By Jim Yohe
Charles Sheldon’s classic, In His Steps, reveals the supernatural events that occurred in a fictional church when the pastor challenged Ms congregation to preface every significant action with the consideration, “What would Jesus do?” As the story unfolds, the parishioners that took this one-year pledge were faced with unexpected situations of moral, ethical and financial natures that deeply affected their lives and fortunes. As their community was suddenly infiltrated with dedicated Christians trying to be “Christ-like,” a spiritual revolution occurred that changed both the individual Christian, his church and his community forever. Though never phrased as such in the book, the pastor was essentially preaching, “Think As God Thinks! Do as God Does!”
This is a higher dimension in Christ that for which we should reach. To think as God thinks would compel us to act as God would act. No longer would we compare ourselves with ourselves. No more measuring our spiritual success by the latest performance figures from the church down the road or the Christian next door. Thinking as God thinks would give us no peers, no standard to limit ourselves by, the freedom to dive into spiritual depths yet unattained, ascend mountains of revelation never before attempted. Why? Because thinking as God thinks would be to live in a world of supernatural knowledge, presence and power. Every spiritual problem would be merely a clean-up operation in the war that was won at Calvary.
The imitation of Christ was not something just taught by the Apostle Paul. It was vigorously advocated by Jesus Christ himself. The same Incarnate One that taught: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” also revealed, “He that seeth you, seeth me.” Jesus desired us to lose our personal identity in Him. He promised, “In that day, I shall be in my Father, ye in me, and I in you.” In another passage He flung this mind-boggling piece of information at us, “Ye are gods.”
Am I suggesting that we do what many Jesus People did in the early seventies, and take on the title of Christ as our last name! Jim H. Christ? No! Am I suggesting like the Mormons that we will all eventually be gods controlling our own worlds? No! Because of such overtly false doctrine, many have shied away from this powerful truth that Jesus and his anointed apostles have left us in His written Word-that we are to live and operate as though “Christ is in us, the hope of glory.”
Paul declares, “You are dead! Your life is hid with Christ in God!” That means that you died when you submitted yourself to Him. And it was Christ that arose in the newness of your life. You will not be heard from again until “When Christ shall appear, ye shall appear with Him.” So, if I am dead, who is this living upon the earth? Again, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
The standard of holiness taught by Jesus is much more than dress codes and accepted lifestyle patterns! It doesn’t just demand the removal of your mustaches, beards and long hair from men or forbid short hair, makeup, jewelry and the wearing of immodest apparel for women. It requires a much deeper commitment than abstaining from movies, dancing and worldly activities. It demands your entire life.
Within the accepted clothing and lifestyle guidelines, we Pentecostals are still able to project our own personal style and personality. The holiness standard preached in the New Testament commands your death. You can’t live in Him until your personal style and personality are hidden in Him! You must die or He cannot live within you.
We give Him all our wrongs, our problems, our sins, our bad habits. “Jesus, deliver me!” we cry. But that is not enough. In His holiness, Jesus wants our rights as well. I have a right to wear what I want, say what I want, be what I want, go where I want. No you don’t! You must give him all your rights as well as your wrongs. You must die in order to live. The only right you have is what the old song proclaims, “I Have A Right To Praise The Lord!”
In that realm of holy living, thinking as God thinks and acting as God acts, our own inhibitions, fears and limitations would fade away. When confronted with a blind person that requests prayer for healing, we would see through the eyes of God, (in other words, the eyes of faith) things that are not as though they be.” We would see them seeing the rays of the sun for the very first time. Like Jesus, we would simply release the healing power of God in us into the needy eyes of the blind. The lame we would see jumping in a dance of joy unto the Lord. The deaf we would see shouting with glee at the beautiful harmonies of the sanctuary choir.
No thought of failure would cross our mind because our own limitations have died along with our old identity. Only the supernatural thoughts of the Creator, the Healer, the Counselor, the Mighty God, the
Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace would fill our minds as we released the Spirit of Christ living within us to do the work of faith.
The concept of holiness of being separated unto God is an Old Testament truth. “Remove not ancient landmarks” is a powerful truth that is thundered over our pulpits. But Old Testament holiness is not enough. Holiness is more than how you look, how you act and how you entertain yourself. That type of commitment can be made by your human will, totally without the Spirit of Christ. It can be a very shallow commitment merely a lifestyle choice. God wants more than a superficial compliance to his precepts, more than a beautiful whited sepulcher full of dead men’s bones. He wants something He can live in, heal in, save in, deliver in. He does not want your sinful human nature as a roommate.
True holiness demands your death then your life.
The Above Material Was Published By Louisiana Challenger, Page 8. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.