I couldn’t resist a part II so here you go.
In the last post I talked about how Paul coined a word to describe the revelation of our “sonship.” He came up with this word that combines “son” with “laying down.” The “laying down” word is where we get our English word for Thesis. Paul is trying to describe the revelation of our origins or the truth of our lineage. This word is the “laying out of the undeniable evidence” that we are “sons” which means descendants. More than just unconnected machines with a manufacturer, we are connected children who are completely dependent on our life-giving Father, in union with the divine. God is in us. Jesus is the proof and the example. The Bible even says that all of God is in Jesus and Jesus is in us. We really need to see this truth. It is the revelation of our “adoption.” This isn’t a status change, it is an awakening to a greater truth.
Your value, your worth, your importance, your contribution, your very identity is found in this revelation of your origins and union. At the end of you is the beginning of God. At the depths of your person is the surface of the infinite. When your conditions and categories and lists and judgment stops, the unconditional love and acceptance and assurance and fatherhood of God begins. When we are done with the forbidden fruit we pause and eat from the tree of life.
Is all this too “mystical” for you? Maybe the words or the concepts make you tilt your head and make one of those funny faces but the truth is in you. You already know your connection with your Abba. Everyone does. What we do with that truth is the “life” or “death” question. I’m not talking about eternal destinations or afterlife locations. I am talking about who you are, where you come from and living His life as your life here and now. Still to ethereal for you? OK. When it comes down to those moments, each and every moment, are you living in the moment or just along for the ride? Do you find joy in your breathing? Do you find happiness in your relationships? Do you see people as beautiful (even when they can be mean)? Do you just love everyone even when you don’t know them? Do you think I am crazy?
Well, this is who Jesus was and is. He is love and loves us all. He accepts us all. He came to set us free from our forbidden fruit way of thinking so we could see His reality that He called the Kingdom of Heaven. In His death and resurrection He reveals the heart of God for humanity and all His creation. God was in Jesus reconciling the whole cosmos. This reconciliation was the removal of any fictional excuses, conditions, reasons for separation, fears or anything we had manufactured in our heads that kept us from believing that our Father is good and kind and forgiving and merciful and gracious and Love. The brokenness was in our thinking and understanding. We still thought that the rain was only for the blessed and the earthquakes were only for the cursed. We still thought that God made evil people sick and healed good people. We still thought that our circumstance was a product of God’s mood based on our performance. Jesus came to show us that all of that is nonsense. God is good and He is in us and we cannot be separate from Him. When we dwell on that truth (our adoption as it is translated in our English Bibles) we find freedom and liberty and joy and peace and acceptance and assurance and Love manifest and so so so so much more. WE ARE GOD’s CHILDREN, Yay!!!
So for fun I created a LLT of a portion of Romans 8 I want to share. As a backdrop remember Paul is addressing a group of mostly Jewish people in Rome. They are really struggling with this universal inclusion thing. They are still stuck in religion and the law way of thinking. They are excluding the gentiles because of their “wickedness” and using the law to separate themselves from others. Paul is telling them that our right relationship with God is already present and can be realized in our faith in who God is. Paul tells them that all of mankind is included in what Jesus reveals in all of us. Even our “sin nature” that is so self-evident when we live from the forbidden fruit, is defeated in our union with God. In chapter 7 of Romans Paul talks about how conflicted we are when we are trying to live up to some standard and doing it in our own effort, living from a perceived independence. Then in Romans 8 Paul begins by crushing the fear thing. He is showing us how Jesus is the example of us in union with God. When we live from the awareness of our union we are liberated from the “death” of living in an unconnected way.
OK, then this section. I love how Paul is pointing to something so much bigger than ourselves in our limited thinking and perceptions. How is it that the created can be joined to the uncreated? What is going on in the depths of us? Are we willing to take a deep dive and discover the beauty of our divine connection? The mystics understood this. The contemplative are chasing this. I haven’t done the research to prove it, but I believe every religion is seeking to understand this connection we have with God. Meditation and contemplation and mysticism is in every form of human religion. No doubt since He is in all of us. Alright, enough pontificating.
Romans 8:15-25 We are not in bondage to fear anymore but we have accepted the revelation of our true origins as God’s children in union with Him. This revelation has us crying out Abba! Our Father! The Spirit of God Himself speaks to the innermost part of us and gives witness to this unseen reality of our complete dependence upon Him. Our very life is from Him. Not only that but if we are dependent on Him then we are heirs of his and actually heirs just like Jesus. We must press through in union with the Spirit of Christ so we can know the substance of the divine like Jesus.
The resistance that we must press through is nothing compared to the divine reality that is being revealed in us. Indeed the kind of awakening that is not limited by our five senses is awaiting the revelation of our union with God. The truth of our union with God isn’t obvious to our limited logic and observations because we are stuck in our own heads.
In constant expectation even the creation is groaning together and straining to birth this truth of union. We also realize that the Spirit reveals our true identity which is the inner self of us and we are groaning to discover the divine truth of our union (which will even give our bodies freedom). In this confident expectation we are liberated. Our hope is in the unseen divine reality not the seen physical reality since hope in the visible reality is not hope at all (but just observation). We still eagerly hope in the divine revelation of this unseen union with patience. (LLT)
This is our journey of discovery. We ponder the things of God and our oneness with Him and we are liberated from our circumstance and experience and limited vision. I know for many this may sound crazy or new age or something like that. Take your labels and put them aside for a moment. You already do this, trust me.
Right now think about your favorite holiday moment. Can you smell it and feel it? Can you see the depth of that memory? Are you aware of something bigger in that moment than just your five senses?
How about a smile or a hug from a precious child? How about a slice of that favorite pie that brings back emotions from a childhood experience? How about a wink from that special person? How about the beauty of the sunset over the mountains or the perfect fresh snow with no footprints? These are moments and glimpses of something bigger than our “flesh” and are connected in the “spirit.” It isn’t that hard to grasp. We are doing it already. We are “living in the spirit” when we are living in the divine connection. We are experiencing the manifestation of something way bigger than just our seen reality.
Maybe I stretched you a bit…… or maybe not. More and more I am finding that everyone knows this divine truth of our union with our Abba. Often religion has quenched that fiery truth and replaced it with fear. Often our circumstance has us doubting and running from an angry g.o.d. but inside, deep in there, we just know if we pause for a moment. If we find a moment of peace we are very aware of where we come from.