Jul. 5, 2019

For Such A Time As This

2 Timothy 1:7-9. “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”

Paul admonishes Timothy 1) to not be ashamed of the testimony of Jesus Christ, nor 2) of Paul’s imprisonment. Rather he is encouraged to share in suffering for the gospel, and to do so by the power of God. Each epoch has its own challenges and opposition to the Faith.

It is a lesson for us too. Do those who are in Christ see themselves this way, especially in the midst of current difficulty and trial? This power to endure  supernaturally comes from the Lord Himself. When God gives it and puts His anointing on us, we must exercise and develop it, according to the holy calling He has given us.

We are “saved” to participate in His holy calling because of God’s purpose and grace - provided for us in Christ Jesus. And that was put in place, according to these verses, before the ages began! 

The priesthood of believers received the commission of Christ in eternity, before the commencing of the ages, according to the passage above, for the particular mission upon which we must embark in time. Right here. Right now.

The power (dunamis / δύναμις), and the authority (exousia / ἐξουσία - sometimes also called “power”) is that of Jesus Christ Himself to Whom all authority is given in heaven and on earth. We are in His power and under His authority, going forward in His name, set apart for a holy calling, in the time and place into which we are sent.

Fear and timidity do not exist within this provision, where we find union with the Christ, being one with His Spirit - for a time such as this. Faintheartedness may try to strike a blow, but it is not of God. This is the Spirit of sonship which we have received according to Romans 8:15, in Christ Jesus, and it is characteristically of power, love, and self control. 

This means that our Christian faith is far more than a set of denominational perspectives or beliefs or practices. It is a living, breathing, dynamic life united with Christ. In essence, an “extension” of Him, as His adopted brothers and sisters, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. 

We really are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God ordained before that we should walk in them, in Him! 

It is important to not any longer conceive of our walk in Him as if we are “down here” and He is “up there,” but dynamically and really one in Him, in the power of His resurrection, and seated with Him in heavenly places - spanning eternity and time. This is not to “lord it over” anyone, but to serve all, as He comes to the world through His people who are His Body, set apart for His purposes, ever reaching out to the lost and wounded.

All of this has been in place since the ages began! What an amazing thought! Nothing has the power to separate us from this. Nothing! (See Romans 8:28-19.) Nothing separates those who are in Christ Jesus from the rest of the Godhead. We are called to walk by faith according to this perspective, this vision, this revelation, and NOT according to what sight or senses may tell us. 

May all the called who strive to make their election sure “get” this. We are led by the Spirit of God, growing up in Him as sons, in Jesus Christ, under the authority of the Father. Let us continually behold the Lamb of God, and nothing else!

This must be our perspective and practice as the times go from the green to the dry, in other words from relative ease to difficult times of perplexity. Much that even now comes upon us, very much issuing from the technology sector, will be of an illusory nature, either appealing or frightening to the natural senses - by way of virtual or augmented reality. Thus it is important to know who we are in Jesus Christ, and what it means to - like Him - be about our Father’s business in such a time as this - making real the holy calling.

It is imperative to walk the Narrow Way each and every day, for deception unlike anything seen before will envelop the whole earth. Illusion will make its appeal to the senses. The evil is being unleashed to test the hearts of men and especially the Church; it will be hard to decipher illusion from reality. 

It is time to put away the childish things and become men. Religion of an external kind in forms and symbols will have no power (if it ever did); so it is of the utmost urgency to enter experientially into the reality that is for us in Christ. We must learn to be led by the Holy Spirit and walk in the Spirit, as we discern the Shepherd’s Voice, for there is no way around what is at hand, but only the way through, and He must lead us! We cannot lean on our own understanding, or traditions of men, false ideologies and philosophies, and the like, or anything else that we may have considered as reliable previously. For all that is not of God will be contaminated by this great illusion. 

Let us consider His call so often repeated in Scripture, “Whoever has ears, let him hear what the Spirit says,” and surrender fully to Him - in obedience and trust, relying only on Him!”