This is the first of a series called GOING DEEP AND HIGH. My goal in this series is to impart to others what God has given me in forty-seven years of knowing him. I thought the first four decades of experiencing God were wonderful, and they were. The past four years have been remarkable.
I’ve experienced open access to God and to heavenly realities in a way I’ve never known before. And I am more settled and secure and content in living the day-to-day Christian life than ever before. And I continue to mature in my ability to love people. Paul says, “make love your highest goal.” The older you get, the more wisdom and experience you have to pass along. I am very energized about sharing what I’ve learned with anyone who is interested.
Here are some of the topics I’ll be looking at. There are two large categories. The first is Understanding and Experiencing Spiritual Realities and the second is Applying these concepts to the challenges of daily life.
Spiritual realities such as who God is, who you are, and what heaven is all about are more permanent and enduring realities than your current occupation, your income, or the problems you are facing right now. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he said to pray this: “Let your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
What’s happening in heaven? Who is there, and what are they experiencing? Of course, the Father, son and Holy Spirit are there, and they are everywhere. But YOU are also there. You are seated in the heavenly places if you are in Christ. “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,” (Ephensians 2:6). That’s one of those sentences you read in Paul’s writing that you skim over and say, “Mmmm. Sounds good.” To really live into that truth is absolutely life-changing. You are a co-inheritor of all that Christ has inherited. We are co-heirs with Christ. This is what Paul teaches.
So you, as a spirit-being, are in heaven, yet you are here on earth. So, you are in two places at once. You might say, you are a multi-dimensional person. That’s what the Bible teaches. One of the key spiritual realities we need to understand is that we are first and foremost spirit people. We are humans, but the eternal part of us, the part of us that has first contact with God is our spirit.
Here is a quote from Dallas Willard: “You are a never-ceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God's great universe. You are spiritual in substance. You are never going to stop existing -- there's nothing you can do about that so get used to it.”
So, since you are seated next to Jesus in the heavenly places, how far away is God from you? In fact, your human spirit is intertwined with the Holy Spirit. You are one with him! “Whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” (1 Cor 6:17) It’s the same thing Jesus said using different language. Jesus said “I am the Vine, you are the branches.” “I make my home in you, and you make your home in me.” Jn 14
I believe that by-in-large, the church hasn’t really understood or applied these kinds of truths. For example, I think most Christians think of God as “out there somewhere” rather than permanently dwelling in themselves. Since God is inside of you, how hard is it to hear his voice? He is actually a part of your being. You are not God, but you do “partake in the divine nature,” as Peter wrote in his letter. Understanding and living in these deep truths is a lifetime pursuit. This is the mystery of Christ in us.
If your spirit is ONE with Christ, how does that make you feel about yourself? How do you think God sees you? A major teaching of Jesus and Paul that has enormous implications for moment by moment living is that Christ is our life. Paul makes the amazing statement “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). The old us is dead. “We” no longer live. The new “us” is Christ in us. Christ + us. Not two, but not one, either. The new you is you and the Cosmic Christ. Cosmic simply means universal. He has existed for eternity-past and he fills the universe.
Let’s make this practical right away. If you are sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and you feel your anger start to rise (like I have hundreds of times), what do you do? I find that it DOES NOT work to say to myself, “Don’t get angry!” What works for me is (1) surrender, and set your intention on your spirit rather than trying to analyze everything around you and argue with what is happening (2) Recognize who you are. Who are you? You are joined to Christ. Christ is your super-power. You hitch a ride on his righteous ways. You are sitting in the back seat. You remind myself what is true. You don’t grit my teeth and try to “become good.” You recognize that you contain the Good One. The way you see yourself changes the outcome of your behavior. This is faith in action.
In summary, because spiritual reality is more powerful and eternal than physical reality, we can access who we are and who God is in the Spirit, and reign over our physical circumstances. Reigning with God is something that begins now. Co-reigning with Christ is one of the things we inherit. We begin by reigning over our emotions and the way we behave towards the people around us, like our own family members.
It's all very supernatural and very natural at the same time!
That’s a taste of things to come in my series GOING DEEP AND HIGH. Going deep and high with God leads to going long and wide—you will have a long, fruitful life as you allow Christ to live his life through you.