What a thing to say! “God created us as the perfect containers through whom He could express His love nature.” What incredible value we have! No matter what we think of ourselves, we are valuable and beloved because of our potential to contain and express the Lord Jesus Christ.
Years ago when I read my first Norman Grubb book, The Spontaneous You, Norman spoke of human beings as God’s assets rather than God’s liabilities. This shocked me because I had always had a negative view of myself. Everything we are in our physical, emotional and mental make-up is perfect for expressing the life of Jesus Christ.
This is why God went to such trouble to win us back. We are the apple of His eye. He wants to pour Himself into and through our wonderful God given faculties.
Let’s get this straight one more time. We the containers or vessels or instruments (all biblical names for humanity) are perfect… (I said perfect) as containers and expressions of God’s Holy Spirit. We are a perfect match for union with Jesus Christ. God Himself created us to house and contain His Son. He did not pick trees and butterflies but you and me. We are the perfect light bulb to contain the filament of the Holy Spirit.
When we understand that we are the perfect temple for God Himself to dwell in, we begin to understand how tragic the Fall of man is. God’s holy temple, man, is taken over by Satan. Instead of God dwelling within man, Satan is the new indweller. Instead of God living out through man’s beautiful spiritual, physical, emotional and mental capacities, it is now Satan operating these faculties. Instead of mankind’s instinctual drives being expressions of God’s self-giving love, these drives are now instruments of Satan’s self-for-self nature.
So we, the apple of God’s eye, the pinnacle of God’s creation, were stolen by God’s enemy. Satan was born into every man, woman and child born after Adam and Eve. That is why Satan is called the god of this world. He is the god that lives inside every non-Christian in this world.
The movies make Satan seem like a malevolent spirit that attacks mankind by shaking beds and causing people to froth at the mouth. But his presence and walking is much more deceptive. He lives hidden in the lives of John Suburbia mowing his lawn after church. If John is not born again, in essence, it is Satan mowing the lawn after church for his own self-for-self purposes. Satan is the drunk at the bar, the legislator, the garbage man and the grocer down the street. He lives in and operates each one who has not renounced sin and accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.
These examples of the devil as average, good-looking suburbanites are crude and shocking but never the less the truth. Satan masquerades as just us. He lives out as normal independent humanity. Removing his hiding place is our solemn duty.
A more tricky area Satan hides is in the members (soul/body) of those who
are born again. Satan is totally evicted from the spirit center of a born-again person. Christ has eternally replaced Satan at man’s spirit center in a Christian.
However, when a Christian thinks they have an operating nature of their own, ie; a self that directs and controls their lives independent of God, they allow Satan to manage certain portions of their lives. That is, when we think we are just ourselves in some area of our life, we let Satan control that area.
Again, let me make it clear; Satan never again possesses the spirit center of a born-again Christian. As Paul tells us over and over again in Romans 6, we have been crucified with Christ, we have died to sin. Satan is out and Christ is in.
When Paul speaks of Satan operating in the members of a born-again Christian (Rom. 7:23), Paul makes it clear that Satan doesn’t operate from their spirit center (Rom 7:17,20). The believer really wants to do God’s will (Rom. 7:22) but finds in his members (soul/body) Satan rearing through lust, covetousness, envy, etc. What allows Satan to operate the soul/body areas of a Christian is the Christian seeing himself or believing himself to be just flesh (Rom 7:18); that is seeing himself as just Jim or Tina instead of as Jesus Christ in Jim or Tina form. When the Christian sees himself as more than just a container of Christ, but as self operated, Satan hides out in the Christian’s members.
Thus when most Christians experience sin in their lives, they assume they have some sort of schizophrenic self. Many Christians speak of themselves as having two natures, one good and one bad. I recently listened to a tape of a prominent Christian female vocalist who kept bemoaning her two selves, the self that wants to do right and the self that wants to do wrong.
The truth is we never had an operating nature of our own. We have contained a nature. When we picture ourselves, we picture a sort of self-propelled willing, doing thing called us.
Let’s be more specific about what it might look like to see ourselves as more than a container. Let’s say we have low self esteem, and are in the words of modern culture “shame based.” Isn’t that really seeing our self as more than a beautiful God created neutral container? How can we be intrinsically flawed? The Bible says the only thing that can be flawed about a human is sin (Satan) within. We think “we” are lazy, “we” are prideful, “we” are lustful, “we” are jealous. “We” are none of those things. We simply express the author of those things, Satan through unbelief.
Conversely we may have a positive view of ourselves. We may think we are giving or sensitive or spiritual. This is as much a fabrication as the negative view. It is still seeing the self as doing more than expressing the drives of another.
We, as ourselves, are not really the point. The point is who are we containing and expressing. There is one person in the universe, God himself. He is the point! All we do is make the extremely simple choice to contain and express Him.
How do we make that choice? Jesus described the choice as natural and instinctual. He described the faith life as eating and drinking. (Living bread, living water, eat my flesh, etc.) In other words, faith is a natural faculty. How does it work? We see water and desire it. We go and drink it. Nothing complicated about this. We have a desire and we fulfill it.
So, does the thought of being only a container and expresser of Jesus Christ sound desirable to you? Does it sound better than being an inferior defective person? Then use your faith faculty and claim you are Christ in your form and a perfect pure container of Jesus Christ right now.
The only thing that would block Jesus Christ from living your life if you are believing this, is if you have unconfessed, known sin in your life.
It might be a good idea to tell someone who you are (Christ in your form) and what is true about you when you get the chance. An outward verbal confession, although costly to the self’s reputation, can cement us more firmly into an awareness of who we really are. Don’t be legalistic about this and tell the first person you see, but when God gives you the opportunity, take it.
It is also helpful to become more aware of how we think and talk about ourselves. We can catch ourselves when we say or think something false about ourselves, such as: I’m really sensitive, I’m really shameful, I’m really an angry type person. You are none of the above, you are a pure container of Jesus Christ. It is the constant rejection of the lie of independence about ourselves and affirmation of the truth about ourselves that brings us the fixed inner consciousness of being Christ living as us. This is taking every thought captive for Christ, and the renewing of our minds which transforms us.
So, we are magnificent, defectivefree containers for the Lord Jesus Christ. The only function of our selfhood is to contain and express Him. There is no self-operated, independent us.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 9 No 5
- Romans Six to Eight, Paul’s Key to the Liberated Life
- To Think About
- Editor’s Note
- The Committee
- Moments With Meryl
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Book Review: Continuous Revival
- Questsions & Answers
- Perfect Containers
- God Always Gets His Way
- Powerless Over Alcohol & Life: Step 11
- The Mailbox
- You’re Only As Sick As Your Secrets
- From Death To Life
- Words To Live By