Continuous Circumstance: Changing Me to Become a Change Agent: Part III
We now come to our fourth revelational issue about our circumstances. Let’s review the first three issues. We see that 1) circumstances don’t exist by accident. We cannot simply change them for our pleasure and plans. Rather, 2) they exist for God to creatively use as He changes us into Christ’s likeness and fulfills His purposes as we respond in His wisdom. It is then that 3) the Savior’s changes in us will qualify us to become His satisfied followers, thrilled recipients, and potential change agents for His message of Godhead purpose. Our new creation mission is to adequately share His grace initiatives (His redeeming love on our behalf) and His truth realities (His creation standards we can’t ignore) (John 1:14). Mastering our circumstances is our preparation for our higher transcendent vision of life and the purposes of existence. We are then ready for issue 4) our own Jesus ministry for the glory of the Father, fulfillment of the self, spiritual deliverance of others, and to be a Christ light in the world! (Matt. 5:16). A circumstance graduate has learned to manifest God’s will and to be significant, capable, and able enough to be sent and used by our Savior in the lives of His people and the lost, wherever they are!
In addition to proving our love for the Father, we begin completing Messiah’s most meaningful intent for our life – to be His sent messengers to the weak people of our little world even as the Father sent Jesus Himself to do the same (John 17:18, 20:21).[i] As we show our yielding love for Him by laying our lives down for others, He will make clearer His great love for us as He invests us with His authority (John 10:17-18). Think of it! The Lord Jesus says the Father loves Him because He lays His life down for others! What does this say of us! Paul summarizes this laying down our lives in 1:24-29. Dwelling on each word in this passage should awe and change us as much as any in Scripture! The deeper details of the working of this mystery transaction I simply put in the Lord’s hands and offer Him my little child faith and trust. In our partial but growing comprehension of the wonder of the Godhead using us as His servants, we also increase in our humility before and dependence on the Lord Jesus. Total life for us becomes seeking our small part in realizing, revealing, and reflecting to others the Father as Creator, the Son as Redeemer, and the Spirit as Perfecter as they purpose and work together as One! The almost unbelievable miracle for us is that we have been chosen to be participants with Him in all of our current circumstances. Slowly our amazing destiny in Christ increasingly dawns on us that we are joyfully advancing toward that permanent circumstance of being with Him and like Him forever! His kind of love in us, for us, and through us is too much for our tiny brains. Only His Spirit can make His secret wisdom explode in our lives. Please ponder long, reflectively, and prayerfully on I Corinthians 2:6-16! Wrap all of your circumstances in these thoughts and you will conquer every one of them! Maturity in Christ means mastering the world!
To increasingly please the Lord with our daily and authentic struggle to cross follow in His steps will steadily reveal His detailed life purposes to us and specific power sources in us to be used for our living! To sense the mind and heart of Christ Jesus pouring through us to others will bring the highest rapture and elation we can ever hope to experience![ii] Amazingly, our own cross living and speaking can and will attract others to us. People will listen, if we have Christ truth to speak and a Jesus fragrance that attracts! It is then our opportunity to share deeper Messiah realities and practicalities that will immediately effect a revelation and transformation in their circumstances! We can often and regularly be used in a manner that will draw others closer in heart to the Father, put His revelational strength into their thinking, and motivate them to become change agents themselves to their families, friends, and acquaintances.
Again, to review, our fourfold revelation from circumstance: the issues, people, and conditions that “stand around us” is as follows: 1) All circumstances are first for God to use before they are ours to change. 2) All circumstances contain truth from God that can (will) change us into His image. 3) All of our circumstances can teach us to conquer and overcome as Messiah intends and will enable us to reign on earth with purpose, pardon, power, and peace! 4) All circumstances then become our opportunity to experience and taste the exaltation of being sent into the world as Jesus was – full of grace and truth to all people for the Father’s glory!
Again – That’s It!
1. God creates and allows circumstances to get our attention if we listen!
2. He will use those circumstances to always change us for the better as we yield!
3. As we accept all our circumstances in praise, our lives become radiant when we discover!
4. We are then qualified to guide others through triumphant circumstances as we lead!
What can be more significant and thrilling on this earth than to experience Messiah Jesus using us as His ambassadors of present victory and eternal hope? We can become His voice, His energy, His control, His wisdom, His overcoming, His peace, and His fragrance to bring rapid empowerment and lasting change to other human beings as they face their circumstances (II Cor. 5:16-21). This is especially true for those drifting, frustrated, enslaved, and anemic Christians who have plateaued spiritually yet still attend church every Sunday but feel like failed and impotent disciples. Vast numbers of Christians rarely think seriously or penetratingly about the reasons for their marginal, mediocre, and inept discipleship! (Heb. 5:11-6:12). Yet many of them (us) are still hungry and even desperate to taste and drink deeply of the cross-resurrection life of significance the Lord promises to His own![iii] It’s sad to say, but too few professing and sincere Christians seem to truly possess and manifest a practical earth reality, rooted in a Christ mentality, that will enable them to advance and reign with a life of quality! Instead, they (we) seem to be at least strongly dominated or even totally ruled by circumstances!
Let us meditate deeply on the implications of Romans 5:17 for our own deliverances! It is only in authentically believing that 1) we have been given the gift of righteousness (we are righteous in His eyes) and 2) that we can, by cross-learning, draw on our provisions of grace (ultimate resources that empower) so that we will 3) discover the reality of reigning in life (death has no hold on us) over our circumstances, be they of the suffering and conflict type or the blessing and reconciliation type. Romans 5:7 is an essential and critical verse with liberating perception and penetration about the victorious Christian life. It should be memorized, studied, and applied. A gift can only be trustingly believed and accepted. We must learn to receive our righteousness! It is done to us! Provisions must be drawn on by faith-action! We must learn to devour our grace! It is there for us! It is when we put these two together to enable our cross-following of Jesus that we begin to reign in life, whatever that life for Him might be! We simply disciple ourselves to live His promises regardless of our circumstances!
So let it be with all of us who refuse to exist “under the circumstances.” We are all called to become redemptive reigners in all and over all of our circumstances: the worst we change to good, the good we change to better, and the better we change to the best! It will most assuredly happen as we exchange our mind for the Mind of Christ.[iv] “It is good for me to have been afflicted so that I might learn your insights – standards – realities – commandments” (Ps. 119:71). Our positive circumstances we refuse to exalt as idols, but, rather, they become channels of fulfillment, adoration, excitement, gratitude, worship, and praise to the Father for our receiving the goodness of what we do not deserve (I John 4:1). Our negative circumstances we use to discover the depths of our fallenness, our self-centered emptiness, the blindness of people, the power of evil, the delusions of culture, and the deceitfulness of Satan. We praise Jesus and adore Him increasingly for our escaping the worst of what we did deserve (I Cor. 10:13)! In sum, every circumstance in life is a spiritual door to more of Jesus, if we will open it, walk into it, endure it, discern it, and listen to the Savior tell us how to use it for our sake and for His!
[i] The Messiah is the God who came to earth; Jesus is the Man on earth as man should be. The term Messiah (Hebrew) is translated Christ in the Greek. It means God’s anointed One, who is smeared and covered (Hebrew root), with the message of the Godhead. Our Lord Jesus was the God-Man and the Man-God. Ponder the mystery, significance, and wonder of it! The depth of this oneness is beyond us, but we can know enough of it to respond and start pleasing the Lord Jesus, to begin being like Him and to infect others with who He is! The Messiah Jesus has revealed the Father’s intent to make fallen, flawed, foolish, dense, dull, devious, selfish, stupid, and shallow you and me like Himself! He has purposed us for it, promised it, planned it, prepared for it, and, even as I write, is processing us to be ready and qualified for it! The great “that’s it” for us is comprehending and pursuing our current and eternal destiny which is to 1) bring significance, honor, and renown to the Godhead, 2) bless all the people we can with His gift of grace and truth, and 3) become and be like the Lord Christ Jesus in our mind and heart. To truly believe this and to make a cross response to that belief is to revolutionize and remake our lives! In light of this radical and redemptive revelation, I have decided my own favorite name for the Savior is Messiah Jesus! As the anointed Messiah, He was sent (action) by the Father to bring ultimate Godhead notifications and disclosures to His own, and, as the perfect man Jesus, He displayed (content) before us our example of what we, as human beings, are and are to be. I am convinced Messiah Jesus is a title that fits Him well and covers all the bases of His incarnation! He was a man on the move for God (Messiah) reflecting total control of Himself to be a man of grace and truth like God (Jesus)! He was our messenger from eternity (Messiah) and our model on earth (Jesus) to tell us and show us what to know and be and do! Envisioning and embracing these two together, our Messenger Model, with Holy Spirit supernatural enlightenment and cross energy, will authorize us to use all of our living and dying moments to exalt the splendor of the Father! As we keep taking up and carrying our cross in the footsteps of the Messiah we will increasingly experience the confirmation and validation of our creation, redemption, and perfection.
[ii] The phone rang as I was in the middle of writing this sentence. The call was from a former member of my church from at least 25 years ago, a football coach then with the Razorbacks. I had kept up with his career and recently sent him some of my Victory Visual material at his request from another phone contact. His call affirmed he loved and needed what I had written. “This stuff you sent me is amazing, and it couldn’t have come at a better time! I’m using it in my ‘Quiet Time’,” was his comment! You can imagine the humility, praise and gratitude that flooded my heart as I finished writing the above sentence! What thrilling affirmation it is to realize people like us can matter in eternity and be used significantly to honor the Great Shepherd and benefit His sheep! The most precious and powerful thing we can do on earth for others and for ourselves is to lovingly seek to live out and speak the Savior’s message of grace (His initiatives of love) and truth (His standards of reality) to everyone we can! To do so with Holy Spirit anointing will enable us to also be messengers of deliverance and models of cross servanthood while also pleasing the Godhead! Amazingly, we will and have become agents of eternal impact!
[iii] See my Victory Visual #45: The Five Solutions (S5) for Handling Life and Victory Visual #98: The One Thing Most Necessary on problem solving and cross-resurrection living.
[iv] The “Great Good News” of our Christ Gospel message is that every human experience, even our deepest crises, worst failures, and besetting iniquities can become redemptive to our lives. The process demands that we continue returning to deeper truth and yielding to our personal cross agenda of following Jesus. We reign in life to the degree and depth we think (mind), desire (heart), and seek (will) to access, possess, and express the Father’s gift of righteousness (blameless innocence) to us and learn to draw on His supplies of grace (love comprehension) for us! (Ponder again Romans 5:17.) We take grace into our lives as we learn, study, experience, recognize, apply, and appreciate all the love initiatives the Lord has taken and is taking to show us and teach us who He is, what He is about, and how we fit in! Truly, to wrap our mind around the Father’s great gift to us and how the Savior loves us in His multitudes of ways is the definition of eternal life! See my Victory Visual #19: The Pyramid Promise and Our Transforming Exchange.