The weird thing is, I’ve never liked U2. From the few short clips I’d seen, Bono seemed arrogant and intentionally obtuse. Pictures of U2 concerts ... Read More
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.