When we live to be a place of God’s presence we find that He abides in us and we abide in Him. We find our life in Him, but the secret to that life is that He lives in us. He gives us life by living in our lives. The most important thing of our faith is the One who speaks to our hearts and gives us faith. God in our lives is more important than His principles, but when God is in our lives we cast a shadow that appears as though we live according to His principles. He gives us life and He causes us come alive in our hearts!
Once we know that we live in Him, we can also move in Him. Jesus illustrated this New Covenant truth after He presented the truth of first being a place of His habitation in life. After telling the man that He had no place to rest His head (headship), Jesus spoke to another and asked Him to follow Him. The power of being able to follow was initiated by Jesus, not merely someone wanting to follow Him. It was the word of Jesus that would empower the man to follow. It was the expression of life from the mouth of God that would empower the man to walk out the journey of life.
Luke 9:59 And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” 60 But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”
Jesus wasn’t advocating the forsaking of funerals by those who follow Him. He was simply stating that following Him was not about fixing the things of the past, burying the things of the past, or any other natural ability. Following Him was only possible by being joined to Him in life. Following Him was a matter of being an expression of Him in all things. It is in Him that we move. God gives breath to all people. He is the word, but our lives are a testimony to His voice. It is not about where we have come from; it is all about who we are in Him. He is the breath of our journey in life. This is the testimony of a New Covenant in Christ.
Jesus then made a third illustration of New Covenant in the story. Another man said to Him a statement in regard to following Him that illustrates the testimony of the fullness of the life that is found in the New Covenant.
Luke 9:61 Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Following Jesus is not something that we do on Sunday, Wednesday, or any other day of the week. Following Jesus is following Him in all things. It is a testimony of tabernacling with God in all things and at all times. He gives all things to all people. In Him we have our being. It is not about visiting Him or Him visiting us. It is about abiding in Him and Him abiding in us in all things. The will of God in our lives is not what we do, it is who we are. Who we are is defined by our intimacy with God in all things. When we know who we are we can do many things that identify with who we are. We don’t get our identity out of what we do, the things we do get their identity out of us. Everything we do in life is a testimony of Him and His New Covenant life. There is no separation between our kingdom and His, and His kingdom and ours. Our lives are for the glory of His name.
The New Covenant is about living NOW each day. When we live in the NOW of each day it releases a testimony that includes yesterday and unlocks the doors of tomorrow. The things of the past are neither bad nor good; they are measured in the testimonies of today. The New Covenant is a ‘today covenant’ where we are empowered to love God with all of our hearts, all of our souls, and all of our lives.
The power of Christ is at work in us. God wants us to do greater things than Jesus did. He wants us to be the testimony of His family – a family of calling, inheritance, and power in all things. The substance of our family is Christ in us, God Himself! The testimony of Christ in us is one of God’s own love. As believers we must set the examples of sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and even transitioning grandparents to the generations that follow us. It is all about family!
Let us lead to empower others to become the place of God’s presence, the voice that reveals Him to the world, and to know the greatness of partnership with God in all things!
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson