AS HE IS, SO ARE WE

,
AS HE IS, SO ARE WE

“And for Thy pleasure,
We are created.” Thou Art Worthy

Growing up, communion always followed a certain ritual in my church. Part of that ritual was the singing of this hymn. Whenever I sung this hymn, I always choked at this line. For God’s pleasure, we are created? What? Did God create us for sport? Are our lives mere chess pieces that He moves around for His own amusement?

But now that I am older, I see the other side of the coin. Some people take God to be their personal Automated Teller Machine. For their pleasure, God is supposed to answer their every prayer, pander to their every whim and fancy; else, they threaten to leave the church. They certainly take God literally at His word and hold this verse against Him, trying to take Him to the cleaners.

“If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:14

So which is it? Are we sport for God? Or is the relationship with God to be merely based on what God brings to the table?

In a word beloved, neither. Both understandings are wrong. Here is why.

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17-20-21

Jesus, on the night that He was betrayed, after praying for His disciples, He prayed this prayer for us. Now it is very clear that this prayer is for us because we are those who have believed in Jesus through the words of the apostles, recorded in the Bible. And what does Jesus want for us? Yes, beloved, He wants for us to have a symbiotic relationship with Him and our Father. Just as Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Him, so too are we in Jesus and our Father and They in us.

This is not the parasitic relationship which our feeble minds make it out to be. It is not a case of God creating us because He needed amusement, nor should it be a case of us going to God just because we want the good things that He has on offer. Our relationship with Jesus and our Father is so much richer than that. And the sooner we understand this, the sooner we will be able to live the full and abundant life that Jesus came to bring us.

Now, when we realize that we share a symbiotic relationship with our Father, we start to realize the gravity of this verse for our lives.

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17

Jesus said,

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:13

So before we believed in Him, before we were made righteous by His blood, we could not have been children of God for

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

Since at that time, we had neither received nor believed, we could only have been, at the most friends. Now, while we were yet friends, Jesus went to the cross for us, and while He was there,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

Because “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6 [AMPC]

So by that one act,

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:13

Now, we are no longer friends, we are children of God. Now, because that act of love has been completed, because

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17

We enter into a symbiotic relationship with God in which as Christ is, so are we in this world.

Our relationship with our Father is not one where we need to make withdrawals from God’s bank of blessings; nor do we have to fill out an application form when we seek His blessings. Just like you need to do no more than to lift your arm and pour for yourself when you want a drink, so too are His blessings and provision right there at your disposal, as and when you need them. Symbiotic. As one.

So then, to address the elephant in the room. If then we are just like Christ in the here and now, why do we still experience pain and suffering of untold varieties?

Now, because the world is fallen through Adam’s sin, as Paul says,

“We know that the whole creation [of irrational creatures] has been moaning together in the pains of labor until now.” Romans 8:22 [AMPC]

Evil is in the world and sin, well,

“sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you,” Genesis 4:7 [AMP]

And Jesus confirms this for He says that,

“…In the world you will have tribulation…” John 16:33

Yet He also says that

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Us being in our Father and in Jesus and us having Them in us, does not change the fact that the evil is already in the world. For if it did, then all it would have taken was for one person to believe and all evil would be eradicated, regardless of how the rest of the world lives. No, the simple illustration is this, The Ark.

When we enter into Christ, when we enter into our Father, it is like we are entering into a large ark. Now this ark will carry us wherever we want to go, and wherever They purpose for us to go. On the way, we will encounter some turbulence. Being in the ark does not change the weather outside, it just keeps the effects of the weather from getting to us. It does not change the fact that persecution will come, it just protects us from the effects of the persecution on our minds and spirits. It does not change the fact that there are rubbish bosses in the world, but They will either steer you away from them or keep them from barraging you. So in the face of trials and tribulation, that is what it means to be in Jesus and our Father and for them to be in us.

Now, while we are in the ark, however strong the ark is, that is how strong we are when we face the waves of life. However large the ark is, that is how large we are to be able to overcome the challenges that befall us. However stable the ark is, that is how stable we are in the face of our troubles. I mean think about it, when we are in the ark and a wave hits, does it hit us or the ark? When we are in the ark and we top a crest, are we the ones keeling over or is the ark the one that keels over the crest? So when we are in Jesus, guess who is the one who is facing our troubles?

But you are the one that has to pay the bills. You are the one that the teacher will scold for not finishing the homework. Well beloved, remember,

“for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

That is why we can say,

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

So how can we be sure that we are in Them and They are in us?

“If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” 1 John 4:12-13

But what if there is someone whom I dislike and do not love? Does that mean that God is no longer in me? Well, beloved, read on.

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” 1 John 4:15

Jesus loves you so much, He died for you. Do you think that a simple act of not liking someone is going to undo all that He suffered to do for you? Indeed,

“But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us!” 1 John 4:12 [AMPC]
Surely apart from the person whom you do not love, there are others whom you do. And as you abide in our Father’s love, His love is brought to completion, allowed to run its full course and become perfect in you. Now that is going to take time, and that means that it is alright if you are not perfect yet, and that means you are still abiding in our Father’s love. For remember that Jesus said,

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:37-40

So share in Paul’s confidence when he said,

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Finally, beloved, let’s talk about God’s pleasure. What is God’s pleasure?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

It gives our Father great pleasure to prosper you and give you a hope. And that is why He sent Jesus, for Jesus Himself said,

“I come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

So that is why Jesus keeps reminding us,

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:7-8

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

You think you are the only one that wants the best for you? Think again. Our Father wants you blessed more than you do. Remember beloved,

“God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:9 [AMPC]

You were called into companionship and participation with His Son, in another words, fellowship with them. They are in you and you are in Them. This inextricable bond has already been established between you and Them, no matter what the world tells you. So face the world with a positive expectation of good for Jesus has said,

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
As He has overcome the world, so have you.

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