Friday, October 19, 2012

Freedom from the Bondage of Self -- In Christ!

This revelation is just too much for me not to talk about again and again and again!

Yes, AA is correct, in that we need to be freed from the bondage of self.

Every one program of "self-help" advocates this. "We" are our biggest problem.

But then we run smack-dab against the "Buckaroo Bonzai" syndrome:

"'Cause, remember: no matter where you go... there you are."

We simply cannot escape from ourselves. We are dead in our trespasses, and therefore, we need someone who comes to us and grants us His life! We need someone to move on our behalf, not us to move for ourselves!

I am not surprised that there has been an explosion of "Self" studies and self-awareness, but this obsession with ourselves makes us bereft and broken, just like our first parents Adam and Eve, because a sin-consciousness -- from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil -- made them focus on themselves, then try to cover themselves. That is what the Law, this knowledge of Good and Evil, will eventually do!

We are now free from that Old Covenant of Law and Self-Occupation. In Christ, we receive Pardon for all our transgressions, plus covering for everything we will commit in the future, and He gives us the Life that we need. Do not put God in a box, though, concluding that He only moves in the Church service, but that your are on your own at the workplace, or in the supermarket. He is already there moving on your behalf.

What I am now learning is that it is not my job to "make him be there" by how I think or what I do. He is already there, and He is already helping me. Wow, it is amazing how self-absorbed we can be,  even when we think about God!

He is your Life, He is the Self that we need. Yet He not only lives in us, but He has everything prepared for us in advance:

"3For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world." (Hebrews 4: 3)

The problem for us, as for many people in the Body of Christ and in the Celebrate Recovery Programs -- we feel that God is, but not that God saves. We do not believe that He is moving in our lives, or we believe that He moves in our lives if we do or say or believe or think a certain way.

Yet what does the New Covenant say:

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

"And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8: 10-12)

Notice how this covenant has nothing to do with us! We do not do it, we believe it and receive it.

Now, the tripping point for many people still goes back to self. "But what am I supposed to do?"

We still have too narrow an understanding of God and His Son and His Holy Spirit, who are always with us! If God gave us His own Son, do we not believe that He will provide all things with Him? The same Jesus who holds the universe together, do we not rest and believe that He is working all things together for our good?

Like many people, I had too static an understanding of Jesus Christ -- as if He was somewhere far away not interested in my life. Yes, He died for my sins, yes He has prepared a place for me in heaven when I die, but then I would turn back to the three dimensions of this world, convinced that everything else depended on me.

Yet Paul blasts such selfish arrogance, weak and beggarly in its entirety:

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2: 20-21)

and

"But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

"Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed." (1 Corinthians 15: 10-11)

Yet still we are often nagged with the idea of "What am I supposed to do?" Let's pick up on this issue specifically in the Bible:

"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6: 28-29)

Now, to believe seems simple enough - the problem lies, then, in do you know Him as He whom God the Father hath sent to deliver you? Do you see Jesus Christ as hanging on a Cross still? Do you see Him only as a king far away telling you what to do? Do you see Him only as a servant who moves when you tell Him to? Do you see Him as God Almighty and Eternal, yet moving in your life also as King, as Servant, and as Son of Man?

For example, I am now starting to realize that just as God was moving in the lives of Joseph's brothers and himself, even though they meant evil by betraying him into slavery, so God is now moving in your life, taking your past, having forgiven you for all your sins, and now taking those sins and make them into something glorious here and now today!

I am growing in grace when I realize that Jesus did not just die for my sins, but he took the penalty and the record -- and He restores to me double! This is what it means to walk in the Truth, seeing all that Jesus has done and keeps doing on our behalf!

AA cannot provide this because AA says that we choose "God as we understood Him" - a God who would send His own Son to die for us, to justify us and live evermore to give us His Life -- this is something that goes beyond what we can ask or think! This must be accepted as a matter of revelation, or we will not believe it at all! No man could think this stuff up, because man in himself is dour and depressed and down-trodden, or takes pride in himself, not Himself!

Jesus Christ is our life, our self, yet that does not mean we think about Him, but then worry about the details. What we do "need" to do is learn more about whom we believe on!

In Christ, though, we do not have to wonder like  Dr. Emilio Lizardo and his cronies:

"When are we going home? Real soon!"

In Christ, you are already home! He is your life and your everything! We are freed from the bondage of self not just in living, but in all things being provided for us through Him!

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