Jesus is our life individually and together. I’ve been with men of God who plant churches by planting and establishing men and women of God. In doing this they are planting Christ. Those who live in God multiply the life of God. They are not living in generic christianity or mere forms of godliness. Christ is their life. They have His mind, the Father’s heart and the Holy Spirit’s works of power. Be careful what you plant because that is what you will reap.
‘Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life’ Gal 6.8 NIV.
Life in the Spirit comes from heaven. This is the Spirit of sonship that re-creates us as sons and makes us fathers. In this Spirit we are joined to the Father. In His love we become love and reproduce the family of God. Life in the flesh comes from the earth. It is ‘earthy,’ carnal and mechanical. It produces managers, politicians and superficial community. As sophisticated as some of it can appear, it is always an abstraction and never alive with Christ as its life. Taking the name ‘Christian,’ it is imbued with the spirit of anti-christ and multiplies religion.
Attempts to re-invent the church do not necessarily bring us more of God. Church life has no life unless Jesus is our life. There is a life-giving Spirit that flows only from the Father. Unless we are swimming in this river of life we will be experiencing frustration and sowing iniquity. Getting together and saying ‘Let's start a new church,’ will work if what we are planting is Jesus. But not if we are planting tares.
‘The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one’ Matt 13.38 NIV.
Tares are anything that is not Christ. Planting that occurs out of ‘my ministry,’ out of formulae, out of current fashion or because a group of people feel that they would like to start a church may not produce the results you are looking for. Do you hear from God? Do you do what Jesus is doing? Are you living out of the life of Jesus rather than making him an adjunct to your plans and schemes? We can plant sons of God or we can plant sons of the evil one. The latter need not be wicked or immoral. They are just not birthed by God which is why they are still born.
‘I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one--as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me’ John 17.21 NLT.
Immersed in the Father you will be who you are as a son. Hidden in Jesus you will represent the Father’s will, not your own. There will be none of ‘I thought it seemed a good idea at the time’ here. We will flourish by not speaking or acting on our own. Jesus never advanced His own will or plans. His will was to do the will of His Father. This is not something we do by works. It occurs because Jesus actually is our life. He is not one who adds to or enhances our life. HE IS OUR LIFE. God has incarnated Himself in us. LIVE IN WHAT HE HAS DONE.
‘But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him’ 1 Cor 6.17 NLT.
Being busy in advancing our ministry or making a name for ourselves is out of alignment with the ways of heaven. Jesus lived to realize the plans of His Father. The Holy Spirit lives to glorify Jesus. But He rejoices in invisibility. He does not take a name for Himself. He advances the names of the Father and the Son. The Holy Family are our example and they become our life when they live in us.
How does this effect our life in Christ together? The love of the heavenly family is expressed towards each other in the lack of self promotion. Yet it is this very absence of self-centeredness that releases their love and expresses who they are! God expressed in this manner in us is the church of God. This is the church Jesus builds without human hands.
‘I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me’ John 17.23 NLT.