Suffering in and with…and then, into His resurrection
Suffering with Jesus doesn’t mean to suffer FOR Him, but to see Him suffering and be willing to join in His Labour–to suffer WITH Him. Jesus is working very hard right now, and is feeling the increased assaults of darkness in Himself. As the one who sustains all life, He is with us always. “Yes, I am with you always until the end.” He has promised to be with us.
He spoke this, because He knew it would be hard to feel Him with us as darkness increases around us. God has been showing me Psalm 13 as a model of how to stay with Jesus while feeling surrounded constantly by increasing darkness. The feeling in the early part of this song, is that God is far from us. It is basically, Jesus on the cross, and that feeling He had. And it is into this side of Him we enter as we start to fellowship with His sufferings. Again, it does not mean to suffer for Jesus, but to suffer with and as He IS suffering. He is being striped and wounded still, and as we see this, we are motivated to be with Him in this.
As we start to LIVE more IN His Presence constantly, we will feel and see more of His pain; this participating in His death is the path and entryway to entering His resurrection as well. Jesus is constantly overcoming, as we enter this part of His ongoing overcoming, we become overcomers–this is part of what is meant by the verse about us overcoming “by His Blood”. This is to say, that we enter His very life which is overcoming in order to overcome. It is not by spiritual practices, but by entering the very life of Christ, and specifically, the parts which are overcoming darkness, that we too become overcomers.
In these past few months, The Lord has been speaking to me about overcoming and overcomers. All overcoming is a matter of streaming INTO and OUT OF His Life itself. It is not just tactics we “do”, but a Life we enter into and move out from. Jesus is the only real overcomer. We join Him in His overcoming by entering this part of His Life!
“The word of their testimony” is The Holy Spirit testifying about Jesus through us. As we dwell in the ark of His Presence, His Spirit bears constant testimony to Him.
“Not loving their lives unto death” speaks of a willingness for martyrdom, but also a willingness to be in the part of Him which is dead unto life–meaning, our souls cannot overcome the fear of death or anything else apart from Him. We must stay in the place of death in relation to ourselves, and to be wearing or inside of His Life.
The ark of Noah is a type of many things. Among them, it represents the place where His Life dwelt to preserve our lives. Noah and his family were preserved because God made an ark of His Presence to dwell within as the dark flood waters covered the entire earth. We are living in days like Noah’s!
And He is still using this method of making a ark for His indwelling. This ark is now in His People, but it will become the only safe place on earth, and it will be clear what floats above water as the times move on.
The darkness will cover the earth even as His Spirit is poured out. In the end, the dove will be sent out and find the olive stem, and hope will be restored as the darkness subsides and a restored earth emerges. Jesus will reign at that time, and the nations will be set again in order and everything in its proper place.
Now, however, the waters are rising, and the ark is being built. We must become an ark of His dwelling in order to float during this season. Any of our practices or programs which do not actually include the Presence of Christ, won’t float in this season.
WE NEED TO BE THE ONES WHO SEE WHAT IS COMING
“But you brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should not overtake you as a thief…
..Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be self-controlled”
Paul in his letter to the thessalonians (chapter 5)
This hour is not to come like a thief to those in the Light. To be in the Light is to have understanding. Light=sight and understanding. Jesus is Himself The Light. The increase of darkness is occuring, and we should be the ones who see it coming–ones who have and live in Light. For Christ is speaking in and to His people about the things we are seeing right now on earth, interpreting them and giving us a clear understanding.
We are in an hour of high alert. Our daily lives, and our nights. David said the day proclaims, and the night pours forth knowledge. There is not an hour when His Presence is not speaking to us, and urging us into deeper communion. This constant ongoing being IN Him, is the practice of those who are being built to overcome the increasing darkness of our hour on earth. He is one with The Father, and we are one with Him. As we abide, we come to live and breath in His House or Very Self. Jesus wants to dwell with us more constantly. He yearns for everyone to hear and be with and in Him in this hour.
As things march forward, the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world are coming into a more stark contrast. This is God’s final act of Mercy to show all mankind the clear choice it must make between His Kingdom and the world’s.
Paul opens a picture up in this passage. He tells us that those in the light–sons of light–should know what is coming and so not be swept away. Those in the dark cannot see, but we are not in the dark, but in the light–so let us not not “sleep” or release ourselves into a restful position in darkness, but in contrast stay in the alertness of love and faith in the light; having the hope of knowing who Jesus is, and how He saves people from darkness as a helmet. He is contrasting two places to rest within. One is a release which still has alertness and life; the other is without sight and more like drunkenness–ie lacking in clarity and discernment.
We are to have discernment (Lord release it!). We are to see clearly what is coming, and like the virgins, stay lit. In this we are all to be prophetic, for we are sons and daughters of light. In scriptures, light has to do with (among other things) understanding. So Paul is saying, we should be ones who have sight and understanding of the things which are coming on earth, and be prepared.
Let us not sleep in the way that others sleep–ie in darkness! But let us be resting in Light, alert and discerning. Paul ends by saying that whether we wake or sleep, we are to do so together with Him. Where can I flee from His presence. All of our daily cycles are lived in The Light of who Christ IS.