BEING WITH CHRIST WHERE HE IS
BEING WITH CHRIST WHERE HE IS Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
We humans tend to worry constantly about the future. If we would grow in Christ we must learn about Jesus as the "I Am," the God of the eternal present. Christ always Is what God Is. God and Christ are what They Are right now.
The Lord wants us to enter this timeless relationship. He wants each of us to be an indivisible part of Himself, of what He always Is. He desires that we grow in Him until it can be said of us we are fully with Him where He Is. Then the future will take care of itself.
The things of the world clamor for our attention. Meanwhile the Lord Jesus is knocking at the door of our heart. If we are to keep from devoting our days on earth to that which is temporary and insignificant we must listen carefully each moment to what the Lord is saying, presenting each decision to Him for His will and blessing. We must strive to always be with Him where He is and to be a part of what He Is.
BEING WITH CHRIST WHERE HE IS
Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’" (Exodus 3:13,14—NIV)
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" (John 8:58—NIV)
Not "before Abraham was born I was."
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3—NIV)
Not "that you also may be where I will be."
It is my understanding that Jesus meant, in the preceding verse, "that you also may be where I am at that time." By leaning too heavily on the idea of a "place" we interpret the Lord to mean He will return to take us to Heaven. I think we miss the point.
Notice the following verse:
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known. (John 1:18—NIV)
From the context I think John meant that Christ has come to earth and made God known. Yet while doing so He remains at the Father's side, or " in the bosom of the Father " as the King James Version expresses it.
Otherwise John might have said, "who has come from the Father's side."
It may be that the Holy Spirit has a purpose in using the present tense on these occasions. I like to think of God and Christ remaining as One whether Christ is in Heaven, on earth, or somewhere else. I believe it is important that we understand the Oneness of God and Christ because Christ works continually with each true saint to bring him or her into the same Oneness.
I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:23—NIV)
If we stress too much the idea of Christ coming from Heaven and returning to Heaven, and of our going to Heaven in the future to be with the Lord (which always is our hope), we may miss what Christ is doing today in our life to bring us into oneness with Himself and the Father. Do you think God may be working in your life right now to bring you into oneness with Himself and the Father? He is working that way in my life.
Some time ago, just before I had a heart attack, the Lord spoke to me: "All there is, is now."
I was in my office at the church, preparing to enter the sanctuary for the Tuesday night service. I interpreted the message to mean I would not be living much longer. Since the heart attack took place over a year ago I guess that was not the correct interpretation.
Do you know why the Lord emphasized to me "All there is, is now"? It is because I spend so much time worrying about the future that I neglect to relax in the Lord and find Him in every detail of what goes on in my life night and day. Perhaps this is at least part of the reason why I had the attack!
Any point in the future is always now, always the present, when we get there.
Perhaps our greatest problem as human beings is that of worrying about or trying to establish the future. Many if not most of the pains and emergencies we picture never take place. There are times, of course, when we must consider the future and make sure our actions are moving us toward our desired goals. But so much of our concern has to do with things and circumstances we can't do anything about.
Christ always is the I Am, not the I will be. Christ desires that we be with Him where He Is, not where He will be. If we always are with Christ where He Is, then we will be with Him where He will be in the future.
Christ always is what God Is. God and Christ are what They Are right now. The Lord wants us to enter this timeless relationship. He wants each of us to be with Him where He is. He desires that we grow in Him until it always can be said of us that we are fully with Him where He Is and are an indivisible part of Him. Then the future will take care of itself.
The idea of entering the Oneness that is God and Christ is specially meaningful to me right now. I have spent the last two weeks in bed recovering from a kidney infection. At seventy-three years of age, the infection has left me weak.
Being an inveterate worrier I think of the consequences if I should die. There still are some symptoms of this or that. What does this mean? What does that mean?
When I go to the Lord about one of the symptoms He asks, "Can you get around? Can you do what is at hand?"
"Then what is your problem?"
The problem is not about my present capabilities, it is about what the condition might mean some day out there in the future.
The church is in good hands. My wife, Audrey, is well able to take care of the administrative details. The preaching and teaching are performed by younger men who have been trained under me, who can preach and teach the Kingdom of God better than I.
We have plenty of food, the rent is paid, and there are no demands being made on me. I can read, sleep, work at the computer (as I am doing now) or do whatever else I feel like and have the strength for.
I am not in pain, just tired. So any problem I have comes from worrying about the future.
Right now, this very minute, there is no problem.
What does the Lord say? "All there is, is now."
I have heard it said that much of the physical pain we suffer comes from our anticipation of the pain. Perhaps this is true.
What I have been reciting is the down side of what is going on. The up side is marvelous. The Lord is teaching me about the meaning of "I Am." At least, I think it's the Lord. You be the judge.
Christ wants to be our life. He wants to be expressed through us. This oneness is not so we will have more power or a more successful ministry, or have our prayers answered, or be exalted, or for any other carnal reason that one hears today. It is God's love that results in the total union of God and Christ and it is Christ's love that seeks the total union of us and Himself. The Divine love and the resulting union are not a means to some religious end. They are the end! When the Lord in His goodness revealed that to me some years ago it transformed the way I view the Scriptures.
The Hound of Heaven does not stop seeking us when we "take the four steps of salvation." The Divine love is always knocking on the door of our personality, asking for entrance. When we are worrying about the future or caught up in the activities of the world we cannot hear Him. But when we hear Him and let Him in we dine with Him and He with us.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20—NIV)
I know what we eat when we are dining with Christ. We eat His flesh and drink His blood.
I do not know what He eats and drinks when He enters our personality, unless the verse means He rejoices over and is nourished by our willingness to surrender every detail of our personality to Him. Perhaps He takes nourishment from the enlarging of what He Is.
This sort of thing seems to be expressed in the following verse:
I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Eat, O friends, and drink; drink your fill, O lovers. (Song of Solomon 5:1—NIV)
During this stay at home (and at all other times) I can spend time speculating about what the future holds. Or I can keep looking to Jesus, making sure that at this very moment I am living in His Presence, expressing His will in the earth.
You know what? I am indestructible while I am remaining in Jesus. If I am doing exactly what He desires, if He is living in me and I in Him, then His health is my health; His energy is my energy; His wisdom is my wisdom.
It now is 4:17 P.M., Friday afternoon, September 4, 1998. Should I stop and rest? Feed the dog? Eat? Sleep? Worry concerning whether I always am going to be this tired?
Right now I want to live by your life. I want you to be magnified in me. I want to have a deep trust that when more energy is needed more will be available."
At the present moment I have enough energy to do what I am doing. So what's the problem? All there is, is now, and now there is no problem.
But what about later? When later comes it will be now. The Lord will be present if I am willing to please Him and exercise the strength and wisdom available at that time.
I know it is time to feed the dog, and I have the strength to do that. Hallelujah! So Jesus Christ will be honored while I feed the dog. I desire to be totally with Him where He is as I feed the dog.
I'll be back in a minute or two.
The dog is happy now. She is a kelpie. I have warned her to always behave herself if she hopes to go to Heaven because the Bible has little good to say about dogs!
There are so many points along the way where we can look to Jesus, acting in a manner that reflects faith and confidence in Him. There are so many opportunities to become ever more firmly established in Him, living with Him where He always is—in the bosom of the Father.
To what level of union are we being brought? To the level at which it is everlastingly true that we are precisely what He is.
Can you imagine how our animal nature struggles against such union?—such relinquishment of its "rights" to follow its own appetites, ambitions, and fears?
When we are seeking to be filled with Christ, to dwell in Christ at every moment, it is not initially a case of man seeking to be part of God. Rather it is God seeking to be part of man. Every aspect of salvation originates in God. We cannot run after Him except as He draws us. No person comes to Jesus unless the Father draws Him. No individual takes this honor to himself except he who is called of God. This is the message of Aaron's rod that budded.
How ridiculous it is that the living God has such a time getting us to surrender our right to operate our own program. He has created us that we might be a forthshining of His Glory. We are to be the image of God, the expression of God in His creation, the very chariot of God. How utterly, unspeakably marvelous!
Yet here we are, intelligent animals created from dust, resisting His wooing, determined to maintain our ignorant, corruptible, clownish personality and behavior. How does He put up with us?
Maybe my kelpie, "Bear" by name (a totally unsuitable appellation), would do a better job than most of us if she had the opportunity.
The mighty Entity, Christ in God, is calling us to Himself. "Come, be part of Me, it is for this purpose that you were created. Cease from your own attempts to create Heaven and earth. Enter My rest, the cessation of My labor. I have created all things from the beginning all the way through to the new heaven and earth reign of Jesus Christ. Now I am resting. Enter My rest."
At the heart of the issue is Divine law, the difference between right and wrong. There always is a tremendous fight over right and wrong. Have you noticed that?
In modern-day American culture the tendency is to remove the label of "sin" from human behavior. The concept of "freedom of speech" is used to justify the most despicable behavior. In the Christian churches sin and righteousness are dismissed. In their place has been substituted a perverted form of New Testament grace.
The consequence of abolishing a clear distinction between right and wrong, in both the secular and religious realms, is a descent into immorality not seen before in America. From all appearances this slide will continue until some catastrophe overtakes our nation.
In God, however, and in the spirit realm, righteousness and sin are personalities. That which is righteous is righteous and that which is wicked is wicked. There is no confusion.
God is a righteous Judge. He always distinguishes between good and evil. He has given us His written Word so we can understand the difference between the precious and the vile.
The democratic world of today scoffs at the Bible standard of morality. The Christian churches scoff at those believers who strive to follow the commandments of the Lord, accusing them of being legalists and Pharisees.
As we choose to keep the commandments of Christ and His Apostles, praying always for wisdom and strength so our behavior might be pleasing to the Lord, ignoring those who are crying grace, grace, grace, the Lord begins to be formed in our personality. The holy law is being written in our mind and carved in our heart.
The result of being conscientious in keeping the commandments of Christ and His Apostles is that we are brought into untroubled rest in the Father through Jesus Christ, being made one with Them; we dwelling in Them and They in us.
Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. (John 14:23—NIV)
"If anyone love me, he will obey my teaching."
As the Father and the Son take up Their abode in us the issue of what is morally clean and righteous and what is morally filthy and wicked is raised continually in our thoughts, words, and actions. God says, "Be holy because I am holy. If you wish to be part of Me you must be righteous and holy in behavior and sternly obedient to the Father in every aspect of life. There is no room for questionable behavior, no gray area in which there is confusion concerning what is right and what is wrong."
There is no possibility of our being with Christ where He is except as we are willing to embrace that which is righteous and holy and utterly renounce and reject that which is morally filthy and wicked.
The way of the Lord must be made straight in our personality.
As God enters us He deals with that which is unrighteous in our personality and behavior.
What will God do after He is satisfied with our personality and behavior? He will return from Heaven with us and set up His Kingdom on the earth. The nations then will have people who can teach them the difference between right and wrong so they can be blessed by the Lord. There will be a holy, royal priesthood who will portray the law in themselves, in what they are and say and do. They will be a living, holy city by whose moral light the saved nations will learn to walk. The saints, God's holy ones, will magnify the law, making it great and glorious, understandable and approachable.
Right now the Lord Jesus wants us to be with Him where He always is, to be an integral, incorruptible part of His living Person and Presence. This is not for our aggrandizement or for any "religious" purpose. It is so God may be increased in His creation, so He may have a living temple.
As we look back through the Scriptures we can see how the plan of God has developed until finally, in the last days, the ultimate purpose of God can be revealed: Christ in us, the hope of glory.
From Adam and Eve through Abraham through Moses through John the Baptist God has required obedience to His righteous laws. Then the Lord Jesus Christ began to speak of many rooms in His Father's house. We in our carnal reasoning supposed He was speaking of building elaborate dwellings for us in the spirit realm. If we had read the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John carefully, keeping all the thoughts in context from the second through the twenty-third verses, we would have seen that Jesus was speaking of God residing in Him and then God and He residing in us.
But we did not have eyes to see. The Book remained sealed. Christianity remained as another religion in which we endeavored to live so one day we could be with the Lord.
Now, today, as civilization races toward a one-world government in which self-centered man will rule, a society in which the churches will be lukewarm in their attitude toward Jesus Christ, the Lord lets us know He is standing before the door of our heart.
Who is He who knocks thus?
He is the Divine Love who comes to find His complement, His counterpart, the helper suited for Him, the one who from now on will bring motivation to Him as He shapes the world of tomorrow.
But first He is the Lord of Hosts, the Lord strong and mighty in battle. "Open up you everlasting doors", He demands, "and the King of Glory will come in."
Warfare always comes before the blessing.
Christ is becoming more real to us than ever before. We are astonished. We are thrilled to realize we are "seeing" Him as He promised.
My lover spoke and said to me, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. (Song of Solomon 2:10-12—NIV)
We are elated for a season. And then He seems to leave. We are not as mature, as spiritually perfect, as we thought.
I opened for my lover, but my lover had left; he was gone. My heart sank at his departure. I looked for him but did not find him. I called him but he did not answer. (Song of Solomon 5:6—NIV)
Now follows a season during which we experience conflict while the sin and self-seeking in us are exposed. It is as though God has turned away from us in anger. This experience of Divine judgment and warfare goes deep and may last for awhile.
After we have suffered for a season the Lord returns. Now we are ready to bear fruit that proceeds from His Life in us, not just from our efforts to tell about what we know of Him. The result of such fruit is power in the Kingdom of God.
I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers. Thus I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment. (Song of Solomon 8:10—NIV)
Many Christians are seeking power with God! They show by this that they are immature. We do not receive genuine, lasting power until we come up out of the wilderness leaning on our beloved.
No, our goal is not power with God. Our goal is to know Him, to be an eternal part of Him, to bring contentment to Him.
Why would we seek power? To what end? So we can do great things for God? God is not looking for more christs who can do great things for Him! The Divine revelation we know as Christianity is a love story. It is almighty God looking for those whom He can bring into the Divine embrace.
There never is a shortage of power with God. God always is able to do as He will among the affairs of men. He can install nations and leaders and remove nations and leaders at His pleasure.
God is seeking humble, meek souls who truly love God and are striving to find Him, always desiring to be what He wants them to be. These are the living stones of the Temple of God.
But we Christians are so easily occupied with externals, with our works, with our religion.
The history of the world really is the history of two worlds. One world is the world of the group. This is the outer scene—that which we refer to as "history."
The other world is the world of the individual. While mankind is occupied with the movements of groups, and while those who endeavor to force their will on others employ stereotypes and images, God and Christ work Their will with individuals.
God always addresses His victorious saints as individuals. It is "he who overcomes" not "they who overcome."
Even the Christian religious world occupies itself with the movements of groups, assuming that the greater the number of participants, the more significant the activity.
The Lord Jesus lets this go on but is not at all impressed by it. The activities and programs of the secular-religious world provide a framework for these groups, while the God of Heaven works with individuals.
While I am writing this there are great movements afoot. People are hoping for peace in Ireland. The Russian economy is becoming weak. America is wrestling with a scandal at the highest level of government. The Israelis and the Palestinians are playing chess. North Korea has been accused of launching a missile but claims it actually was a scientific satellite. It is reported that Iran is poised to invade Afghanistan. Politicians in Germany are attacking each other. There are problems in South America. War continues in Bosnia as the Serbians attack the Muslims. Africa continues to be a powder keg. There is tension between India and Pakistan.
Let us say that five years from now America, Russia, and China, the three great super-powers, work together and succeed in establishing a university on Mars: Tri-Nation University for the Study of Outer Space.
Can you imagination the jubilation that would sweep the world? There probably would be dancing in the streets in some places. But it would all mean nothing and less than nothing.
Why? Because God would be dealing with each person involved, just as though there had been no university established. As for those on Mars, their angels would follow them from Earth to Mars with the curricula needed for working out their destiny.
All of this activity in outer space would continue to work for good for those who love God and are called to be the brothers of Christ. There would be no true change whatever because of a university on Mars. The same would be true were someone to perfect a way of removing the force of gravity at will, or harnessing the power of light, or running a personal computer at an infinite speed. There still would be no significant change of what is taking place on the earth.
How excited everyone would be! But the people involved would still be subject to depression, anger, lust, jealousy, greed, envy, drunkenness. Adulterous affairs and divorce would continue. Some individuals would be gentle, loving, caring. Others would step on their associates in their ambition to be prominent or rich. In other words, fantastic scientific breakthroughs or the establishment of the university would have no real significance.
Today a professional baseball player hit another home run. Two more home runs and he will have broken an all-time record. The fans are ecstatic. His next games will be well attended, you can be sure. When he breaks the record, which is likely, there will be wild exuberance.
But the fact that someone took a stick and knocked a ball over a fence has no real meaning in the scheme of things. The world was not changed for the better. The sick were not healed. The hungry were not fed. The naked were not clothed. The tormented were not blessed with peace. The warring nations did not come to greater understanding.
Some of the baseball fans are Christians who are too much of the world. Jesus is gently wooing them to Himself, to something meaningful. But they are so excited over that which is worthless that they cannot hear His voice. He desires to prepare them for the difficult days ahead. But they have been caught off guard. They will not be ready for the age of moral horrors we are entering.
Angela Massa jumped up and down screaming because of today's home run. Now she will go home to face another domestic scene because she suspects her husband of having an affair with her best friend. The home run means absolutely nothing. How Angela, her husband, and the friend work out their problem may affect their eternal destinies.
Howard Blount was excited over the home run. You can be sure he will be at the next games. As he pulls out of the parking lot he begins to think about the blood test he took this morning. He will soon learn he has a severe form of leukemia.
In a matter of months Howard will be in the spirit realm. His conduct on earth will be evaluated. Where he is assigned then is of the utmost significance.
I am not suggesting that we do not need times to get away from our problems—not at all! Rather I am pointing out how easy it is to be caught up in that which is temporary and relatively meaningless while the Lord patiently seeks our attention.
First things ought to come first. We continually should entering an ever-deepening relationship with Christ, making this our first priority. After that we are to hold the things and activities of the world very lightly for they actually are a raucous bedlam of little true worth. They will take our crown of life from us if we are not careful to hold them down in their proper place.
Today 10,000 black young people marched in New York. Violence broke out. What has been accomplished—more hostility between the races?
It doesn't matter. God will work in their hearts. Some will come to know Jesus. Others may find themselves in prison. Do the sponsors of the march understand that the only thing that matters is what is going on in the heart of the individual, and how he or she reacts to the situations of life?
What if the nations of the world stopped their mad rush to the Day of Judgment and listened for the sweet voice of Jesus. What would happen then? Would anything of significance be lost? You answer that, if you will.
But it shall not happen. Why not? Because the spirit of Satan moves the nations and Satan is determined to prove that only his way of behaving will result in the kind of kingdom people really want. The nations cannot help themselves. They will continue to destroy each other until finally a one-world government is established. Then peace will come, but it will not be God's peace. When such manmade peace occurs the trumpet of God shall sound and the end of the Church Age will be here.
Am I pessimistic? Not at all. I merely am pointing out that the dazzling, distracting world of the group is only an environment within which exists the truly significant world of the individual. Only in the world of the individual is there eternal, worthwhile meaning, as God works with each unique human being, whether he is young or old, infant or octogenarian.
The events of today are merely a continuation of the group world. But none of this is significant. True significance lies in the actions and the development of the personality of individual people. We may read that 200 individuals died in a flood in Pakistan or India and be moved but a little. Or 5,000 may die of starvation in some part of Africa, and we can't picture such tragedy. We file the information somewhere in our brain.
We may be worried about the financial collapse of Russia because it affects us. We may be wondering how the present scandal in the United States government will turn out, and may feel strongly about it one way or the other. We are gazing at a large tapestry and feel somehow if this were changed or that were addressed something good would come. Perhaps it would.
But in this whirlpool of human suffering, all that actually matters is what is taking place in individual lives. The mother in Africa clutching the skin and bones of a dying youngster. God looks down. Has this mother heard the Gospel? In Southern Sudan she may well have. Is it time now to receive the desperate woman and her baby to the grassy slopes and flowers of Paradise?
It is this event in the lives of two very "insignificant" people that actually is of towering significance in the eternal scheme of things. Whoever rules the Congo, or whether the Muslims succeed in enslaving the Christian population of Sudan, is only part of the continuing ferment of the group world. It is what takes place in the life of individual people, from the starving infant to the tottering grandmother left to die in the deserted village, surrounded by decaying corpses, that really matters. This is the second world, the world of the individual.
Christians get caught up in this sort of vanity. A hundred thousand Christians march through a town and pass out tracts. "Boy, we showed them! We put one over on the bad guys!" But unless God actually sponsored the activity it is only more of the superficiality of the group world. Although nothing of Kingdom significance may have occurred, perhaps one thing that happened is that when John Doe was watching the parade he thought: "If these smug know-it-alls represent Christians, then this is not for me!"
But we marched and we passed out tracts and we let them know we're in town.
It is so terribly easy to see only the outside of an event and judge by that appearance. It is not until you get into the heart of the child or the adult that you know what is really taking place.
So God permits the antics of the masses of the earth, the ebb and flow of the sea of mankind, to continue its frantic, howling, insane dance of destruction. The nations are led this way and that by the politicians who use stereotypes, images, and emotional appeals to prop up one group against another as they seek their own glory, or else act according to what they sincerely believe to be the best for their group.
Christian leaders advance this program and that, bringing thousands of people to the altar. Talented pastors build huge churches, leaving the smaller churches around them nearly bereft of young people—and they don't seem to care! How many young people want to remain in a small church when they can go to the megachurch and mill around with a thousand pretty girls and handsome young men? How many will remain with the plain pastor and his wife and an older congregation as they serve God faithfully? Only the most consecrated, you may be sure. So much for Christian charity and unity.
The result of this worldwide ferment and ignorance is an endless slaughter of human beings and the construction of religious babylons.
This is the outer shell of history, the history of the group.
But all the while God is having His way in the heart of individuals, examining, testing, teaching, warning, leading those who have integrity to the knowledge of Himself. As for the millions who are dying, they go to various areas of the spirit realm to await the Day of Judgment. No one is lost in the sense of becoming extinct or vanishing into nothingness.
Life is like a play. A shot rings out. The actor falls dead. The curtain falls. Then the "murderer" and his victim go out to lunch. So it is true that when people die they get up again and live according to God's will.
What we learn from all of this is not to become bemused with the world of the group. The world of the group is necessary or God would not let it continue. The world of the group will persist until the Lord returns—and perhaps after that!
But eventually in the Kingdom of God there will be only be the world of individuals, each one of whom is understood to be infinitely precious. This is the meaning of "and there was no longer any sea," that is, any sea of people who are moved about in the world of the group.
The wicked will be gathered as a group and confined so their self-will cannot reintroduce chaos into the Paradise of God.
You and I are not to let ourselves be swayed by the seeming importance of the world of the group. We will recognize this to be merely a backdrop for the great drama termed "world history," an environment within which God is dealing with individuals.
We fulfill our roles as required. But then we look constantly to Jesus. What is He doing with us? He is saying, "I want to be your life. I want to be part of every thought, every word, every action. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is exempt from My participation. The smallest area of your personality or behavior that exists apart from Me is incredible loss to Me, to the Kingdom of God, and to yourself.
"I Am whatever I choose to be. In essence I Am the eternal expression of God Almighty. All My choosing proceeds from God. He does the works.
"Now you are invited into the I Am that I Am. Are you willing to turn over the springs of your person to Me? I am not asking you to be an empty vessel or to remove yourself from the reality of life on earth. Rather I am asking you to be yourself and allow me to strip away, an inch at a time, that which is worthless to you and to Me, and to replace it with that which is Divine and consequently eternal and of immeasurable significance.
"There is to be nothing whatever of your personality that is to be withheld from My cross; that is to have life other than My incorruptible resurrection life.
"This is My rest. Cease from your own works and enter it. Then you and I will have an eternity of eternities to enjoy one another. A billion years from now, by earth's time, our love will just be beginning to blossom. Before us will stretch the unimaginable wonder and glory of God's Person; for He too will have been growing. There is no end. Of the increase of the Kingdom and of peace there shall be no end!
"I suffered an inconceivable death on the cross of Calvary in order that you might be, along with Me, a room in My Father's house. Be careful that no movement of the shallow world of the group diverts you from the daily interaction with Me, apart from which you will not attain the fullness of your inheritance."
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17—NIV)