Tuesday, October 9, 2012

He Lives In Me

A beautiful and passionate friend of mine who is ever falling in love with the work of the cross always inspires me with her childlike heart and view of Jesus. I am honored to be in class with her here at Bethel's 2nd year and she is one of those people who's walk with the Lord is so fragrant that it leaves you more in love with Him every time you encounter her.
I thought I'd share this beautiful quote of hers that was birthed out of her revelation of "Christ in me."

"Inside of me lives the person who loves you most in the whole universe." - Michal Langton

Isn't this so beautiful and life-giving? We no longer have to strive in our own might to love the world around us. We house Jesus himself, the sacrificial lover and he is dying to unleash his love onto every life that comes near to ours. Not only do we get to love people, we get to love them just as he would because the very Jesus that died for the world, has taken up residence in you and I. 

Before The World Began

Something that has been exploding my brain lately is the concept of time. Being intimately acquainted with a God who dwells beyond the constraints of time, and actually being held by him in those unfathomable realms could leave me dazed for eternity if I allowed myself to really ponder it's implications. Over the past week any time I hear the word 'time' or anything that implies it, I am immediately drawn into adoring the one who so effortless holds this creation of his in his everlasting arms.
This semester at Bethel, I have chosen the 'Exploring Ephesians' bible elective led by the incredible Michael Brodeur. I am two weeks into the journey to the heart of this book and I feel as though I've rather been on a journey into the heart of Him. Michael said something profound last week with regards to the ever-debatable issue of predestination, he stated "God is outside of time, but is interfering with time, all the time." This post is definitely not going aimed at trying to rationalize the concept of predestination and election, in fact, the opposite. The more I learn about the nature of our God and his unsearchable glory, the more I realize that I must approach the concepts of his Kingdom from outside the realm of time and human reasoning. If I peer at God and the things of the Kingdom through the lenses of time lines and the ticking hands of clocks, I will only ever see in part. The one who lives in the eternal realm invites us to leave our cloaks of time at the doorway of his presence and allow him to shape us with an eternal paradigm.

Two things that have always mesmerized me are the facts that we have been "in Christ since before the foundation of the world" and the lamb that has been slain "since before the world began." What value could these have to a being that only knows the confines of their own earthly timeline? I feel that these words are doorways; invitations if you will, into deeper realms of understanding our glorious Father. This past week I have been meditating upon "before the foundation of the world," and at times it is overwhelming, but mostly it is astounding. Most of us can barley handle the thought of an unknown future, but what about the fact that you existed to him before you even existed to yourself. Now that will blow any analytical brain out the water.
Every human being is eternal, whether saved or unsaved, the only difference is where we will spend our eternity. Some of us think that our the eternity of our being will begin only once we die and cross over into higher realms. But isn't the point of being eternal the fact that you have always and will always exist, outside of time? Is it possible that he has known us, held us, embraced us in himself long before we breathed our first breath? I'll let Ephesians 1:4 (NLT) do the talking "Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes."
Oh, to see like he sees and know like he knows! Our glorious Father has always been intimately acquainted with us and he even views us from outside the confines of our own timeline. God is with us in the present, he goes back to our past and visits our future. He knows how we started, how we are running and how we will cross the finish line, and he loves us just the same. He is staring over my shoulder as my fingers type these words, whilst simultaneously watching my formation in my mother's womb and celebrating the fulfillment of my destiny that lies before me. I want to sit upon His lap and I too want to have this same three dimensional paradigm. I feel he's inviting us in to be a people that transcends the limitations of time so that we can see as he sees.

In Revelation 13:8 we see the "lamb that was slain from the creation of the world," an innocent savior who's sacrifice was so profound that it echoed into eternity. As the nails were being driven into the hands and feet of our lamb, they pierced the unending realm and left an eternal mark. That's the security of our salvation, that's the impact of the cross. Oh, how I love spending time at the cross, I love running my hands over the cracks in the wood, smelling the fragrance of his sacrifice, and every time I gaze upon the cross I catch a new glimpse of His heart and a love so fierce that it endured a torturous death. This week as I've been enjoying the cross, I've seen it's timeless beauty. An eternal sacrifice. A lamb slain since before the world had been spoken into existence. How rich is the love of our Father that he had formulated a plan for our salvation and oneness with him even before we made the decision in this realm of time to betray him. The cross was not a retaliation plan. He was not taken by surprise. Jesus was always God's plan A, salvation was always his dream for us.
Isn't he beautiful.