We need a real shaking up!
When I say "we" I mean everyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ and as such a member of the Body of Christ.
We need this shaking up because the world has so successfully seduced us that we aren't even aware of it. We are so entrenched in the patterns of this world that we can't bring ourselves to imagine the pattern, system, perspective and direction of Jesus Christ. Everything is from a "me" perspective and rarely a "them" or even an "us".
It's about what I think, how I feel, what I am experiencing, how it affects me, what it will cost me. The supposed American Dream is about my freedom, my wealth, my prosperity, my rights. That is so much part of our psyche, how could we possible understand Jesus when he tells us that everything is about God and others?
And because we can't understand this very simple fundamental truth of life in this place, we try to do what we can with what we have. We make rules, formulas, and methodology the focus and as long as we stick to these we are fine. We are aghast at how people in the Bible could fall for idols and yet we worship a dozen idols every day. Just ask yourself what stuff comes ahead of Jesus and others in your life? What can't you live without? What would fill you with fear if it was suddenly taken away?
Apostle Paul asked a very good question as he wrote to the Colossians concerning the authority of Jesus. He asked:
Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? (Colossians 2:20-21)
I think that's the problem: Most of us haven't died with Christ. We haven't died to the basic principles of this world. We still allow it to have authority over us. We still follow its pattern of thinking. We still define things by what we see, hear, taste and touch. We may hold to some vague understanding of the theory of Jesus but the theory is seldom applied.
We talk about faith but we still allow fear to paralyse us. We allow worry to disturb us. We allow the opinions of others to shape us. We still panic and do our own thing to save our own skin. We still measure right and wrong by the standards of our society. We still treat God like the Genie in the Bottle, bringing him out only for emergencies, or believing only when we can't figure out stuff on our own. Instead of being our first thought he becomes our last resort.
We figure as long as we are following the Ten Commandments or are giving it our best effort we are okay but we aren't. We aren't okay. We are far from okay. Unless an encounter with Jesus Christ makes a radical change in everything we know we are nowhere near being okay. The world and everything in it cannot remain the same to us after being possessed by the Holy Spirit. It is impossible.
We go from being a citizen of this world, following the patterns and principles of this world, thinking, acting, living like everyone else. It is only natural being from this world. But after being possessed by the Spirit we cease to be citizens of this world and we become born of a different place, of the Kingdom of Jesus. Everything shifts. Different pattern, different rules, different purpose, different attitude, different perspective, different thinking, feeling, doing. We no longer submit to the rules of this place.
I don't know, are you getting this at all?
Without the Spirit we can't. We can't get it.
Without the Spirit we can't understand. Without the Spirit we remain dead to the ways of God. Without the Spirit there is no mind of Christ and we stick to what we are familiar with: the principles and pattern of this world.
We need a real shaking up!
We need the Father to touch the hearts of his children again. We need the Spirit, in his great power and passion, to provoke our hearts to seek the Face of God once more. In truth, we need Jesus.