Mission trips are revealing in more ways than one. On can see the mighty works of God and one can also see our personal need for grace. If working with a team in close proximity, things about our personal carnality may be revealed that we did not know were there. Thinking of selfishness and petulance here. Or being thin skinned.It takes much grace to work with others effectively – more grace than in daily routines where we are on our own or with our own.
I once worked on a mission trip with a person who unwittingly represented the Jezebel spirit. Mission trips for such are about themselves and their need to control. Despite themselves, they live to shut down the anointing and promote themselves. It pays to do your homework before a trip. Holy Spirit talk can mask a need to control.
Holy Spirit brings us the presence of Jesus and the Holy Family. They are all for one and one for all. Unity, diversity and love – they are community itself. Workable community is not a machination. It is the presence of Christ in us. Christ not as a construct but as The Jesus who lives in us.
We are on safe ground in the fullness of Jesus. Not so much in a limited Jesus. I’m referring to the limited kinds of Jesus that arose in the United States in the 19th century and before. Some proffered lesser Christs, others false Christs and some “other gospels.” Most of the Awakenings operated in ignorance of the new covenant and what the cross, resurrection and Pentecost mean for our lives. The meaning is the simple really: Christ is totally our life and His ministry is vicarious and vicariously unlimited. This is undergirded by the fact and efficacy of the incarnation – Christ in us as our glory and the Kingdom revealed in people. Today much of the church operates in a poor mans view of the new covenant. This leaves us with less than the riches of Christ and an inheritance of sonship that is largely yet to be realised.
We have seen many healings on this trip. Many diseases are psycho-somatic in origin and linked to the stresses of life. Financial and marriage stress can manifest as symptoms in our bodies. It is not a diminution of Gods power to claim these as healings. He is life. Others are related to bacteria. Others are just dis-ease as in the opposite to health and ease. Some result from the failure of organs or the loss of them. We have seen restorative and creative miracles this trip. Rose, whose hand was immobilised from the age of two had complete freedom of movement restored. Jesus uses us to heal despite our theology. We can heal because we trust in Jesus – irrespective of our bad theology. Sometimes Jesus uses cessationists despite themselves. However Jesus desires that we live in the fullness of His Kingdom- not some robbed and defective kingdom formed from old covenant assumptions.
I have observed some specious kinds of theology that limit our sonship, our authority and leave us less than we are. Grace enables us to minister the life of Jesus, even if we are living in a lesser covenant and a lesser Jesus. Sometimes. But there is liberty and power in truth. Fullness for all is His desire. Jesus is not satisfied with even the smell of death. There is no room for even a smidgeon of death in a gospel that promotes life to the full. So don’t make a life out of rationalising disfunction. Some always have ‘good’ reasons for rationalising death.
Jesus is not a clever way of doing the law or performance or religion. He is Gods way of replicating Himself in you! Signs and the healing of diseases is a parable of Jesus intention to heal a life and to heal the world. Healing is the sign and evidence of new creation life.
Lives are healed. We are made whole when we live in the holistic gospel of Jesus the person. There is no life in the letter or the law or its modern equivalent-all the things Christians should do. Either Christ is our life or we are – in which case we are instruments of death.
Jesus is not effective as a life-giver because He was born of the Spirit, baptised in the Spirit and ministered in the Spirit. He ministered as His Fathers Son, in union with Father and the apostolic expression of His Father. Jesus and Father are one. The new covenant enant gives us the same status.
Our new covenant gift is that we and Father are one. We have Jesus union with God. By right. Our death to Adam, to Moses and the law has occurred in Jesus. We are alive in the anointing as Sons because now we are the sons of God- in spirit and in truth.The infinite life of God is also ours in Jesus. God is the ground of our being, the reason for our sonship and the glory of our person. The anointing and baptism of the Spirit is the authentication of our sonship and authority as sons. It is the tree that grows from our new covenant life – if we are participating in the new covenant and not glued to the old.
On the old we do not live in the spirit because we do not live in the Son. We are attempting to live in the law and religion. The law produces a rational-legal mode opposed to the Spirit of life. Captured in the letter we will imagine that life is found in the quoting of texts and the citing of references. But it is not. We will think that life comes from the quoting of text. In new via enant mode you are the life – because the life has become you!
This life and light is found in the spirit of revelation that fills you and ignites the word. Read in the old covenant the Bible is the letter. In the new covenant it is the living word and Spirit.
In the Kingdom an action is not right because it is in the Bible. It is right and life-giving because it is in God and one with God. Truth is not alive because it is true. It is alive because it is our life in God. This is the difference between the kingdom and life in the knowledge of good and evil with Jesus added. The difference between the two is the difference between Adam and Jesus light and darkness, religion and life.
There is a flow about words and action in the Spirit that is succinct and powerful, casting down false doctrine and embedded Christian myths. Such a witness is sharp and powerful because it is delivered in the weakness of the Spirit rather than the strength of the letter and the flesh. The old covenant binds us to the flesh and what Jesus called, ‘your law.’ The new covenant liberates us to be ourselves by binding us in union with the son of man and his law of the spirit of life.
We can’t speak spirit and life if our feet are in the old covenant even if our head is in the Holy Spirit. The two do not mix because we cannot serve too masters. But in Christ we are the one new man. The man who is whole in Jesus; the man who is free and who sets sons and daughters free because he and Christ are one.