Spiritual Mothers, and “Another Comforter”

I would like to speak a little more about spiritual mothers, near and far. Beginning with the Scriptures: John 14:16-18, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide  with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” 

Notice that there are two comforters in the passage, Jesus is the first, and The Spirit of truth is “another comforter”. Notice both of these comforters have been with the disciples, and both of them are going to be in them. 

And then John 16:12-15: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the spirit of truth come, he will guide you into all truth: for he will not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He will glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore Said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

Again, notice here “the Spirit of truth” is not the same person as Jesus. In this discussion, there is clearly Jesus, and the One who will bring us, or show us, the things that are His.

So then, what is the outcome? In First Corinthians 15:45 it is written, “The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a life giving spirit.” Jesus became a life-giving Spirit.

The promise of the Father is that we would have all of Him living in us. Jesus is in us, as a life-giving Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is in us as our teacher, our source of power for speaking and doing.

Jesus is in us as our identity, and the Holy Spirit is in us to teach us who we are in this new identity. The Holy Spirit teaches us about this Christ who is now our life, “Christ in us, the hope of Glory”. On the one hand, there is the Life in us, and, on the other hand, the power to understand and live out this Life.

A person with an identity crisis is already defeated. This is Satan’s first point of attack, either preventing us from finding out who we are in God, or making us forget it.

Now where mothers are concerned, the same two things apply: identity, and nurture. For the purpose of illustration, let me take this to the extremes. At the beginning of our life, mothering, for us, is all nurture. There is not yet the capacity for our identity to be formed; the benefit of us having parents comes along later with maturity. But at the other end of life, there is no nurture—only identity. All too quickly, it seems, the nurture flows in the other direction, as children have to take care of the parents in their old age! If everything is working right, by that time the children know who they are, and the flow of life can easily go the other way. (John 13:3-5)

In other words, one of the things that life teaches us, is that as we mature we are nurtured by more and more people. In the beginning, only a mother can give us anything, then a father, then siblings, (although that is not always a pretty sight) then teachers, and friends, and finally strangers. Once that degree of maturity is achieved, the nurturing part of mothering is not so important any more. But the identity part is always important: “Then shall we know even as we are known,” I Corinthians 13:12. Even when your mother goes on to be with the Lord, your identity will be set in her. 

What a great hope we have in Christ! 

~ By Jay Ferris

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An Ego Stake in Ignorance

In recent years I have noticed a stark difference between what is possible with a man, and what is possible with a woman, conversationally. What struck me is how much men seem to have an ego stake in their ignorance. Religion is the codification of ignorance, and fundamentalism is particularly resistant to new information or change.

This problem seems to be indicated in I Corinthians 8:1,2 “... Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.”

Women, on the other hand, have little or no difficulty in receiving new information; even in public, they are not threatened by it. In fact, if the experience with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is any indication, they are perhaps a little too willing to take in or embrace new information. Even after we come to a place of recognizing that headship has more to do with source than over-lording, it is clear a women’s identity is not nearly as dependent on intellectual wisdom, even if it’s only “street wisdom,” as is a man’s identity.

If women have an ego stake in anything, it is in the need to minimize their vulnerability. I think this is one reason for their greater willingness to get in your face, including the constant generation of “honey do lists.”

Where the “church” is concerned, this ego stake in ignorance is particularly troublesome, first, because it resists the open dialogue which might result in life, and life more abundantly; but worse than that, it resists speaking the truth in love in a public setting. Male-dominated churchianity is into lectures, not conversation.

God is into conversation in, and by the Spirit. So we have a two fold problem; conversation is not only resisted as a means of change, but it is also resisted as the end goal of our faith.

Part of the problem may be that it is easier to take up an offering for a lecture than it is for a conversation. One thing is very clear, however; it takes a lot more foreplay to have an intimate conversation with a man than with a woman, and the need for privacy is much greater. I believe this is symptomatic of the lack of circumcision, that is the circumcision of the Cross.

  • By Jay Ferris
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Graphics Considered, Life is an Act of Love

Here is my try at the Fatherhood of God.

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, Old things are passed away, behold all things become new.

Paraphrased for a broader and deeper application: “If anyone is in Christ, (which can only happen if He is in them) they are a new race. Their old race has passed away, and like Paul, they can consider their membership in their old race, rubbish. Look, see! Everything about you is new, deriving from your new lineage.”

To explore why it is important to see and understand God as our Father, I want to get very narrow in focus. There is more to His Fatherhood than what I want to say here, and by excluding it for the purpose of this present discussion, I don’t want to imply that the rest is not very important. 

Let me begin by saying that, if we are created “male and female in God’s image,” then God must be male and female. An image ought to look like what it represents, don’t you think? The irreducible significance of male and female is relationship. It was an “us” that said in the beginning,” Let us make…” There is authority in the “let,” there is intimacy in the “us,” there is a new creation in the “make.”

We don’t know what the intimacy of the Godhead must be like in reality, because we are not there yet; but God has made an effort to communicate something of this intimacy by giving us the graphics of our own bodies. It is increasingly apparent to me however, that the graphics are very limited in possibility when compared to the reality that is hidden in Christ in God.

Here, I want to explore what can  be learned from the graphics, however. 

God has promised to redeem the race of the first man Adam, by the seed of the first woman Eve. Keep in mind, that she began in Adam, and was not called woman until she was taken out of him. Was she any less for having come out from him? No, rather she was in some ways more than he was. He was “made,” she was “formed.” In the original, the difference is that He was put together “good enough to function.” She was formed, in addition, like a master creates a work of art.

Where reproduction is concerned, the man contained seed; the woman contained more than seed, she contained egg. The egg not only contains the potential for new life, but the environment for the early nurture of new life. Where his seed is concerned, it could not participate in the creation of a new race. It would take God’s seed to do that, even Christ. All through the lineage of the human race, God kept track of the egg. Abraham was looking for love in all the wrong places. Love was in the egg of Sarah, and her only. Look at Tamar. The Love was in her, and within the limits of Judah, she did whatever she had to do—God helping her—to make sure it would be her egg that would hatch. From the beginning, Satan has been after the woman and her seed. His war has been against her, not against him.

Satan makes war against “hims,” only to the degree that we become “hers” in relationship to Christ.

A father is a seed planter. The life is in the seed. A mother is a place where new life grows. God is the one who gives the growth, or “increase.”

In order to have a new race, there must first be a new father; in this case, a heavenly one. The heart of God is that everyone become a new race. This can only happen by His Fatherhood, which is to say, by His seed, even Christ. In the first instance, what we bring to the process is the egg. He makes us pregnant by Christ through an act of love, the cross.

We then become partakers of the Divine nature, and once that happens, we are no longer the old race of the first man Adam. More than that, we are no longer male or female. In any given situation we might be either in spiritual function. At one point Paul was in labor pains, at another he was taking new believers to his breast for nurture, at another point he was planting Divine seeds. 

Are you any different from Paul in this regard? No, you are not any different. You can be a seed planter. You can be a life nurturer. In Christ, you have it all. All you need is the revelation, and the faith to appropriate what is yours in eternity. You are pregnant with new life, and are able to get others pregnant with new life. 

God certainly wants us to notice that, in the first instance, He has made us male and female. Not to notice is inexcusable, but armed with what we have noticed, He wants to take us to a place of intimacy that leaves what we have noticed, in the shadows of who we used to be. If we just can’t stay out of the shadows, that’s ok, but whatever we do, let’s not miss the light.

Make no mistake, God does not want us to miss the graphics, but in the process, let’s not miss the otherwise invisible reality about God about which the graphics are only a shadow.

When Jesus went to the cross, it was an act of love with the potential of getting the whole world pregnant. We have been caught up in a very exciting and fulfilling  process, if we only could understand it from God’s point of view. 

Properly understood, life is an act of love.

  • By Jay Ferris
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The Best Investment Tip You’ll Ever Hear

During a walk in the woods with friends once in 1999, the following understanding of “the parable of the talents” came to light for me from one of them, in context of relationships. (Matthew 25:14-30)

Looking at the one slave who buried his talent, we must understand that the application to the Kingdom of God has little or nothing to do with financial investment, putting money in a bank, or even burying it in the ground.  The Lord is speaking about “high risk” investment, however, as contrasted with the relative safety of money in the bank.

In the Kingdom of God, the currency of God is love, and the investment is in relationships.  Jesus is the investor.  He staked everything on relationships, first of all His relationship with His Father, and then with His Father as the backer, He invested everything in us who believe.  He is after a return on this investment in relationships, and lots of them.  Jesus’ Father is looking for fellowship.  When the Greeks wanted to meet Jesus, He went away and left the job to us, John 20:20-26.

By His death, He made a deposit into our lives, and the Holy Spirit continues to bring us even more of Him.  Jesus is looking for a return on that investment.  Jesus knows what it is to risk rejection, and be rejected, Isaiah 53:3.  He expects us to take the same risk, and invest ourselves in others.

For the slave who had very little experience with the Lord, there were two problems: one a problem of perception, and the other, a very real fear, Matt. 25:24-25.

If we have no sense that the Lord has sown anything of substance into our lives; if we know little or nothing of Him, we have a very false impression.  We don’t see ourselves as having enough to take a chance on reaching out to others.  The downside risk is that of rejection – rejection now, and rejection on the day when we must all give account.

The Lord has promised us a return on our investment, in this present age as well as the next.

One hundred times as much as what we are willing to invest, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers (Luke’s account reads, ‘parents’) and children… Mark 10:29-30

How are you doing with
the investment of your life?

~From “Are You Worried Yet? Where is Money Taking Us” by Jay Ferris.

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The One Tree

“It is futility to try to tell the woods from the trees. Focus instead on the one tree that is needed to see the whole picture. At that tree, external preoccupations come to an end, and eternal occupations have their beginning.”  – Jay Ferris

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The I am of This Moment

“From a spiritual perspective it is impossible not to appreciate at some greater depth why God identified Himself to Moses as “I AM rather than “I was” or “will be.” We need to be guided and governed by the “I Am” of the moment, and not the “I was” of the past. To be governed by the “I Am” of the moment sets us free from the bondage of past wounding and offendedness.” – Jay Ferris

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