Thursday, 9 November 2017

The Hidden Life

 Scripture:  Colossians 3 v 3 - 4: "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory."

Ephesians 2 v 5 - 6:  "Even when we were dead in sins,  (God) hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

Paul's letters to these early Christians deals with our deeper hidden life. There are two seeming contradictions - one that we are both risen with Christ, and seated with Him in Heavenly places; and the other, that we are dead in Christ.  We are dead and alive at the same time!  

When the Word says God has quickened us together with Christ it means we have been brought back to life.  When Jesus died on the Cross, He drew all people to Himself.  He manifested our death because of sin.  When He was resurrected from death we were still in Him and so we were made alive again.  When we are baptised in water after being born again this becomes our reality.  Satan fights more against baptism in water than anything else.  He wants us to stay dead where he still has opportunities to deceive us.

To reconcile this seemingly impossible state, we need to set our minds on Heavenly things as our lives are hid with Christ in God. It is no longer I that lives but Christ who lives in me.

In Ephesians 2 v 6 we are raised up to sit in heavenly places in Christ. Yet here we are on Earth loaded with all its problems. This is because sin killed our souls.  Jesus is in us, changing us from inside out, into His likeness. The more we let Him do inside us, the quicker it happens. The more we yield the more we receive from Him of the Heavenly treasures.

The more we become like Jesus the more the enemy fears us. There are easier souls to manage than those with the fullness of Jesus having unshakeable faith and overcoming victory.  We must become dead to sin, and dead to the world and its attractions, to find our exciting hidden life.

It is in the hidden life that we understand the mysteries of Christ.  In Him we live and move and have our being, or existence.  Outside of Him we are dead.  He has many things to tells us but we cannot bear them yet.  We have to grow in grace and in our relationship with Him.  When we lose our dependence on the world and our fascination with it, then we can focus more on the things of God.  It is time we got a whole lot closer to Jesus to know and experience the joy and blessings He has for us.

How do we get closer to Jesus?  It depends on the quality time we spend with Him.  When we get alone with Him and find out His likes and dislikes we then need to respect His preferences because He is our King.  When He observes the effort we make to please Him He responds in ways that please us.  

The whole key to understanding how God works is to know that He responds to us like if we forgive others then He forgives us.  If we fail to forgive then we remain unforgiven plus He hands us over to the tormentors!

Matthew 18 v 34 - 35: "And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
 35  So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."

People sin against us, they lie, gossip, steal, assault, and worse.  God expects us to forgive from our hearts, not just a token mental acknowledgement.  What we need God to do for us, we must do for others.

It is only in what we do for God through the Holy Spirit that pleases God, all else is vanity.  The bond of perfection comes when we know who we are, both in Heaven where we are Royal Heirs in training - and on Earth, where we manifest the light of Jesus through love, peace and joy. We shun negative and disobedient practices and rather do that which pleases the Lord.

In the hidden life we experience the power of the Holy Spirit working through us to change the world.  Every prayer we pray, every act of kindness, every time the love of Jesus touches other lives, we are enriched in our spirits and God sees and keeps record of it.  We feel the joy of obedience stronger than any drug or worldly thrill.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are seated in Jesus on Your right hand so we can talk to You all the time.  You love us equally with Him because we are His actual Body, resurrected and alive in Him. Thanks for hearing and answering our prayers. Help us to find the key into the hidden life with its depths and heights of spiritual experience. In Jesus' name. Amen.