When a person receives and agrees with the gospel, when a person gives his\her allegiance to Jesus, new life flows into the person. New spiritual DNA is injected into the person’s inner being. And changes on the inside result in changes on the outside.
The two primary changes are faith in Christ, and the love of people. These are obviously two large general areas, that have lots of specific practices possible. Results can be giving food, cleaning, comforting, rebuking, becoming a missionary, TV/movie choices, books we read, places we go, and friends we spend intimate, extensive time with. Each area could be the subject of many, many posts.
Other areas grow also. I am going to focus on some secondary areas, which grow from the first two.
Prayer is the first. A natural communication should develop between Father and child. The child should express his honest feelings about his life, his situation … fears, joys, sadness, frustrations, successes, failures. And god will express his expectations, reinforce the identity he has given his child, and give additional revelation. (Clarifying revelation, rather than new revelation.) There is speaking. There is listening. There is open, honest communication.
Experiential knowledge is the second. As we walk in relationship with God, we gain in understanding of who he is, he nature, his character. We learn to see the world as he sees the world. Which changes our thinking. Which changes how we act. Which changes how we experience the world. Which changes how we experience God. And we begin another cycle. In reality, we are all probably in the midst of several cycles.
Understanding leads directly to experience. Many people understand experiential knowledge to pertain to an emotional flood. God did design people to have emotions, and emotional experiences. Joy is in such short supply that people seek it in any way they can. I will not speak against “special events” that people use to fill the empty spaces in their lives. But I do think God wants to fill us with joy. I also think God wants joy to be more regular, more consistent and every day. And I think God wants to give it within the context of our daily walks.
But our knowledge of God goes further. As we act on a promise, we understand God’s faithfulness. As we move to a word whispered in our hearts, we understand God’s intimacy, and his care.
Confident expectations is the third. We learn our identity from our Father. We learn his intentions. From that position, we can stand assured of what the future looks like, what our lives will be like. Because our Father cannot lie. Because we are his family, we are his inheritance.
The last, that I am writing about here, is the power that he has put at our disposal. The passage I am referring to sometimes confuses me. Sometimes, it seems like he has handed us a magic wand. Sometimes, it seems like he is saying, “Look what I have done for you! Image what I can do for you!”
The writer reminds us that God has already exerted tremendous power in executing his plan. That power was demonstrated in the life of Jesus.
- He was with Jesus.
- He raised Jesus from the dead.
- He honored Jesus by putting him at the Father’s right hand.
- Jesus has more authority than anyone else.
The Father has given Jesus all authority. Jesus has the authority to benefit God’s family, and to complete God’s mission. And we are part of both.
Moreover, we are not only part of Christ’s family, we are part of Christ’s body. Jesus completes and fills his body. It represents him. It fills every place with him.
And he goes wherever his family goes. Wherever his family goes, he should be obvious, his effects felt, and people should bow to the King.