OUR FAITH – The Answer of a Good Conscience
There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…1 Peter 2:21
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:19-20.
*all scriptures are taken from the NKJV, unless otherwise stated.
I say these words to the individuals who will read these lines: They are my personal thoughts and musings and which I believe may help someone get a fresh hold on their walk of faith with the Lord.
There are days in which words don’t often match the rumblings and the storms raging on the inside. Sometimes the feeling of nothingness that plagues the mind that has suddenly realized that all that man has run after without the eternal realities of God are nothing but fodder for the flames, can be quite overwhelming. But that’s God’s mercy actually. Some other days, it is hard to see beyond that which you have always known and have always expected as the norm, even when clearly the wind of the Spirit is making a new direction. The fights and our struggles oftentimes with God are not always about aligning with what is to come, but much more about what is to be left behind. In the face of a changing world where that which is eternal is being rejected by many and that which is temporal is hailed as what must be chased after, it’s sometimes hard to make a clear choice of what to do. For those things are to come don’t always make sense, at least until they make faith; and most times they sound too bogus to be true, even though they mostly are set in hope and are not so much about anything tangible.
The reality of walking away from the past can be a burden and if not done quickly, one can become like a man whose intention is to drive forward but whose gear is in reverse. The reality of biological families who won’t always understand the new life we have embraced can be a noose around the neck of progress with God, the colleagues of multiple years who sincerely got saved before you and now are wondering if the God you now follow is a new One, or even the business partners who no longer enjoy you “God-talking” them in business meetings and deals signing. The list of the supposed alterations of our lives as they regard the past and the norm are enormous and can be quite blinding. However, there are days in which the golden silence in our hearts and our very surroundings, which feel like a “cool of the day” walk with the Lord, can be adorable and a much needed reminder of a beautiful walk of faith and faithfulness towards that which is eternal. Such days are meant to be always and never ending, but sometimes it feels as though they do end. And that’s not really because something is wrong with the walk of that day, no, just maybe a test to see where our hearts really lie.
There is silence. When the expectation of creation gets to its peak and birthing pangs are unbearable… there is silence and not noise in the Spirit. For heaven responds in silence and peace to earth’s turmoil. For the expectation of creation and even that of God is never found in the stormy noise, but in silence. For clearly, the God of peace and the Master of silence, will crush the head of the serpent under our feet. For the mind of God was not revealed to Elijah in the raging storm or earthquake, but in the silence.
So I woke up early on this day like always, before dawn, went out for my usual morning walk. The cold wind was heavy and very musical to my ears and the sound of the little birds and crows was everywhere. I love rain walking too…story for another day. “This sunrise is gloriously and unusually pink today,” I said to myself. I couldn’t take my heart off this beautiful pink-like ball emerging out of the dark blanket of the night, casting a beautiful gradient of pink, purple and red on the horizon. This beautiful art of the sky lasted a few minutes before its colors changed. I marveled at the artistic mind of God and how He puts colors together for His early morning sky shows. It has always fascinated me… that’s one reason I went into photography. The marvel of the sky. The unusualness of this morning didn’t end with the art show, or the sound of birds and the cold raging wind, but…the silence. As I walked towards the beach in the midst of all the sounds and arts around me, there was this silence that covered everything in such a strange way. Then I realized also, the silence was loud inside of my heart too. It is hard to write out the reality of this “loud silence” that has suddenly overtaken my heart. As I sat on a coral rock at the side of the beach, I tried to listen to this silence inside me even as the crash of waves hit the reef a few meters away. So I wondered in myself what this day is about.
The Silent voice of the Eternal
As I sat still in this silence, suddenly my Father’s voice rose up within me. “If your heart is like a Garden of Eden, be assured that mine is also the same. The call to quickly pass through the passage way of time and daily existence is to enter into the Garden by the ministry of the angel of God’s help and God’s power, in order to come explore eternity, which is impossible outside of the Garden. So come in and enter into the heart of the Father. It is the place behind the veil where you become as Him that you behold”.
“I knew it…certainly there was something about today,” I said to myself, even as the excitement in me grew.
Certainly there is a change of narrative from that moment. But the daily tests and trials of faith haven’t necessarily stopped…just maybe they increased. For God’s word will test everything we have heard in time. I sat on that rock contemplating these words and my meditations spread across a few things more.
The reality of life and death
When God speaks, He speaks from eternity. He doesn’t really speak English even though we may hear Him in English or whatever other language we may speak. His language is the reality of Jesus, the Word of God. Just as the garden within our hearts has both the tree of life and the tree of death (knowledge of good and evil)…for by the fruit of a tree we know its essence. I think it’s impossible to eat of the tree of life without first eating of the tree of death. For it’s not possible to eat of the tree of life if there is no death to be conquered by its eating. So the tree of death is a “bridge” to the tree of life and a full understanding of the Garden of the heart of God. Man is, however, stuck with the fruit of death. He can’t seem to move away from it…clearly, its fruit gives a form of godliness, false purpose and ungodly wisdom by which this world has been built, and such an anchor to those who live by its proceeds.
Initially when I started my journey with God – even though I was born at the altar in church, my journey started years later – I studied the bible to learn about God, but as I grow, I learn and now study God to know the bible. It’s a beautiful space in eternal time. The bible stopped being my priority; the Word of God who is God in the Lord Jesus became my priority. For the more of God we can dig into by our sincere walk of faith, the more of the bible that will come alive. It’s as simple as that.
Our walk with God and our baptism into His Spirit is not about the removal of the filth of flesh, as the law requires, but the answer of a good conscience towards God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (See 1 Peter 1:21)
Obviously, there can be no answer without a question and there can be no resurrection without death. Somehow, the tree of life means nothing much without the tree of death. Thus, if baptism, which is a symbol of being encompassingly wrapped in death, is about the answer of a good conscience towards God… What then is the question?
The one question laced in three that has always been asked from the beginning is this.
‘Adam where are you? Who told you, you were naked? Did you eat of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ These questions are still being asked today of every man and the answers all seem to always be the same as that of Adam. ‘I hid myself because I was naked.’ And then when asked if he ate of the forbidden fruit, he gave the same kind of answer we give…maybe not just an answer, but an excuse tied to the very things: family, business, marriage, etc. that God gave us. In his case, ‘the woman you gave me, gave me the fruit to eat and I ATE.’ Well, she did the giving, he did the eating. However, the question God was asking Adam was not necessarily about if He, God, can’t see Adam behind the tree of lies, shame, pain, disappointment, feeling of failure that he was busy hiding behind. He was asking him, Adam, where are you in My eternal purpose and agenda? Who told you, you were naked is like saying “when did I tell you that your purpose on earth or in eternity is predicated on how much you are clothed or just how unaware you were that you were always naked, even before you ate the fruit?”
Same question to us also in this age, but maybe slightly different. Who told you that it is by the acceptance of your pastor that you make heaven, or who told you that the salvation of your soul is tied to any other thing or person apart from the Lord Jesus and His finished work? Or who told you that walking like you are so holy that your feet can’t touch the ground is what makes you qualify for God’s heaven? And the various other “who told you” that we hide behind. So where did the answer of Adam come from, since he was always naked and not ashamed even before he ate the fruit? His answer came from the answer of an evil conscience towards God, which is actually the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that produces death. Death is a fruit and nothing but an estrangement or separation from God.
It’s time to move on
The day is clearly far spent and it’s time to move on into new realities hidden in God in plain sight in the Garden of His heart, where the tree of death has no place and where the fruit of the Spirit goes beyond nine into twelve that births true rulership in and with God. Our walk of faith is not about what we do, but about who we become. For what is behind the veil that the Lord trail blazed for us is not what we come to collect, but Who we come to become. For as we behold Him face to face, behind the veil, we are changed into Him Who we see, from glory to glory. So do you have excuses? I do also. Do you think the “woman”, the business, the money, the marriage, the ministry, the vision and all the etcs that God gave you are looking like distracting excuses? It happens to me too. However, no man can move his car forward if his gear is set in reverse. We must move forward in God.
Final words, to those who have been on this journey for quite some time. Do not freak out when it seems no one sees you and your genuine aspiration to meet God’s expectation simply because your walk doesn’t look like theirs…or just maybe they think theirs is superior. For there is no superior covenant with God, than that which was made in Christ and which He has mercifully called us all into. However, when you hear the call to come in or when you hear the question “where are you”, let your answer be that of a good conscience before God who both sees the things going on behind the trees and the effects of the fruit we have eaten in our secret closet. God is never surprised you know. He always knows us.
Mandates may differ, but the covenant of Christ is the same. For both the worker who worked all day and the one who worked for just one hour, all received the same wage from the Master…the salvation of our souls. Stay blessed and in faith.
From your brother.