Jesus is Here!

Don’t write me off as another false bell-ringer yet. Hear me out. Please?

picture-071.jpgGiven a gracious gift from a very good friend that enabled me the privilege to snag freely from Amazon’s book mine, I was compelled to approach choices that were not only honoring to my friend and God, but choices that would produce lasting fruit in my life and hopefully others.

I immediately went after a couple of books on missions that I secretly coveted but couldn’t bring myself to cough up the cost to own them. Then I downloaded the Message by the prompting of another friend’s use of it on her blog.

While visiting a new subscriber to my blog, through what some will attribute to chance or sheer luck (I know different), a name surfaced that I had not heard in many years, Watchman Nee.

>click<

In his offering of The Normal Christian Life, Nee asks his readers to consider just what exactly is normal. Chew on that for a moment… it’s worthy of thought.

Watchman NeeThe reality of the Christian life, according to Nee, is that God demands of His image-bearers the impossible. Just rehash the Sermon Mount discourse and put your own life in the balance; once again, impossible.

This is Nee’s introductory point. Jesus alone lived up to the standard that everyone is required to live up to. No matter how hard we try, we will fail to meet the mark God has prescribed way out there on His target. So what to do?

 Nothing. Nothing? Yeah really, nothing.

It will be vain labor on our part to give the very best effort we can possibly muster on our own, so… take a deep breath, and quit trying.

It seems that Nee recognized the truth of Paul’s admission when he told the Galatians, “It is no longer I, but Christ.” Paul seemed to believe that in some radical way he no longer existed. Instead, where he once lived and dwelled, another now occupied the space, with all rights, privileges, and authorities. And what became of Paul according to his own testimony?

Oh… Oh, there was no longer a Paul to wonder about.

Huh? Yeah, he no longer existed. Put very plainly Paul said, “Jesus is the only one living here now. Don’t waste your time looking for Paul, he’s gone… dead. I can introduce you to Jesus though, because He now lives here. You’ll like Him a lot better, by the way”

The point is that the normal Christian life probably looks much different from what we’ve allowed to be considered normal. Every time we do something that looks abnormal, or don’t do something that looks normal to the life of Christ revealed in Scripture, we are not living the normal Christian life.

Why is this? Come now, let us reason. When we do something that Jesus would not prescribe to (or vice versa), it means that we are reflecting what is contrary to the very nature of the new birth, that we are once again here and that Jesus is not. The normal Christian life does not allow for Jesus and me (my will) to coexist. “It is no longer I, but Him, who lives in me.”

If we take seriously Paul’s words to us about the normal Christian life, Nee suggests we should know that my title to this article is very accurate; Jesus is here. Right now! But then, that will also require us to find that we are not.

Nice, Mr. Nee… disturbing my shallow with a little deep. A depth though that I believe I must journey in thought this day. Maybe a path others will travel also?

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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17 Responses to Jesus is Here!

  1. Pingback: Can You Stand the Trials of the Cross? | Resting in His Grace

  2. love this post!! I will tell you one of the BEST things Haley said to me at 4 or 5 years old, “Mom, why do they keep talking on the radio about Jesus coming back? He is already here.”
    We just need to recognize HIM and live through Him as HIM for HE is the only truth. Love it!! love your words of encouragement and this absolute TRUTH! thank you!

  3. RJ Dawson says:

    Thanks Mike. I agree with the concept in general, but disagree on the point that the believer is dead. The former individual is no longer around in a spiritual sense because of the new birth experience.

    The whole point of new life in the Lord is NEW LIFE. We become a new creation. This is what the resurrection is all about. What Paul meant was that Jesus has taken His rightful place in Paul’s life. Before a new birth experience, which includes a spiritual resurrection, the Lord is not only not in charge within us, He is not within us.

    The infilling of the Spirit of God changes this. The King takes His rightful place. But the individual believer is still alive, very much alive, and actually really alive, because then he or she is spiritually alive. Again, a new creation. Born again. Brand new.

    We still live in these temporal bodies, though, in a fallen world. But He lives within us as well, and not in some weird conceptual sense. This is why Paul said to live is MESSIAH. He means the Messiah rules also from his little house of clay.

    But we all know the Lord continues to respect our will, never forces us to do anything, and is always a perfect gentleman. But when we surrender our will to His, and allow Him to be in charge, whether we understand anything at all about what may be going on, then He has a willing vessel from which to work.

    But mostly, He has fellowship with us on a very close spiritual level. Imagine that!

    “Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” [Colossians 1:25-27]

    • mtsweat says:

      Well said RJ. Yes, I agree. Paul is looking to instruct us regarding our will which should become as dead, because the will of God is alive in the believer now in Christ. Still, I am with you… watch me through the course of a day and it is evident there are traces of a dead man walking. Good words friend… thanks.

  4. Rob Barkman says:

    Yep, I agree fully, His constant intervention in our lives proves to us He is ever with us. What a blessing!

  5. supajohnny says:

    Feels a bit new ageie. I need to think about this.

    • mtsweat says:

      I must confess. When first reading your comment, good friend, I could not help but chuckle. For that I apologize. It ‘s just the image of Watchman Nee from the early 1900’s new aging. 🙂 Yes, I agree. Thoughts as his require more than a casual glance. We’ll both think on this a while I imagine. Thanks and many blessings.

  6. ccragamuffin says:

    For I am dead. My life iis now hidden with Christ in God. When I do it on my own, I am trying to breathe life into a stinkin’ corpse. Hasn’t worked for me yet. Zombies are pretty popular right now, maybe too many of us identify with them.

  7. Lena Rae says:

    Great blog! But what’s with the ad?
    Read Normal Christian Life years ago. Loved it. My pastor and his wife lived this Life before us. What a great example they to me. A picture’s worth a 1,000 words, right? 🙂

    • mtsweat says:

      Yeah, not sure if you are seeing the ad I am, but hey, I guess a woman trapped behind bars is appropriate for the post? 🙂 Really have no control though what WP decides to run.

      I remember 15 or so years ago WN surfaced often in sermons and such. Don’t hear much mention of him anymore, but he no less was one who truly surrendered his entire life to Christ. An awesome testimony you give of your pastor and his wife. 1000 words plus and counting… Thanks!

      • Lena Rae says:

        Really?! I had no idea WordPress adds ads. No pun intended. 🙂 Learn something new everyday. No wonder blogging is dying out… I stopped blogging for several months and just recently came back. The ads must be a new idea.
        Sit, Walk, Stand by Watchmen Nee is good too. It’s on the book of Ephesians.

        • mtsweat says:

          Thanks for sharing the nod toward another of his works. As said, I heard many speak of him, but had never actually read his words until this book. We will soon make the time to venture your way good friend and check your rebirthed go at blogging.

          On the ads, WP is usually very good at keeping them at least clean on Christian sites, but I have seen a couple that are questionable no doubt. I am glad you mentioned them though as most sites have added a disclaimer to ensure readers know we are not responsible for what gets advertised on our sites. Blessings to you!

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