I thank Oswald Chambers for the idea of this blog and the Holy Spirit for its substance.
Jesus came as God-incarnate, 100% God, 100% human. Believers love that truth. We welcome it in every language spoken, in every song composed, in every book written, in every sermon preached, in every expression of love experienced.
However, its attendant meaning in discipleship also unsettles those who “love his appearing.” For it means that the Invisible, Eternal God, who Incarnated himself in Bethlehem has as his goal living in us as his temple individually, so he can live in the church as his temple congregationally.
Where we praise him as God Incarnate—our hope and help, we fear his intention to make a throne room of our mind from which he can rule over us as a temple of his presence. We substitute joyous worship, praise songs and relational preaching to avoid facing the unwelcome truth that Jesus isn’t finished until his Incarnate Presence in history is incarnated in our daily lives.
How clearly Galatians 4:19 is the Lord’s concern manifested through his apostle: “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.” And how clearly Galatians 2:20 expresses his desire for us: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Paul had a career as the eminent apostle, but a life-purpose of surrendering himself to Jesus Christ alive in him. He never asked “what do I want to be as a person?” Like Jesus! Or “where do I want to go?” Wherever Jesus directed! “Or how should I react in any given situation?” Whatever way Jesus reacted in any situation!
Remember, then, whatever we want our church to be begins with us. Discipleship is the expression of faith in Christ. The church is the expression of every disciple incorporated. To the extent that individuals let Christ’s will be done in them the church will have Christ’s will done in her.