Sunday, 22 May 2022

The Hidden Life


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

Ephesians 2 v 4 - 6:  "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love where with he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins,  hath quickened us together with Christ, (by graceful are saved);
and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

Paul's letters to these 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 that we are dead in Christ.  We are dead and alive at the same time!

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 spirits.

Our spirit has been born again and is in Jesus in Heaven. 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 hidden life.

It is in the hidden life that we understand the mysteries of Christ; how our souls are dead because of sin and how He died to be with us in that state, so He could gather our death into Himself and then be resurrected back to life together with us.  We participated in His resurrection and so we are alive in Him.  In Him we live and move and have our being, or existence.  Outside of Him we are dead.

It is our soul that is in conflict with our spirit now.  Our soul has been tampered with by Satan, and as the god of this world, he controls the souls of the unsaved.  He still has access to our minds, wills and emotions through books, tv, videos, people, drugs, alcohol, music, and other worldly influences.  

It's our responsibility to work with the Holy Spirit to overcome these influences as we become more like Jesus.  Philippians 2 v 12 - 15: "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14  Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."

So Jesus took our real selves with Him to Heaven, and baptism in water after repentance of sin is essential as it makes our commitment a burning of the bridge back into the sinful world.  It is during baptism in water when the exchange takes place i.e. our spirit is resurrected to be part of the Body of Christ in Heaven, and Jesus comes into our hearts.  Then we can rejoice saying Christ in us the hope of glory.

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.

Watchman Nee To'Sheng, who was martyred in China on 30 May, 1972, wrote about the breaking through our soul to reach the inner man of the heart and how it sometimes took many different breakings to completely experience the joy of the hidden life.  The more consecrated we are to godly living, the deeper our experience becomes.  Each person is broken differently according to their needs.

Watchman Nee spoke on pride being a great barrier to the hidden life, as pride wants to be seen and draw attention to achievements, status and wealth, while humility creates supple, pliable souls who conform more easily to hidden spiritual blessings.

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, opening the depths and heights of spiritual experience. In Jesus' name. Amen.