“Until the ascension, resurrection Life of Jesus is manifested in you, you want to ask for this and that. Then after a while you find all the questions are gone. You do not seem to have any left to ask. You have come to a place of entire reliance and trust on the resurrection Life of Jesus. In fact, you can say ‘in that day’ with Paul, ‘for me to live is Christ.’
“How many of us who are here this afternoon have ever said that? Or have just said it in a kind of hopeful, wishful way – how many of us can say it with the same kind of absolute confidence as Paul himself? Or do you think that Paul is something in himself apart from the Life and Resurrection of Jesus? Paul was nothing more or other than the continuation of that Life. And anything that Paul says or performs is anything and everything that the Lord Himself would have done had He yet been in His own body. Now He’s in Paul.
“That’s what makes an apostle an apostle. So, for us to celebrate Paul as Paul, to think what he’s exhibiting is some unique Jewish character of courage or insight is to miss the point entirely. In Him, I believe Paul said, “I move and live and have my being.” Now in the new Katz edition of the Bible, I would probably say, ‘The Lord would say, ‘In Paul, I move and live and have my being.’ How do you like that? That the continuation of the Life of God in the Son Jesus, yet in His unfinished purposes, waits on a body that will allow Him to be the source of their life—their inspiration, their speaking, their ministry, their love, their wisdom, their understanding.
“But don’t think that you’re going to go boom! from where you are now to that, without passing through a no man’s land of actual testing. Where you have no love, you have no wisdom, you have no power, you have no authority. You have voided, you have pulled out the plug of your own confidence in yourself. Where you’re going to serve God if only He will give you help and the ability. And if there’s no resurrection, you of all people are most to be pitied. And the Lord will test you. Because we are dead and hid with Christ in God until His life is revealed. And when it’s revealed, it’s revealed on to glory.
“But that doesn’t mean when it’s revealed it will come in the form that you will desire, enjoy, or appreciate. It may come in a form that makes you appear as a dumb-dumb. Where there is no cleverness, there is no brightness, you’re without answer. In fact, you’re surprisingly weak. You’re dead and hid with Christ in God until His Life is revealed. But His Life is not revealed according to the terms of our desire, satisfaction, or need, but His. And it will take the form and the expression that He will be pleased to give it. And more often than not you will be humiliated both waiting for the expression of the Life and for the very expression itself. It’s not going to necessarily make you bright. It may even make you lousy company. You may have even been a more charming, and more agreeable, and more impressive person when you operated under your own life then when you operate under His.”
To be continued…