The one who accepts Lord Jesus as Redeemer Son of God, dwells with God and God dwells in him/her. With this a believer’s life changes by faith and though surrounded by sin all around, we become different from others. Under the blessed hand of the Holy Spirit, then, we examine our conduct everyday to ensure that we do not stray from Word. This self examination changes us continually into His image and likeness. We then live our life in Lord Jesus while He lives in us.
Affect on our lives of our oneness with God – The three ways the earth is described before any process of creation commenced – without form, void and filled with darkness and in this state despite the presence of the Holy Spirit, nothing can happen (Genesis 1:2). God’s Word changes these three states of the earth, first it is filled with light; then form is given by separating waters into the sea and land and void state is changed by filling it with vegetation, animals and birds. Finally man is created to rule over all that was created as God’s representative. The act of disobedience of Adam and Eve brings that threefold state of earth of the beginning into mankind. He is forever in search of light, something to fill his inner void state that was caused due to their immediate spiritual death and to receive a proper direction to his life to receive some specific form.
Apostle John reveals the Son of God as ‘the light of men’ and that ‘in Him was life’ and He as Messiah takes upon Himself our sins and then provides a specific direction to the life of a believer (John 1:4). When we surrender to Him as our Lord, we have life in the form of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us to fill us with ‘power, love and a sound mind’. Apostle Paul says, ‘And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness’ (Romans 8:10). When we receive Jesus as our Lord and God, He comes into our spirit, our deepest part, and since He is in us, so our spirit is life.
What changes in a believer? – With this oneness with Lord Jesus various changes occur in the life of a believer. First, fellowship with God – After sinful disobedience, Cherubim barred access to the Tree of Life with ‘a flaming sword which turned every way’ (Genesis 3:24). After His resurrection Lord Jesus ‘breathed on them (the disciples’ and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:22). Thereafter on the day of Pentecost there was a visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit from heaven with ‘a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind’ and ‘divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each one of them’ (Acts 2:2-3). This reestablishes our fellowship with God.
Second, a new way – The new direction comes through our new birth. Lord Jesus has promised us that we can do all the works that He did during His ministry here on earth and greater works than that (John 14:12). To do this He has given power and authority also, ‘to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you’ (Luke 10:19). The changed life in Him is not of fear of the devil but of courage to resist and make him flee.
Three, authority and power – Adam had conceded power to the devil and the Savior Lord has restored that same authority back to a believer. For the continuous spiritual warfare that we are involved in against the ‘forces of darkness’ and the devil, we get empowered by the Holy Spirit with tremendous gifts.
Four, liberty and confidence – Sinful living is a prison. Apostle Paul admitted, ‘the good that I want to do I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice’ (Romans 7:19). The Psalmist provided the answer to this, ‘And I will walk at liberty, for I seek Your percepts. I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed’ (Psalm 119:45-46). Satan leads us into sin and then we look for ways to hide that to avoid the shame of getting caught. Life in the Lord is full of freedom to do the will of the Father and give Him glory everywhere, in every situation and at every time.
Five, life of abundance – Lord Jesus taught about Satan’s work, ‘to steal, and to kill, and to destroy’ where Greek word ‘thuo’ means to kill, butchered or offered as a sacrifice’ (John 10:10). The devil completely destroys his victims for eternity. Compared to Satan’s work is the Savior’s work to give life and that too abundantly. Greek word ‘zoe’ means both physical and spiritual life, for He shares His gift of life with believers to enable us to know His eternal life. And Greek work ‘perissos’ means ‘beyond what is anticipated, more than enough/abundant, properly all-around’. The translation of this verse would then be, ‘I came in order that they (believers) might continuously have life, even that they may continuously have it all-around’.
Six, causing celebration in heaven through our work on earth – In reply to the Pharisees and Scribes charge of mixing with sinners, Lord Jesus told three parables, one lost sheep of a shepherd, one lost coin of a woman and their efforts to find and celebrate with others on finding that and then of the prodigal son. He explained the result of His mixing with and work with sinners causes ‘joy in the presence of angels of God over one sinner who repents’. Obedience to the Great Commission leads us to cause such celebration in heaven through our outreach to those still in darkness leading a sinful life.
Seven, life of victory – Warning the disciples about tribulations in the world, Lord Jesus assured them of peace in Him for he has ‘overcome the world’ (John 16:32-33). We stand in the victory that the Lord has won for us on the cross, his resurrection, ascension and glorification.
Apostle Paul urged all believers to ‘take up the whole armor of God’ for ‘we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places’ (Ephesians 6:11-18). Jacob prayed to God for deliverance from Esau, and after sending his wives, sons and others across Jabok, he was alone (Genesis 32:9-12 & 24-26). ‘And a Man wrestled with him’, for this was initiated by God and not by Jacob and it was about ensuring his victory over Esau through humility. Jacob could only receive a blessing after he was incapacitated and humbled and thereafter his life changed.
God desires to see all His children to be victorious in all that they do. The seventy, who were sent by the Lord, returned with joy for ‘in His name’ even the demons obeyed their commands (Luke 10:17). At the Red Sea, Moses told the Israelites not to fear Pharaoh and his army ‘for the LORD will fight for you’ (Exodus 14:14). Lord Jesus has promised to be with us to the end of the age to help us in our battles.
Ministry of intercession –The first case of intercession in the Scripture is by Abraham for Sodom and Gomorrah, when God decided to destroy the two cities, for his nephew Lot stayed there (Genesis 18:22-32). Abraham prayed to God, ‘Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?’ seeking end to the plan of destruction for fifty righteous, then forty, then thirty, twenty and finally for ten and God accepted his request. After the Israelites sin of the golden calf worship, God wanted to destroy them and create a new nation through Moses to witness about Him to the world (Exodus 32:9-13). Moses pleaded with God for mercy and saved his people and He became the first intercessor for his people, with God. Satan stood up against Israel and moved King David to order a census of the people and that resulted in God sending a plague on the people killing 70,000 men (1 Chronicles 21:16-18). David saw the angel of the LORD standing between heaven and earth by the threshing floor of Ornan, the Jebusite. David cried out to the LORD taking the blame of the census on himself praying, ‘Let Your hand, O LORD my God, be against me and my father’s house, but not against Your people’ for they are like sheep and David offered sacrifices to the LORD at that site after paying a high price for the land. David set a very high standard for offerings to God, saying to Ornan, ‘I will surely buy it (threshing floor) for the full price, for I will not what is yours for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing’.
Lord Jesus promised a Helper, Comforter, Advocate to be with us after His departure from the earth and the indwelling Holy Spirit performs that role for us here on earth (John 14:26). On the other hand, in heaven, ‘He (Lord Jesus) is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He lives to make intercession for them’ (Hebrews 7:25). In His righteousness Lord Jesus is not only our intercessor with God, the Father, but ‘He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but for the whole world’. Since He has borne our sins on Himself, He can counter the accusations of the devil and defend us declaring us sinless.
The Greek word ‘parakletos’ means ‘Advocate, Advisor-Helper where ‘para’ means ‘from close’ and ‘kaleo’ is ‘make a call’ or a legal advocate who makes the right judgment because he is close to the situation. An intercessor takes the right decision on His client’s behalf and pleads his case before the judge. We have Lord Jesus as our intercessor in heaven before the Father and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us from within us. The Holy Spirit helps us in prayer for we do not know what we should ask and He knows the will of God and seeks that for us through prayer and intercession (Romans 8:26-27). God answers for He ‘knows what the mind of the Spirit is’. Intercession of the Holy Spirit is through ‘help in our weaknesses’, prayers with ‘groaning which cannot be uttered’ and the daily process of sanctification to transform us into the image and likeness of the Son of God.
What changes should occur in our prayers? – Intercession is about standing in the breech between the one prayed for and God while intervention is stepping in on the other person’s behalf through earnest prayer. Apostle Paul has said, ‘my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved’ that though they have zeal for God but not according to knowledge (Romans 10:1). Lord Jesus has taught, ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you’ (Luke 6:27-28). The changed life in Lord Jesus is to love others as oneself, for we are recreated by Him in God’s image through faith.
‘On the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day’ (Genesis 2:3). This verse has been much analyzed by theologians in centuries past. And one view of the Jewish mysticism, Kaballah, is that God has created everything for humanity till eternity future in matter form and man is required to reshape this to receive whatever he prays for in faith. Through i8ntercession we tend to bring this about for the one prayed for. The condition of answered prayer for a believer is ‘that the Father may be glorified in the Son’ (John 14:13). God did not create anything for His own pleasure and answer to any prayer that does not give Him glory is unlikely to come through. Our life in the Lord necessarily must follow the same pattern, that our focus be for others to see the heavenly light of the Savior Lord in us and thus accept Him as their Messiah.
Apostle Paul, the great evangelist and scholar with great understanding of the Word of God, admitted, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13). By reverse application he implied that without Lord Jesus and His strength I can do nothing of my own. Apostle Peter said to the Lord, who had walked on the water to reach them, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water’ (Matthew 14:28). This prayer was seeking a command from the Lord for that only would enable him to step out of the boat and walk on water.
What is our responsibility in getting strengthened in this life in the Lord? – First, fellowship and obedience, Men wanted to build the tower of Babel to ‘make a name for themselves’ and God saw them to be ‘one and they all have one language’ (Genesis 11:4-6). God saw all people in one accord and then declared that ‘nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them’.
All the disciples were with one accord in one place and God poured out the Holy Spirit on them (Acts 2:1). This fellowship and being of one accord is needed within the Body of Christ as well as with the Lord. The closeness of the Lord with the Father in heaven is seen in His word, that He does only that ‘what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner’ (John 5:19).
Second, humility – Our Lord repeatedly said that of His own He could do nothing and all His work was under the authority of the heavenly Father. How much more we need to be humble in our life and give glory to the Father in everything.
Three, seek revelation from God,– Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Church at Ephesus was, ‘That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him’ (Ephesians 1:17). Prophet Isaiah has identified the Holy Spirit as Spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and might, of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2). The same Spirit is given to every believer to seek revelation.
Four, accountability to the Lord, – The Psalmist confirmed that he ‘gave an account of his ways to God and received an answer’ (Psalm 119:26). The daily visit of the LORD God in the Garden to Adam and Eve was about this accountability and all of us need to give account of our works daily.
Apostle Paul was a Pharisee, a strict follower of the law of Moses, but he also admitted that ‘what I will to do that I do not practice, but what I hate that I do’ (Romans 7:14-18). He further accepted that ‘it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present in me, but how to perform what is good I do not find’. Though we receive the indwelling Holy Spirit on accepting Lord Jesus as our Savior Lord, but our sinful nature does not change. Every effort of Satan and the evil spirits is directed towards ensuring all mankind to follow the lies and sinful rules of his kingdom on earth and be in rebellion to the heavenly kingdom.
Lord Jesus has blessed us to be the light of the world and we are filled with the light of the Gospel (Matthew 5:14). We must never forget that ‘it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure’ (Philippians 2:13). – Our life is meant for doing His will, under His hand and for His good pleasure and we are to surrender to that.
King David, while offering worship and praise, said, ‘Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them’. God has decreed that all believers must live that life of victory assured by His Son. The key to living this is to daily keep moving closer to Him through study, meditation, understanding and living His word. He comes knocking but are we ready to welcome Him into our hearts and make Him our Lord, our King!