A week ago today was the Feast of the Ascension; the moment when Jesus returned to heaven (let the scene be imagined!!!) and took his Father-given, exalted place - the Name above every name - at the right hand of the Father. From this position at Heaven's strategic center Jesus, the risen One, rules and maintains the universe by the word of His power.
We sing easily, "Jesus is our King" or similar lyrics, and yet we give only passing credence to what those words, and all the words in this line, mean. I am astounded at the scope of Jesus' authority, given to Him by His Father, as a result of His obedience and the finished work of the Cross, here on earth. "All authority..." Jesus said, "has been given to me." Since all means all it follows that there is no authority or power in heaven or earth or under the earth that exceeds His. "It is Finished!" meant that all things have been brought back into alignment, in Christ, with the original intent of God in creation. All has been recovered, reconciled, through Him who "knew no sin."
These promises are staggering when we consider that what we see is something far less reconciled in our every day living. We live our lives in far less alignment with the will and purposes of God, of Jesus Christ, than most of us will admit. So how do we gain that alignment with God's will in Christ, to reconcile and use us as reconcilers? How do we come to a place where, as the Church, we are what Paul calls us in the later part of Ephesians 1, "the fullness of Him who fills all in all."
BY HIS SPIRIT!
Jesus is the Author and the Finisher of our faith - the one who gives us the motive power to do His will from its inception to its completion. That motive power is His Spirit, sent into our hearts and lives (celebrated at Pentecost this coming weekend) and experienced in a day-to-day relationship of listening, conversation and willing obedience to what we hear. Ahhh, there is the rub. If we believe Jesus' words about "all authority" being His, then it necessarily follows that none of it is ours! Hmmm? He also said, "Apart from me you can do NO-THING." With Jesus its ALL or NOTHING.
The greatest threat to our Christian living is an approach that makes it more of a hobby, than a daily lifestyle. When we believe and act in accord with that belief, that Jesus is The Authority in the Universe, our actions will be markedly different in nature from those who believe something else. Our part in the equation is to be a willing vessel, available to the Holy Spirit on a moment-by-moment basis and obedient to His nudge - to His prompting to act in a particular way. This is the glorious reality that is ours as Jesus' followers! We get to be "in on" the work of God in the world today, as Christ's Body, animated by the Holy Spirit - the whole work of the Trinity flows in and through those who are willing, available and obedient.
"LET" is one of the most powerful three letter words in the New Testament. It tells us of our part, our role, in the work. It challenges us to release our hold on our lives and to allow God to make us new. It fills our lives with the potential of living into the whole of God's plan for us and for the world around us.
Take a look this week at the references for LET in the Bible (Click Here). There are about 190 instances, many of which give us specific and direct instruction for the living of the life that is available to us IN CHRIST. So let us know whose we are and who we are in Him, and let us begin to act accordingly, moment-by-moment, day-by-day. It will be an never-ending adventure of epic proportions.