Upside down thinking

Jesus came to deal with and save us from our fallen nature.  Contrary to popular opinion that wasn’t an effort to make us feel more guilty about a bunch of behavioral and moral issues in our lives.  His purpose wasn’t to “bring to our attention” a more in-depth and higher fidelity understanding of the sin nature of a fallen Adam.  He didn’t come to protect us from a Diablos g.o.d. that is disgusted by everything we do and can’t wait to burn us all in hell.  Jesus did not come to rescue us from the spider dangling g.o.d. of mythology and fallen human thinking and irrational fear.  Jesus did not come to save us from His Father.  No No No.  He came to save us from our blindness to Him.  He came to save us from our upside down thinking.

We have a God (a Father Son Spirit) that created us to be in His circle.  He has included us in His cosmic plan for a really big family.  Like any family it comes with dysfunction and brokenness and unique personalities.  Religion is on purpose trying to cookie cut people into something that isn’t real.  Religion is trying to impress a God who is so pleased with us He calls us His beloved.  Religion is creating separation where there can’t be separation.  Religion has us categorizing and dividing and excluding everyone that God came to include.  Jesus came to include us and join us and marry us and love us and die for us.  He meets us in our deepest darkest places.  He isn’t disgusted by sin, He runs to it.  He isn’t repulse by the lost, broken, dysfunctional, addicted, sick, weak, tired, depressed, morally putrid, gay, lesbian, Arab, Islamic, Buddhist, satan worshiper or even…believe it or not…the religious christian.  He actually loves us so much that He came to reveal Himself and His Father to us in the anointing (ever-present) Holy Spirit.

What is so broken in all of us is our ability to “see” Him as He really is.  Jesus tells us over and over that none of us has ever seen the Father or known the Father or heard from the Father.  I’m sorry if some don’t agree with what Jesus said but it is nevertheless true.  He brings us the knowledge of the truth of God.  He calls that knowledge of Him freedom and eternal life.  What is our purpose for breathing…to know Him (Father Son and Holy Spirit).  Jesus is our incarnate vicarious man-God who shows us the Father and brings us to the Father and shares His “seeing” with us.  He defeated the fallen Adamic way of thinking and acting and rebelling and rejecting and hiding and running and pretending…He killed our Adam on the cross.  He raised us with Him as a new creation.  Now we can “see” through His eyes because we are joined to Him.  When we embrace that truth and let the Holy Spirit reveal to us Jesus in us…WOW!!!!…everything changes.  We realize our born again truth.  We participate in our resurrection life.  We abide in a fantastic journey in Jesus.  We “feel” what Jesus feels.  We “know” what Jesus knows.  We “see” what Jesus sees.  We love what Jesus loves.  We love WHO Jesus loves (everyone!).  We reject no one.  We exclude no one.  We embrace everyone.  We see Jesus in every person we meet.  We see the Kingdom of Heaven all around us and in us.  We have realized our sonship.  We are swimming in our adoption.  We are so accepted and included we are exploding with joy.  The rivers of living water are gushing from our innermost being.  We can’t help but smile and love and hug and laugh.  We want to share the truth of Jesus and what He has done with everyone we meet.  We have discovered the good news.  We have met the good news.

OK, with that said there is still the renewing of the mind that is ongoing.  Sometimes it can be a little painful or embarrassing because we have believed and lived from lies about God for so long.  We have gone to church and invested intellectual capital and have insisted on our “rightness” for so long that it is hard to let it go.  I understand that embarrassment and have experienced the grief of how I have judged others in my rightness.  So I want to help.  In the next two posts I want to share another way to see scripture.  I have included the first part of John Chapter 14 here.  In the next post I’ll include the rest (it isn’t a teaser but respect for your time).  I would encourage you to use your mind of Christ and let Jesus “show you” through the Holy Spirit His truth of Himself and His Father in this passage.  Religion wrongly begins with separation.  Jesus tells us separation is not real and is not possible in Him.  His incarnation is our inclusion.  Mankind is forever joined with Jesus.  We aren’t trying to get somewhere.  We are learning what is means to already be somewhere…the greatest place imaginable…in Him.  So enjoy. (all verses are from the ESV)

John 14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

We believe in Jesus, who He is , what He has done, who He is from, why He came…above all else we believe He is Love and He is good.

2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

The Father’s house is His people like the house of David. The word translated house can also be translated as family. The word “rooms” means abiding place or abode. In His family are abiding places (all of us). In the collective family of mankind are individual humans that are His abiding places. Jesus prepared (or created) an opportunity (a new creation) for Him to dwell in each of us. That all happened on the cross and in the resurrection. Before incarnate Jesus on Earth,  the Word (Jesus) was the light in all men but now He inhabits all men in union with all mankind.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Now this verse should make perfect sense. He goes away and dies and kills us and brings us back to life with Him in us and us in Him. He went away into the grave and came back in the resurrection.

4 And you know the way to where I am going.”

Jesus is the way. They know Jesus. He is the way because He is the incarnate one that takes us and our Adam into the grave and brings us out of the dirt as a new creation joined forever with Him. We can no longer be apart from Him. He prepared us to be in union with Him by killing us and raising us from the dead as a born again new creation that now can see and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

Of course Thomas doesn’t get it yet.

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Cat is out of the bag. Jesus is letting them in on the secret. Not only is He the way He is the truth of God’s nature.  He is the plan and eternal purpose and our adoption and inclusion and incarnation and union. He is the life because we have no life apart from Him. To live His life is to die to our life. No one can know or see or understand or relate to the Father but the son and now we are in the Son and the Son is in us. We relate to the Father in the Son and through the Son.

7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

In Jesus and through Jesus we see the Father. If we could understand the incarnation and inclusion and union of God with man, we would see the Father in Jesus. We would see the Word become flesh. Phillip hasn’t “seen” that truth yet.

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”

Phillip is confused as we are still today. The blindness persists. We need the Holy Spirit to illuminate the truth of Jesus and give us the eyes of Jesus to see. We need the light to come out of the darkness. It is easy to say Phillip missed it, but we are still missing Him today and will keep missing Him (in part) until we “see” Him and we can know Him as we are fully known.

9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

One more time Jesus tries with Phillip to “open his eyes to see.”

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

Jesus is saying “Phillip isn’t it apparent that I could not have said all I have said in my own effort.” No mere human could have come up with such wisdom and insight. As a matter of fact any human who described God the Father as Jesus did would have been considered crazy but for Jesus they called it authority.

11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

Jesus meets Phillip right where he is. It is the same place that most of us hang out. We “need to see the miracle” to believe. Jesus tells Thomas later that it is a blessing to believe without the miracle.

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

This is a transition verse. Jesus has just made the point that He is in the Father and has represented the Father and has done nothing outside the Father so… now He gets their attention. If we can “see” or believe in this union and purpose and finished work and inclusion in the family like Jesus…just think what might be possible with Him in each of us.  This would have been incredibly motivating to Phillip and all of them since they had seen and participated in the miracle-working.  Now He is going to show them how it is not only possible but reveal a greater truth than just the miracles themselves (verse 20).

13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Now this is exciting. What Jesus had we have because the union Jesus has with the Father we share in Jesus.

14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

He repeats Himself. I think we are supposed to actually believe that Jesus means what He says.

Next post we will go through the rest.  Are you beginning to “see” a different way?  Can you let your mind of Christ take you out of the land of upside down thinking?  This is how we see the Kingdom and enter the Kingdom of God.  We let go of our insistence on a fallen way of thinking.  I know it is hard at first but once you get a glimpse of how really really really amazing and beautiful and glorious and good and loving and merciful and gracious and powerful and other-centered and humble and mighty and so much more….your Father is…you will want more.  The hunger you have always had for a God who would love you like a really good Father and brother and groom and friend is really real.  He is really real.  The truth has always been inside you.  Now, hopefully, I have given you an “excuse” to step out in faith and trust His faithfulness to be as good as He says He is.

Yay God!

Lance

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