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Show Me And I’ll Believe
For those who truly desire to experience more intimacy with Christ, one of the stumbling blocks that will hinder you from embracing the Higher Christian Life is the so-called lack of Biblical examples of what the Higher Christian Life is all about. And this hindrance is often the result of not looking into the Scriptures with open eyes, but with a presupposition to a particular theological bent. For example, if you come to the Scriptures believing God no longer moves among His church as He did in the book of Acts, you will discount and ignore and try to explain away passages that show otherwise. And if you have not yet experienced the Higher Christian Life, yet know others who have, the self-defense tendency is to downplay their experience as something emotional or fleshy, and not Biblical (otherwise, it makes us feel like we are somewhat deficient in our relationship with the Holy Spirit). So to guard against this, let’s look at the Higher Christian Life from the pages of Scripture to get a clear picture of what this life with Him is all about.
The Higher Christian Life is also known as a holy life or a life of holiness. And this really shouldn’t surprise us. After all, it is the Holy Spirit (emphasis on Holy) that now lives in each of us. So if we surrender to Him and allow the Holy Spirit to live His life through us, we could naturally assume the outcome would be a life that emulates the very character of God Himself, which is holiness.
So let’s take a moment and look into the Scriptures to see what a holy life looks like. For this is the life the Holy Spirit will live through all who yield themselves to Him and, by doing so, embraces and experiences the Higher Christian Life.
The Higher Christian Life can be described this way:
• One that has such close intimacy with God it can be said they “walk with God” – Genesis 5:24
• Is so connected to Jesus, they rest, dwell, live, make their home, or “abide” in Christ – John 15:4
• Walks with Christ and is “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith” – Colossians 2:6-7
• Has been “crucified with Christ” so “it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” – Galatians 2:20
• But at the same time, lives a resurrected life since we are “raised with Christ” – Colossians 3:1
• Is “hidden with Christ in God” – Colossians 3:3
• Yet again, at the same time, our life is “known and read by all men” – 2 Corinthians 3:2
• It is a life lived in the love and assurance of the Lord – Jude 24
• And a life lived “by faith in the Son of God” – Galatians 2:20
• Most importantly, it is also a life lived “in the Spirit” – Galatians 5:25
• One that “walks in the Spirit” – Galatians 5:16
• A life “led by the Spirit” – Galatians 5:18
• And one “strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” – Ephesians 3:17
But this is only the beginning. There is so much more waiting for those who seek the Higher Christian Life in Him.
What Does the Higher Christian Life Look Like in the Bible?
In Psalm 24, we have both the pressing question of the ages asked, and then answered.
Question: Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?
Answer: He who has (1) clean hands and a (2) pure heart, who has (3) not lifted up his soul to an idol, (4) nor sworn deceitfully – Psalm 24:3-4.
The question summarizes the “why” for those, like you, who seek the Higher Christian Life. But the answer clearly shows we cannot “stand in His holy place” without help from the Holy Spirit.
Answer one and two speak of “clean hands and a pure heart.” The Jews tried to maintain “clean hands” by keeping the Law to a fault. And to that effect, they were far more outwardly righteous than the best Christian is today. Even Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:20). And our outward righteousness isn’t even in the same league as the scribes and Pharisees. But even they could not have a “pure heart” (Matt. 23). And neither can we, unless our heart is surrendered to the Holy Spirit and changed into something that glorifies God and de-deifies us, meaning our flesh, our lives, our very beings.
And if you notice answer three, it is not our flesh the verse is speaking about (such as physically bowing down to or uttering words of worship to an idol), but our soul, which is the seat of our mind, will, emotions, personality, volition, basically, everything that makes us, us. And idols aren’t always carved images or bronze statues. Idols can also be money, fame, pride, ease of life, self-gratification, reputation, the love of self, the love of pleasure, which results in “having a form of godliness but denying its power (or where the power for godliness comes from). Do these sound familiar? They should, they are taken from 2 Timothy 3, showing the condition of the “perilous times” that will come (2 Tim. 3:1), and are upon us now.
Without a deep desire for more of God, of the Holy Spirit living His life through you (as you step aside and offer Him the control of your life), you will never experience all the Lord has provided for you in this world, and in the world to come. Never.
So stay with us as we continue towards the life everlasting.