Shovel: So, my friend ... what of the grace of God?
Friend: 'the fight of faith'
Shovel: yeah ... tell me of it
Friend: if we are 'in Christ' and this is literal reality, than the battle is not to believe our experience (if it doesn't match up to the truth of the Word of God)
Shovel: true, tis true ... things can appear to be otherwise
Friend: I am reading a good book about how Jesus is eager to live His life through us.....
Shovel: you mean, WE don't live the Christian life?
Friend: only ONE can:) ... when we believe and 'act' as He does, He is always faithful to meet us there
Shovel: how do you mean "to meet us there"?
Friend: Col. 2: 6 ..... so then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, so in the same manner walk in Him........ God is always here ........no conditions........
Shovel: okay ... got that ... but the phrasing of "meet us there" ? not sure what that is saying
Friend: that might be my words, however, while reading his book he had mentioned that when one 'acts' as if Christ is going to live His life through us, He will meet us
Shovel: I'm not sure what that means
Friend: all i know is that I have experienced fullness, and peace in Christ knowing that He is always available for me
Shovel: okay ... I can appreciate that
Friend: I could not muster up the freedom that I am experiencing ... it certainly is a God thing :)
Shovel: No, my dear brother, you could not ... freedom is such a wonderful thing ... we have such a limited view of it most of the time
Friend: there are times when I don't want to yield to God
Shovel: what made you think of that? ... right now, that is?
Friend: this morning, when my oldest sister was over ... (note: describes situation) ... I was really ticked at her stupidity
Shovel: and how does this connect?
Friend: I know , a rather crude example...... but I was angry, an somewhat ignored her for some time afterwards
Shovel: This is the very real stuff of life ... do you normally get along?
Friend: yes ... I was just so angry this morning because of this ... I was aware that my flesh was in ascendancy ... but I wasn't 'willing' if you will, to let God live through me
Shovel: and what do you think would have been the thing that God wanted of you that you didn't want?
Friend: simply to thank Him for taking the situation from me, (but I would have none of it) ... I wanted control ... as so I was miserable for a time
Shovel: and how did you see yourself because of this?
Friend: missing His provision ... at that moment
Shovel: if you weren't angry then it would have been okay?
Friend: I don't think that the angry part for me was the issue, it was that for that moment, I wasn't experiencing Jesus
Shovel: once again, my questions aren't meant to provoke ... but to stimulate
Friend: I understand. ... I know that victory is not experiencing a virtue, but a PERSON, Jesus
Shovel: yes ... there is much that He teaches thru what we go thru
Friend: yes, He is faithful to turn all things out for our good:)
Shovel: sometimes I think we look too deeply for what it means to be experiencing Jesus
Friend: I am listening :)
Shovel: and maybe we judge by what it seems to us. ... By what standard do you compare? ... I know how I get all screwed up
Friend: I know that now I am experiencing contentment (I do not hunger in my inner man)
Shovel: and does contentment always appear the same to you?
Friend: the living Jesus is our Standard
Shovel: I know by the questions I ask it may seem as if I would always be analyzing my situations but I have come to see how simple it all is
Friend: (I just came out of a long) "desert experience"
Shovel: and do you think the "desert experience" is valuable?
Friend: it's just that I have come out of a prolong period of deception where I had embraced an 'antinomian view'
Shovel: how do you mean, antinomian?
Friend: that experience, determined my identity and God leads one into sin to teach them more about themselves, I also viewed the Law as being a bad thing
Shovel: and have you learned something of value thru it?
Friend: it was through reading a book that God met me and revealed to me once again my true identity in Him, 'in Christ' ... feelings change like the wind
Shovel: yes, they do
Friend: the word of God abides forever
Shovel: but God is always leading even when you think you have taken a detour and that He is not around
Friend: knowing (having our identity revealed by the Holy Spirit) our identity is central in knowing Christ
Shovel: yes it is ... it is our birthright ... we sometimes try to pretend we don't know it ... hahaha ... but we do know it
Friend: God was nothing than a mere 'thought' for over 1 year during this time ... I was locked into myself , and in alot of pain
Shovel: but He was there nonetheless?
Friend: feelings of never ending emptiness was there day in and day out
Shovel: Kinda like the feeling that Jonah may have had ... utter despair
Friend: yes, but I believe that I didn't have to go through this, if I had accepted His Word
Shovel: Remember, God was in control the whole time. ... Do you remember what Paul told the Philippians?
Friend: I had rejected His word in place of a deceived teacher
Shovel: those nasty deceivers ... they are everywhere!!!!!!! ... see the simplicity?
Friend: the funny thing, was that this teacher.....God was manifest through Him every so often ... it just wasn't black and white
Shovel: more black and white than it may have appeared ... where are your eyes turned to ?
Friend: towards (the teacher) for most of the time, he said that "any choices on our part" is a human work, and that only what God does please God" ... partly true
Shovel: yes, partly true
Friend: I strongly believe that God calls us to make choices of faith.......to stand on His finsihed work and who He has made us in Christ
Shovel: but is our life just a series of choices?
Friend: no, of course not, but faith is a very, it is active, spontaneous ... if I believe that a chair can hold, I am going to sit in it ... my sitting in it is my faith in action
Shovel: but if you believe the chair cannot hold ... and yet God says to sit in it anyways?
Friend: what God says is true
Shovel: yes ... that is pretty much what He does with us
Shovel: how did he perceive our life in Christ?
Friend: He said that we are all 'dead ducks' powerless, that God has to move us into life ... choice of faith on our part would be viewed by him as legalistic human perfomrance
Shovel: how does he say God moves in us?
Friend: He just says, in God's own way and in His own time He will move us out of the desert and into Life ... we ARE in Life now, 'in Christ ... he always stressed about 'being real'
Shovel: how so?
Friend: 'being true to yourself and what we feel on the inside ... never was our identity in Christ taught
Shovel: :( ... wow, what a trap ... it is amazing how easily our thoughts can be pulled from our true life
Friend: he stressed how all things are lawful ... yes, and they are, we can truely live anyway we want
Shovel: and we call that, "being real", huh?
Friend: but, BUT we have a New Life in Christ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shovel: yes I used to hold to a particular view ... about Romans 6 ... and walking in Newness of Life ... I heard it from a couple other guys ... it didn't seem right. ... It was this – that until you come to count upon that fact .... reckoning, it is called ... until you "reckon" yourself dead unto sin and alive unto God ... you cannot walk in newness of Life. Do you hear what that suggests?
Friend: our being dead to sin and alive to God is true reguardless
Shovel: yes!!!! ... do you have your bible there?
Friend: an electronic pocket one
Shovel: look up Romans 6:4
Friend: got it
Shovel: You kids ... with all your electronic gizmos
Shovel: I declare!!! hahaha
Friend: yes it talks about our union with Christ
Shovel: do you see what Paul says about what is required for us to walk in newness of life?
Friend: the Resurrection of Christ was 'the requirement'
Shovel: yes, simple, huh?
Shovel: It is because of what HE has done, but as you pointed out ... we DO walk in newness of Life now. The word "might" is not contingient upon something we do or some position we come to or some understanding we grow to. What a lot of BS that is. How much would we have to know if that were the case? How much of the gospel would we have to believe? It is because of what HE has done. As if we can "quantize" the understanding of the gospel!!! It is a miracle after all!!!! Is it not? It gets real complicated ... but it really isn't. If we had to believe a certain "amount" of the gospel before we could walk in newness of life, then we would never be able to.
Friend: I understand that it is by the finished work of Christ, but faith is something that He gave us to receive His grace
Friend: Eph 2:8 & 9
Shovel: okay ....
Friend: to believe in faith what He has done enable me to walk in Christ
Shovel: but then if you are not believing are you not walking in Christ?
Friend: I am in Christ, but I am walking BY the flesh
Shovel: then you don't walk in the Spirit?
Friend: my dependancy is not on Him at that moment
Shovel: aren't you quantizing faith? How much is enough? How much is not enough?
Friend: clearly He has given me enough faith. I do not need more
Shovel: then if He has given you enough ... it is not always enough?
Friend: always ... but faith would not be faith if there wasn't any room for doubt
Friend: mustard seed is all that is nesc.
Friend: I do not have to work to get the right amount of faith
Shovel: and that is a rather insignificant seed in size
Friend: yes extremely so
Shovel: so then His suggestion was not on how much is needed ... was it? as if we needed a certain amount?
Friend: no, I have no problem with this, the amount is not what is at issue for me ... faith itself, is the issue, faith would'nt be faith if there is not any room to doubt
Shovel: are you sure? ... is faith a thing?
Friend: I do not know, but I can ..... operate and do things without faith ... dead works
Shovel: yes, we understand that all too well, but that is not where our life is
Friend: amen ... Romans 6:11
Shovel: and how can we do that?
Friend: in the same way count yourselves dead to sin but alive to god in Christ Jesus ... therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body ... we have a choice ... to either yield are members to sin or to God
Shovel: and so if we just make the right choices ......
Friend: according to His leading
Shovel: what is really happening when you are counting yourself dead to sin and alive to God? Is this an activity?
Friend: I am walking in Truth, relizing what God HAS ALREADY done :)
Shovel: yes, to count it true doesn't make it true
Shovel: you count it true because it IS true ... this is not really a choice as we consider choices
Friend: why not?
Shovel: you know, "am I going to do this thing today?" kinda choice. When you are making choices ...
Friend: I walk in what is already true
Friend: that walking in is faith
Shovel: this is the simplicity of life. THIS IS WHERE YOU LIFE IS. We have done the "choice" thing all of our life
Friend: yes, Life is no where else, but in Christ
Shovel: usually between the "right" and the "wrong" ... there is almost always the right or wrong ... that dreaded tree
Friend: Jesus is The 'Right Choice'
Shovel: what are you going to choose? ... and what do we do?
Friend: walk in faith
Shovel: we are looking for the "right thing", but here is life vs. death ... not right vs wrong ... or the lesser of 2 evils ... or choosing the best
Friend: Life is found only is the Son
Friend: Jesus is 'The Best' :) lol
Shovel: when you consider your life as a series of choices, then it always becomes a law. He is the ONLY ... there is life in none other
Friend: I know that during the common struggles victory is the living Christ , Himself
Shovel: yes, He in you, you in Him ... union. Where do you really begin and where does He end ...? or are we trying to separate something that has been joined?
Friend: Christ never had a beginning, and I was 'in Him' before the foundations of the world
Shovel: yes yes yes, amazing how it all works ... it's not logical ... for sure
Friend: so you wouldn't say that faith is 'a requirement' but rather a fruit, but.........
Shovel: it's more like the relationship ...
Friend: we move ...... and have our being in Him ... the moving is active
Shovel: like a tree that puts its roots down into the soil; the tree is dependent upon the ground whether it thinks it is or not it is entirely dependent. That is a statement of fact ... the roots are in the soil ... the roots are in the soil, the soil is in the roots ... they are in union ... the dependence itself is like faith.
Friend: yes, but trees can not make choices and can not move their roots into other places
Shovel: nor can we in that sense. our roots are in Christ, there is no other foundation. we can be deceived into thinking all kinds of things, but our faith ... it is part of us. Action springs forth as a result. growth occurs ... in direct proportion to our dependence ... the gospel is the power
Friend: I am going to save this conversation and reflect upon it
Shovel: goodnight, my friend
Friend: take care for now, shovel , its been interesting, thanks for the thoughts and feedback!