Lately…my brain hurts a little…its my own fault… I’ve overloaded the input channels until its starting to distort…in audio we call this “improper gain staging”…which basically means you’ve turned up the volume way to early in the signal chain.
I’ve been continuing my study of Hebrew culture following the likes of Mordacai Kraft and Jeff Benner…also been testing the waters of Christus Victor again through Athanasius and C. Baxter Kruger as well as revisiting “Open Theism” a subject I stumbled upon many years ago all the while pushing headward into health and nutrition with “why we get Fat”…so yeah overload is happening…
But there has been a subtle interior change that has come from what I can only describe as “the fractals of grace”…
Let me take a minute and explain what this is in my world…
A fractal (brace yourself it involves math) is a geometric formula that describes what would commonly be called disorder or chaos with an infinitely complex and repeating pattern…in layman’s terms a fractal is a pattern that repeat’s itself as the whole…an example would be a piece of cauliflower…when you look at it the first impression is that it is just a glob of vegetable with no pattern, but if you look closely you can see that each branch is in fact a smaller version of the whole tree…this same idea can be found in actual trees, or in our blood vessels or in about a million other things in nature…there is a distinct and repeating pattern that replicates itself into a bigger pattern, that replicates itself into a bigger pattern and so forth and so on…the picture at the top of this post is a fractal made famous by the mathematician who discovered them MANDELBROT…take a minute and see the patterns…and yes this is also part of the overload…I had to stop the wheels long enough to research fractals…
I discovered that my prayer walks are actually fractals…small repeating patterns that help define the chaos…fractals help me see that besides moving my heart from doubt to belief, prayer itself has the unintended consequence of creating a pattern of life…a pattern of connecting to God intentionally.
So prayer becomes something beyond just pleading and waiting…each time I consciously go to pray I am intentionally connecting with a God who is infinitely bigger than me, kinder, more loving, powerful, etc…and on the surface its just a walk in the land talking to someone other than me, yet intimately close to me…the Hebrews believed that God spells His name YHWH because it requires you to breathe out in order to say it, that is the point…He is closer than your breath and already inside you.
So my prayer walk becomes a pattern of breathing out the name of YHWH…but that in itself is a pattern of living in Him already…which is in fact part of a much larger pattern of His actions in the world, I would not know of Him except He had already invaded this planet…and me as well.
I love my prayer walks…it is probably the most fun I have in life at this point (sex being off the agenda due to being single…just being honest here, the connection of life to the “God-mirror” of a woman is something I miss but seem to have no choice in at the moment, which might be His design for a season)…the connection I find to God in these walks is always educational, very mystical and deeply personal…its odd that I go to discover God but He always makes sure I discover me as well…it was in a prayer walk that God lifted me up and showed me the repeating pattern of life, He showed me the fractal of my prayer walk from inside it…what a profound and unusual experience to stand above yourself in heaven and watch yourself pray yourself into heaven!
(A quick thought about this…we are already seated in heaven, so a good portion of my prayers is spent adjusting me to the reality that already exists…this might be different than your experience, but it is what it is and God does not seem to mind my dull unimaginative approach, He in fact actively participates, which is a revelation of His character…He wants to be with us so much He will enter our unreality as is the case for everyone on the planet…on some level we are all living in a reality of our own understanding and it is not THE reality He lives in, yet He joins us here…mine just happens to be a little unusual, but then I think that about yours.)
Christ in me personal
Recently I have been driven to the truth of “Christ in you the hope of Glory”…this truth is not describing some aesthetic sort of heavenly reward in glory someday…it is a mystery that was hidden but is now being revealed…
I believe that this truth will become the dominant truth of liberation in the next few years…it will be grounded in orthodox ideas like the blood covenant, and simply blood itself..
Here is the heart of this post, it is a simple idea that I cannot avoid…an idea that has been showing up in the broader fractal of my prayer life, but you have to kind of step back to see it…and hopefully it will encourage you as much as it has me.
The New Agers, and Buddhist, and Kabbalist and just about every branch of humanity has discovered some of life’s truth through the back door…(I am not suggesting they have found THE truth, just pictures of it)…God is everywhere…but more to the point if He is everywhere then He is in me...but here’s the Divine perspective…
God who is perfect love and not ego-centric, not a control freak or power hungry, the humble God who decided before all of creation to become a part of the thing He created by becoming a man Himself…God was in Christ, who is now in you.
An Inside Job
This is a real thing…the “God fractal” lives in us…Paul would describe his conversion experience as “When it pleased God to reveal his Son IN ME” (Gal. 1:16)… Paul’s conversion was not about asking Jesus into his heart, instead it was a moment when God showed Paul that Jesus the Son was already inside him…now I don’t know for sure if Paul is talking about the Damascus road event or something else, but it was definitely a moment when Paul was transformed…and this moment was not in a building somewhere with 3 fast songs and 3 slow songs, an offering, a lecture and a prayer line…
Paul’s encounter was not in a church it was while he was on a journey (let the reader understand), it was an encounter with HUGE God from inside a small heart…something we all should be able to relate to regardless of the culture or lack of we come from…think about it:
The disease of sin is like a fungus in an orange…it may look ok on the outside but the problem of the fall was not about appearances (something almost all accountability models avoid…as long as we “appear” ok things are fine which is an illusion at best), no the sin problem was organic and it meant that the solution has to go inside of us, this is something a building and an evangelism program could never do…it required God putting on skin and coming to where we were to save us inside the orange bowl…here amongst the fungus.
Sin was organic…so moving a check mark in a ledger from one column to the other in heaven is a ridiculous notion of what God would need to do…no the solution had to be organic as well…God had to get down here in the fungus and save us.
The Divine position to the human condition was to come down, humble and like a servant into the condition itself and from there demonstrate the joyful assurance that sin is not a big deal to a God who can bend heaven into the shape of a cross…and then beat the hell out of hell itself with it, all the while hanging there on the wood between the worlds.
This thought makes me laugh and cry all at once…
But here’s the crazy part (as if killing sin was not enough) God knew before the whole thing started and went lopsided that once He got down here it would be to much joy for Him to ever leave…so His plan all along was to create a created thing He could live in…and now forever there is a human in heaven and heaven in humans…FOR-FREAKIN-EVER!
Leaving church to get saved
This is also why I have chosen in this post to describe God as “not a control-freak” humble/etc…it is very critical to us that we see the all powerful God as someone who chose NOT to use power as a solution…someone who ABANDONED position and title and all the little things we secretly lust after and use our religion to cover up as we devour them under the covers (or covering to be truthful about it)…church for a whole lot of people is not about the solution to humanities organic sin issue, it is a power fix revolving around new structures,new titles and new forms of control…something God emptied himself of in order to save us…
You can dress it up in any uniform you like, you can call it a culture of this or a model of that all you want, but when the guys at the top are more equal than the ones at the bottom, (who need to prove themselves), you have a hierarchy and a thing that cannot change fungus because it IS fungus…sorry to be so blunt, but its time we call it what it is…the issue of power and who is in control is what got us into the mess in the first place, lets not pretend church fixes that because it does not.
God did not create church to save us…church cannot do that…if church could save us the first covenant would have been enough…church can no more save you than a building can reverse a fungus…and get this into your heart…church does not change you, only Christ in you can do that…if you need change…more church is NOT the answer.
The Christ inside of us does not care about our titles, our positions, or our status…he has come to upgrade our identity AWAY from such nonsense…and that is where most of us miss him…we are looking for a powerful earth shaking God and like the disciples we want him to sit us on his right and on his left, but he shows up as a humble laughing servant and says “follow me out of this rats nest” and then places a child in our midst and says…”This…this is it…” do you get it?
The real you, the one He has created is IN Christ…and it does not need a title, a position or control…but you have to go in to get out of that stuff…Jesus would challenge Peters notions of models by asking a simple question…”What do you think Peter, of whom do the kings of the earth (those addicted to position) collect tribute? Their own children or strangers?…the point he made in a not so subtle way was position requires a tribute a tax, it requires a system of collecting honor and bestowing it…it describes most of our church government systems…but Jesus would say:
“Then the children are free”…free from what? Free from the system of tribute and trading in position and title…free children don’t pay taxes…
When you get tired of sin and the lust for recognition…you will see the Jesus inside calling you to be free…selah. You don’t need that stuff and grace is simply the ability to receive what God freely gives you..(which is a whole other fractal!)
The real church lets you freely ask questions because she is from above and is free…
You…yes YOU reading this post…You ARE the church…and just in case you need a litmus test, anything that taxes you is not the real church.
Math (The numbers do not lie)
Recently…I have become aware of Jesus living inside me…he does not seem to notice even slightly when I sin (like when I get snarky about our church models)…He is not some scolding sort of Head Master trying to teach me the ABC’s of Church or fix me…no instead He is a very happy, laughing and joyful Son…He has no doubts, is full of faith and optimism…He is constantly laughing…and enjoys everything from traffic jams to raspberry jam…did you notice I said he is not trying to fix me? That’s because we are not fixable and its the good part of us (still infected with the disease) that blinds us to this idea…God won’t fix the disease He will kill it…that is why it says “you are dead” a ton of times in the New Testament…
So one of my new “fractal” habits is I have an alarm on my phone…it goes off just like the one at 8 am that tells me to pray in tongues everywhere…except this one is meant to ask me questions and get my perspective back on track…it ask me “Would Jesus have this emotion? Would Jesus have this doubt? Would Jesus see this as a problem or a possibility? The answer is usually “No, He is alive with joy…” which is meant to DISPLACE the depressing part of us that is more zombie than real.
Everyday…a small repeating pattern to remind me that He is inside me and quite different than my default pattern…eventually this pattern will make a branch…and a tree…and a life…that looks like Him.
It’s in the math, that means it has to…its the “God in me Fractal”…a pattern that will repeat that God is in me…that repeats I am in Him, that repeats God is in me…that repeats me in Him, etc…ad infinitum…
The solution to the problem of sin and the fall of man was elegantly simple…God would come and live inside us.