Living From the Heart of a Son
Let’s start with a bit of unmasking. My emotions at this moment are in disarray. I’m frustrated about reoccurring issues and relational problems that feel at this moment hopeless. I feel like I am on a merry-go-round and can’t see far enough ahead to have hope of getting off. I’ve got more. Call me if you want to hear them. Frankly it’s a struggle to believe the Gospel for myself at this moment! But!!!!
Let me add a big HALLELUJAH! Thankfully the previous woes are not the true story or the end of the story! They are just the “noise” of the ‘sark’. What is the ‘sark’? It is the mind or the (perspective/understanding) of the flesh. We all have a choice to listen to the “noise” of the mind of the flesh or to the still small voice of Holy Spirit and Jesus in our true heart. 5 “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own (or listen to the ‘sark’). 6 Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, Msg)
Let’s learn more about the ‘sark’. It all started in a garden called Eden. You probably don’t remember; but, you were there generationally. Our ancestors; Adam and Eve, were in perfect harmonious fellowship with God, walking with Him daily and freely interacting on a heart to heart level. That means they shared their hearts with one another with no interference from the ‘flesh suit’ they were in. It gets better.
They had no knowledge of ‘evil’ or the illusion of the ‘good’ of self effort/righteousness. They had no need to have other gods, idols or ‘religious’ systems. These had no sway or relevance to their lives. They didn’t even exist! They lived in sweet communion with God, their selves, each other and nature. God, in His grace provided for all contingencies and/or life events. Wow!
They/we had no need for filters or masks. True self or authentic self was intact, innocent and pure. All of the mind games we have to deal with; manipulation, deceit, outright lying to self and others were not on their radar. They walked in pure unfiltered, unadulterated, child-like simplicity and innocence.
Sounds really good to me! Where do I sign up? Wait, there’s more to the story. God gave them only one rule or boundary and that was only for their protection and safety. God was not co-dependent, so the one rule was non-negotiable. By the way, it is still enforced!
That boundary is; “there are two trees in the center of the garden” and you are not to eat from the one called, “the tree of the knowledge of ‘good’ and ‘evil.’” “For when you eat of it you shall surely die.” “But, you are always welcome to feast on the tree of ‘life’”. The tree of the knowledge of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ is where the ‘sark’ comes from! After tasting of that forbidden fruit we ‘die’ spiritually and lose awareness of our true innocence and identity in Him. That’s what God said and that’s what happened and is still happening! ‘Good’ is the enemy of His Best-The Gospel of Grace!
Here-in is our major problem! We are duped into choosing to break that one boundary. At that moment, Satan (the knowledge of ‘evil’) and all of the negative, harsh, shaming, shunning, wounding, worldly, and religious systems are now in play (the knowledge of ‘good’). And they are not friendly!
Along with that deadened mindset of the ‘sark’ (leaning on and relying in the knowledge of ‘good’ and ‘evil’) mankind (we) ultimately demanded their own way; which was not a pretty picture. Participating in ‘gross’ evil and twisted behavior with one another, angelic beings, demons (fallen angels), and the darkness of our understanding led to all manner of debauched ‘so-called’ living.
They/we demanded the need to/for Kings and/or Tyrants to ‘rule’ over them/us. All manner of the ‘Law’ came into being to ultimately convince them/us that we could not live apart from the Gospel of Grace, “The Tree of Life.” All man could seem to produce was missing the mark of their true identity in Christ, broken/dysfunctional relationships, pain, self-medicating behaviors, dis-ease and addictions.
From that deadened mindset or life perspective (‘sark’-mind of the world/flesh) and world view we forfeit the understanding of the ‘tree of life’. We also live in the spirit of orphans! We believe we don’t belong and find it problematic to attach or bond appropriately in relationships.
There is only one solution to this self induced fate. We must be awakened by/to the life giving and grace-full truth that God in His unending matchless love makes readily available. That is God’s plan ‘A’. It is the Gospel of the Garden. And that is the beginning of the revelation of the Gospel of Grace!
There never was or never will be a Plan ‘B’! The awakening to the ‘Gospel’ comes as we encounter the eternal Love, Mercy and Grace of God. Jesus has been knocking on the door of your heart ever since you were knee high to a grasshopper! The awakening of Jesus is only received by a willful change of mindset from relying on the ‘sark’ to simply faithing and trusting in this Gospel of Grace! All of the Old Testament saints/believers saw this Gospel by their eyes of faith, afar off!
As we believe the Gospel of Grace for ourselves daily we again feast on the tree of life! All of the prophets pointed to the moment in history when Jesus would come as Emmanuel (God with us), Lamb of God (who takes away the sin of the world), Savior (Who cleanses, forgives, restores and redeems all of our brokenness and shame), Lord of Lords/King of Kings (who ends the rule of self-induced kings or tyrants) and the Logos/Word of God (Christ in us, the hope of glory)!
It gets better! The moment Jesus was raised from the dead after being the sacrificial Lamb of God on Calvary’s Cross and Ascended to the Father’s right hand in Glory the Mystery, hidden for the ages could be revealed! Every tribe, tongue, nation, and people group was/is now awakened to their inclusion in this Gospel of Grace! Let’s let The Apostle Paul, the Apostle of the Gospel of Grace lay out this Mystery.
Ephesians Chapter 2
2:1 Picture where God found us. We were in a death trap of an inferior lifestyle, constantly living below the 1blueprint measure of our lives. (1Sin is hamartia, which comes from ha + meros, meaning without form or without our allotted portion.) 2:2 We were all part of a common pattern, swept along under a powerful invisible influence, a spirit-energy that adopted us as sons to its dictate through unbelief. 2:3 Throughout that time every one of us were warped and corrupted in our conduct snared in a jumble of forbidden lusts, driven by the desires of the senses, totally engaged in an expression of a life ruled by mind games; it was as if a twisted passion parented a universal breed of people.
2:4 None of this could distract from the extravagant love of God; he continued to love us with the exact same intensity. 2:5 This is how grace rescued us: sin left us dead towards God, like spiritual corpses; yet in that state of deadness and indifference, God co-quickened us together with Christ. Sin proved how dead we were (the law confirmed it!) Grace reveals how alive we now are (the gospel announces it!) Before anyone but God believed it, he made us alive together with him and raised us up together with him. (We had no contribution to our salvation)!
God’s master-plan unfolded in the mystery of the gospel declaring our joint inclusion in Christ’s death and resurrection; God found us in Christ before he lost us in Adam! [Eph 1:4] In the economy of God, when Jesus died we died. God saw us in Christ, in his death and resurrection before we saw ourselves there! He declared our co-resurrection with Christ 800 BC [Hos 6:2]!) 2:6 (As much as we were co-included in his death,) we are co-included in his resurrection. We are also elevated in his ascension to be equally present in the throne room of the heavenly realm where we are co-seated with him in his executive authority. We are fully represented in Christ Jesus. (Our joint position in Christ defines us; this can never again be a distant goal to reach but our immediate point of departure.) 2:7 (In a single triumphant act of righteousness God saved us from the “guttermost” to the uttermost.
Here we are now, revealed in Christ in the highest possible position of bliss! If man’s sad history could not distract from the extravagant love of God,) imagine how God is now able for timeless perpetuity (the eternal future) to exhibit the trophy of the wealth of his grace demonstrated in his kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. Grace exhibits excessive evidence of the success of the Cross.
2:8 Your salvation is not a reward for good behavior! It was a grace thing from start to finish; you had no hand in it. Even the gift to believe simply reflects his faith! (You did not invent faith; it was God’s faith to begin with! It is from faith to faith, [Rom 1:17] He is both the source and conclusion of faith. [Heb 12:2]) 2:9 If this could be accomplished through any action of yours then there would be ground for boasting. 2:10 We are engineered by his design; he molded and manufactured us in Christ. We are his workmanship, his 1poetry. (God finds inspired expression of Christ in us. The Greek word for workmanship is 1poeima.)
We are 2fully fit to do good, equipped to give attractive evidence of his likeness in us in everything we do. (God has done everything possible to find spontaneous and effortless expression of his character in us in our everyday lifestyle. The word, 2proetoimatso, translates a notion that God has prepared a highway for us to lead us out like kings, just like the Oriental custom, where people would go before a king to level the roads to make it possible for the king to journey with ease and comfort. [Isa 40:3-5])
2:11 Remember where you came from; (not only were you spiritually dead but) it wasn’t long ago when you were still classified as non-Jewish, judging on the surface you had nothing that linked you to them. They sneered at you because you didn’t share their distinguishing mark of circumcision, which was their claim to fame! 2:12 During that time you were distanced from the Messianic hope; you had nothing in common with Israel. You felt foreign to the covenants of prophetic promise, living a life with nothing to look forward to in a world where God seemed absent.
2:13 But now, wow! Everything has changed; you have discovered yourselves to be located in Christ. What once seemed so distant is now so near; his blood reveals your redeemed innocence and authentic genesis. 2:14 It is in him that we are one and at peace with everyone; he dissolved every definition of division. 2:15 In his incarnation, he rendered the entire Jewish system of ceremonial laws and regulations useless as a measure to justify human life and conduct. In that he died humanity’s death all grounds for tension and hostility were entirely removed.
The peace he proclaims reveals one new human race, created and defined in Christ, instead of two groups of people separated by their ethnic identity and differences. 2:16 Both parties are fully represented and reconciled to God in one human body through the cross. He reinstated the former harmony; all opposing elements were thus utterly defeated. 2:17 On that basis he made his public appearance, proclaiming the good news of peace to universal mankind; both those who felt left out in the cold (as far as the promises and covenants were concerned), as well as to those who were near all along (because of their Jewish identity),
2:18 Because of Christ both Jew and Gentile now enjoy equal access to the Father in one Spirit. 2:19 The conclusion is clear, you are no longer frowned upon as a foreigner; you are where you belong and part of an intimate family where no-one is suspicious or inferior. 2:20 Your lives now give visible definition to the spiritual structure, having been built into it by God upon the foundation that the prophets and apostles proclaimed.
The first evidence of this building was Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. (He is the first visible testimony form.) 2:21 In him every one of us are like 1living Lego blocks fitted together of the same fabric (1conversation), giving ever 2increasing articulation to a global mobile 3sanctuary intertwined in the Lord. 2:22 In him you are co-constructed together as God’s permanent spiritual residence. You are God’s address!
Toit, Francois Du (2012-07-02). Mirror Bible (Kindle Locations 4029-4037). Mirror Word Publishing. Kindle Edition.
There are two more awesome gifts that are the absolute guarantee of a successful journey with Jesus! He (in this wonderful Gospel of Grace) has given us a new heart and baptism into Christ and his Holy Spirit.
25 “I'll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. 26 I'll give you a new heart; put a new spirit in you. I'll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that's God-willed, not self-willed. 27 I'll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands.” (Ezekiel 36:25-27, Msg)
This “new heart” is the center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion: In your heart you know I'm an honest man. It is also the center of emotion, especially as contrasted to the head as the center of the intellect: His head told him not to fall in love, but his heart had the final say. And it gives us the capacity for sympathy; feeling; affection: His heart moved him to help the needy. Most important, this heart is the Throne Room of Jesus in our Spirit man-the core of our life! It is where we can best hear God!
His Holy Spirit empowers our soul (mind, will, and emotions) to live in harmony with God’s perfect will for our life! Holy Spirit is like the ‘governor’ on a truck. He shows us that which will harm us or cause a ‘spiritual wreck’. He also leads and guides us into all the truth. That’s not all; Holy Spirit produces the gifts needed for the Body of Christ to be light and salt for the world around us! Also, Holy Spirit is the source of the character of Christ (fruit of the Spirit) to be flourishing through our day to day walk as a follower of Jesus!
Being ‘born again’, awakened to the Gospel of Grace is when we begin the incredible journey of being Sons and Daughters of Jesus’ Father. We are adopted into the bosom of His heart and share equally with any and all in the family of God-now and forevermore! We actually enter into the same relationship that Jesus, Holy Spirit and Father have always shared! This is truly the apex and pinnacle of our existence and destiny! Following is the decree of our destiny and the declaration of our identity!
“I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. 11 I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out - plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. 12 "When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. 13 "When you come looking for me, you'll find me. 14 I'll make sure you won't be disappointed." God's Decree. (Jeremiah 29: 10b-14a, Msg)
“To seal our sonship God has commissioned the Spirit of Sonship to resonate the Abba echo in our hearts; and now, in our innermost being we recognize Him as our very dear Father.” (Galatians 4: 6, The Mirror)
Now go and share this awesome Gospel with all in your sphere of influence! 18 “Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: "God authorized and commanded me to commission you: 19 Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 20 Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age."(Matthew 28: 18-20, Msg)
In the Grip of Grace, Ron Ross, Copyrighted