Chain Reaction in Realms of the Spirit
Beauty For Ashes Part 4 - George H. Warnock
CHAPTER 7 - THE LAW OF LIFE IN OUR LORD JESUS
Before we go into greater detail concerning the Law of Life as God would have it function in the Body of Christ, we want to consider the outworking of this Law in the life of our Lord.
"In Him was LIFE; and the life was the light of men." (Jn. 1:4).
The fullness of LIFE was in our Lord Jesus--not only life, but a Law of Life. Life reigned. Life was in charge. He lived in such intimate union with the Father that there was a projection of His life unto others. There was a Divine interaction of His life with the lives of others because the life that was in Him became a RULE, a LAW working from within and shining forth to men and women whose lives He touched.
"For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us" (1 Jn. 1:2). Light must shine forth--if it is truly light. Life must project itself--if it is truly life. It is not only life, it is life-giving, if it is the shining forth of the Life of God.
We have observed why and how this life was manifested in our Lord Jesus. It was because He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. It was by coming to that place where He would seek only the desire of the heavenly Father--ready to cast aside all temptations to pursue the thoughts, ambitions, desires, programs, and pursuits of men. The pressure was always there from the religious world about Him and even from His own disciples: "If you are going to succeed, if you are going to do anything productive, anything of value for the people, you have got to be active, energetic, ambitious; you have got to get involved." This is the thinking of the natural man.
Jesus totally conquered because He held firmly to the commitment of incarnation: "Lo I come to do Thy will O God." It was His commitment to do the will of the Father THAT MADE THE LIFE THAT WAS IN HIM TO BECOME A LAW, AN ENERGIZING FORCE, A DYNAMIC POWER WORKING WITHIN HIM.
But the pressure is always there to do it this way, because it is the only logical thing to do; to go in this direction, if you hope for success and enlargement.
We have the life of God in us now by new birth, by the renewing of our spirits. And because we have this life we are constantly being exhorted as to how we can release that life for the blessing of the Church or the world about us. But usually GOD'S WAY IS TOTALLY REJECTED, or presented in a sort of theoretical way. THE CORN OF WHEAT MUST DIE IN THE GROUND IF IT IS GOING TO BE FRUITFUL. THERE IS LIFE IN THE KERNEL--BUT THE LIFE CAN ONLY GROW AND GERMINATE AND BRING FORTH FRUIT IF IT IS WILLING TO SUBMIT TO THE PROCESS OF DISINTEGRATION AND DEATH. HE THAT TRIES TO PRESERVE HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT, BUT HE THAT IS WILLING TO LET IT DISINTEGRATE IN THE WILL OF GOD, SHALL FIND AN ABUNDANCE OF FRUIT.
It is a difficult lesson to learn--it is so unreasonable. We would prefer to enroll in "discipleship" seminars that are designed to show us how to become the Lord's disciples the easy way, the more logical way. But if we discover an easy way to discipleship be assured we have missed it entirely. When all is said and done we are brought back to the pathway that Jesus so clearly set forth to His disciples of old: "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24). This is the pathway to discipleship: LAY ASIDE ALL THESE VERY LOGICAL SCHEMES AND SIMPLY AND ONLY DO WHAT THE FATHER SAYS. And if we pursue the will of God with intensity of commitment and devotion, IT WILL CULMINATE IN THE TOTAL DISINTEGRATION OF ALL OUR PLANS AND SCHEMES FOR SUCCESS AND ACHIEVEMENT.
This was the way of the Son of God; and because He walked in this way, earth harmonized with Heaven wherever He went, and responded perfectly to His every desire, His every request, His every Word, And it was this that brought about a chain reaction of life in the hearts of men and women whose lives He touched.
Let us consider certain facets of the Law of Life as manifested in our Lord:
1. Turning Water Into Wine
Jesus had to gently rebuke His mother on the occasion of the very first miracle that He performed in His earthly ministry. The rebuke simply stated was this: "Mother, do not seek to pressure Me--I must move according to God's time and direction." (See Jn. 2:4). She then said something that was very wonderful, and right: "Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it" (vs. 5). The Church of Jesus Christ would have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM MEETING THE NEEDS OF HUMANITY IF WE COULD COME TO THIS VERY SIMPLE COMMITMENT--JUST DO WHAT HE SAYS. But this requires waiting for God, and this is a lesson that we find very difficult to learn. Sure, we will wait-as long as it doesn't take too long. How long does God expect us to wait anyway? WAIT... WAIT... WAIT TILL HE ANSWERS.
How long Jesus waited we do not know. BUT WHEN THE RIGHT TIME CAME HE DID THE RIGHT THING, SPOKE THE RIGHT WORD, AND THERE WAS A CHAIN REACTION OF LIVING ENERGY THAT PERVADED THE WHOLE WEDDING SCENE. And the new wine was much better than the old wine they had been accustomed to. The testimony of the governor of the feast was one of great surprise: "Thou hast kept the good wine until now" (vs.10).
Can we believe this? THAT GOD HAS KEPT THE BEST WINE UNTIL NOW? Read up on all the revivals of Church history--all those glorious workings of God in past days, and be assured of this: GOD HAS KEPT THE BEST WINE UNTIL NOW!
What really happened? Here was a Man walking according to the Law of Life--the Life of God was in control, motivating, energizing, reigning. There was a chain reaction of life taking place. Every time the cup was dipped into the waterpot it came forth in LIFE, and new wine was created in another vessel... and another... and still another. For how long? TILL EVERY NEED WAS BEAUTIFULLY SUPPLIED!
Be assured brethren! God knows all about the needs of mankind, and His desire to do something about it is far, far greater than our desire. Many of you have done your best--I know--to meet those needs. BUT WITH EVERY PASSING DAY, WITH EVERY PASSING YEAR, WITH EVERY PASSING DECADE THE NEEDS ARE PILING UP IN MASSIVE PROPORTIONS. DON'T YOU THINK IT IS ABOUT TIME WE SOUGHT GOD EARNESTLY FOR THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS TO BEGIN FUNCTIONING IN OUR MIDST? HE IS WAITING FOR THAT! HE IS NOT WAITING FOR SOME BRAND NEW PROGRAM FROM ZEALOUS CHRISTIANS TO GET THE JOB DONE. HE IS WAITING FOR A PEOPLE WHO WILL CANCEL THEIR PLANS, WHO WILL FORSAKE ALL THEIR OWN DEVICES, AND LET THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD RULE AND REIGN IN HIS CHURCH.
2. Living Water For The Samaritans
Jesus did not decide it was time to go and evangelize Samaria. He was simply responding to the Law of the Spirit, in which He had learned to walk. "He must needs go through Samaria." He sat there by Jacob's well as the disciples went into the city to buy food. Then what? "There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water" (Jn. 4:7). It just happened! No doubt we have all known experiences like this, when things "just happened," and yet when we look back upon it we just know GOD HAD PREDETERMINED THE HAPPENING! And we thrill to know that God went ahead of us and prepared the soil for a fruitful planting of the word of truth. But I am afraid we look upon such things as "coincidental" RATHER THAN AS GOD'S ONLY WAY FOR THOSE WHO WOULD WALK IN THE SPIRIT. He gives us an experience as a sample and foretaste of how He desires to move, and we think of these as very unusual, perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Rather it is the Lord urging us to walk in the Spirit and to give Him no rest till He establishes this wonderful Law of the Spirit in the hearts of His people. When we learn to simply walk in God's will it is God that works at this end, and at the other end, to bring about this divine coincidence of one chosen vessel with another. God had in mind a chain reaction of life that would begin in the broken and wasted life of this poor Samaritan woman. He did not try to arrange a great crusade in Sychar. He simply did what the Father wanted Him to do. He "sat thus on the well," and waited for God to complete the picture. It was God who arranged the meeting of His Son with ONE DEVASTATED LIFE. Rent a hall to seat 10,000 people and bring in the fiery evangelist to hold a "revival"? Man's way, yes. And I am not saying God doesn't use things like that. BUT OH THAT GOD'S PEOPLE MIGHT RETURN TO THE SIMPLICITY OF GOD'S WAY! See the simplicity of it! There was a divine interaction of the Son of God with one devastated woman AND THIS BROUGHT ABOUT A CHAIN REACTION OF LIFE IN THE CITY OF SYCHAR. Jesus was "fused" with the Father. Jesus brought forth a word that "fused" the word into the heart of the Samaritan woman. And because she was fired with the breath of Heaven she brought a word that was "fused" into the lives of many of the Samaritans. This is God's Way! It works! It is not a slow-motion way of reaching nations. It is God's WAY! And He is preparing a people in this hour who will go His way, that all nations might be impacted with the life and the energy of the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
3. Born Of The Spirit
Here we have the Law of the Spirit declared very clearly by our Lord. IT IS LIKE THE WIND. "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: SO IS EVERY ONE THAT IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT" (Jn. 3:8). You cannot understand it. You cannot predetermine either its origins or its endings. You cannot control it. AND I FEAR THIS IS WHY WE ARE QUICK TO REJECT IT. IT IS BEYOND OUR ABILITY TO MANIPULATE. We were born anew by this kind of law. BUT GOD WANTS US TO LIVE AND MOVE BY THE SAME SPIRIT AND LAW BY WHICH WE WERE BORN INTO THE KINGDOM.
4. At The Pool Of Bethesda
A multitude lay there in their misery: "Impotent folk... blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water" (Jn. 5:3). You see those multitudes in their distress and you want to run there and throw them into the pool? It has not worked! It is not working! Read the statistics of the evangelization of the world in this century and you are compelled to admit, man's way does not work! But in walked a Man who was motivated by a different kind of law, the Law of Life. He did not go down to the pool because He heard there were a lot of sick people there, and it would be a good opportunity to hold a "Revival." I know this, because He only healed one devastated man there at the pool. But because He was motivated by the Law of Life He was helpless to work in the realm of natural law:
"I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me" (Jn. 5:30).
This was His secret. He was moving in harmony with Heaven, and Heaven always responded--NOT BECAUSE HE WAS THE GREAT MESSIAH AND MIRACLE WORKER, BUT BECAUSE HE WALKED IN THE WILL OF GOD, AND GOD WAS TOTALLY GLORIFIED IN ALL THAT HE DID.
Some people say, "If I had a gift of miracles I would go to the hospitals and heal everybody." Well, you might try to do that. But Jesus didn't FOR OUR LORD JESUS WAS NOT ACTIVATED BY THE GIFT HE HAD, BUT BY HIS COMMITMENT TO WALK WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER.
5. Feeding The Multitudes
It was Passover time and Jesus was about to perform a great miracle by feeding the multitudes with "five barley loaves, and two small fishes" (Jn. 6:9). Jesus didn't do things like this every day, nor did He try. He didn't try to do anything BECAUSE IN HIS COMMITMENT TO THE FATHER THERE WAS NOTHING HE COULD DO. The Church continues to cry, "Do what you can... Do what you can...!" But God continues to work in the hearts of disciplined sons till they are able to respond: "I CAN OF MYSELF DO NOTHING." The needs of mankind are accelerating much faster than our ability to make any visible impact in meeting those needs. And God wants us to know that He is concerned far more than we are, and that HE HAS A PLAN TO REACH ALL NATIONS WITH THE BREAD OF LIFE IF WE WILL BUT HEAR WHAT HE HAS TO SAY:
"And Jesus took the loaves; and when He had given thanks, He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down" (Jn. 6:11).
What happened? A chain reaction of life permeated every piece of bread that Jesus broke off and handed to the disciples.
NUCLEAR FUSION FADES AWAY IN COMPARISON TO THE MIGHTY REACTION OF LIFE THAT IS SET IN MOTION WHEN OUR LORD JESUS FUSES HIMSELF WITH THE HEARTS OF MEN. From His hands to their hands--and then to all the people--all along the way THERE WAS AN IMPARTATION OF CREATIVE POWER THAT MULTIPLIED ITSELF OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN, SO AS TO MEET EVERY NEED OF PERHAPS 15,000 PEOPLE WHO SAT THERE ON THE GRASS--about 5,000 men, besides women and children.
Do we hear what God is saying? That the bread of the Passover is SUFFICIENT FOR EVERY HUNGRY HEART, AND THAT AS WE BECOME ONE WITH HIM, AND ARE TAKEN INTO HIS HANDS AND BROKEN AND BLESSED, WE CAN MEET EVERY NEED OF THIS FAMISHING WORLD BECAUSE OF THE WORKING OF THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS!
But we must be thoroughly identified with the Passover Lamb that was slain, if we are going to he that broken bread in the hands of the Master. Let's not excuse ourselves by saying Jesus is that bread, and He is no longer here--"FOR WE BEING MANY ARE ONE BREAD, AND ONE BODY: FOR WE ARE ALL PARTAKERS OF THAT ONE BREAD" (1 Cor. 10:17).
True, our Lord Jesus is that bread, but God wants us to become one with Him that the chain reaction of His redemptive life might flow through us, making us to be ONE BREAD AND ONE BODY for the life of mankind. We will spend our energies in walkathons and marathons, and do our best to raise millions or billions to meet the needs of men--and please understand what l am saying--a few crumbs from our tables are meeting the needs of some in a very small way. BUT ARE WE WILLING TO BECOME BROKEN BREAD IN THE HANDS OF THE MASTER TO MEET EVERY NEED OF THE HUMAN RACE? This is God's Way! God's only way to reach the masses!
6. The Raising Of Lazarus
Consistent with the ways of the Lord Jesus He waited for the Father to speak before He would act. And consistent with the ways of the Father He seemed to wait till it was too late. It wasn't that Jesus overstayed His time, and then decided He had better rush His way into this very needy situation. Rather, He DELIBERATELY WAITED FOR LAZARUS TO DIE. And the purpose is briefly stated: "THAT THE SON OF GOD MIGHT BE GLORIFIED." (See Jn. 11:4-6).
We know, and surely God knows, that the needs of mankind are far beyond our human resources to even faintly deal with. NOW IT IS GOOD IF WE RECOGNIZE THE NEED, BUT IT IS FATAL TO THE MULTITUDES WHO ARE PERISHING IF WE DO NOT KNOW GOD'S WAY TO MEET THOSE NEEDS.
It seems terribly cruel, I know, for the Lord to abide "two days still in the same place" when the need was so great. But let us hear these words of assurance: IT IS THAT THE SON OF GOD MIGHT BE GLORIFIED. God's tardiness to respond to the needs of His people has in all ages been most grievous to the hearts of His servants. It was the cry of the children of Israel in their bondage. It was the cry of Moses. It was the cry of David. It was the cry of all the prophets: "O God, why do You not come down and do something about it?" Be assured, beloved, God does see and He does understand and care, BUT HIS PROBLEM HAS BEEN TO FIND THOSE YIELDED, OBEDIENT VESSELS WHO WOULD WAIT UPON GOD FOR THE ANSWER. It is believed that the word "Lazarus" is from the Hebrew word "Eleazar" which means "God is our help." And when God would do something very special He will WAIT till the situation is one of utter hopelessness, THAT HE ALONE MIGHT BE GLORIFIED. When the Lord finally comes to Bethany all the grieving sisters can do is lament His tardiness: "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died" (vs. 21).
I am not saying that the Lord has not been doing some very wonderful things in the earth since the beginning, or that He is not doing some great things today. BUT IN SPITE OF IT ALL THE NEEDS ARE GREATER TODAY AND THE BONDAGE IS MORE SEVERE THAN AT ANY TIME IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. FOR GOD HAS DETERMINED THAT IN THIS HOUR OF UTTER HOPELESSNESS AND DESPAIR HE WILL REVEAL HIMSELF IN THIS END-TIME AS THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE TO A WORLD IN UTTER CHAOS.
"Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?" (vs. 37). Of course He could have! BUT HE HAS WAITED FOR HIS SERVANTS TO COME TO HOPELESSNESS THAT HE MIGHT RADIATE HIS GLORY IN A DEMONSTRATION OF THE RESURRECTION LIFE OF JESUS SUCH AS THIS WORLD HAS NEVER KNOWN.
HE WAITS TILL DEATH IS RAMPANT...
HE WAITS TILL DEATH IS IN SUPREME CONTROL...
HE WAITS TILL THE KINGDOM OF SIN AND DEATH HAS REACHED ITS ZENITH OF POWER AND AUTHORITY IN THE EARTH...
TILL THE WHOLE WORLD STANDS ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION...
TILL MAN CAN BOAST THAT HE HAS IT IN HIS POWER TO ANNIHILATE ALL LIFE ON THIS PLANET...
TILL MAN HAS SET IN MOTION A CHAIN REACTION OF SIN AND DEATH THAT HAS ENGULFED THE WHOLE WORLD, AND NOW SEEKS TO ENGULF THE CHURCH...
BEFORE HE RELEASES THE CHAIN REACTION OF LIFE THAT WILL DESTROY THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH.
"Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" (vs. 40).
"And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth, And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go" (vs. 43-44).
Now notice this. It sounds strange that men should love death rather than life, and darkness rather than light. But that's just the way it is--for the one is the enemy and the antithesis of the other.
Do you really think that when God's servants start performing miracles of resurrection life the world is going to run after them?
NOT UNLESS THEY CAN MANIPULATE THE MIRACLE WORKER INTO THEIR SYSTEMS.
They would gladly have received Jesus as their King, IF HE WOULD BUT COME INTO THEIR SYSTEM. In fact they tried to force Him into that role.
What, then, is so noteworthy about this display of the Resurrection and the Life? It is this: THE DISPLAY OF THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE IN LAZARUS BECAME THE CATALYST THAT ACCELERATED THE SIN, THE DARKNESS, THE DEPRAVITY, AND THE HATRED OF THE HUMAN HEART.
And so His enemies gathered the council together and aired their problem: "What do we? for this Man doeth many miracles. If we let Him thus alone, all men will believe on Him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation" (Jn. 11:47-48).
WHEN JESUS MULTIPLIED THE LOAVES AND FISHES THE JEWS APPOINTED A DELEGATION TO COME TO JESUS, AND FORCE HIM TO BE THEIR KING (Jn. 6:15). BUT WHEN JESUS REVEALED THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE IN A MAN THAT WAS NOT ONLY DEAD, BUT ROTTING IN THE GRAVE, THEY TOOK COUNSEL TOGETHER TO SLAY HIM!
It was this display of resurrection life which set in motion the decree to crucify our Lord: "THEN FROM THAT DAY FORTH THEY TOOK COUNSEL TOGETHER FOR TO PUT HIM TO DEATH" (vs. 53)
Charismatic blessing and power to provide easy access to loaves and fishes poses no problem with the most apostate of our religious systems. But when God begins the chain reaction of the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, ITS ULTIMATE END IS THE SETTING ASIDE OF MAN'S WAYS AND MAN'S KINGDOMS, IN THE WORLD AS WELL AS IN THE CHURCH. THE ENEMY KNOWS THIS AND WE CAN EXPECT AND ANTICIPATE THE FULL MEASURE OF SUFFERING FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST WHEN THIS BEGINS TO HAPPEN.
Now we can avoid the Cross if we choose to cooperate with the worldly systems of men, and seek to get involved with the kingdoms of the world.
BUT IF WE TRULY LEARN GOD'S WAY, AND BEGIN TO MOVE ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS, THERE WILL BE AN ACCELERATION OF THAT LAW WORKING WITHIN US THAT WILL BRING US INTO BROADSIDE CONFRONTATION WITH THE KINGDOMS OF DARKNESS.
But let us know and understand the wisdom of the Cross, and God's purpose in all that will come upon God's people in that hour:W C = L2
IN THE PURPOSES OF GOD THE WISDOM OF THE CROSS WILL BRING HIS PEOPLE INTO LIFE--LIFE MORE ABUNDANT, RESURRECTION LIFE THAT WILL SWALLOW UP DEATH IN VICTORY!
FIRST OF ALL IN OUR MORTALITY... AND THEN EVENTUALLY MORTALITY SHALL BE SWALLOWED UP BY THIS SAME SPIRIT AND LAW OF LIFE, AT THE SOUNDING OF THE LAST TRUMP! (1 Cor. 15:52). What a strange paradox is this? THAT JESUS, THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE, WAS NAILED TO THE CROSS FOR MANIFESTING LIFE TO A WORLD OF SIN AND DARKNESS!
BUT IN THE WISDOM OF THE CROSS GOD HAD BROUGHT THE PRINCE OF LIGHT AND LIFE INTO CONFRONTATION WITH THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS AND DEATH, "THAT THROUGH DEATH HE MIGHT DESTROY HIM THAT HAD THE POWER OF DEATH, THAT IS, THE DEVIL; AND DELIVER THEM WHO THROUGH FEAR OF DEATH WERE ALL THEIR LIFETIME SUBJECT TO BONDAGE" (Heb. 2:14-15).
And what is the outcome of all this?
"THAT AS SIN HATH REIGNED UNTO DEATH, EVEN SO MIGHT GRACE REIGN THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE BY JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD" (Rom. 5:21).
Be assured, beloved, when the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus begins to function under the lordship and dominion of Christ, God's people will be propelled to their cross as surely as our Lord Jesus was to His.
But let us not seek to escape that cross. Rather let us embrace it. Let us not hesitate to take up our cross today, and every day, and walk in the pathway of discipleship as Jesus admonished. The cross that you and I hope to exchange for a crown is not the one that Jesus died on, but the one He has provided for you and me to die on, and which we will discover as we cling to His.
Chapter 8 - The Law of Life in the Early Church
Table of Contents