So Who is the One that lives His Life in, through and as us? He says His name is “I AM”. [Exodus 3.14] John describes Him as the embodiment of “Love”. “God is love”. [1John 4.8] So, it is that Love, Himself, lives His Life as us. So, who we really are, as Him, is becoming very clear. And we must be thoroughly grounded in this reality.
So, one thing we know is that love is not an emotion; although love can be felt. It is not a thing to be obtained. More properly Love is a Person -The Person. You will never be the originator of love nor own it or get more as if it were a thing to be obtained – but you will be an expression of The Person Who is Love.
Why is this important? Because - Love exists for others. Love has no other purpose. Consider the following. If God made a choice – and that is hard to imagine because “choice” is really a temporal word – a word for time and space. But, let’s say, He sat down one day and made a choice. Well, His choices are obvious. He could be alone – or - He could have created all that exists to serve Him – or - and the choice He obviously made, was that He could serve and, in fact, die for His creation. Well, if that’s not the best definition of love – I don’t know how to define love. And guess what that says about us?
The Child sees his “Christian” life as how it benefits him; “My sins are forgiven”, “I’m going to Heaven”. The Young Man also sees his “Christian” life as how it benefits him; “I am strong” – “I know the bible” – “I can whip the devil”. Or worse – the Young Man can get into doing this or that to obtain “blessings” or “wealth” or “health” or whatever. The Young Man can be very self-centered.
The Father is different. He knows the difference between the improved life and the replaced life. The difference should be clear. The Child or Young Man does not understand that he is in fact dead – crucified with Christ. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me …” [Gal. 2.20] He doesn’t understand that one that is dead cannot in any way improve. “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” [Col. 3.3]
So the Child or Young Man may go many years, perhaps the rest of his life trying to improve or be better at his Christianity. The Father knows the truth. By revelation and intuition the Father knows that just as surely as he has been crucified with Christ, he has now been replaced in his spirit by God’s Spirit. The replacement is not partial nor is it temporal. The replacement is permanent and complete with no lack and no room for improvement.
And, here’s the key to understanding. The Father knows that his life is not about him or for him. The Father knows he lives his life for others. He is Christ in his world. And, probably most importantly, the Father knows that there is nothing he can do to achieve or improve the eternal fact of union and fatherhood and the fact that he is Christ in his world. And, accordingly, the Father knows that there is nothing he can do to “live his life for others”. He just lives. He doesn’t “try” to live his life for others. He just lives with the knowledge and assurance that his life is for others. And so he lives with, as the old missionary would say, “with a wink”. That “wink” is the same wink Jesus gave to Philip, when He said, “… he that hath seen me hath seen the Father …” [John 14.9] Jesus didn’t try to be anyone or anything. He just lived and spoke the truth. He knew that his life would be the “ransom for many”. [Matt. 20.28] And, He knew He could not make it so. He could only live and yield to the truth.
John says an amazing truth about the Fathers. “I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning.” [I John 2.13] Think about that. You and I know Him, the One “from the beginning”. This is not an external knowing. This is an internal, intuitive and intimate knowing. This is Union. You already have Union – His Spirit joined eternally and unchangeably to your spirit. And what does that mean? It means you are already a Father.
So – we are now the expression of Him who is Love. And, we are in fact, Love ourselves. We know that we are Fathers. We know that it is important to know this. But, ultimately, what is the purpose in all this? Are we created to be a race of immature Children and Young Men? Is there some eternal purpose in all being self-centered – “getting the blessings” like kids in a candy store? No, of course not.
The truth is that we are mature. We do know who we are. We are safe. We are His expression. He is the Lover. We are lovers. He is the Creator. We are creators. He gave His Life. We shall give our lives. This is truly Christianity. This is who we are. The process of going from the consciousness of Children to Young Men to Fathers is what Paul described as the “renewing of your mind”. “… be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind …” [Romans 12.2] “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind …” [Ephesians 4.23] Understanding that, as a Father, you exist for others is very different and very much bigger than your original thoughts about Christianity.
The Father’s mind is renewed. He does not see Christianity as a religion to improve his self. His self will never be improved, only replaced by Christ Himself. Fathers do not look to “get something” out of Christianity – rather – he sees himself as one who gives all because he loves and is love himself.
Look again at how John describes Fathers: “I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning.” [I John 2.13] There is such clarity in that vantage point – knowing Him – the One from the beginning. All the nonsense of religious Christianity drops away at that point. Get it? It is not religion – it is knowing Him.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. “ [John 17.3] That statement is beyond human grasp – except by intuition.
So how do you get it? How do you “know” your union? Well, for one, it exists whether you know it or not. That fact is eternally true. You are a father whether you appear to be or not. Your feelings are irrelevant as to eternal truth. Appearances can be irrelevant as to eternal truth. Feelings and appearances are not relevant unless they align with eternal truth.
But, there is one thing you must know. He always gives confirmation of what is real – eventually. That old missionary always talked about expressing faith like committing yourself to sitting in a chair. Have you ever seen someone sit in a chair and the chair broke. I have. It’s very funny if it’s not you. It does happen. Sometimes chairs break. However, He does not break. So, just take your seat.
You must fall backwards into Him like you would fall backwards into a chair. The only difference is that He will never, ever fail you and, most important, is that at some point you will realize that it is not you that hold Him, but He that holds you. You will realize that you do not hold Christianity together by anything you do – praying, reading, singing, fellowshipping, tithing – or any of the other “so-called” Christian activities. All is dependent upon Him, period.
At some point it will simply occur to you that – what you have said a thousand or ten thousand times that, “He lives His life as me”, is true. It may hit you like a ton of eternal bricks. And there will be confirmation. You will know your Union as a Father, brother of Jesus and a co-creator.
But, as sure as the sun will rise in the east – the reality and truth is that you were crucified with Christ – and – now the life you live, is Him living, as you. And the great part, it really is you. You, with all your interests, desires and all that concerns you, is exactly who you were created to be. So follow your passions and stop second guessing your motives.
Further, it is not your job to give the confirmation – it is His. So, basically just forget about it – let Him be Himself in you, as you.