A House on the Rock

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In most churches there’s a lot of “Lord, come down and bless us with your presence” rather than taking Jesus at His word: “Where two or more are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them.” Fact.

So prayer is largely meant to be thanksgiving and praise for what is (even if it doesn’t appear as an “is“) because God said it is so.

Thank You, Lord, that I am loved and accepted. Thank You that by one sacrifice I am made perfect forever, and that You are working that Perfection out into my daily life. Thank You, Lord, that You work all things, not “some things,” after the counsel of Your own Will.

We don’t have to ask God to act as much as we thank Him for Reality; His stated Word is reality in its purest form. We can ask Him to manifest that unseen Reality by faith into the seen realm. But we don’t question its ‘is-ness’. We take it by faith. The thing IS. I AM holy, even if I feel unholy. I AM forgiven, even if I feel unforgivable. I AM one Spirit with the Lord, even if I seem separated from Him.

So – I’m blood-bought. Blood-washed. A king. An heir of salvation. A son. A partaker of the divine nature. Complete in Christ, having everything I need for both life and godliness – needing nothing outer, not approval, acceptance, good circumstances, money, anything. Everything is contained right here within this human cup, this human zero, and God is the Wine, the All, inside this cup. And He and I are one – a marriage union.

When I rely on these truths of what IS, God acts by me. When I go back to the Romans 7 paradigm and live from that, Satan gets his arrows in me, with their strings attached, and uses me like a marionette by pulling those strings. A return to Romans 8, trusting the Spirit within me and thanking God for the Blood that cleanses me of all sin, kicks the Devil in the teeth and confounds him.

We’re meant to live in Romans 8 and 9, not 7. Many churches teach 7 is the constant state of the Christian. What a defeatist mentality! The sum-total of our Christian lives down here: “Try to do the best you can.” Yuck. The JWs believe that same thing. I’ve told them, “You live in 7!?” They said, “Yes. 8 is for the Elect.” (meaning the 144,000). I said, “I can’t LIVE there anymore! I hate living there. I live in Romans 8 and 9 most of the time now.” Because 8-9 is the life of faith in God’s stated Facts – and by faith in those Facts, He begins to manifest them into our seen world.

Romans 7 is life by our own effort, by our own works, by our own ‘trying to be like Jesus.’ And the outcome is “The things I want to do, I’m not doing, and the things I hate, that’s what I keep doing.” Being controlled by the flesh – feelings, thoughts, desires of the flesh – is really being controlled by the Devil. What believer in his right mind would want to stay there?

So – we concentrate on the IS-ness of God’s reality. That’s what we grab onto, and after grabbing on we’re like a pit bull – we don’t let go for any reason. That’s the endurance of faith. Patience. By faith and patience we inherit the promises – not “up there” or “pie-in-the-sky,” but here and now in this temporal realm. And so we are privileged to pull the unseen realities down into this seen world into visible manifestation.

That’s the essential paradigm of the Christian life. It undergirds all revelation. It is the foundation of our interaction with God, because trust is the foundation of relationship.

Winner of 147 Grammys (or so), Ron Block is the banjo-ninja portion of Alison Kraus and Union Station. When he’s not laying down a bluegrass-style martial-arts whoopin’ on audiences around the world, he’s taking care of his donkey named “Trash” and keeping himself busy by being one of the most well-read and thoughtful people we know.


7 Comments

  1. David R.

    God’s been working on me and teaching me this very thing lately. It gets tough when the rubber meets the road, though. Romans 8 says that God is working all things together for my good. But when what I hope for my life or my future falls apart, to trust God and stand firm on the IS-ness of reality may mean accepting that He wants to redefine what “good” is in my life.
    Am I willing to let Him do that? Am I willing to learn from Joseph, Abraham, Moses, Job, Jesus, and so many others in trusting His truth even when it looks like I’ve screwed things up miserably or been abandoned? To let go of my own dreams, trusting that what God gives me instead truly is better from His point of view?
    If, as so often happens, I let my feelings define reality, then no. But that is walking by sight and not by faith (2 Cor 5:7). Thanks for the reminder to take God at his word, here and now, in the real day-to-day issues of life.

    “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better …”
    Hebrews 11:39-40

  2. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    David,

    My kids often have no idea why I say “No” to things they want. “Why can’t I eat Ritz crackers for breakfast?” I often tell them I care about their bodies and what kind of food goes into them; I care about their minds and what kind of things they put in there – they’ve come to accept very little television (one movie night a week).

    In order for them to find ultimate (in this world) happiness, and for them to be happy in each present moment, they’ve got to trust me. I’m watching out for them – they can rest in that, bank on it; even though I am fallible, my heart is good – and I trust God the Father within me to inspire me and reveal to me what my kids need most.

    But trust – that’s the bottom line. I want my kids to trust me. If they trust me, everything else falls into place. Otherwise it’s push-pull-push-pull – misery for everyone. “You’re going to keep on asking me over and over even though you know my answer?” The sooner we get with God’s program, see things from His eye-view, get in accord with His movements, the happier we are in each passing moment.

    And really, that’s the bottom line of true spiritual, mental, and physical health. The question is “How am I designed?” How am I designed physically? What kinds of food did God create as fuel for my body? (Hint: not Ritz crackers or any other highly processed food). Fruit. Vegetables. Whole grains. What is best for this body? Exercise. Fresh air. Pure water.

    How am I designed mentally? What sorts of things benefit my mental life? (Another hint in case my son ever reads this when he’s older: not video games and television). Reading. Conversation. Listening to teaching. Music. The list goes on and on.

    Spiritually? I’m designed for a oneness with God – a unity of being, where He and I live as one.

    When we get with the program of God’s purposes – whether physically, mentally, or spiritually, we find health coming back in each of those areas. Optimally we get all three in sync with God’s ways.

  3. Joshua Keel

    Thanks, Ron. I find myself in constant need of a reminder that Jesus has accomplished all the work that must be done on my behalf. I have a desperate desire to earn my standing with God. He seems to constantly bring me through a true look at my own failures into an understanding that I’ve been forgiven inconceivably much and there’s no way I could possibly earn anything in all my hard labors at “righteousness.”

    That’s actually a powerful motivator to follow the ways of Jesus.

  4. Jennifer

    Once realizing that this is what I was missing in my walk w/the Lord, I prayed the prayer, surrendered all to the Lord and trusted him to guide me. I no longer can do it on my own, through my own works, but still feel that I’m the one running the show and thats not the way it should be. I realize I’m letting my feelings stand in the way, and the Lord wants me to rely on him, through my faith in him to live through me and not rely on my feelings. It’s like I’m putting the pieces of a puzzle together and just as I think I’ve discovered the last piece, God reveals another to me. Please Keep me in your prayers as I do you.
    Blessings!

  5. Ron Block

    @ronblock

    Jennifer,

    Isn’t that always the way! I’ve thought the same thing many times: “Now I’ve really, finally got it!” Then, a year later, I look back and see that I still had only partially understood what was going on. But really, that’s what Paul means when he says “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” That word “growth” means we never have all the answers wrapped up in a neat little package (often called an “ism”). God is infinite, which means knowing Him is an infinite growth process.

    All the same, we can’t confuse our growth in Christ with who we already are in Christ – kings, priests, holy, one spirit with the Lord, beloved, accepted, dead to sin, dead to Law, alive to God, slaves of righteousness, sons. These are realities, not things we eventually grow to be. We do eventually grow to understand them more and more, but the realities, the things themselves, are a done deal.

  6. Molly

    Thanks, again, Ron. I woke up today needing to be reminded of this, big time. As is so often the case, when I get wrapped up in my head, I need to be grabbed by the shoulders and shook out of it–to be reminded that we live in 8 & 9 now, not 7

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