I felt immediately within my spirit, this question from the Lord, “How different will your life look if you really take every thought captive to the mind of Christ and only spoke what I tell you to speak?”
Can you fathom the depth of that question? I’m not sure I really can even though I desperately desire it! Personally, I believe that a believer should be striving to be like Jesus Christ. Striving does not mean “working”. Strife is a fight, a battle. So striving would be battling the “sin” nature that wants to please only my flesh and, instead, choosing the narrow path that Christ has laid out for me. I need the words of life continuously to stay steady on this course and that can only be achieved by sitting at the feet of Jesus, eating the words of life and drinking of the living waters; the hidden life which changes me, strengthens me and brings me into the “inner chamber” to meet face to face with my Lord and Savior.
This “hidden life” is not one that is lived before the eyes of the world, it is between you and God. This is where I learn my master’s heart. It is here that I learn to see with spiritual eyes and learn to discern and know what is of God and what is an imitation or evil. It is a place of loving and being loved. It’s where I am safe and the Lord opens up my eyes to see things as He sees them. Sometimes those are things in me that need to be changed, other times they are insight into His word to give me deeper spiritual understanding. This is where He shares with me His plans for my next part of the journey. I am changed because of this spiritual life.
While worshipping in church is great and small groups are wonderful for establishing relationships and a support network, deep spiritual growth comes when you are willing to “go away” or “sit apart” with Jesus on a continual basis. This may be a great sacrifice for some. Your schedule may be so busy that you may need to give up an hour of sleep. When I worked full-time I would spend my lunch hour in my car many days and be in the Word and with God; I wouldn’t even answer my phone, it was His time! It may be shutting off the phone and computer for an hour each evening. Maybe it is resigning from a committee. I don’t know your life, and very likely, you won’t be able to see the answer until you are willing to allow God to show you how He sees you living life. His view is very different from ours!
The Lord asked me another question that really opened my eyes to see with the eyes of Christ. “Do you want your life to look like the disciples lives while they walked with Jesus, or after His death, resurrection and ascension?”
Unfortunately, for many of us, our lives most often look like the disciples when they walked with Jesus. We are there for all the training, we go to all of the conferences, we may even volunteer at some of the outreaches, but we miss the whole spiritual meaning of it all! How many times did the disciples go to Jesus and ask Him to explain the parables He was telling the crowds?
One day the Lord began showing me how many times Jesus separated Himself from the crowds, including the disciples, to go pray...in other words, go spend time talking with His Father. Actually, talking to His Abba. Abba is a very intimate word and not used by the Jews often. It means “daddy”. It’s a very intimate term. The name daddy signifies a relationship, one who hears us and desires to teach us and loves us with all his heart. If that is the case with an earthly “daddy”, imagine how much more with our heavenly Abba!
So, when Jesus was teaching the disciples the cost to follow Him wherever He would lead, they most likely didn’t understand it at the time, but when they received the Holy Spirit all His teachings took on a new meaning. They were transformed!
So, as we consider the reality of that question (because all of us would say we want the latter life these men of God had), let’s hear Jesus’ words. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it.” “ (Matthew 16:24-25)
How do we do that? Jesus also tells us how in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”
It is only through the hidden life of leaving the noise of the world and all the trappings, and just being with Him, one on one. Being open and willing to be changed. This isn’t a time to “gather knowledge”, even though that will come. But this is a time for revelation, to be overcome by the power of His love, to sink in the depth of His life and receive truth. To hear what life in Christ really is.
Oh, it is so sweet to trust in Jesus!
Abba, we love You but we know that this love of ours does not even come close to the love that You have for us. We desire to enter a deeper relationship with You, to begin to understand that lovingkindness that You are. Our language does not even have a word that can describe that love! So I come before the One who is that love and submit myself to You. I ask for Your help in growing that desire in my heart to want what You want, and the strength to walk in the face of adversity in this world as it opposes who You call me to be! I believe Your word that I can do all things through Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior and that You will supply all my needs according to Your riches through Jesus Christ! You alone are holy and I bow before You in humble submission today. Amen!