I read a line from Milt Rodriguez’ book New Day today, that has stopped me in my tracks.
In the recent children’s animation movie ‘Moana’ there are a number of very powerful scenes that if you look behind what you’re seeing on the screen, you can see something of the Spirit realm to which you and I belong. Of-course, these are only shadows & types.
One scene that really spoke to me was concerning Moana’s ancestors. Her ancestors were voyagers, you see. However, over time her people had decided to remain safe and no longer would venture out past the reef where all the best fish could be found for food. This reminded me of how the church has lost it’s way, she has lost her heart. The church was once a vibrant spiritual organism growing in her ongoing discovery into the Son of God as she lived out of His life that indwelt her. You’ve only got to read the book of Acts to see that. But she has become insular, self-protective and has lost her desire to know Him beyond what she is spoon-fed. She has shrunk back.
She has become afraid of the reef – the cross. In ignorance and spiritual immaturity, she hides from the pain and suffering of the cross that Jesus told us to take up and carry daily. She only desires comfort, knowledge, familiarity, knowledge without experience. She has settled for stories of Jesus instead of living His Resurrection Life that lies beyond the cross.
As the story goes on,Moana ventures out past the reef and things happen which is a great picture of portions of Christ’s body/church today. Yes folks, be encouraged for many saints all over the world are embracing the cross in its various and perfectly fashioned forms by the Father, venturing out past the spiritual reef and breakers, so to speak, in search of knowing a greater Christ than they’ve ever known before. Brothers and sisters in Christ are rising up in a growing desperate pursuit of Christ who is our real food, our real drink, the food that satisfies, the drink that quenches all thirst forevermore.
Coming back to Moana – Typically, once she has faced her fears and trials she eventually achieves the goal she set sail for. When this happens, the animators give the viewers a climactic explosion of life in a glorious scene of Moana sailing on the wild seas and watching with wide eyes of wonder, her ancestors on their boats riding the waves all around, passing her on their journey. The two realms of time & eternity are revealed simultaneously.
This scene spoke me to me of that great cloud of witnesses that we read about in Hebrews Chapter 12, verse 1;
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…
I was reminded of our roots – that we as believers are sojourners, voyagers in our discovery of Christ and all that He is. He is the mighty ocean. He is the reef (the cross) and all that is beyond the reef yet to be discovered. He is the resurrection and the life! Our lives are meant to be lived out as an adventure in knowing Him through our trials and tribulations for the glory that lies before us – truly knowing Him!
Those trials and tribulations can come in all shapes and sizes. Yet, in all peril, we are travelling a path well trod by those who went before us – like Moana’s ancestors who forged on past the reef and through storms and danger carrying their adventurous spirit to find richer food and a richer existence as a result. So we can do the same in our journey in knowing Christ with hearts of faith.
Those saints who have walked the ancient paths of knowing God through all their trials and tribulations, perseverance and endurance, can really be thought of as our spiritual ancestors. I’m not talking about spiritual ancestors such as some indigenous tribal communities or new agers hold to that are not of Christ. I’m talking about spiritual ancestory in light of the reality that those of us who are in Christ, are called the children of Abraham – not in the flesh but in the spirit.
For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are Abraham’s descendants are they all his children. On the contrary, “Through Isaac your offspring will be reckoned.” So it is not the children of the flesh who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as offspring.…(Romans 9:6-8)
We are the children of the promise because we have believed in the One who was sent, the Seed of Abraham, who was in the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – that is Christ Jesus. We have now been made one with Him by His Spirit.
Let’s get one thing straight. The journey of the believer is a spiritual one. That means it is not of this realm. It is not an external journey of a type of ‘godly’ behaviour, rules and appearances. It is a life lived by another realm, the realm of the Spirit.
…It is the only place in you that comes from the other realm, the heavenly realm, the external realm…It is the place where I (Christ) live as the connection between heaven and earth….(New Day, Milt Rodriguez, 2013).
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes… (Ezekiel 36:26)
God causing us to walk in His statutes (measure, ruling, commandment, covenant, proclamation) is a spiritual act on His behalf, done by God Himself Brothers and sisters, if you are in Christ God is causing you to walk in His statutes as He has caused countless other saints to walk there before us. Thousands upon thousands of saints have lived and died before us, having carried their cross daily as they walked the same paths of knowing Christ beyond the reef.
Is the Lord calling you to venture out from the comfort and conformity of life on an ‘island’ and go beyond the ‘reef’ to travel the ancient pathways trod by thousands of saints who’ve gone before? Do you feel in your spirit that there is much more to discover and explore of and in Christ than you’ve ever known before? Do you sense that He is worth the desperate pursuit? Do you believe there is Life awaiting you on the other side of the reef?
Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
“TO THE SAINTS” Conference 2017! If you have a real hunger and desire for a more biblical and life-giving expression of the church of Jesus Christ then this event is for you!
“TO THE SAINTS” Conference’ focus is spiritual depth, the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ, the ministry of LIFE rather than information, an emphasis on knowing Christ practically and expressing Him with others in close-knit community, connecting with others of like mind and vision, and equipping God’s people to fulfill His grand mission and eternal purpose in the earth.
Click on the link below which will lead you to the event website!
Sending a BIG HUG to all my blogger friends and blog followers! I cannot describe how you encourage me.
Not that long ago, blogging was an unknown medium to me. It is a world that has slowly opened up to me as a result of being introduced to well-known blogger Frank Viola on frankviola.org by my husband. It’s a long story short, but very basically, through reading Frank’s books, my husband and I found ourselves in touch with one of Frank’s colleagues, Milt Rodriguez who also has a blog called therebuilders.org. (There you will find any number of life giving podcasts on the Lord and His Eternal Purpose).
Subsequently, after two years of knowing Milt and his wife Mary personally, and of following Frank’s blog, about a year ago another bunch of bloggers appeared on my radar, 3rdrace.org. These brothers and sisters are workers being trained by Milt & Mary, in the planting of churches that are organic expressions of Christ, with no other foundation than Christ Jesus. I started following their blog and found my heart indescribably strengthened and filled with joy in knowing this incredible Jesus of ours. Even today, when I get an alert of a new post I get so excited! “Yay – it’s more of Jesus!” I say.
One day, I noticed another blogger who was following their blog, her name is Amanda of All and in All. I started to read Amanda’s blog and there I found another sister with a similar hunger and pursuit of the Lord. She has a rich insight into Christ that I could drink from and find my heart encouraged and lifted up to the Lord again and again. We ended up getting in touch by email and even Skype and now we are in regular contact. What a precious sister she is, talking with her is like talking with Jesus Himself. Then I found others.
I was beginning to see there is a whole bunch of brothers and sisters out there in cyberspace who are voices crying out in the wilderness. I was inspired and felt led by the Lord and encouraged by other significant folk in my life, to also start blogging. This has changed my life.
How has blogging changed my life?
As I meditate on the Lord and abide in Him daily (and 3rdrace.org have an amazing series on abiding in Christ through Andrew Murray’s book of the same title), I need an outlet. Although I am part of a small ekklesia where I live and where we experience beautiful expressions of the Lord together, we are often kept apart by distance. So being able to ‘share’ Christ in this way has been an incredible experience!
Not only has my exploration of Christ been expanded, but I see He is bigger and more colourful through all the many members of His body, than I ever knew! I feel so ‘encouraged’ – I can’t think of a better word. I’m encouraged that I am not alone, I have genuine brothers and sisters who have so much of Christ living in them, from all over the world, being expressed through their unique lives, and I can receive and touch Christ simply by reading what they have to say. This is because they write with the Life of God that is inside of them. They draw from the well daily that is Jesus Christ and that well NEVER runs dry.
To date, I have 27 followers who I love and cherish and pray for. I don’t know why they (you :-)) follow my blog, I can only imagine they maybe experiencing even just a little bit of that same encouragement and body life that I experience. Now, I visit the blogs of those who follow my blog, and I find such rich insights and vision into the Lord’s Eternal Purpose of having Christ truly and organically expressed through His many membered body here on earth. How wonderful to receive Christ through so many members, each offering a unique aspect of the Lord’s character. No longer do we need to be limited to just one man or woman from a pulpit! (maybe that’s for another blog? – though there are a lot of blog posts out there on this subject).
I read the comments made by others on all these other blog sites and I find more brothers and sisters! What an ENORMOUS body of believers Jesus has! And found in so many obscure pockets in the world.
Brothers and sisters, blogger, followers of my blog, readers, friends – I want to thank you from a very deep place inside of me, for being vessels of the Lord’s life to me. Your blog posts, comments, ‘likes’, your prayers, your support, your love, your vision of Christ, your struggles, your faith, your courage, your pursuit of Christ…..I am so grateful.
I never understood why as Christians we are often encouraged to blog/write. Now I know why.
If you’re a believer into Christ, and you feel isolated and alone in your journey, unable to fellowship in a face-to-face community, I pray that this post encourages you. I too, encourage you to start blogging, even if you don’t publish until if and when you feel ready.
I know Frank Viola is shortly releasing a new online program to connect believers who want to pursue the Lord in a deeper way, and who are lacking that face-to-face community with those of like mind. If you are interested, you may want to check it out here at www.thedeeperchristianlife.com.
May the Lord Jesus continue to live in and through His body and bind us together, across distant lands and over vast oceans, with His own love.