When you are looking for somewhere to live you often have some sort of criteria. Maybe location is important to you. Is it close to transport, schools or colleges, the bush or ocean, shops etc? It maybe the material that it is built from. Straw, sticks or wood!!!!!
The type of house. One storey (or story if you are from the USA) or two or more, flat or town house etc. Maybe it’s what is inside the house. How many rooms, bathrooms, living rooms, how big the kitchen is etc. I think you get the picture. The next step is a visit to the Estate Agent. You have been saving for years and you give him your list of requirements. He looks at you earnestly for a while then he says those amazing words…”How much money do you have?” You tell him excitedly and then you see the earnestness disappear in his face only to be replaced by sadness and disappointment as he sees his commission becoming smaller. You then have to start to cut back on what you really want. You may end up living in a three person tent but “Ho!Hum!” It’s all you can afford. Then the estate agent says hang on a minute what about the mortgage? You are shocked! “What is this mortgage that you speak of?” (I am not sure why Yoda has arrived but just go with it….!) He explains the wonders of the mortgage. You understand that you go into debt and that the bank will hold the deeds of the house until you have paid them back. You say thank you bank for getting us out of trouble. Thank you that we can have a bigger and better house. Thank you that our lives will be much easier now. We will keep paying you back for all you have given us.
There is a point to all this. I am not a Real Estate agent in disguise and I don’t work for a bank so don’t worry. My point is simple, we as Christians have a choice as to where we live . We can choose to live in a tent. Using our own means to get through life.Of course we soon find out that there is no life living in a tent but that’s all we have so we will make do. We know Jesus died on a cross for us but we don’t know Him! Going to church, singing hymns, praying (but not knowing who we are praying to), hearing the bible stories read to us. We might even go to church at Easter and Christmas as a bonus but there is no life to it because we don’t know that there is someone outside ourselves to help us. This is called in the Bible living in the realm of the Flesh. Doing everything in our own strength. Satan loves this because he doesn’t have to do anything. He just sits back and laughs because those people do his job for him.
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires;” (Romans 8:5)
Then we come to the next group of Christians. The enemy spends a lot of time with these people. These are the Christians who know Jesus died for them and have heard that there is someone who can show us who Jesus really is. The Holy Spirit. Jesus had to die not only as a sacrifice for our sin but also so that the Holy Spirit can come and live inside us. Joined as one to our spirits.
“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)
An advocate is a champion, upholder, supporter, backer, protector. So the second group have realised that the Holy Spirit is there to help. He has given them Gifts to use for God in their lives.
“ Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” (1Corinthians 12:7-11)
He enables God’s fruit to grow in their lives,
“ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.“(Galatians 5:22-23)
These Christians have learnt that without the Holy Spirit they are powerless. They are forever thanking God for His gift. They thank God for Jesus. They know why the Holy Spirit came and for what. They are living now in the comfort of their home enjoying the full amenities that they have been given. They are always aware of the debt that is owed. Life for Life. They see miracles happening, not Jesus miracles but still miracles. They are seeing God work. Not a huge amount but enough. They have seen the Holy Spirit work. The worship is amazing, there is such anointing. They feel heaven falling down on them. The prayer is often fall on us Holy Spirit. They ask for the Holy Spirit to bring the Kingdom of God down on them. The devil works incredibly hard on these Christians, messing with their minds. “Am I doing enough to pay back the price? What’s my gift? Why do I sin still? Why can’t I see the fruit in my life?” These Christians have learnt the power in the word of God. If they are sick they are professing
“and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
often with little result but sometimes there is healing. These people are living in the realm of the…….Soul. They are ‘Soulish Christians’ (Watchman Nee – Spiritual Man)
You see there is another group of people. These went to the Estate Agent with absolutely nothing but they read the small print. They realised that they could have any house they wanted, in any location. As big as they wanted. What’s more they actually didn’t have to pay for it all. It was all paid for. Signed, sealed and delivered! Whatever they wanted was available to them at any time. If they wanted something new in the house they could have it. All they had to do was sit in it. They didn’t have to do anything. It was theirs for the taking. No solicitors fees! No cost at all. If anything breaks, it will be fixed at no cost. All that was needed for their lives was theirs for the asking.
Who doesn’t want this life? Well obviously the first two groups of people don’t. Chris Blackeby, a full time Australian Itinerant Pastor, who has travelled the world preaching, calls the first two life styles “Living with the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”. Do you remember that tree. It is the one that Adam ate from. The tree that showed him his nakedness. Before he ate the fruit he didn’t know he was naked and had no shame. But then he was given the knowledge of shame.S o many of us live by knowledge. We know so much Scripture. We can tell you chapter and verse. We know how a church should be run. We know what works because we have seen it work in the past, so it is bound to keep working in the future. Is it? Remember that God’s blessings don’t just fall on the people who belong to Jesus.
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.“ (Matt 5:45)
Good things still will happen to people who are not in the fullness of all God wants. We need to be where God wants us. It is not about formulas or what your church wants. We are seeking knowledge of what is good. We don’t need knowledge we need Life. We need to be living with the Tree of Life. That was the other tree. Satan didn’t tempt Adam with that tree because the Tree of Life doesn’t bring sin and shame.We live by the “A little learning is a dangerous thing;”Rule! By the way that quote comes from An Essay on Criticism, by Alexander Pope, written in 1709. (Just in case you were seeking more knowledge!!) We realise that knowing little is dangerous, so we learn more. We look deeper to see what each nuance means. As far as I can see the Apostles were just ordinary men who were living in the power of the Holy Spirit. They ‘knew’ all about Jesus. They ‘knew’ that He died on the cross. They ‘knew’ that He had risen from the dead. They had seen Him. They had talked to Him. He taught them about the Scriptures and everything in them that related to Him.
“ He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:44-45)
They could have gone out at any time as they had the knowledge of who Jesus was. Yet they still were told to go and wait for the Holy Spirit to come. The Tree of Life! We can quote scripture until we are blue in the face but until the Holy Spirit brings Life to it for us individually we will see nothing happen.
As followers of Jesus we need to understand where our house is.
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?“ (John 14:2)
So we are waiting for that place that Jesus has prepared for us. When we die we have the hope of the prepared place. If only we got hold of the truth and saw that we are living in Heaven ! That is where we live NOW. We are Spiritual beings having an earthly experience.
“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” (Romans 8:9 NASB)
We don’t wait to die to go to Heaven, Heaven is our home now. We live in Christ and He in us.
“But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.“ (1 Corinthians 6:17)
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Saviour], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].“ (2 Corinthians 5:17 Amp)
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Gal 2:20)
“and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.“(Colossians 2:10)
“ For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3)
Where is Jesus? Sitting, on the throne next to His Father. So where are we? Sitting on the throne next to our Father. Where is the throne room? Heaven! So we are in Heaven now. We are sitting. We are at rest! Sitting next to God.
“even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:5-7 NASB)
It is nothing we have done but it is what God has done for us to show how incredible His Grace is to us. “That’s too simple”, I hear you say. Following Jesus is simple. It has to be. Not everyone has a person available to them to explain the doctrinal implications on things. No one has come to Jesus having to know the Doctrinal implication of anything. If you look at the different cultures that the Gospel has to go to, and is relevant to, then you see why it has to be simple. Someone living in the Amazon Rainforest does not have to know the implications of predestination and they never will. Or what about someone who is intellectually impaired. All we need to know is that Jesus died for us, rose again from the dead and through His blood we now live with Him in the Heavenly Realms with the Archangels, Angels and other Spiritual beings by the power of the Holy Spirit. Everything in Heaven is available to us now. I mentioned in a previous post that God gave me a picture of a shop front which was covered in posters as if there was a sale on. Each poster had ‘Available in Store Now!’ on it. So I went in and the shop was full of everything you could think of but they all had my name on it and God said “Come and get what ever you need at any time” So I do. Sometimes I have to put the item on and sometimes I just use it. Once it’s mine it’s mine. I don’t need to go and get it again.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 1:3)
We now live next to the Tree of Life. When we live like this our whole perception changes. We no longer pray that Heaven comes down because we live in Heavenly Realms so we bring people up to where we are. When we are asking for the anointing of God to fall, we bring it with us. We are in Jesus in Heavenly Places so we bring Jesus and Heaven to people. I do believe this is the Year of God’s favour. It is a time of new things. It is the time for the Next!! Not the same as before, next but in a totally different format, next. It is a new Next! The Tree of Life Next! A time of TURNAROUND!
Prayer starter: Dear Father let me see today who I am in Jesus. Let me see what you have done for me. Let me be at rest in Jesus. I am sorry that I have tried to do things in my own strength Holy Spirit make my place in Jesus real to me.
If you have time please listen to Chris Blackeby’s testimony it is well worth it. Also have a look at Living from Heaven | 14th August 2016 | Chris Blackeby | WOWLife Church on YouTube.