Tears running down my face, I decided: no more pretending I’m okay when I was actually falling apart. The “model Christian girl” mask was not gonna fit anymore. It never really did.
Deeper still, I was one broken heartbeat away from turning from God.
And, that’s all it took.
“Where ‘would I go Lord, You have the Words to Eternal Life?'” Just like my own thoughts, but much clearer- He spoke His Scripture to my heart. Those words came from Peter thousands of years ago (John 6:68), but, they were just as relevant for me at this moment that changed the course of my life.
This is what I learned:
Jesus has the Words to Eternal Life. Difficulties are obviously to be expected. But, despite my efforts to let my life shine as a testimony of how God triumphs in hardship, I was crumbling inside. I felt so far from God when the physical pain would grip, despite how often I was reading my Bible, trying to take my thoughts captive and pray.
Eternal Life is “Knowing the Father and the One whom He sent.” (John 17:3) Eternal life isn’t just the destination when our bodies die.
I knew how to pursue God and profess my faith in Him through Christianity. But, did I actually Know Him?
What I’ve learned in the years since what I shared above, is that my understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ and what was accomplished was limited, and in turn, limited how I experienced Him and His Life.
I share this expression of Christ with the hope that you do not give God a greater piece of your heart, but, that you remove the lie that God can even be partitioned off. He is the very fabric of your being and through His great New Covenant, your Spirit is one with His eternally.
The “Christian gospel” is :
- A Reset. More than a wiping of sins & granting forgiveness. It is a wiping of the nature that set itself against God by causing enmity between God and those Whom He fiercely Loves..
- Placing us into the very life of Christ, nourishing the soil of our hearts through genuine connection with Him, and we in turn understand how to reveal the Father to the world in our ministry of reconciliation.
It is an unapologetic & Peace offering from God, the divine ability to choose Him and know Him intimately- to live and Love just like Him.
you were created as an expression of Love…
God knew you- before He knit your spirit (His Essence) to your body in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5).
He knew you; He knows you.
He loved you; He loves you.
He chose you in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. (Ephesians 1:3-6) God saw you while we were still in Him, He knew exactly who you would be. God saw you “in Him“.
He planned down to the detail of how you would beautifully reflect Him. You are made in His Image, in His Likeness. (It is in knowing Him intimately that each of us even begins to know ourselves enough to embrace and live our truest and purest expression.)
God had a choice: to create or not.God chose you.
Earth’s elements that were formed through His spoken Word were then covered in His fingerprints as He shaped a vessel to hold the very Essence of Himself- He breathed and created a living being.
You are made in God’s image, His Likeness, and are sustained by His breath. You were made to reveal God’s Nature; God is Love.
God saw everything and everyone (you included) that He had made and declared that indeed it was very good. Love is your origin: Created to be in union with God, known before the foundations of the world- before you were ever conceived you were loved and wanted.
why history needed His Story
When God established us on this earth, He put His stamp of approval on Adam (the man from whom all future generations would come- mankind established) as His image bearer.
- He blessed mankind telling us to be fruitful and multiply;
- fill the earth and subdue it;
- have dominion over every living thing that moves on earth (Genesis 1),
- He made us rulers over the works of His hands (Psalm 8:6),
- and the earth was given to mankind (Psalm 115:6).
We were created to remain in a relationship with God. By remaining in relationship with our Creator and under His authority, He would guide us to steward all He placed at our feet. We were delegated authority to rule the earth and continue in His good works. “Abide in Me, remain in My Love for you, and Live abundantly.” There, in the garden God entrusted to Adam was a tree. A tree of Life. Through this tree, we could experience the Life of God.
Why a Tree of Life?
We can gain insight into the heart and purposes of God through these following scriptures.
Jesus tells us to “… not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:27 NKJV)
He reveals He desires we fill ourselves with only that which adds life in the absolute sense, life as God has it, that which the Father has and IS in Himself, and which He gave to the Incarnate Son to have in Himself, and which the Son manifested in the world.
For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises (2 Peter 1:3-4 AMP).
God’s motives are much less about control and more about keeping our hearts nourished, grooming us as Daughters and equipping us to live abundantly through our union with Him.
There was another tree- the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. A tree by which a choice was offered: Remain obedient to who God created and calls you to be, or choose your own way.
Please allow your mind to be renewed by how the Passion Translation illustrates this point: Don’t you realize that grace frees you to choose your own master? But choose carefully, for you surrender yourself to become a servant—bound to the one you choose to obey. If you choose to love sin, it will become your master, and it will own you and reward you with death. But if you choose to love and obey God, he will lead you into perfect righteousness. (Romans 6:16)
There in the midst of the lush garden which displayed God’s immense Love for His creation and His ability to provide for us, mankind had a choice.
We did not choose God.
We chose to see ourselves apart from Him. The Father of lies (satan) sewed a lie into the hearts of the image-bearers of God that they could be their own gods. The truth that God was protecting them became twisted through the lie that God was holding something good back from them.
Choosing to disobey God, mankind, through Adam from who the generations would come forth, chose to obey sin. From this choice was birthed the subjection of creation to the one we chose to obey, sin.
I wonder if Adam could have even begun to understand the far-reaching consequences of their choice to eat from the tree God warned them to stay away from…? Most likely not. But, in order to make a fully informed choice, all any of us has to do is trust God’s leading.
Once they acted upon their choice to sin, their eyes were opened and they saw their frailty. They were once dependent on God’s provision to produce Life in and through them. Now, they were to depend on their own ability to choose what is right or wrong, good or evil.
Mankind continued to multiply. But, now their self-image was not clear, they chose to see themselves apart from God. Rather than multiplying from the Life-giving fruitfulness of God, man was now multiplying from the fruit of deception.
People became as their own gods- choosing what is acceptable based on their own limited experience rather than God’s unlimited Loving perspective. The pain we see all around us in this world is the result of us choosing our own standards of good and evil.
God continued to reveal Himself to mankind. Through stories in the Old Testament, we see God revealing aspects of Himself to the few who chose to seek Him with their whole heart- drawing them deeper into experiencing Him. Jeremiah 29:13 But, man had become so far removed from the original Image they reflected that they did not recognize God when He came as man in Jesus! John 1:10
Generation after generation was taught its identity from the false father (the father of lies- satan). No longer living from the source of abundant Life, but instead taught the ways of the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. John 10:10
When Jesus walked on this Earth, displaying the perfect will of the Father they accused Him of blasphemy- the act of cursing, slandering, reviling, or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God. (Hayfords Bible Handbook p.559).
Jesus came, representing man in the original intent- one who was obedient to the Father, walking in the image & likeness of God, being led and empowered by Holy Spirit, and in union with God.
Jesus walked in Love and He was connected with His Father in an intimate relationship.
fully known, loved & restored
Because everything that has been made was made through Jesus, our Creator held the patent on us. When Jesus went willingly onto the cross, He brought us with Him- like a mother bringing her children close to her bosom to shield them from a terrible storm.
Here is a real game-changer in understanding the gospel: Jesus dying on the cross wasn’t just so that your sin would be exposed; the cross exposed the value God has placed on your life.
Focus on the depths, heights, lengths, and width God went through in order to SUCCESSFULLY bring restoration rather than the sin which originally caused the separation. One message brings sons and daughters home in order to allow their wounds to be cleansed – the other encourages them to go into hiding in shame and guilt.
Jesus entered into mankind’s sin, in fact, He became sin. Yet, at the same time, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself! (2 Corinthians 5:19).
This is NOT about an angry God taking his rage out on His Son upon the cross and the Son stepping in your place to take your beating.
This IS about Jesus- God as a man- entering into humanity to the point of becoming sin, submitting Himself to the full wrath against sin so that sin would be defeated in mankind once and for all! Finally, Jesus willingly subjected Himself to the ultimate rule of sin: death.The gospel of Jesus Christ is all about rescuing you, not from the Father, but from God’s true enemy- sin, separation, and its effects on His children.
When you consider the cross- guilt is not a healthy reaction– guilt made Adam and Eve hide from God. Instead, through this outpouring of the heart of God, respond by deciding to receive the Love He claims we are worthy of, turn to Him, & choose Him every moment we remember we have the choice.
But, because sin had no real hold on Jesus (because Jesus never sinned), death could.not.hold.Him!
[insert Holy laughter! oh, this is so good!]
Then, as Jesus was raised from the dead by God’s Spirit, Jesus goes to Heaven, applies His blood as a willing, perfect sacrifice as the signature that man’s debt to our former master (sin) was paid in full and you are now free to have perfect, unhindered communion with our Father again!
And we have come to Jesus who established a new covenant with His blood sprinkled upon the mercy seat; blood that continues to speak from heaven, “forgiveness,” (Hebrews 12:24 TPT)
[more joyful laughing inserted here!]
As Jesus was resurrected and given new Life – so were you! Just as your old “Adam-self” was taken to the cross and was co-crucificied with Christ, you were also co-resurrected with Him! (Galatians 2:20)
Jesus then comes back to mankind, He breathes God’s Spirit onto them again, just like in the Genesis! John 20: 21, 22 God’s Spirit always gives us LIFE!
Born again! Born anew! You can see the Kingdom of God! (Think of the Kingdom of God as being places- whether tangible or not- that submits itself to the ruler-ship of God and reflects His Nature and will! Jesus says that the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy!!!).
God is our Lord and He leads us in and toward perfect righteousness! Now Jesus is still representing mankind before our Father, but as one who remains abiding in Father. (John 15)
We come into agreement with Jesus, we abide in Him as the tree of Life. We remain in Christ.
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God and I trust Him (Psalm 91:1,2 NLT).
This is how you enter Rest:
Jesus is representing you fully with Father.
Jesus is not protecting you from the Father. Rather, the whole Trinity (Father, Son, His Spirit) has chosen to enter into and sustain a covenant with you that lasts an eternity!
This is a covenant that brings you into their Life. A covenant that empowers you to live abundantly while believing He crushed the power of sin in your life (Romans 6) so that you may imitate your dear Father as a child of God!!! (Ephesians 5:1) You are no longer striving to prove what is good and acceptable in yourself (no more tree of knowledge of good and evil)- Jesus is enough! God has done away with the former covenant established through Moses that focused on the law. We are no longer blessed and cursed through our ability to uphold the law (Hebrews 8:8-9). This new covenant established through Jesus is one of better promises than simply blessings and curses: we inherit eternal life and receive righteousness!
This covenant is between God the Father and Jesus.
- God the Father is upholding His side of the covenant.
- Jesus the Christ is upholding His part.
- The Holy Spirit of God is a witness of the covenant and He testifies within us every moment of our lives: God, you are my Father! His Spirit now empowers you with Grace to live as Jesus did: in relationship with the Father so that you can know and bring His will to earth.
Being “in Christ” means you are in union with Him! “In Christ” means you enter into this life-giving covenant through receiving this gift of redemption through Jesus. Being “in Christ” establishes you as a partaker of this covenant! Jesus Christ, the new Adam, mankind, has never left His place in the trinity.
You’re in Christ. This is relevant. This is an intentional move on the part of God to bring you near and LIVE with you. Through your union with Him, you receive the fullness of being a Daughter of God. Not only in title- but, fulfilling the relationship of being His very much loved daughter.
And what of your role to play?
You believe, receive, then Rest in Him.
in Spirit: Born of both your mom’s womb and God’s Spirit, identify with your Spirit’s birth as a new creation that is in union with God so you can walk in the newness of Abundant Life. “It is finished!”…then He was Resurrected!!
& in Truth: Come into agreement with Jesus that His work was a Love offering from God to bring reconciliation and freedom from the bondage of sin, this is faith (Ephesians 2:8,9). You identify yourself with the finished work of the cross so that you are free from the grip sin had upon you!
you were created in God’s image and likeness in the first place- not Adam’s
Adam was created in Jesus’ image. Because Adam fell, Jesus cleansed creation then “regenerated” it all through His Resurrection Power.
So, since you identify yourself with Jesus and His works, you are no longer subject to the ruler of this earth, his ways handed down through generations since Adam, nor his “rewards” that lead to death. Because your loyalty lies with the King of kings He rewards you with eternal Life!
Version 2.0 of mankind comes fully loaded!
Jesus plugged you right back in to the Tree of Life (God Himself)! And God has made His home in you! Being brought into the Life of God, you bear fruit as you are planted in His holy soil!
This New Creation is quite the upgrade:
- Born again,
- seeing God’s Kingdom,
- believing His ability to crush Satan and the power of sin (Romans 6),
- and now with God’s holy Spirit WITHIN you bearing fruitfulness through you because of your union with Him!!
- There is no truth in “there’s Jesus… and then there’s ‘us’” separation mindset. Through Christ everything has been made and Jesus has chosen to enter our humanity forever! Jesus IS humanity! (1John 4:17)
What a joyful gospel we get to partake in!
Did you know the reason Jesus talked so much about the importance of us abiding in Him was so that our joy may be complete?! John 15:11
Jesus now tells us to be fruitful and multiply and abide in Him as He is abiding in Father. His commandment is to continually chose to walk in your true identity of Love Matthew 22:37-40:
- Believe and receive His Love -displayed upon the cross for you John 3:16-17,
- and in so doing you will love Him in return as He nourishes your heart 1 John 4:19,
- and the Love that He has given to you selflessly will begin to overflow from your abundance and you will love others!
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” (John 15:12 ESV).God chose us in the beginning. The cross demonstrates that He still chooses us!Now it is up to us to choose Him.Choose to only see yourself “in Him” so that you can walk in all He planned for you from the beginning of the world. Seeing yourself apart from Him- to any degree- is deception! Jesus is the Truth! ♡ (Romans 8:35, 38, 39)
I pray that you remember and remain in the Awe of God Loving and choosing us long before Genesis. Before we were, He IS LOVE. To be His is no small detail, rather, it is the fabric of all there is.
To learn to Rest in Christ is to Partake of everything that He is: Peace, Joy, and Love to name a few.
The short version:
♡ We were created in God’s image and Likeness, which is Love.
♡ Man chose to see themselves apart from God & separated from abundant Life.
♡ The power Satan held over us from the work that man (Adam), did in disobedience was finished when Jesus, our Creator, finished His work in obedience to the Father.
♡ It is finished: the old has gone; the new creation has come- His Spirit WITHIN and upon us empowers us to Christlike.
♡ To see yourself apart from Him is deception.
♡ He chooses you.
♡ Choose Him.
♡ Reconciliation has been provided.
♡ Peace on earth.
♡ Jesus gives us His peace, from the Father toward us.
♡ Rest in Peace! ♡