Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We Are A People Of Privilege

What a privileged generation we are. For thousands of years people wanted to know God, wanted to understand his mysteries, wanted a better glimpse of his glory but they only had second hand knowledge. They had to hear about him from judges and prophets. Priests represented God to the people and the people to God but even the priests did not have direct access. They would study, hear stories, follow traditions but they never encountered God for themselves.

Jesus changed all that!

What he has revealed to us and what the Spirit teaches us is what the prophets could only see from a great distance. It would have been like Moses standing on the mountain, overlooking the Promised Land but not getting to enter it and taste its fruit. Revealing the great mystery of God is what Apostle Paul was called to do, the same calling we have:

I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. (Colossians 1:25-26)

Can you believe that? You are greater than John the Baptist. In fact, Jesus said the least of us is greater than John the Baptist. We are greater than David, Elijah, Moses and any hero you can name from the Old Testament. We live in an age that they could only dream of, as we live the great mystery of God. And what is this mystery:

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (v.27)

There you go, the glorious riches of this mystery is Jesus Christ in you. Something we treat so lightly, hardly giving it a thought in our daily routine, is the great privilege and honour of having Jesus in us, something the heroes of old could not even fathom. Could you imagine telling Moses that a day would come when this great God, who he had served and spent time with, who used creation to serve his purpose, who called earth his footstool, would one day dwell in his people? It would have been something beyond his contemplation, and here we live the reality of it every day.

We are a privileged generation but we are not taking advantage of that privilege. We are not calling upon all the resources available to us because Jesus lives in us. We are filled with the power of the resurrection but we are afraid to drive out a cold let alone take on demons. We are afraid to share the gospel of grace to our neighbour let alone declare the glory of God to the nations. We act more like the victim than the victor. Something seems to be wrong here. We seem to lack an understanding of the privilege and authority we live each day of our lives.

If the nations, our cities, our neighbourhoods, our neighbours are going to hear of Jesus' love and grace, we need to start acting like we are a people of great privilege, knowing and understanding the great mystery of God, of Jesus in us. How can we live for his glory if we do not even know who he is and what he has done? How can we live for his glory if we do not even know who we are in him and what we have become with him in us? How can we stand against this storm from the enemy if we do not know the authority that lives in us, giving us strength, courage and grace to fight for a dying world? We are so much more than we hope and realize because of this great mystery of God revealed in us.

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