The Law and Grace. Day fifty-one...
In the early days of my furniture manufacturing business, my staff was unable to reach me when I was away from the factory. Then pagers came along, but I was still unreachable until I could get to a pay phone somewhere. And finally the cell phone made communication immediate, if I wasn't in the middle of a meeting.
When cell phones first became available, most of my business friends complained about the hassle of now not even being able to get away from the stress of the office when they were out of the office. But my stress level actually went down, because I no longer had to wonder if there was a problem back at the factory. If I didn't hear anything from my staff I knew production was running smoothly.
The progression from no communication with my factory to instant communication was a tremendous progression.
Some folks have experienced no communication with God except when they've been in a church building for a Sunday service. And for them to step up to a relationship where prayer becomes a regular part of their daily life can seem to be “as good as it gets.”
But God wants more than instant communication with us. He wants such intimacy with us that we can't tell where we leave off and where He begins.
As human beings, we think in terms of isolation:
- “I need some time to myself.”
- “Nobody cares about me.”
- “For once, I'd just like to do what I want to do.”
- “I'm looking out for number one.”
- “I don't need anybody's help. I'll just go it alone.”
- “I feel so alone.”
Jesus, however, thinks in terms of communion:
- Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19 NKJV)
- I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. (John 5:30 NKJV)
- Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” (John 8:28–29 NKJV)
- For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. (John 12:49 NKJV)
- I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NKJV
Jesus essentially drives a nail through the heart of “isolation.”
What Jesus expects of us cannot be accomplished in isolation.
If you or I even attempt to operate in isolation we are short‐circuiting the plan of God for our lives. There is simply no more alone time for the man or woman who is in full pursuit of God's plan for his or her life.
What Jesus teaches, as recorded in Matthew chapters 5–7 should absolutely destroy the mindset that says, “I must do what is right to please God.” There is no “I” that can do anything right. A mindset of isolation can do nothing right. If I want to do what is right then “I” must become a “we.” “I” no longer exist but operate as a “we” —me and Christ who lives in me.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 KJV)
Have a good weekend,