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Not I, But Christ; or, Like the Burning Bush

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be ONE, even as we are ONE. 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me… 17 “But he that is joined unto the Lord is ONE spirit [with Him].” John 17:22-23; 1Cor 6:17

We have to stop thinking of ourselves as someone who is separate, independent, and apart from God. When we became born-again, we were wholly SUBSUMED by God — spirit, soul, and body. To be “subsumed” is to be consumed without being destroyed. It means that we were wholly incorporated and integrated into HIS life and being, such that we now are only-but-completely a part of Him. Our self awareness remains intact, but because God has consumed us wholly, our identity has actually changed. Our self concept must now change right along with it. We are now all identified by and with our head, Jesus Christ. As it says, “Christ is all, and in all” (Col 3:11).

Our bodies now also await the blessing of this perfect union, which Paul refers to as, “The adoption, that is, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23). Our minds, which are one facet of our souls, is in the process of being renewed, so that it does not think or imagine anything out of line with the truth of our new and reordered existence with God. But to this renewal, we must daily apply ourselves. As it says,

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

You see, it is all too easy to think the old way, to believe our lying eyes, and fail to grasp the truth. The word teaches that God actually does robe or clothe himself with us. Even in the Old Testament it says, “And the Spirit of the LORD clothed himself in Gideon…” “And the Spirit of the LORD clothed himself in Zechariah” (Judges 6:34; 2Chron 24:20, Jubilee Bible 2000).

God is the person behind our countenance. God is the identity behind our eyes now. God is the one the world is dealing with now, when they come into contact with us. We really and truly are members of His body “of his flesh, and of his bones” (Eph 5:30). That’s no simile, metaphor, hyperbole, or exaggeration. We are ONE with our God. There is no chasm, schism, distance, nor gulf between us and our God anymore. So, let your mind be renewed and enjoy the oneness. There’s much more restfulness, peace, and power working IN God and FROM God than trying to work TO him or even just FOR Him. Think about that. Selah.

Taken for Granted

22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, “Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea;” and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Mark 11:22-23

Take nothing for granted, except the love, the goodness, the presence, and the Word of God. And, taking the Word of God for granted, with a sound mind, is exactly what the Lord wants you to do. For, taking God’s Word for granted is what is known as having very strong, mountain-moving faith. Putting that kind of faith on display is what our Lord Jesus Christ did, and what he wants us to do also, because that glorifies the Father. As the word says,

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12

You can always know, presume, assume, be sure, rest assured, take for granted, and even stake your very life on the fact that God’s word is true, accurate, inspired, inerrant, right, powerful, and sovereign. JESUS said,

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. Mark 13:31

Who Do You Say That I Am???

14 And God said unto Moses, “I Am That I Am.” And He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you. 15 …this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generation. 10 …before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. 20 …And lo, I AM with you always, even to the end of the world. 5 …I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. Amen. (Exodus 3:14,15; Isaiah 43:10; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)

Mystery of mysteries. And, enigma of enigmas, God is. And so, we ourselves are the children of mystery and enigma. For the scripture says, “Because as He is, so are we in this world” (1John 4:17). I do not at all claim to have resolved the mystery of the Godhead, but I do want to share with you just a word to help better understand who we are in relation to who God is. But first, please allow me to share a little illumination of God that I pray will help you in your meditations on Him. This, I hope, will lead to an increase in your faith. Here, is a simple elaboration on God’s name.

I AM that I AM
* The Bedrock of being
* The Foundation of awareness
* The Origin of existence
* The Baseline of consciousness
* The Fountainhead of all life
* The Alpha and the Omega
* The Beginning and the End
* The First and the Last
* He who IS, and who WAS, and who IS TO COME (Rev 1:8; 22:13)

Now, to God’s name, “I AM,” (Ex 3:14) and to God’s promise, “I AM with you always” (Heb 13:5), let’s insert parenthetically one little word that is faithful and acceptable to the scriptures:

“I AM [robed] with you always,” or,
“I AM [clothed] with you always.”

This is an inspired and faithful exposition on God’s word. For, scripture does say, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is ONE spirit” (1Cor 6:17). This is congruent with being “created in God’s ‘image.'” So, let your faith rest upon the assurance that no matter what, no matter how things may seem to appear, God himself no less, is the “bedrock, foundation, origin, baseline, and fountainhead” of your very being. He is the essence of your existence, and the real, true persona behind your face. When God entered into your life, He subsumed your very being and identity. God is now traveling incognito through time and space in you. He is the eternal identity behind your eyes. Now, he could no more leave or forsake you, than he could his own name. Whatever you may face, God faces right along with you. So, you can no more ever be defeated than God himself can. You therefore, are always safe in his Spirit, his love, and his care. On that, you can rest assured, and give thanks.

Sweet Jesus!!! or, A Taste of Honey (Part II)

10… The doctrine of God our Saviour in ALL… 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation HATH APPEARED TO ALL MEN, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Titus 2:10-13

Disclaimer. The views and opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the song writers, performers, or artists. Instead, my thoughts here are purely from the heart of the Sovereign God and heavenly Father that I represent.

In Part I, I presented the idea that our God has “indelibly… imprinted his glory over our secular culture;” meaning that He has made himself known loud and clear, even to those who do not serve him as God. Society in general and at large, has indeed heard the voice of God. As it is written, “And they shall know that I am the Lord God” (Eze 28:24). As that old hymn also says, “His truth is marching on.”

To further demonstrate this, I present to you a five-minute medley of four popular songs from the era of classic pop, performed by Diana Ross and the Supremes, together with the Temptations. Three of these songs were also recorded by the wildly popular group, The Beatles. These songs reflect the social consciousness of the times — a time much more reflective of civility, decency, morality, and sound-mindedness. Taken as a whole, they give a quaint synopsis of the trafficking of the gospel message in this world.

“A Taste of Honey,” I have already explained. “Eleanor Rigby” talks about a woman who leads a sad life of pretentiousness, and of her neighbors, “all the lonely people,” devoid of a relationship with Christ. These are all primary subjects of God’s gospel enterprise. A priest, Father MacKenzie, prepares a sermon for them. The song, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” tells about the vain pursuit of worldly ambition, and of unfulfilled dreams. This is the lot of all who know not God. The last song, “Mrs. Robinson,” is a mimicry of the church’s social ministry of benevolence, and repeats the hook, “JESUS loves you more than you will know.” God has indeed made himself known to the world, and will do so even more crystal clearly again. The question is, “Are you ready??”

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2Cor 5:10

Pop Medley, The Supremes & The Temptations

Sweet Jesus!!! or; A Taste of Honey (Part I)

Winds may blow o’er the icy sea
I’ll take with me the warmth of thee
A taste of honey
A taste much sweeter than wine

I will return
I’ll return
I’ll come back for the honey and you

I’ll leave behind my heart to wear
And may it e’er remind you of
A taste of honey
A taste much sweeter than wine

I will return
I’ll return
I’ll come back for the honey and you

I am constantly amazed by just how indelibly God has imprinted his glory over our secular culture. I find that so very many songs that are pop standards are actually incognito testimonies of God’s word. And from time to time, God, in the peace and quiet of my pre-dawn awaking, will punch up the old juke box of my mind, and replay a segment of a song from my childhood, long forgotten. Then, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I find that those dusty lyrics are actually referencing some Christian truth or experience. You listen out for them too.

How can that be??? Well, for starters, the word says, “[God’s] truth endureth to all generations” (Psalms 100:5), and “There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard” (Psalm 19:3). So God shouts, and whispers, and memorializes his truth even by unwitting, unsuspecting, unconverted song writers, at times. The foregoing lyrics are from a grammy-award winning song recorded and popularized by several famous artists and groups in the early sixties, called “A Taste of Honey.”

In the Bible, honey symbolizes the sweetness of God’s love and Spirit-revealed truth. The words, “I’ll return,” need no elucidation, for they plainly refer to the second coming of our Lord. The words, “winds may blow over icy sea,” make reference to the bone-chilling experience of hardships in this world. “I’ll take with me the warmth of thee” refers to the comforting, consoling presence of Jesus Christ, through the agency of the Holy Spirit. I could go on and on unfolding the Lord’s testimony in this song. And later, I will. But today, suffice it to be reminded that the Lord is returning to his people. But know that he is returning first and foremost within the hearts and minds of his own people, with a weight of glory and manifestation of power that is MUCH greater than ever before. Are YOU ready???

To be continued…

A Taste of Honey, The Temptations