One does not have to be an orator to release words of spirit and life. We can be very ordinary people who are sharing their life in God - sharing not in the generality of God or in a religious kind of godliness - but sharing the life that is ours as a son/daughter of our Father.
In our youth we heard a lot of speakers. Some had something to say. Others were what my friend called ‘ponderous.’ He meant their words were weighty yet lacking in substance. If you are a speaker/teacher, you have the potential to be spirit and life and release the same into the hearts of people. This will come easily if you are a daughter, a son or a spiritual father. It is the sons who make the best spiritual fathers. Their life-giving capacity comes from the fact that they and their Father are one.
It may come as a surprise to many Believers who have been influenced by materialist assumptions that humans have a spirit that is an integral part of their being. I spent most of my life not knowing this, thinking that I was merely the totally it of my physical parts. It was not until I read much later in life in a book called The Elijah Task that what I had vaguely intuited was true - that we had a spirit that is the essential us. I read lines from Wordsworth in my youth that I dismissed as wishful thinking or just wrong theology. I was raised in a strangely rationalist, physicalist culture that located visions in the one and denied them to the many. Wordswoth wrote in words that today I find profoundly moving,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy..
These lines make me shout ‘Yes!’ to life and weep for the denial of the human spirit and our origins that creeps upon us with age. Our being is at once ancient, modern and, in God, eternal. We come from the heart of God; from the desire of the original family, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to share the pleasures of life and community they enjoyed. The desire of God has always been to share what they have, with the sons and daughters of God.
No wonder Jesus said that unless we become as little children we will not comprehend the Kingdom of Heaven. A. W. Tozer assures us that we are not bodies with a spirit rattling about inside. We are spirits with a body. I did not know it once. But I do now - that the spirit returns to God at the death of the body.
‘For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it’ Eccl 12.7 NIV.
I asked my daughter over lunch at “Grilled” today, what she had learned at the leaders course she is doing with Christian Union. She said, ‘They told us again that if you are are serving God in ministry you have to be living in God yourself.’ I remarked that not even ministry for God is a substitute for union with Him. Living in God our spirit is ignited and we become aflame with spirit and life.
I know a man who is a ponderous speaker. Another friend told him once that he was ‘droning on.’ He did not appear to be offended. Probably because he thought he was doing well. But actually he was being a drone. His words took up time and space but were impotent in terms of spirit and life. Tied to the law, he lived from a belief system and majored in the letter. Yes, there was information there. Here was an industriously put together talk that lacked spirit and life because he lived from an old covenant mind-set.
One does not have to be an orator to release words of spirit and life. We can be very ordinary people who are sharing their life in God - sharing not in the generality of God or in a religious kind of godliness - but sharing the life that is ours as a son/daughter of our Father. Such people are alive and alight because they live in the Spirit of Christ. The person, spirit and life of Jesus is theirs. Jesus is not someone added to their life. He is their life and it shows. When we and our Father are one, as we are in new covenant living, we do in that time and place what Jesus is doing and impart His spirit-life in exactly the way it is meant to be portrayed to the people who are present. Our teaching is both apt and alive with the supernatural life of heaven. In this way we can be conduits of the life of heaven into earth.
But we cant do this if we are in the law. Some denominations are in law by doctrine. Others are by default because they live from a performance motivation that is a far more subtle and unobtrusive kind of ‘law’ than the law of Moses. Nevertheless it is just as suffocating of spirit and life.
Being a life-giver is not going to happen if we are living from the old covenant. We will lack potency if we are ministering from an old and dead way in the age of the new and living way. We will be tedious and un-sharp when we are ministering from the letter and not one with the living Word. Even if we do understand the ‘anointing’ we will always subvert life to letter when our roots are in the law.
Life does not come from information or moral correctness. But it is related to theology in so far as the new covenant is concerned. Unless Christ Himself is our life; unless He is actually incarnated in our being; unless He has come in our flesh, alive in our hearts and has taken over our mind we have no spirit or life.
The fact that our origins are heaven account for the blighting of our souls and wounding of our spirits at the rough hand of life. Considering where we come from, much of life is an abuse. But we are not left to wallow in self-pity and remorse. In Christ’s wounds we are healed and in His death we are made alive. Our life today in Him is a life in the law of the spirit of life.
Spirit-life comes from the presence of Christ in us and the Spirit of Sonship in which we live. But we are not sons in spirit and in truth if we are tied to religion, law and old covenant. We are sons in potential only. We remain alienated from uni0n with God and the inheritance that is ours as sons who are sons in spirit and in truth and brimming with resurrection/new creation life.