Unheard-of Freedom to Fellowship
by Patrick Roberts 11/17/2007 / Church Life
Behold the divine brilliance of God's new Christ-centered standard. He sent His Son to be the Open Door to previously unheard-of freedom to surrender.
We couldn't have imagined the astounding riches of grace that God desired for us until He sent His Son to purchase us entirely.
At the point where Christ is Everything to us and there is nothing left of us, then we will have everything we could ever want and we will be everything we could ever want to be. When our whole lives, including our thoughts, and every little and big thing that's important to us, is consumed by obedience to Christ, then we will become a people who fellowships with the Almighty.
At the point where we are radically dependent on Christ, neither living nor dying nor any other possibility will be terrifying concerns for us anymore. And there will be no room to fear God's answer or His opinion of us when we are completely dead in Christ.
What's left to fear when we're already dead?
Christ also gives us unimaginable freedom as we surrender to Him in the midst of His people. Worldly men might consider themselves strong and independent by their ability to avoid dependence on anyone other than themselves. But, from God's eternal point of view, this is only small-mindedness. Other men try to make themselves into independent little islands, calling this "self-preservation." But a better label for this is "addiction to self-centeredness."
Let this also be encouraging to any Christ-seeker, that seeking Him is a work in progress. We don't have to be perfect right now to strive toward His otherworldly perfection. And the fact that it takes time to know any mortal person is a hopeful hint, reminding us that getting to know Christ is a gradual development.
If you continue to reserve for yourself a fearful or otherwise fleshly perspective, then you might as well hear the worst of it now, that there is no easy way to fellowship with the living God. There is no shortcut that can skirt His divine timing and there is no factor that removes the necessity for our daily, courageous obedience. Only keep in mind that our job is not to attain to perfection all by ourselves, our job is to allow Him to conform us to His own perfection. As we walk with Him, we will also be enveloped by Him.
As for purity and fullness of life, Christ will not settle for any trace of imitation because He cannot be inconsistent with Himself, the most genuine, real Person in the universe. God sent His Son not so people could have joy from Him and also a variety of lame supplements that we invented on our own. No, but God sent His Son so that His people might have heavenly, unmatchable fullness of joy in Him. The nature of this fullness supersedes and pushes out all non-fullness.
Jesus also said it is heaven just to know the Father and His Son whom He sent. Such a statement is impossible to fake.
Therefore, it is our pleasurable ambition as Christ-seekers to embrace progressively freer freedom in Him, to the point that we live, speak and breathe Him in every situation. On the day our outlooks are dominated by His greatness, we will be a free people indeed.
If we draw near to the living God everyday, then we have a Point of Reference from which we can courageously leap into every life-scenario. There remains no doubt in the saint who knows the greatness of God in Christ. In all these ways Christ is the beginning and end of the answers we seek.
Therefore, be encouraged in Christ, O honest seeker! You needn't know a lot of things for the Lord to have a devastating foothold on your life. A mere glimpse of Him is enough to send a soul on such an irresistible pursuit of Him that all the opposition in the world cannot discourage that soul.
Neither excess nor lack of any worldly thing should inspire a crippling fear in us because we already have everything in Christ. Indeed, Christ is so great that He not only fulfills all our desires, but He also fulfills God's desires for the whole world.
All this talk of radical transformation and freedom to fellowship will be most useful to Christ-seekers who are earnest to the point that they will postpone any self-centered goal to let Him make them effective, filled, heavenly vessels of God's kingdom.
And what more hopeful sign could we ask for than His continual availability to us? The fact that Christ meets us where we are and makes His Presence available proves that He is zealous to make every heavenly goal possible in us who follow and obey Him. Of course, this is all to His credit, and not to ours.