I was raised in evangelical Christianity with an emphasis on the outward behavior.  We used phrases such as – Jesus coming into your heart, Inviting Christ to come in, and living the Christian life.  I heard sermons on the way that Jesus is there through our life and gives us so many things – strength, hope, peace, love, direction, etc.  Scriptures were memorized such as Galatians 2:20 and Romans 8:9,10 with whole-hearted agreement to the truth that the old man has passed away and we are a new creation.  Yet I heard people who had been Christians for years refer to their God as something and someone out in the great cosmic void who comes and helps us out when we pray hard and do His will.  I agreed with all the theologies which said that my life is not my own and everything I have and am belongs to God.  I said alot of things, but my life was a different story.

Often, the truth brings perspective and actually illuminates, in greater detail, the lie that has perpetuated areas you never recognized.  As the revelation of the reality of the indwelling Christ as the only life that I now live began to dawn, I started to view so many aspects of my Christian life from a totally different paradigm.  So many of the belief systems I had tried to pin my hopes on were dashed by the truth that I could no longer be the reference point.  In the realm of the Kingdom of God, I am not the point of reference and will never be.  To live as though something else was true, placed me in a posture of deception and illusion.  It was easy to believe that I was responsible to maintain some sort of spiritual development when I was living a life that God would help out with now and then.  The truth that I am only a vessel – human and earthen – leaves no room for my suggestions on how this life should look or how I should arrange my destiny.

It is true that God is omnipresent – everywhere always.  It is also true that it is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me.  The life that I live now I live by the faith OF Jesus Christ.  I can’t even hold my faith up as a necessary part of this process.  Without the faith OF Jesus, I am lost, alone, and unable to fulfill the purpose for which I was created. 

To say that Christ was my life – that He actually owned all that I had in my posession, that my body was His to use, that my talents were His to flow through – this was an ideal that had no substance.  The responsibility for all the things that I said belonged to Him was still a responsibility I held and actually tried to excel in.  My faithfulness in following Jesus was wrapped up in how well I carried out the plans that I had made (hopefully He would help me out if there was a need).  I already knew where my paycheck would go once it was in my bank account, for I had set up my life in such a way that I was pretty sure I could usually cover the expenses of my life with the supply that came.  Oh, yes, I said the supply came from God, but it was still to be used at my discretion and according to my preconceived ideas about how I wanted my life to look.  I wasn’t very open to a drastic change in where the supply came from, how secure the supply was or what I felt I had to do to maintain the supply.

Today, I am listening more intently to what I say.  I don’t believe God is limited to joining me in my work as I pursue some great plan to live for Him.  I long to speak and live with the expectation that the life of Christ within me will be lived out through me.  I don’t need to beg Him to step in and help me – He is doing the work.  I don’t have to worry for protection, supply, or even direction.  He surrounds me, has within Himself all things that will ever be needed and has promised that He is faithful to complete what He has begun.  I can say with assurance that my life is not my own and live each day of my life as though it is actually true.  What freedom and joy is on that pathway!

We are surrounded by obscure shadows and shaded images in the journey we call life.  There are many opportunities to dwell in a place of clouded understanding, especially in regards to the vastness of God.

Man has always stumbled at the realization that there is a bigger picture and a greater plan.  We develop an innate response to circumstances that is limited by our own experiences and the frailty of our earthly wisdom.  Without the quickening power of the Spirit of God, we are destined to an imprisoned mind wrought with bars of an unregenerated intellect, will and emotions.  Paul asked the question in Romans 7 – “Who will deliver me from this body of death?”  We may become trapped in the dead, temporal issues of mankind and attempt to overcome their apparent futility with earthly elements that cannot compare with the glorious grace of God.

Attempting to reach beyond the mist of our own mind by asserting human strength or resolve is like trying to dissipate a foggy morning by expelling the breath of our lungs.  We do not contain within us the ability to take ourselves beyond ourselves.  We are stuck in the mindsets, reference points and answers of a limited being.

Thanks be to God that He has done that which we could not do.  The clarity of reality only comes from Him.  We can rest as we journey from human understanding into divine revelation without measuring, qualifying or challenging His methods and His purposes.  The labor to enter into His rest is not an energy exerted from our own understanding or even our own strength.  Hebrews 4:10, 11 describes the cessation of our own works in order to participate in the surrendered movement of His life flowing through our life and creating what we could never even imagine.  It is with prompt, earnest diligence that we focus our mind and attention on the rest-filled work of the Creator.  His work is completed and the fulfillment of His eternal purpose has already been accomplished for eternity.  Our attempts to fully comprehend and integrate into what has not yet been manifest are filled with frustration and disappointment.  He who began the work is faithful to complete it.

The light of the knowledge of the love of God crashes through the streaks and blotches of shadowed reality and shines gloriously upon each necessary insight.  We are not doomed to a life of sorrowful questioning and frantic searching.  As we are launched by the love of God into what we have never known, but have always longed for, we find that His truth is veiled only by our human illusion.  What would we see and know if our hearts were unfettered by our earthly expectation?  And yet, if we turn our face away from the divine vision of love, we fumble to unchain the bondages we seem to see.  Our earthly eyes strain to navigate through the darkness, but the Spirit of God casts the light of freedom to the upturned gaze, breaking even the chains we have yet to discover.  Oh, to rest in the shining life of the love of God.  This is life eternal and the only way to walk beyond the shadows.

Living in a world consumed with the desire for “more”, it is difficult to imagine that being needy would ever be a “good” thing.  And yet, isn’t that the way it is in the Kingdom of God?  There are so many paradoxes that are not explainable for human understanding, but are grasped alone by the revelation of the Spirit of God.

Being in a place of need means that I have not been sufficient to supply for myself.  Being in a place of need means that I am unable to be my own provision.  What has brought me to the point of need isn’t as relevant as the fact that neediness brings me out of balance with self-reliance and self-sufficiency.  I find myself falling out of my own controlling thoughts and actions into the arms of the ever faithful, never failing God who holds within His hands all that I have ever needed and will ever need.

The blessing for those who need comes when we are driven by our inabilities and inadequacies to fall at the feet of the only Saviour, only Deliverer, only Provider and only Redeemer.  I can always walk in the way of blessedness as I walk in the truth of my ever-present need for the continued invasion of the Divine in the midst of my inherent humanity.  Blessed are the ones who need and are willing to forego fleeting promises of temporary provision that they may live in utter dependence on God Almighty.  Our neediness is only a blessing when we see it as a catalyst which once again brings us to the foot of the cross.

We celebrate a weekend in July that commemorates the freedom we enjoy in our country.  Many lives were and are involved in the struggle to procure and maintain that freedom.  We could all cite the freedoms that are most important to us and yet  –  are we truly free?

The declaration of independence was signed for the purpose of declaring independence from Great Britain.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  This declaration of an endowment by the Creator of certain unalienable Rights has been the mantra of those seeking to create a world that satisfies their own desires and brings them to happiness.  The freedom to choose how our lives are lived and to pursue whatever means necessary to bring to pass our envisioned destiny is often what we treasure.

The freedom that is exalted in our nation has no eternal value and does not compare with the freedom in Christ that actually brings us into blessed servanthood.  Paul said in Romans that “being made free from sin, you are made servants of righteousness.”  And yet, Jesus said, “If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” 

Truly, we are yielded to slavery each day and every moment of our lives – either to the desires of the flesh or to the voice of the Spirit of God.  We were all born into slavery, no matter our earthly citizenship, and we will live in bondage to sin and death if we do not recognize that we have been bought with a price.  The freedom to choose our own lifestyle does not negate the fact that “to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servant you are.” 

Here is the paradox:  In choosing to surrender my will to the will of the Father and allow the life of Christ to be the life I live, I am thrust into the blessed freedom to live a life of His intentions.  I am not bound by the demands of my own selfish desires, lust, or sin.  I am not shackled by the deceptive requirements of religion to prove what was already accomplished on the Cross.  The only way to experience true freedom is to be enslaved to the One who saved us from all the choices we would attempt in order to create a life that we cannot live. 

Walking in the freedom of being a servant of God puts me in great company.  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ; Moses, a servant of God; Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ; Simon Peter, a servant of Jesus Christ; James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ; just to name a few.

We are not truly free until we are submitted to the heart of God and His desire to live in and through us every moment of our lives.  There is no declaration of independence from Christ’s work in our lives – we are born to serve.  Our acts of apparent independence are only reminders that we are trying to accomplish in our own strength what God has already completed at Calvary.  To be truly free is to be eternally aware that I am bound by the cords of a love that will not let me escape the freedom that is found in Christ alone.

It’s a little disconcerting to realize you have promoted certain theological truths, but haven’t actually lived them out.  But, in all reality, it has happened to me many times.  The truth was solid, but the revelation was not complete.  The theology was sound, but it was words and definitions only – not a life-changing understanding that reached beyond my own intellect.

The truth about the Body of Christ and the purpose of its many members  has been a concept I have known, but didn’t actually understand.  Life has often become a self-centered journey, due to necessity – I have declared – but life was truly about me and my own struggles, desires and spiritual walk.  The body of Christ was the “support group” that I leaned on when I couldn’t carry my burden or needed a rest from my trial.  Sometimes this support was fully functional – in my estimation – coming to my aid in a timely and appropriate manner.  Other times, I felt the support was lacking since it did not achieve the desired purpose I had in mind – to support me in my endeavors.  My endeavors were worthwhile, of course and I’m sure they were often lead by the Spirit of God, but they were an item of concern in their own right, based upon my interpretation of the life that I was leading. 

There was no room to consider a larger building when I was busy decorating and rearranging furniture in my own room.  I would come to the aid of others as I recognized their need to have a burden lifted or a respite given, but this was so often in the form of running from one dorm room to another.  I would help hang new curtains, shake out a dusty rug, even paint a couple walls or move in a new dresser, but I would always retreat to my own room again to review the state of affairs in the life I called my own.  I would fluff the pillows on my own couch and vigorously scrub the floors to make them shine.  This was my personal responsibility to God – my requirements as a tenant. 

One day, the Spirit of God blew open the doors to the building and the Master Builder entered the premises.  Being the Designer, Creator and Giver of All things, He had created this building for a purpose.  I found out the original design didn’t include walls.  There were no partitions in the Creator’s blueprint.  Every dividing structure had been made by the hands of man out of concern and a need to control.  The open-floor design had created opportunity for the deepest heart issues of every tenant to be exposed.  For fear of having such issues treated inappropriately, the building was remodeled to protect and preserve our dignity and pride, never realizing the renovations actually thwarted the Designer’s original idea.

Of what importance is the Body of Christ?  Is it necessary and important?  Perhaps it is desirable and helpful?  What if it is the actual life of Jesus being lived on this earth?  Would we even consider cutting into little pieces the physical body of our Lord and Saviour and wrapping it up in little packages to be deposited in strategic places in hopes that it would affect some?  Would we not long for the living, breathing, walking, talking, healing, loving, compassionate Jesus to be in our midst?

It is true and so important that we know Jesus intimately, personally and deeply.  But it is also so important that we recognize that Jesus dwells within us and His life is the life that we are to be living.  In that individual revelation of the Resurrected Redeemer, our hearts will be filled with an indescribable desire to be one with Him as He and the Father are one.  This was Jesus’ prayer.  This was the very heartbeat of His Heart – the Heart which now beats in our inward man.  Being one with Him is being one with His body. 

Of what importance is the physical body which is our current habitat?   Is it necessary and important?  Perhaps it is desirable and helpful?  Isn’t it the way our life is being lived on this earth?  Would we even consider cutting it into little pieces and  expect it would continue to exist? 

  We are the living, breathing, walking, talking, healing, loving, compassionate Jesus as we let His life flow out from us.  The use of the word “body” and references to the many members and their diversities is no happenstance or random choice of analogies.  The picture of a body is the picture of that which cannot be divided, parceled out or separated.  It is the image of unity in its truest form – unity that is required in order to live.  One member of our physical body – the toe, the eye or the knee – does not presume to do anything that defies unity.  It cannot.  Being in the body means unity with the body.  The part of the physical body which no longer functions or is in unity with the body will initially be converged upon by parts of the body whose purpose are to bring healing, restoration and rest.  But if the body part does not respond to these attempts to restore unity, eventually it will become diseased and pour infectious poison into the rest of the body.  If this disunity continues, it will kill the entire body and the purpose of the body will be thwarted. 

So, the floorplan is one of open, honest and caring relationships based on the love of God and His divine purpose.  There are no private rooms to retreat into where we can gossip, complain, judge or criticize the rest of the Body.  Truly, in the realm of the Spirit of God we are able to enjoy times of intimate fellowship with Jesus, personal revelation of His deepest longings and yet we remain a vibrant, beautiful, well-nourished and always united Body – the Body of Christ. 

I see this now more clearly.  Yet, I’m extremely aware that this is a truth which far exceeds my current revelation.  The beauty of God which I have experienced in His body far outweighs what I have ever imagined or even thought of imagining. To see His will being carried out – not by one or two special people who’ve attained some mystical spiritual plateau – but by the weak and strong preferring one another and honoring one another until the Body of Christ is standing in the fullness and glory of all that God has ordained.  What I have seen of this glorified Body is overwhelming, but I know it is small compared to what is to come.

Recently, I was betrayed by a friend when the actions that I had taken were misinterpreted to mean something other than my heart attitude.  The whole story was not known and therefore word pictures were painted based on an incomplete understanding of the truth.  My heart was dismayed and I started to respond with sorrow, pulling away from the friendship I had believed was solidly founded on the love of God and His character.  As I began to turn aside, I realized it was a trick.

The only power Satan has lies in deception.  If he can throw up disguised flares of opportunity and distract us from our gaze on Jesus’ face, he has fulfilled his purpose.  His deceptive tactics go beyond our human reasoning so that we often find ourselves reacting intently to circumstances which hold no threat at all.  Since our life is hid with Christ in God, we have no need to scuttle hurriedly about as we try to escape the reflections of the storm that rages outside.

I have been bound, many times, in the shackles of distraction as I have found my mind consumed with the things that need no second glance.  Does my friend still love the Saviour?  Yes, that truth still remains.  But the focus on my friend’s inconsistency in one area can lead me into a full-fledged drama as the fingers of Satan cast shadow puppets on the wall.  Imagination provides a colorful backdrop which soon envelopes the room of my day with deep, dark whispers of “what ifs” and “I wonder whys”.  The soundtrack is written with my questioning comments to myself and others as I try to trace the origin and intent of each movement.

The main event, however, continues on.  My life, chosen by God to accomplish His divine purpose, is charted for a destiny which is indestructible by any force as long as I maintain the course set before me.  These distractions, usually in the form of human error, are simple ploys that can all too quickly become complicated, irrational and full of confusion.  They quickly divert the forward motion of life into a downward spiral of suspicion and mistrust. 

So I turned on the light, just as the shadows began dancing in the wings of my mind – oh, how quickly the Light of Christ dispels all that is not truth!  I found no need to berate my friend or even press for explanation.  There was no reason to look any longer at the actions as a threat or personal afront.  My journey had not been altered.  My destination was not abandoned.  I am still living the adventure of discovering His truth and following His love.  My pursuit of God’s best takes me to the place where I am once again lost in the glory of His gaze as His arms enfold and surround all those who turn aside from the shadow puppets dancing on the wall.

There is a phenomenon that occurs when the body of Christ begins to walk in the truth of God’s love.  It is both startling and refreshing.  Being based on the work of the cross and the revelation of love that knows no bounds, it cannot be produced or mimicked by any man’s planning or device.  It is created by the synergistic power which abides in the place of individual surrender and culminates through the interactions with each other.  It is found nowhere else.

The manifestation of the revelation of God’s love brings exposure of the heart.  It begins as a swipe across a clouded window, clearing a small area for peering into the beyond.  This fills our lives with excitement and joy at what lies ahead and what could be seen and tasted beyond the veil.  Like giddy children on Christmas morning, we exclaim at the possibilities which are glimpsed and our hearts are warmed by the glow of what could be.

True exposure of the heart, though, brings us to the end of ourselves.  The heart, being deceptive and protective of that deception, must be sanded, scraped and cut with the tools of God’s choosing to remove the buildup of self that surrounds.  Self-pity, pride and arrogance create the outer layer of this shell which has been decorated and remodeled many times in order to appear impermeable.  We have often applied a veneer of self-righteousness and several coats of false humility to present an acceptable facade.

The tools of God’s choosing throughout the process are often cast aside in preference of a more comfortable and less jarring experience involving a timetable we create and implements we can control.  We may retreat into a life of a separation while we are seeking for a gentle brushing away of our defenses or a topical application of something that won’t be abrasive or too upsetting to our current plans and agendas. 

And yet, so often, the tools in the hand of the Master are the words, actions and attitudes of the hands, feet, lips, elbows and shoulders of those in Christ’s body.  We await the scrubbing, scraping, picking and prodding with fearful eyes and focus on the servant which fulfills the Master’s bidding instead of the process of exposure which love demands.

As the hardened, selfish shell of our attempts at preservation are broken, our lovesick heart is exposed bit by bit, to the whispering caress of the Lover of our Soul.  Having been hidden away from the light and the truth, we are now tempted to quickly restore the demolished areas when the tender flesh of our exposed heart feels the unfamiliar sensations of life unfettered.  We experience deep sorrow where we used to feel slight compassion.  The light that once was filtered is now glaring with intensity – so great it brings tears.  The constant jostling of worldly demands that was often just a shudder, now arrests our heart with such violence that we almost trip over our next step.  All the sensations are magnified as the process of breaking free is continued, mixing the destruction of self-erected coverings with a heightened sensitivity to the Spirit of God.

Surrounded by those who are also experiencing this exposure of the heart, there is a gentleness and understanding that begins to flow, as oil, into the open, tender places which need much nurture and grace.  There is no directive or instruction given from any source, except the nudging of the Holy Spirit as we pour into others what we so desperately need ourselves.

At some point and often without prior recognition, the skillful hands of the Divine Surgeon reaches deep into an abscessed area of our exposed and fragile heart.  The festering wound of rejection or the pus-filled pocket of lust is lanced by the quick, deep thrust of the sharp, two-edged sword of God’s Word.  The pain inflicted is intense, but pales in comparison to the joy of deliverance and freedom that follows.  Even through the surgical procedure, it is often those in Christ’s body who minister patiently and lovingly the bandages of mercy which bring completed healing to the places of potential scars. 

The great temptation, upon discovery of the apparent destination in this journey, is to build a monument in our life where we record, analyze and publish all the painful details, with the intent of replacing our diminishing self-interests with something we can hold up later and relish.  This edifice is often built alongside the heart issues being exposed and lies are traded, tit for tat, so we never actually totally release the exposed elements for complete dissolution. 

This is the monument of religion which attempts to build something valuable and necessary to defy the all-consuming love of God which demands complete and total surrender to the cross.  The building process sounds excusable when we proclaim intentions of only bringing greater glory to God in the end.  And yet, the finished product is subtly positioned around the partially exposed heart and all the beauty of the monument now resists the very action which precipitated its creation.  Tongues, prophecy, dreams, visions, benevolence, knowledge and even martyrdom.  The towers of this monument rise high and lofty while still giving pretense that these things have worth, although love has been thwarted. 

No matter where we are in the process of the exposure of the heart, let us not forget that it is love that starts and carries out the full expression of God’s heart to man.  When we deny that love has brought us here and love alone will bring to completion, we risk all that God would create in and through the body of Christ as He heals each heart.  True exposure leaves no covering, excuse, defense or attempt.  The summation of everything  must be that God’s love has no equal, no comparison and no rival.

Is it enough that we know hearts are wounded?

Is it enough that we see pain and grief?

Is it enough that we talk about loving?

Is it enough that we long for relief?

Is it enough to proclaim we trust Jesus?

Is it enough to declare He is Lord?

Is it enough to smile politely?

Is it enough to just pray in our homes?

Is it enough to read books that inspire?

Is it enough that our Bible is near?

Is it enough to be faithful to church times?

Is it enough that we don’t express fear?

Christ came to earth to bring all of God’s fullness

Poured into those who accept His embrace

He is enough to bring healing and power

Will we allow His enough to take place?

He is enough when we give up our schedule

He is enough when we speak what He says

He is enough when our lives are surrendered

He is enough when we see our flesh dead

He is enough when love is the message

He is enough when self is condemned

He is enough as His life flows through us

He is enough when we see through Him

He is enough and He is so willing

That no one should perish and none should be lost

It is enough when our own will is broken

It is enough when we live at the cross

Conversations with friends who encourage, challenge and admonish always lead me to reflect and ponder things I wouldn’t normally mentally pursue.  One such conversation opened the door to a revelation of the body of Christ and its impact on my life through the image of a puzzle.   Although we shared about this and even had a time of discussion concerning this subject at our fellowship time last Sunday, it still continues to invade my thoughts and so the dialogue remains….

To summarize the content of the idea, we are each like a puzzle piece – created uniquely by the Master and in the creating we are provided with ways to “interlock” into the body of Christ.  These indentations and extentuations of our life and personality are actually the strengths and weaknesses which hold us fast to the project (building, temple, organism) Jesus is creating in and through His body.  There are many correlations we recognized, such as the need to release your own puzzle piece in order for it be integrated into the puzzle and the need for each part to be in its correct place – not trying to smash people and make them fit into places they don’t belong.  But this is not what has impacted me most about the analogy.

It’s about the puzzle piece.  Each one of us, separate, unique and individual, are created for the purpose of filling a portion of the puzzle in order to see the picture fully manifest.  But, the puzzle piece…….it is so obscure.  Who would take a puzzle piece and extol it’s virtues or exalt it’s attributes?  In the true sense of a puzzle coming together, we find that each piece is very non-descript and even unremarkable in its own right.  Without an understanding and clear vision of what the end result should be – a revelation known only to the Creator – each piece of the puzzle holds its value solely in its inherent ability to be a part of the greater creation. 

The description of the body of Christ in the Bible employs words such as knit together, fitly joined, compacted and united.  The image is clear and as our physical body does not have detached pieces functioning separately, so there is no place for independent and segregated activity that isn’t ultimately fulfilling the purpose of Christ – who is the head.  Ah, the purpose of Christ.  Not just a well-used theological phrase, but is it not the manifest answer to the prayer of Jesus himself  when he prayed, “Father, that they may be one, as we are one.”?  His purpose in coming to earth was to restore us to creation’s destiny – to be one with our Creator. 

So I find myself contemplating the impact of this reality.  All the qualities which God has been perfecting in me and those inferior traits of humanity that He is continuing to work on,  there are not to make me a better person for the sake of my own identity.  If I truly am a needed part in the interwoven plan of God, I am being changed so that I might walk in the truth of the part that is mine.

Many people spend alot of time working on themselves – letting God work on them and perfect them – simply for the purpose of becoming …….  What are we to become?  God does not transform, change, renew and restore us so He can add another trophy to an eternally long display of lives dedicated and consecrated to Him.  We are called to one body.  The transforming power of God works in each one to create a complete Body without spot or blemish. 

Does this preclude our responsibility to work out our own salvation and pursue a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?  No. Not at all.  We are each still accountable for our own actions, words, thoughts and heart issues.  The change for me, though, is the realization that everything God is working in me is about the Body of Christ.  I am who I am for the express purpose of being who I am in the body of Christ.  This is the reason I was created.  I am another brushstroke in the portrait that God has envisioned of Christ on this earth.   

This all leads me to my current state of  mind.  What would the impact be if we spent less time embellishing and “fixing” our own puzzle piece and spent more time submitting to the interweaving processing of the body of Christ?  How much power and authority would the body of Christ experience if we didn’t spend so much time examining and building up our own individual walk with God, but allow the Spirit of God to mold us into pliable portions fit for His plan? 

My journey began by spending time in God’s presence for the express purpose of receiving for the Body.  I didn’t realize how self-centered I was in the courts of the King.  I wanted His direction for my life, His blessing on my work, His peace for my heart.  I wanted new revelations, new insights, and new truths.  Now I find myself trying to hear every word God speaks and apply it to the body of Christ.  Currently, as I have implemented that change in focus, I have been overwhelmed by the strength, endurance, courage, faith and love that I am experiencing as I am surrounded by others who are in one accord and one mind.  I’m finding provision and strength in areas I have struggled with for years.  I also find myself drawn to and sometimes unexplainably dropped in the middle of opportunities to be interwoven in the work of the Kingdom – what God is doing on the earth today.   I spend much less time on personal development, but find I am being challenged and changed in the process.   

My life -the puzzle piece that God created – is no longer the focus.  In fact, as the puzzle is interlocked together and I am submitted to that process, I begin to forget what my own piece looks like.  I can’t remember whether the last revelation or great idea came from my own piece, another puzzle piece, or was the result of several pieces joining together.  Since it’s not about me…or you…but about Him, shouldn’t we make it about Him?  And where is He?  We are the body of Christ.

The revelation of what it means to release all my own existence rights to Christ because of the price paid on Calvary to redeem me – this truth has brought me to a tremendous shaking and stirring. 

I would never have described myself as a person who was obsessed with my own rights and privileges, and yet, there is a struggle when moving to voluntarily release those things that I have valued greatly (higher than I imagined) into the care and control of God.  “God is in control” sounds substantially more involved than I had previously imagined.  It is not just a case of confession and a change of certain lifestyles, but an all-consuming recognition that my life is not my own – I belong to Christ. 

This is the problem with many of our “religious confessions”:  if we do not understand the true spiritual implications, they are just words and do not reflect the intent of our heart.  In recognizing the need to release my rights to Christ, I also recognized how many rights I had been promoting and how those selfish rights were influencing me.

And I see the releasing process differently now.  It is more of a tearing away.  It starts as with the  look of a child torn from his favorite toy and then moves to a vision of the anguish experienced when we watch a loved one die.   Then it escalates to the point of ripping apart the motives behind the desires based in my mind, will and emotions and flings open the door of the Holy Spirit’s discernment to the deep places of my heart where there is no hiding, running or escaping.   Every excuse, logical explanation, intelligent debate and dynamic answer is thrown to the ground and shattered into unrecognizable rubble without worth or purpose.  I have become extremely aware of my heroic attempts to save myself and the implications of those failures.

In this process, though, there comes a great restoration to reality – the reality that is eternal and unchangeable.  There is much truth and freedom in dwelling in that place of total submission to all that God is and all that God longs to be in me.  Being restored to reality brings an end to the deceptive thinking that hurls me forward into things that are born out of my own understanding.  As I acknowledge my true position – a slave and possession, yet an heir and precious child of the most High God – there is no room for the independent spirit or selfish ambition.  The performance based on my own rights and privilege ends up being seen as it is- foolish and unfruitful.   Many of the character attributes I had highly esteemed become feeble attempts to impart loftiness to an otherwise despicable motive and to recognize everyday that without the love of God, I am hopelessly lost. 

So, as I am released from my own rights and status, I am restored to a place of divine fellowship with the Lover of my soul, Redeemer of my life, Saviour, Master, King and Healer.  This fellowship is not based in my past achievements or perceived performance.  This is the fellowship built on everything that was restored at the cross.  It is beyond my scope of influence but fully contained in His character.  It is unattainable by human effort, but evidenced through Christ’s body on earth. 

Released from myself and restored to all that He is.  This is my journey.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 293 other followers