24.5.11

Ach! I need the patience of a Saint!

I just used this phrase half an hour ago in putting my children to bed. I told them that this is what it takes to get them to co-operate with the bed-time routine.

Paul states that we really are 'saints' and we are that before we are 'faithful', Paul says God 'picked us out' (eklegomai), conferring this status upon us. It is not derived from our faith, which is 'in' Christ rather than 'to' Christ because this is about our position (given through grace) not our loyalty.

Which is great, we can all be disloyal.

Blessings are ours (Eph. 1.v.1) as people 'in Christ' and 'in the heavenly places' (v.3). 

We actually inhabit multiple realms, the physical realm and the heavenly realm where we live consecrated in Christ as citizens of his Kingdom. Paul is determined that we appropriate these spiritual blessings and put on a spiritual armour for the sake of our security as we battle. I wonder what battles we face on a daily basis, these will be different for each one of us and many are way more serious than screaming at your kids for the umpteenth time to 'go and clean your teeth!'

I reckon we have to live as if we really are Saints. If we do this, we will begin to change? We can have our attitude changed to situations in our life that are scary and difficult. 

Sometimes it is difficult to grasp God, nigh impossible. His ways are higher and he is Spirit but access to him and knowledge of his character has been revealed to us, his will is 'a mystery' that has been 'made known to us' (Eph 1.9). What was hidden has, through Christ, become manifest and we are privy to God's plan for the 'fullness of time', in which he will 'gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth' (Eph 1.10).

That is seriously powerful. We can know God, his character, his will, his plans. If we know Jesus, we can know God. We can read, listen, hear about Jesus, talk about him, blog about him, take his light into the world by behaving as he would have us behave... We can converse with him - kind-of. Try again, and again and again. At first it's like you are talking to yourself but then slowly over time this is no longer the case. Then you clean forget you ever thought you were only talking to yourself in the first place. It's prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit in.

We are in receipt of a wisdom which subjugates any claims to an exclusively held secret knowledge and the empty promises of other ideologies/faiths/world-views, to Christ himself, 'under [whose] feet' (Eph 1. v.22) such things are placed.

What God did in eternity past (our election) and the Son accomplished in the historical past (our redemption through the cross) is made real by the Spirit. The Spirit, given at our turning to him (and continually given) to us all, guarantees our perfect reunion with Christ in the future. God gives us his Holy Spirit now so that moments of peace and joy and energy and power are available now and are a foretaste of what life will be like in the future, in that future life promised to us, which we can only grasp by faith and have come to call Heaven.

Are we really grasping hold of our status, now?

Are we really living in the light of the risen Christ whom we have just spent time worshipping this Easter?

The truth of who we are needs to be thought through and carried deeply so that we might appropriate our Spiritual blessings and resist promises made by everything thing else that is offered to us in such tempting packages - alternative spiritualities, the illusory security of material prosperity, the quick-fix life-coaching therapies, the status that we receive from our jobs which can be here today and gone tomorrow.

The next time I despair, saying 'I need the patience of Saint,' perhaps I will think, 'I am one, so I might as well ask God for some.'


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