If it is the little foxes that spoil the vine then it’s about cultivating the little things in your garden so that little evil things do not spoil what you possess in God.
God is not in ControlI had this very strange experience recently where a man got up to speak and he related every tragic thing to happen to him in his life (wife cheating, bankruptcy, fatal disease) to God’s massive object lesson he was to learn from. It was a sad moment, and a hopeless conclusion where a story of hope was supplanted by a need to recognize that ultimately horrible things happen because God wants to make us better people. I believe God can make beautiful, but he does not make horrible. Humanity makes horrible and ugly, God makes beautiful. How did we start to believe in God the chess player instead of God the shepherd? Platonic theory was infused into our Christianity somewhere around the 4th century, with particular christian clarity from Augustine. Let me explain…
Christians who say that philosophy is preposterous and godless, yet who daily believe in a God who is more Plato than Pauline, live in an illusion. The Augustinian (Blueprint) assumption that God exists outside of time is an attempt to make sense all of the universal scriptures for salvation to all, and yet make sense in our minds how it is that everyone is not being saved. Thus, many of us take a lack of experience and reads it into the text by taking scriptures that are universal and making them subjective; then taking verses that are subjective and making them universal. Eternity that is eternal backwards and forwards makes God’s existence like an arc. The problem with this thinking is that eternity runs into itself, which takes God out of the ability to enter into human sequence (time) to make all things new.Phrases like,”God is in control.”
“God would not have brought you into this situation if He could not bring you out of it.”
“God would not give you anything you could not handle.”
It is phrases like these which we tend to use to calm someone down from the proverbial ledge who is encountering evil. Christian moral platitudes wreak of the ignorance of what it means to live in constant spiritual warfare, when in reality here there are no spiritual de-militarized zones as long as the Kingdom is still in a period of extension.
God is not in control, He is in authority.
Jesus is Kingdom, and His Kingdom is suffering violence for as many to enter in and to extend as possible.
The Kingdom man or woman does not live in a false reality where that which is before them is not the way they see it. If someone is dying of cancer, they are dying of cancer. If a person is wallowing in depression, they are depressed. These things are true, but it is the Kingdom agenda that confronts these things for what they are and makes a challenge to the reality of their existence. We want to give ultimate significance to every experience, but sometimes things are simply what they are: chaotic and random.
Imagine a young David who is looking at a big giant named Goliath. Goliath has said some things about God that aren’t true, and accused the people of God with threats. David does not stand up to this giant by saying, “Hey mate, what you are saying is not really what you are saying. I got a psychoanalytical reason for why you are saying the things you say.” David essentially stands up and says, “Hey, fool, you say things about God which are untrue, and because I believe God to be different than what you are saying, and your threats to be unfounded, I will kill you and feed you to the birds. Unsheathe your sword, I am ready to fight.”
Now what would it be like for those of us who claim to take these Biblical principles to heart, take these principles as a reality? It would be radical. When the lie about God stares you in the face, your job is not to sit the lie down on a couch and wonder about its existence, and how it (the lie) got there. Your job is to stand up and challenge the lie in your life and your friends lives.
How is that we can watch movies about characters who withstand obstacles in reality to change their circumstances into something life giving, long for that reality in our own lives, and yet not figure out why it is that our spirit jumps to these stories for inspiration? Myth always anticipates reality. The myth we are inspired by is the a prophetic release within us that calls us to the deep we already know to be more real than the circumstances we experience.
God participates in our World
When Jesus returns, He will leave his sequence to be in ours in the new heavens, with God radiating a new light beyond the sun. If God is outside of time, God would not redeem this creation but would start completely over bringing us into His sequence, when according to scripture He will join our sequence.What does this mean? God created the earth within His own sequence of time before the fall, therefore our sequence and God’s sequence are one in the same.There is a necessity for a seperate eternal sequence, because if this is in place then prevention of universalism is set in place, where we have Jesus eternally preaching in hell outside of our sequence forever (until He returns) looting hell and providing post Mortimer chances. This is not what any evangelical would claim to believe, yet do believe in the premise, but would completely repudiate the conclusion.
The reality check is that God does exists in sequence, but it is a separate or holy sequence from our own. For the story of the man who cries out to Abraham to send Lazarus back to tell his family to repent, and for Jesus to retain the futuristic do or die passion of this parable, there has to be a binary sequence in our time and in God’s time. The Lord does not simply observe our lives in our time, He also experiences life with us while we are also in Him. HE in us and us in Him. For we who have believed are put in Christ.You may be wondering, “Jon, aren’t you a little bit frightened that you may have it completely wrong?” No, I am not worried at getting it wrong. The reason for my lack of fear is because if I am wrong, then all I have done is encouraged people to believe that their choices really do matter and we should live lives marked by Christ-like holiness. Now, if the other side is wrong, they run the risk of offering a deception that has provided false hope, pithy hope and given people an assurance that God does not give them. From my perspective I am unafraid of getting it wrong, but if my perspective is the “outside-of-time” perspective then yes, I am terrified of getting wrong.So, what is our response?
I remember when I first tried to get financial aid for my studies, I had received all of the money I needed, and much more yet when the semester came I was short cash. When I went back into the database to figure out what had happened, there was no glitch in the system. I had qualified for the money, but forgot to accept the money. The same is true in the Kingdom. Many of us have qualified for an inheritance that helps us to overcome the world, but we have to recognize and receive the inheritance. Recognition only comes through an acceptance of who we are in Christ.The world is bursting all around you. Would you dare to look at an evil in the face, as a follower of Jesus, and simply respond with a, “It must be Gods will.”