Coffee all drank? Let’s continue…
As we saw in the previous post, after nearly thirty years of active service in a jungle on a Philipine island, Hiroo Onoda eventually came to realise and accept that World War II was indeed over. No longer a soldier, no longer having to live a lie. In handing over his Samurai sword – an act of surrender, humility and childlike trust, for that’s what it takes – he was saying, “I believe. The war, for me, is over.”
How foolish would it then be for him to return to his former existence and not embrace his new life?
Embracing a new life is not devoid of flashbacks nor memories, as old habits, thought patterns and behaviours are challenged but, nevertheless, renewed and replaced. Such is transformation. Once you walk free, prison – although it may seem like an old familiar friend: reliable, safe, even sympathetic of one’s plight – is simply a monument to a false identity that held you captive. Once you taste freedom your heart is ruined for anything less. And yet, in Church today we are essentially still engaged and entangled in a war long over. Trying to prove our worth and secure our own victory is an independent existence. The religion of performance simply sustains the illusion of self-righteousness. All such posturing renders the Cross null and void. Literally, as if it never happened!
May it not be so!
Such is the result of eating the fruit of the wrong tree: a life that seeks to live independently from God and which perceives Him as distant, aloof, angry and untrustworthy. And so, we vainly attempt to balance the scales of a justice system we have created through our misperception of the Cross and the Gospel of Grace.
We actually refuse the Good News of the Gospel by our determining to strive to prove we have what it takes to present ourselves righteous before Father. Do we really believe we are to reconcile God to our paradigm of who He is and what the Kingdom should look like? That’s creating God in our image and likeness! Religion would say so. Religion lives to do so. Striving for moral excellence through adherance to a legalistic code of pathetics…sorry, ethics…is eating of the wrong tree…again. Moral excellence is a fruit of Grace, of union with God and is solely manifest in our lives by Holy Spirit. We don’t gain access to the eternal union and loving communion of the Trinity. We are invited in and fully included for it was always God’s plan to do so in and through the person of Jesus Christ.
As we allow ourselves to live from there, and rest in His Grace, the Truth about the nature and character of God which has been hidden from us, will be revealed and simply astound us! Our minds and our perceptions will be changed and renewed as we come to know the Truth and allow Him to usher us into a new-found freedom in Christ. Your identity is completely wrapped up in the person of Jesus Christ! Such is the heart of Father for you and to you.
Hearing about the astounding Grace of God, may evoke a response in us similar to the one that faced Hirro Onoda. Which peceptions are you to trust? Which identity are you going to believe: the you of your own making? The God of your own creation? The world and kingdom of your own shaping?
…your true nature and identity as a son of God? You were birthed in the heart of the Triune God before creation was spoken into existence. Nothing will satisfy Father, but that you are once again established in your rightful position of sonship. Yours is a life already settled and determined in Father’s heart and you are His beautiful obsession!
We are saved – no, not by faith – but by Grace. A gift! A free gift! In fact, Jesus Himself is Grace! We have nothing to do with it. It’s all Him. He gets the Glory. There is none reserved for us…as, thankfully, we are not expected to earn any in the first place!
Strong’s defintion of the NT Greek, charis translated grace is, “A favour done without expectation of return; absolute freeness of the loving kindness of God to men, finding its only motive in the bounty and freeheartedness of the giver; unearned and unmerited favour.”
Waaayhaaayhaaay!!! Time for another coffee!
Truth is truth…whether you believe it or not. As Francois du Toit says, believing it does not make it so, anymore than finding gold makes it gold. It always was gold. Your discovery of it does not make it what it already is (my paraphrase). Class! Your discovery, will however, awaken you to the reality of the wonderful treasure that was hidden up to this point, but there nontheless. Then, voila! Your knowing it, will dramatically change everything and release a freedom, you cannot even dream about.
Ours is a story yet to be unveiled. I still amaze myself by resonnating with old dead patterns. The good news is, there is no condemnation!
Do we miss the mark? Yes, of course we do. But now it’s just me, a toddler learning to walk in new territory who stumbles again and again. Sometimes I even have a tantrum, write on the walls, launch my toys out of my crib, and, yes, I even fill my nappy! Thankfully, it’s simply life to Father! God is not keeping a ledger of our sins and transgressions, to then pound us with it on judgement day! It’s just life. Grace is no longer sin conscious, but obsessed with your righteousness in Christ and with His determination that you fully awaken to it and, thereby, enjoy the fullness of the Tritarian romance and fellowship. A fellowship into which you have been invited and where you are seated with Christ.
I told you it was Good News!
Whatever or whomever you are waring with, well, it’s over! It may even have been with yourself. Or with another’s perception of who you should be. Rest. Rest in His finished work and allow His Grace to consume you and watch His love transform every area of your life!
Enjoy being messy. Enjoy learning to walk in Grace after years of fighting in the jungle. Stumble we will, but it’s a family moment to laugh at and to enjoy because we know who our Dad is! I look forward to laughing with you!