Jesus stood before an earthly leader who was used to being in charge and who was used to people cowering before him. Jesus did not cower. He ruled from a different place and He was not intimidated by Pilate and his earthly power.
“Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?’ Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.’ Pilate therefore said to Him, ‘Are You a king then?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.’ Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’“ (John 18:33-38a)
Jesus was always aware that He is an eternal spiritual being - even while He was walking upon the earth.
We Christians have been sold a bill of goods in much of modern day Christianity that we are to see ourselves solely in terms of what we do and have done or how we look. We are taught, without anyone blatantly saying so, that we are physical first. Performance and appearance are stressed in terms of what our value is and from where it comes.
But God sees us Christians first and foremost as His children in the Spirit who are being restored to His image and likeness, like we were before the tempter came. Our behavior and performance are to match that spiritual reality. Our behavior and performance are not meant to make it happen; HIS power is responsible for the transformation and renewing of our minds. We either receive it…or we don’t.
So many sermons and other Christian teachings stress behavior and the focus for those teachings is, really, behavior modification - with a thin spiritual veneer.
They are designed to make us appear to be “spiritual.”
God, I believe, is more interested in WHO we are than in HOW we behave. It has been in my mind a lot lately as I have prayed and just thought on the Lord that the great I AM so often speaks to us in the Word in terms of “you are”.
“For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:14 NASB)
You are not under law. You are under grace.
“However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” (Romans 8:9 NASB)
“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, that, just as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the LORD.’” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31 NASB)
“For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9 NASB)
We are....you are....you are.
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NASB)
Can you see it? The I AM speaks to us in terms of “YOU ARE”.
This is the greatest eternal Being speaking to other eternal BEINGS and not as mere human doings.
We must receive our identities in Christ if we are to live as He has ordained that we should live. The power He has for us is spiritual power. We will never be able to dredge that up from our earthly selves.
The wisdom He has for us is spiritual wisdom. We will never be able to dredge that up from our earthly selves.
The patience He has for us is spiritually derived patience. We will never be able to dredge that up from our earthly selves and on and on.
Let’s do something, right where we are…wherever we are. Let’s cry out to the Lord for Him to visit us right now and reveal to us more of what He died for us to experience.
Let’s cry out for Him to reveal to us - the real us - the eternal spiritual beings He died to create us to be.
FATHER GOD, thank You that although we all had earthly mothers and fathers You knew we would need a superior parent, a forever Father, and that would be You. Thank You that as You are eternal so are we, Your children. Thank You that as You are the I AM we are the WE ARE. Teach us to see ourselves like You do and for those of us who wince at the prospect of that, please reveal more of HOW and WHO You really are.
You love us and You know everything we have done and all the evil we are capable of doing. You love us, not in spite of that….You love us having known for always that we would perform poorly at times. We ask You to teach us who You have made us to be in Your image and in Your likeness…eternal spiritual beings assigned temporarily to this physical and limited and finite world. As we receive that eternal spiritual identity, spiritual beings, eternal children of an eternal Father, show us which of our thoughts, feelings, decisions and actions do not match that true and forever identity You gave us as a gift.
Convict us. Work repentance in us. Show us a better way - Your way…our true way in Christ. Transform us. Search us, O God and know our hearts. Try us and know our anxieties that come from living as mere humans and not as the eternal spiritual beings You have made us to be and to be and to be forever and ever. See if there be any harmful ways in us and reveal them to us, these ways that run counter to who we are in Jesus and lead us in the everlasting way…the eternal way…the Jesus way. (Psalm 139:23-24)
Please, oh Father, teach us how to apply this truth to our daily, earthly lives so we can see Your hand working through us in this world and so we can see Your kingdom spreading out from us as our behavior matches our identities in Christ, taking back the earth. Thank You for loving us enough to re-create us in YOUR image. We pray this in the beautiful name of Jesus, the first born of many. Amen.
Do you receive that prayer? You’ll know you have when you begin to perk up as you read the Bible and see yourself in all the times the term “you are” is addressed to Christians. Every time the terms “in Him”, “in Christ”, “in the Beloved” and the many other ways this principle is communicated appears you will see something the Holy Spirit is saying about the eternal spiritual being that you are in the Son. Each of these is an opportunity to grow in our understanding of the new creation we are in Jesus.
The way we live will change to match how our Lord lived in His short time on the earth.
May the remaining days of our lives be filled with a continual awakening as to who we are in Christ.
May we draw others to Him as we merely live out who we are as eternal spiritual beings assigned temporarily to this earth.
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)