, religion, fear, and the lack of knowledge of who we truly are as children of God and joint heirs of Christ immersed in the Holy Spirit.
Many speak of revival, praying for God to wake us back up from slumber, but I am calling for a Revolution, a returning to the ways of the first church. In the ways they loved, helped each other, spread the gospel and moved in miraculous power with no fear. It is time for the circle to be completed and the children of God to march with the Word in one hand, the power of God in the other hand and the love of God written on their hearts. I am not saying that we are to abandon the knowledge of the Bible, never so I am saying that we must have both the Word and the Spirit. Again I invoke the perfect circle; you cannot have one without the other. This is why foundations are needed in matters such as these. If we focus solely on miracles we eventually loose our holiness and honor, and if we focus solely on the word we eventually loose our compassion and love. Our lives must revolve around Christ, in His fullness not in fragments.
I am not alone in this way of thinking and believing, even the Apostle Paul himself expressed to the churches at Corinth, Rome and Thessalonica that the Gospel of Christ was not some made up story peddled by clever men, but it was ordained and confirmed by the demonstrations of God power and mercy. That Christ had truly risen from the grave and is alive, and continues to operate in our lives today in the same way He operated in His own life. That he continues to show compassion, to heal the sick, restore sight to the blind, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, open deaf ears, cast out demons and most importantly cleanse our sins and unrighteousness. Let us look at the exact words used by Paul in,
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 “1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” NKJV
And he repeats himself a few chapters later in,
1 Corinthinas 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. NKJV
Here we have two utterances of this truth, that when ever the gospel was preached signs and miracles followed (in that order!). That God is always ready to move and act, and that we ourselves are the anchor keeping the ship at bay. As I said before Paul also spoke this to other churches, so must turn to,
1 Thessalonians 1:5 “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. NKJV
Romans 15:18-19 “18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” NKJV
Paul calls it to “Fully Preach the Gospel of Christ”, we can only achieve this when we work with the Holy Spirit in all of our actions inside and outside of the church. One can assemble a three point salvation sermon without the Spirit of God but no one can heal the sick or speak a true prophecy without the Spirit. And how much more a sermon that would be if God was allowed to intervene and speak clearly through that person. I eluded to this in “Pentephonics” where what would happen if an unbeliever entered the church and saw the Spirit prophesying through them. This is not for the church leadership alone this is for every believer of Christ.
Now Paul was not the only one to understand the connection between the Mouth and Hand of God, we have another witness the Apostle Peter also spoke of this in
2 Peter 1:16 “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” NKJV
Next week we begin to reveal exactly what Jesus has given to us and how we are to operate in our lives and in the church.
To Be Continued
Written by Cameron Conway
Wednesday, 5 October 2011
Dust Upon the Crown
It seems we will be remaining in the basics for one more week, though this is not a bad thing. Perhaps a return to our roots and the core of our existence is worth re-examining now and again. It is easy sometimes to actually forget what it means to be a Christian and a child of God. And I’m not talking about just going to church on Sundays and voting conservative. Or wearing a cross around our necks in public, or following the list of social don’ts. I fear that with everything going on in our lives day in and day out we tend to forget that we actually saved and redeemed from something to something else. That the core of our lives is based on Someone, and not on somewhere we go week in and week out. Amidst the toil and turmoil have we forgotten Christ? And have we as Christians unknowingly forgotten Christ and become “ians”?
It isn’t something we consciously do, no one wakes up and says I’m going to be a Christian without Christ. A detachment from Jesus comes slowly and isn’t realized until our own strength has failed us. And we are left looking up, asking for forgiveness for our stubbornness and blindness. Even when it comes to prayer, we can speak without thinking and race to finish our shopping list, never stopping to think of who we are talking to. At the greatness and nearness of His grace and power, we unload and move on never stopping to know that “He is God”. Yes, the enemy does want to separate us from oneness with the trinity, to bring us back to a state of “self”. Truth is our weapon, but what truth is that?
1 John 5:19-20 “19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” NKJV
The constant realization that Jesus the Messiah is with us always should be the cornerstone of our entire existence. He is always here, yet we are rarely here, rather we are there and everywhere else. At work, at church, at the game, at the store, in bed, on the couch, always alone (by choice) on the inside. It is one thing for those outside the new covenant to feel this way, it is entirely different for the adopted children of God to do so. We need to be reminded that we are “set apart” that we are saved, that we have been given eternal life. By no merit of our own, but by Christ alone, and at one point we turned and accepted Him and our lives changed. All was stripped away, and all that was left was.
1 John 5:1-5 “5 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” NKJV
How often do we stop to think of ourselves as overcomers? Now compare that to how often we think of ourselves as believers and lovers of Christ. Answer that question and you will see where your heart lies. You cannot have one side without the other. If you want to overcome the world, believe and truly know Christ and keep His commandments. Then and only then will He reveal all He has to you. This again comes down to spending time knowing Jesus, by worshipping, reading, praying (with Him not at It), or just being still (psalm 46:10) and silent. Most often it is in the silence that we see the clearest, when we silence our heart and ignore the chaotic world around us, we can remember who He truly is. And all the assumptions from the world, radio, TV, internet, leaders, church-goers, and unbelievers about Jesus fade into the abyss of silence. Then we can remember and know with all our being.
John 3:14-21 “4 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." NKJV
Do we as light still cling to the shadows, is there still corners of our heart that long to be re-assimilated into the night. Now I’m not talking about becoming a murderer (hater) or a adulterer (luster) I am talking about the most dangerous manifestations of the darkness. The little whispers that kill us, thoughts of our own strength and ability and the amnesia of grace and truth. Becoming a Christian the experience of being born again is not a “set it and forget it” experience. Everyday we must humble ourselves, come to the throne of grace and know that He Is, not was or will be. We must create a lifestyle of being aware of Christ and God and Holy Spirit at all times. A lifestyle of not relying on our habits and traditions to get us through the days and weeks. We are children of God, joint-heirs of Christ first and foremost, above all else, be it families, denominations, nationalities or color. If we keep Christ first in our actions and thoughts and not just in words then we will be the light spoken of in John 4.
If you have drifted in anyway from God in anyway, there is a way back. I’m not talking of just being unsaved or if you are backslidden and running from God. But in any situation where we have forgotten Him in any degree, or have become a mere Christian by association. Drifting in and out clinging merely to our first cry of salvation. There is a promise and a path back into the arms we never actually left.
Romans 10:8-13 “8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." NKJV
Remove the dust from the crown that Christ has given you through his shed blood. Remove all in your hearts that distract us from Him, and abandon all thoughts of life without the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A choice must be made: are you a Christian never forgetting or watering down all He has done for you? Or have you taken the Christ out of Christian becoming an “ian” always running without ever stopping, claiming the traditions of others as your Source and declaring to know Christ yet never seeking, never knocking, never asking.
Written by Cameron Conway