Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Today I was thinking a lot about my last post, "A confession" as well as my post, "I just want more of Jesus". Many thoughts came to mind, in fact my mind never shuts off and probably more like a million thoughts have swirled around and around in there. One thing I realized as I was reflecting on the post, "I just want more of Jesus" was , if I have Jesus, all of him in me - if I already have him how can I still need him. The reality is, I am His and He is mine. So what's my problem? I don't always live in that truth, I think I need more of Him, because I somehow need to get in His Presence and it be manifested to me. But the reality is, I am already in His presence, I am already seated in heavenly places. One of the benefits of the cross was that the curtain of the temple was torn in two, and I can now enter into His Presence. I have unlimited access to the throne room of grace. So, if I am seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus, and I have an indwelling Christ living in me, and I am complete and whole in Him, what more do I need? Or should I say, why do I feel the need to have more of Jesus or more of His presence. He is always near, He is always present, His presence is always available to me. I am often not aware of it! When I don't sense His presence it's not because He isn't near, it's because I am somehow not allowing myself to be aware of Him. (or at least that is how I currently see it and understand it!)
The truth is, there is no striving, no need for longing - I am secure. However, my body and soul long to live in this unseen reality, this eternal truth. What I am saying is, that is my longing to experience him tangibly. To know Him more. To sense His nearness. I am finding that God is kind and He allows us to experience Him in a way our senses can get a hold of. Knowing that I am a carrier of His presence is an amazing truth. However, having my body and soul experience this reality here and now in this seen earthly realm is simply wonderful as well. I am grateful for both!
And as for my last post, "A Confession", I am still attempting to wrap my noisy whirlwind of a mind around who I am and how to live the life. I am complete in Christ, my identity is secure and it does not waver, nor does it depend on what I do. However, I find myself longing to see myself here on earth, the way God sees me. (Perfect forever!) I guess I am not as okay with being as messy as I really am. Maybe "messy" is how we see ourselves, but God doesn't. We compare ourselves to a set standard or right way of being. God is okay with me, accepting of me, always, despite my "mess". A couple thoughts encourage me on this. One is a Scripture in Proverbs, that I became aware of due to Bill Johnson's book, "There are no poopless cows." Proverbs 14:4 says, "Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, but much increase comes by the strength of the ox." 

"Without the ox, who makes a mess, there won't be increase. If success is measured by a clean stall we create a system that removes risk and avoids discomfort. Those who have said an absolute "yes" of surrender to God, must go beyond the edge of comfort to attract breakthrough, revival, and increase we all long for, but be ready to endure rejection from the religious systems. God is looking for a people whose heart is entirely His, no matter the response of others. His glory will then be released through a display of power upon his people."

Awesome thoughts! Another thought, is the all familiar verse, His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in weakness. He can shine more clearly through me, when I am the mess that I am, in soul and body. If I wasn't a mess, and had it all together, God couldn't use me, I would be self-righteous. Jesus came to minister to those who were sick, the needy and the broken, not those that didn't need fixing! (in their minds, I am supposing is what He meant!!) I think being broken and messy is a good thing! I think this way of being is valuable to God. He can use us, He can shine through us! When we are broken and contrite, He will not despise us! In otherwords -Humble! If I am not willing to admit my brokenness or declare that I am a mess - not in a woeful, I am a worm sort of way, but just honest, pure in heart, openness to the fact that I don't have it all right and so I am dependent on Him to live the life through me, sort of declaration- then I would be proud, self-righteous, opposed and despised by God. (unless of course I change my mind and repent, led into truth by the Spirit - it always seems God leaves a way out for us!!)
When we get to this place, of being okay with being broken and contrite and messy and long for Him to work in and through us by His Spirit, that when we can see fruitfulness. I guess this would be the same as relinquishing control through our flesh. The Spirit then begins to shine through us, by producing fruit through us. Wow!
So far, I have begun to experience the fruit of joy like never before. Thus the name of my blog! Joy is vibrant, contagious, explosive, wild, and wonderful! God wants us to live a joy filled life! Yahoo! Peace too, has come. Not the kind of peace that we often think of, the free from noise and conflict kind of peace. The shalom kind, the shalom of God kind of peace. Shalom means wholeness or salvation. This is the kind of peace that is a fruit the Spirit will produce in us! A peace with such depth! A peace that passes all understanding, because of the truth that I am in Him, and He is in me. He is my hope of glory!!
I can't say that these fruits are fully mature or that they won't ripen more, but these fruits are there I walk around with them, enjoying them! Whereas, before grace came to me as a revelation, I felt troubled, depressed, had longings that couldn't be satisfied and I didn't understand why.
Love also, is a fruit I am aware of being developed by the Spirit in me. I feel more capable of genuine love, not because of my own human abilities or disciplines to love. But, because I am living loved by my Father. I am finding myself awakened by my Lover and my own love is beginning to flow - it's His heart of love for others coming over me in a way I have never experienced before. And it's only just begun!!
Patience, this is a fruit I am starting to see slowly blossom. Part of me, in my flesh, often feels a sense of urgency in a lot of ways. That is often why I find myself weary and confused, like in my last post, "A Confession."
Another thing I am reflecting on, is the whole talk of "our position" in Christ versus "our condition". Perhaps this phrase has created a hang up for me. Let me try and explain. If I know my "positon" is secure, but I see myself or my "condition" differently than my "position", or should I say how God sees me, or how I am in the heavenly unseen realm, this creates a conflict in me as a whole. It's saying I believe the truth of how God sees me - but I don't see me or experience me this way. This, to me, creates confusion. This is ultimately what I have been wrestling with and I believe most Christians do as well.
The question is, should I believe God, or my experience or circumstances? If salvation, is sozo, or wholeness in spirit, soul and body. Then I am complete in Him! Complete, as a whole person in Him!! Do I have to wrestle with my flesh to get it to do things to make me look on earth as God already sees me in His eyes? These are questions I am trying to wrap my mind around.
What I do know, is I am an earthen vessel, a vehicle, that Christ possesses and chooses to live His life through. He chooses to use my unique person. I am an expression of Him and a carrier of His presence.
I suppose if you boil it all down to my part, it's this. Believe. Take these truths and renew my/your mind with them. Doing this will cause us to cooperate with the Spirit, because we know the truth. The truth is what sets us free and allows us to live this Christ life, this Spirit led life!!

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