In the past couple of days, the lights have been going on at an increasing rate once again. (I love those seasons!) :-) A young couple came by with their newborn a couple of days ago, and we were struck with how pixilated the father was and is with his little girl. Men not being as relational as women, something very special happens to them when they first encounter their own child.
That got me thinking once again about Paul’s statement in Philippians 2:20-22. This time the spot light was shining on the word “proof.”
If the King James Version is any indication, Paul didn’t start using that word until 2nd Corinthians, which is to say, after meeting and spending time with Timothy. I’m not sure he had fully comprehended its full significance yet in 2nd Corinthians, but by the time he got to writing to the Philippians, he seems to have finally comprehended the full proof!
It took him a while to get the proof or to find out what the proof was, and is.
In short, on his first missionary trips out, he hadn’t so much as heard there be a “proof.”
On Saturday an older couple were here for the day. They both “Get It.”
In our conversation over the course of the day more light got poured on what I was seeing, like when the old guy saw the baby Jesus and said, “… now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”
Here’s a beautiful song that illustrates this truth:
Elsewhere it is written: “For unto us a child is born…”
For us males, proof comes when we hold a child in our arms. Up to then it’s all theories – all systems, all deals, all in the head with little or no meaningful or “proving” revelation in the heart.
In short then, as in our own day, Paul began his apostolic or “missionary” journeys with unproven content. By now what has been calling itself “church,” even “cutting edge church,” is still dead. “But in the fullness of time God sent forth His son born of a woman, born of the law…”
Until the full significance of this gets dropped into the lap of our experience, we don’t yet possess the proof. If we have no proof, leaving home apparently does more harm than good.
Are you with me so far?
On Saturday the older man shared with us how impacted he was the first time his baby was place in his arms. (more confirmation) A Little later he shared a song that almost had it right, the title lyric was “I need to be born again again,” and goes on to say the same thing about the experience of first love again. Where the song goes wrong is in suggesting that one more time will be sufficient to get it all and have it stick.
In my experience, that’s not how it works. This whole matter is a transaction of the cross, where our old ways, perceptions and values die, and His new way comes alive on the resurrection side of the revelation of the cross. Once is not enough. It takes death and resurrection all day long to live in the first love reality all day long. Every time we think we have it and can do it on our own, we need to be reminded, that Paul was “determined to know nothing among you except Jesus and Him crucified.
The Corinthians were not so easy to love, and Paul needed resurrected experiential proof all day long to love them with new love all day long. It took his relationship with Timothy to prove that for Paul. I think it takes no less than that for us. We need to hold a child who The Lord has given to us here and now. Many are in denial about such a possibility, and especially about such a possibility gender neutral. To that kind of orthodox error, those who have experienced the proof appear to be heretics.
Okay – enough for now, I hope to get into this matter of truth and heresy while I am undergoing chemotherapy a little later this morning. I need to further explore the Truth in connection with the parallels between orthodox medicine vs. alternative medicine, and orthodox “church” vs. alternative Church
The difference is in what Paul explained about Timothy, “… I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”
Agendas other than Jesus Christ and his Lordship are destroying and misrepresenting true spiritual relationship.
More about that in the next post. :-)
By Jay Ferris, originally posted February 13, 2013