Those who know me personally have assessed that I’m sort of a melancholy person; I’m not what you would classify as the dancing type. But during a time of fasting recently I received some openings concerning the realm of the Spirit, and oh, let me tell you… there hasn’t been any great change in my circumstances as I had hoped (not yet that is) but even so, if I could dance, oh, how I would dance! Oh, what God has for us in the realm of the Spirit!
This realm—the realm of the Spirit—is the Pathway, and the Place, of the new creation man. How I rejoice for this! The old creation is going into corruption right before our eyes at an astonishing rate. You look back over your shoulder and it’s astonishing to see the acceleration that has taken place even over the last twenty years. Not just in nature, it’s frightening to hear of the natural disasters—storms, tsunamis, earthquakes… this earth is a very unstable place. But so is the world of Adam; the moral decay is even more frightening.
And so the old creation is disintegrating all around us on every hand. How wonderful to know that God foresaw it all, and has prepared a new habitat for His new creation man.
There’s nothing like a fast to show you that you are joined to this earthly life by your stomach. The apostle Paul said as much when he wrote (and he was weeping as he wrote) of certain ones he called “the enemies of the cross of Christ… whose god is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things” (Phil. 3.18).
By the “belly” Paul was not talking just of physical food; he meant the whole range of the earthly appetites of the natural man. These are not necessarily sinful unless they are taken out of bounds, or become our sole preoccupation, which is the case with those in Adam. The tragic thing is that in our day multitudes of Christians have fallen prey to this too—they are totally preoccupied with the pleasures and concerns of this life. They are focussed on earthly things. Their minds, their thoughts, are filled with earthly things. No wonder Paul wept! So should we! Oh what the love of Christ at the expense of the Cross has wrought! Oh, Christian, the vast inheritance in the Spirit that is yours now, and which by comparison makes all that is earthly nothing more than dung.
Paul wrote to the Colossian Christians reminding them that since they had been baptized into Christ they were “dead with Christ” and no longer lived in this world (Col. 2.12, 20). Where did they live, then? Let’s read it.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God (Col. 3.1).
So they were not only dead with Christ, they had also been raised with Him and were seated with Him in the heavenly realm at the right hand of God. How could they settle, then, for the things of earth? Paul urges them (and us):
Set your affection on things above, not on things of on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
My life is hid with Christ in God? Oh, what a different and higher dimension is ours! How sad, how pitiful, when we continue to worm our way around in the things of earth! We don’t live here! We are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.
What must we be doing, then?
Mortify (put to death) your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence (lust), and covetousness, which is idolatry…
Notice this list. As I said above, these are all the appetites of the earthly man, and there is nothing wrong with some of them as long as they are not out of bounds, and as long as they don’t become our total pursuit in this life. We are to set our affection on things above, we are to mind things above, we are to be preoccupied with things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. This is our heritage. This is our element. This is our habitation. This is where we live.
I must make this my own personal testimony then, and not just something I underline in my Bible. I must make it my personal testimony that I have a secret life. A hidden life. I live in a different realm than most men. My life is hid with Christ in God. And no man can take my life from me. They might kill me, but they can’t take my life from me. I might die somehow or other, but my life cannot be taken from me.
And so in this late hour when the world of the earthly man has become so purposeless a place, in fact is fast becoming too dangerous a place to live in, oh, why do we continue to live here? Let us to shake ourselves from the dust! Let us set our affection, our minds, our thoughts, on things above… not just wistfully from afar, but because we dwell there, it is our habitation, we live there!
Oh, what Christ has wrought in Calvary! He brought an end to the first man, the Old Man, with all his sin and rebellion and sorrow and trouble and woe. And brought into being a totally new man, a new creation Man who dwells in a totally new dimension—the Spirit of God!
Now, if that isn’t enough to cause you to dance and leap for joy I don’t know what is!
…I meant to tell you some of the things that were opened to me about this realm of the Spirit but I guess that will have to wait till next time.