So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
The above is The Message translation of Colossians 3:1-2. I like that translation because it is an accurate translation and it is fairly easy to understand.
After we left our last “official church” situation years ago and started relating to brothers/sisters as the Body of Christ, it was (and still is) standard operating procedure for the Holy Spirit to speak through the corporate expression. As I remember, one of the major concepts that was communicated to us as a People was that of Spiritual Ascendancy.
The Spiritual Ascendancy motif derived from a larger, systematic matrix of instruction/teaching/enlightenment that the Holy Spirit was imparting to a fledgling little group of Seekers who, at that time, had no idea what they were doing. (and still don’t) Such things as a working re-definition of topics like “church”, “repentance”, “New Testament ministry” etc., were precursors to Spiritual Ascendancy being added to the mix as the Holy Spirit took what was of Christ and made it known to us. The whole John 16:13-15 that Jesus laid down really does work when you understand that He was speaking about a corporate context. Revelation begat revelation and simply positioned us properly to receive the next unveiling of Christ in our midst. We are extremely grateful that still to this day the Holy Spirit is given His rightful place and He never fails to bring deeper, richer and more demanding revelations of Father and His Christ.
The main point of the Spiritual Ascension initiative was basically to teach us to view things from God’s perspective and see things as God sees them. Repentance (changing one’s mind) is closely related to Spiritual Ascension. Another closely connected relative to Spiritual Ascendancy is humility. The Pride of Life (man’s soulical life) will fuel your natural mind to oppose God’s perspective every time through doubt, fear, unbelief and just outright, plain wrong thinking! I mean, “this” has ALWAYS meant “this” for as long as I can remember so how can “this” now mean “that”?
Well, you are involved in a Kingdom where, in order to live, you must die. To be exalted, you must humble yourself. If somebody curses you, you don’t get to curse ’em back. No! You have to bless ’em! These types of things are enigmas to most believers and I understand it. But, at some point, Father desires these things (and many more things) to not only be understood by those who bear His name but He expects them to be effectively demonstrated by those who bear His name. Therefore, seeing as God sees is essential and that is the reason for the entire “revelation” function of the Holy Spirit.
So, let me get a bit more detailed about Spiritual Ascension.
We are coming upon the time of year when all of Christendom is poised for a large celebration. Easter is around the corner. The ONE DAY of the year where believers will go out and buy new clothes to wear to Easter Sunday morning services, where the choir will sing special resurrection songs and the drama department will have the smoke rolling and sound effects blaring as the stone is rolled away and Jesus steps out of the chicken wire and plaster of paris tomb! Listen, I’m not opposed to celebrating Easter. Go ahead and have your Helicopter Easter Egg drop. But, Father did not just intend for us to celebrate the Resurrection on one day, He fully expects us to PARTICIPATE IN RESURRECTION year round! So I will refer you to the first line of this post.
So, if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.
First, His Ascension – Then Ours
It’s difficult to separate and distinguish Jesus’ actions. The Incarnation, Sinless Life and Earthly Ministry, Death, Resurrection……….all of them are equally important because without one, the others are left wanting. They are a package deal; they are one. You can’t have one without the others.
And, pretty much, what you hear now in most churches is about Jesus’ Return, isn’t it? Sure, there are a wide variety of opinions about how and when but the Return is a hot topic. All the while, Christendom doesn’t focus much on the Ascension. We got Him out of the tomb and if we can just hold on until He makes it back……….. Remember, if you leave out one, you leave the others wanting.
Without understanding the vital nature of His Ascension and the impact of it in our lives, we will not be able to gain Father’s full perspective. The Apostles considered the Ascension as Jesus’ enthronement at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. It was never just something in itself, a simple changing of location or an insignificant segue called “the ascension” between more meaningful events. No, it is His enthronement! On the day of Pentecost, Peter declared “Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted… he hath poured forth this” (Acts 2:33).
That is the Ascension; the fact that Jesus is Lord. And, the Ascension will produce incredibly powerful effects in His People should they obtain Father’s perspective regarding it. It did on the Day of Pentecost and through out the Early Church. It should have the same impact on us today!
So, let’s slide the Ascension in there among Jesus’ list of accomplishments, shall we? If we do, then it flows a little something like this:
Incarnation – Identification with Man and Fallen Nature
Sinless Life – Tempted in like manner as Man was; yet, without sin
Earthly Ministry – Did all things that pleased the Father & demonstrated HOW a TRUE MAN should EXIST and FUNCTION
Death – Paid the price to appease the Righteous demands of God and reconcile Man to Father
Resurrection – Took the ultimate blows that Satan can dole out and proved to be victorious over death, hell and the grave
Ascension – Enthroned at the right hand of Majesty on High – Interceding for His own as Spiritual High Priest – Waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool
Return – Coming for a People prepared to receive Him.
In Part B, we will take a look at how His Ascension relates to ours.
Until then, Keep your peace!