Who is my life?  Is it me or is it Jesus?


Barbro Erling teaches how to live a Christian life.

This message has been copied from an audiotape, recorded in a Christan fellowship in Uppsala, Sweden, March, 2006.

We thank Eivor and Michael Springer very much for translation into American English.

The Bible verses below are from The Holy Bible; authorized King James version.

 

Who is my life? Is it me or is it Jesus?

Jesus, that you would reveal yourself to our hearts.

That you would shed your light in our innermost being - revealing yourself as our light.

If you do not touch us and give light to the word, we will not get anything at all. For that reason I ask you, Jesus, that your Spirit would work in this moment, in order that we would receive a revelation in our hearts and comfort and life from you.

Father, thank you for wanting to touch us.

Jesus, we are so precious to you and you long for us to take part in the good that the Father has prepared in you. I thank you, Jesus, for revealing the truth, for you are the Thruth. You are the Way. You are the Life. You are our life.

Yesterday I received a Bible study from God. It came back to me what God had given to me when I got saved - when as yet I did not understand anything at all. I did not even know that I was saved when God gave me certain things and now God is repeating them.

In my car on the way here I thought about the light God gave me yesterday, and I felt tears begin to flow and it became hard to drive. It was snowing and overcast, but in the midst of all of this - when I experienced God in the car so powerfully, the sun broke through and shone on me: "Hi!" That filled me with such joy. What God told me and showed me yesterday has meant a lot to me. I am rejoicing over it, yet mixed with sadness, that it is not a reality today more than it is - and that applies to my life as well.

The message from the Bible which I am going to talk about today, is something that God has given to me. It is nothing that I have heard preached. I received this while still a new Christian. But it is not enough to tell you what I received, because it might be something that you just hear, and then soon forget about. So I am asking God to impart to you some of what He imparted to me. Even if you do not see it now, I am praying that you will see it. I am praying that God would give you what He imparted to me.

What is the Bible study about?

It is actually this:

Who is my life? Is it me or is it Jesus?

It is always like this when you get saved that you are self centered. You are carnal. When you get past the carnal lusts, then you are soulish - and that is what we all are.

When I walk like a Christian from my soul, I am dependent on circumstances, on my feelings, and on my mind. That is just the way it was with the Israelites on their journey through the desert. We came out of the world - they came out of Egypt. They came through the Red Sea - that is they got saved through the death of Jesus - but they were soulish and had to go on a journey.

If you get stuck as a soulish Christian and never get any further, you will need methods and preferably new ones; accepted doctrines telling you things like: "Now Iím going to believe, now Iím going to forgive, now Iím going to be loving" - all from my own soulish life. "I am a bad Christian. What a bad temper I have. I must do better. You ought to love your enemies, so now Iím making a choice to be more loving and to love my enemies. I must walk in love."

In this soulish thinking "I must believe, I must try" there is only defeat. There is nothing else in the desert, but defeat. Regardless of my good intentions and good will, there is no real victory and no inheritance either. There are however manna and quail so that I will not give up. God does not want me to get stuck in being a soulish Christian. He has a better place for me than that.

When I am a soulish Christian, I do what I think is right. I try to think: "What is right in this situation?" Then I try to feel what is right, but Moses says in Deuteronomy 12: 8-10

Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you.

But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety.

... Then the inheritance came, and then the rest came.

Many times we have tried to get our inheritance in the desert through methods; for instance, if I confess the Word - I know that by the wounds of Jesus I have been healed, I know that. Now if I confess that faithfully and hold fast to it, then God will heal me. Thus we have labored and sometimes by His grace God has sent a quail on our head, so to speak. But it did not satisfy us. God also said to the Israelites in the desert: "I let you hunger."

We ought to be glad that God does not let us be satisfied when we live in our souls - in our natural man. We have a frustration - if we are honest - and feel that this cannot possibly be the Christian life that God has meant. There is a hunger.

God says also that He will test us to see whether we really want to be Christians, in order that He might lead us into that which has already been prepared.

In the desert nothing is prepared; there is manna and quail and a struggle to go on. There it is our own work and our own life.

However, Jesus says: "I am the Life".

So it cannot be my own effort. And Moses says: "When you have passed over Jordan, then you will receive the inheritance."

When passing over Jordan - that is to leave and lose our natural man - we will enter the Promised Land and the Promised Land is JESUS.

When we enter the Promised Land, everything is ready for us. When we perceive this, the struggle is over. Then the fight will be to work on not to work - that is to lay down our own works and efforts.

In the Promised Land everything is ready. There God is not going to heal me any more.There Jesus is my Life. There Jesus is my Health. It will never be needed a prayer to be healed. He is my Health.

Yesterday I heard: "I AM. Come to I AM."

Then I saw I AM - Jesus is our Life, our Peace, our Love, our Faith, our Patience, our Meekness, our Humility, our Goodness, our Gentleness - He IS. And that is that. All is completed. The land is ready! Christ is the greeting from Heaven. He is the greeting from the Father. He is given 100 % to all people on this earth.

God wants us to be led by the Spirit, to cooperate with Him in order to be removed from the natural and He Is will be the Life in our life. He is the only Christian there is. A Christianity where He is not present, is not Christianity. It is people invention.

He Is, is seldom in the churches, it is people inventions - their own efforts. They can shout Hallelujah, Praise God, they can smile, etc - but I am longing for Him that Is.

Where is He? I must go to Him that Is.

"Jesus, I do not want anything else than you living your life in me. Then I will be my genuine me." Exactly this I saw today on my way here, when the sun broke through. "When You are in me, I will be my genuine me" - and then the sun came - yes! It is not a matter of asking God to take care of this or that or to do this or that.

He is in me and lives His Life in me. He is Health. It is ready. I never need to win the victory. He has won it. It is completed, finished. It is done, it is ready. The land is ready. Come over Jordan - it is all completed.

He IS - thus all that He is, is His body. He cannot have any other kind of body than the one which is His. That is an impossibility. So that which is not Him, is not His Body. That is just our inventions. That is not Him, and I find this a grief to me.

I have three Christian channels on my TV, and this is what I feel about them: "Where is He in all this?" Only once in a while He IS shows up.

You can carry on with words for ever, but He IS. He stands with outstretched arms, waiting for us to depart from our natural lives. After that, He is our life. And when He is our life, it is over. It is just necessary to remember not to start up again working and trying. He IS. That is so totally wonderful!

All this God showed me when I was saved. Although I did not know that I was saved, He said: "It is about a journey through the desert." I could not understand it at that time.

Jesus is the Life. This is how I feel: "Jesus, you are my Life - in everything" and accept that. Then God is not even in Heaven, then He is in me through the Holy Ghost. He is so close that I do not have to call: "God, do you see that I am sick? Heal me!" In stead perceiving: "You are my Health."

But up till that point it is manna and quail. The goal is an inheritance, and who is the inheritance? He Is.

Who is the Promised Land? He Is.

He is everything. Suddenly it is only Him.

There is nothing else we need. All that is not Him, is just humbug. I want Him, He who Is, and always will be. I do not want anything else to be alert and happy.

God showed me Joshua 5: 9-12 early on.

Here the children of Israel enter the Promised Land - into Christ.

And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.

... There everything that we have problems with got removed. It disappears - when He Is, takes over.

And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.

... What did the children of Israel celebrate? What is Easter? What do you celebrate at Easter - really? We celebrate the death of Adam. That was the death which Jesus died. We celebrate the death of the old nature. And well we should, for it is really a good reason to celebrate.

And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.

... Thus they ate from the inheritance. The corn of the land they had not had time to sow. They ate from that which they had not worked for, given by grace and then the manna ceased.

And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

... That is the inheritance.

What is sanctification? It is to get a separation.

It is being separated unto His life and being divorced from the old life. It is easier to separate from oneís sins Ė plain fleshly desires Ė than it is to be separated from the powers of the soul. The fact that it took forty years for the children of Israel is not at all difficult for me to understand. It is hard to get rid of the reactions of the soul.

But God wants to help us making this separation.

Deuteronomy 8: 2-3

And thou shalt remenber all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

... That proceeds - not proceeded - out of the mouth of the Lord.

Then I received Deuteronomy 8:16 and that was a comfort for me:

Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;

Ö In order afterwards to be able to do you good - in the land - in Christ.

1 Peter 1: 6-7

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

... There must be a fire to separate out the gold.

When we perceive this, we will not think anymore: "When will God intervene in my life? When will God heal me? When will health come to me?"

Health is given. God has intervened. The land is wide open. Jesus is there. We go to that which God has already done and is completed. We go to health.

God can use ministry gifts and gifts of grace. On our journey they are like manna and quail - they are there for us so we will not give up in the desert. But that is not the inheritance.

Jesus Christ is our inheritance.

God does not want us to go around waiting all our lives for Him to intervene. God wants us to go to the completed work, where health is, where restoration is.

Where He becomes my life, that is where I will be restored.

Where He is my life, there it is ready.

When He is, then I am the genuine me.

We never need to sit and wait. We can go towards Jesus, seeking Him.

To make this separation, God will help us with fire and trials in order to reveal the dross. When the dross rises to the surface, we say: "Father, I donít want my old life. I donít want to live after my own feelings. I want to turn my back on it. I want to walk towards you, God. I seek you. I choose more time with you. I want to be with you in the word."

God also gave me the scripture verse John 5:39 a long time ago. I was driving the car and I had been teaching about this very Bible passage at a meeting, when God told me: "You have taught something that you donít understand." That was hard to take - but I had done it, nevertheless. Then God said to me: "Reading love letters will not produce children. You cannot produce life by reading the Bible."

Suppose I read in the Bible: You must love your enemy. And I tell my friend "to love your enemy", because that is what God says. That is an impossibility. There is only one who loves enemies and that is He who IS. All that Paul writes, all that the word says - from the first to the last page - it testifies about somebody. The word is Jesus.

When I read the Bible I say: "I love this. I choose this. I take this into my life. I accept to love my enemies. I accept to forgive." I read it with my whole being, staying with Him who is the Word and who can reveal it in mortal flesh. But I cannot. Even if I try ever so hard, I cannot do it.

The word testifies about Jesus. The word testifies about I AM - about I Am and He Is. He is the Word in mortal flesh, if I open myself to it. What my soul must do, is to choose this in my life. I have no power in myself to do it, but I can choose it and take it into my heart, open up my heart and go to Him and receive that Life which is the Word - the Lord himself.

You can hear when people try to exhort someone to just do such and such and in this way the Bible might be used. Then you can feel how the word can clobber when He is not in it - it is like Jobís friends - God was angry with them. They just quoted the word - but then Elihu came in life and in Spirit.

Neither we should give the word to anybody, if it is not the Word himself that is giving it through us. When He who Is, effects it, it will be Spirit and Life. You hear the difference. If you are spiritually sensitive you hear the difference.

If a person quotes a scripture to me, I may be annoyed. Yet later someone else might say the same scripture to me and it will make me weep. Why is that? It has to do with whether the word is accompanied by life or whether it comes with death. When we start to recognize life, we will resist death. Much of what we hear - even Christian things - we resist, because we resist that which is death. We feel,  that it is death. But when life comes ...

God has tried to explain this for me so many years but it takes time. I recently heard two preachers preach the same scripture verses.

One sailed right by me unnoticed, but the other one broke me down into contrition because of the life in it. It is damaging to transmit death, and that is the very kind of thing we tend to resist. It makes us upset, because we long for life.

Life that comes from God is always spontaneous. It is never worked out in the head - it just flows out.

John 5: 39-40

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

The only one who can fulfill this is He who Is, and that is what He wants to do in you and me.

Why are we on the earth? In order to reveal life and transmit life. Whose life? His life.

Other Bible verses that God gave me early on, had to do with Paul. When he suffered, he found pleasure in his sufferings because then the life of Christ was revealed in Him. He did not run away from them. He knew that everything which came against him had a purpose. "When I am weak, then I am strong" - not strong in myself but Christ is revealed in me. That is why I am here." Somewhere, like Paul, I must say that my own life has no value to me - I just want to complete the run and the calling, laid upon me - and there His life is.

God is saying to me: "You cannot serve me if it is not me who is active in you." Among the first words God gave me, when He sent me out, was: "All you let me do through you, you will be rewarded. All you do on your own, will burn."

We are here to reveal the Eternal Life - Jesus Christ - and to transmit it. That is why we are here. Not to transmit a religion.

In the Promise Land all is ready and in Christ all is ready. We struggle with unity in the body of Christ and that is only as long as we remain in our souls. The unity is ready in Christ. Love is there, faith is there and all the promises are in Christ ... Yes, it is already done. All the promises - how many are there? However many there are, are YES. We do not have to call to God. We need to get to the completed work which is Jesus, the greeting from Heaven. Health, peace and life forever - more than we can understand.

The testing we are going through is because a separation must take place. We never need to sit and wait for God to intervene. Jesus is ready. He is there. We walk towards Him. For us not to give up, we receive quail, manna and a rock, which follows us in the desert - the Rock Christ Jesus. But most of the people who walked in the desert, God had no pleasure in - they all ate Jesus, the rock followed them, the rock stood not still. Why? They had their mind turned towards the evil, rather than towards the goal.

That is why there were only two people, who entered the land.

But we can choose in these last days. I do not want to get to heaven until He Is. I have longed and longed to go home, but now I am saying: "Dear Father, do not take me home, until He IS." That is my highest desire - not for my own sake or for any spiritualityís sake, but because He gave His own life for it to become a reality.

The choice is an obedience to the life of Jesus. To be willing that the life of Jesus will be manifested. This is obedience to the faith. That is what Paul fought for - that we would let Jesus be manifested, so that He can be the one He is in our mortal flesh.

Philippians 3: 3

For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

 ... And those who serve God in their own selves, Paul calls dogs in the preceding verse.

Lately it seems like God is telling me: "You have never served me, but my grace has worked anyway." I have not served God in the manner that God desires, but still His grace has worked.

Now it feels like there is a possibility of obtaining grace to live Christ, and of serving God more in the Spirit. It feels like starting from the beginning.

Maybe there are many of us feeling that we start to serve God, give our lives to Him and walk towards Him to the Land, where everything is ready - and people will see Life.

 

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