Saturday, May 21, 2016

Theantric Action

Our founding pastor sometimes came up with his own terminology for certain things, either borrowing from earlier students of the Word or combining several Biblical words to properly describe a concept, when nothing else properly fit.  The title of today's guest post is one of the latter.  Pastor Chris McFarland joins us, today, with some great insights.  And yes, he'll be back.  Having said that, let's take a look at theantric action.

There is a wonderful reality which can seem to elude many believers. It is a place of true spiritual blessing. David called it to mind in his most well known Psalm:

Psalm 23:1–3 (ESV)  The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

You will notice that verses 2-3 follow verse 1 not just in the order of the Psalm but in the experience of the believer. We can know and recite the text, but never find the reality described in it. It depends upon our submission to the Lord as my shepherd. The Living bible's rendering brings this out very well:

Psalm 23:1–3 (The Living Bible)  Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!  He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams. He gives me new strength. He helps me do what honors him the most.

When the Lord is my shepherd, he brings me to the places of stillness and true nourishment. Here is where I find the bible is more than just rules and regulations, it becomes my spiritual food. This calls to mind Jeremiah's experience:

Jeremiah 15:16 (The Living Bible)  Your words are what sustain me; they are food to my hungry soul. They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me. How proud I am to bear your name, O Lord.

The bible can be a daunting place. We can hear it through the confusion of the law, the subjectivity of our soul or in the mire of our personal memories. All of these voices will lead us into frustration and trouble waters. Waters stirred up and muddy. Pastures with not enough nourishment to sustain our spiritual growth. It is easy to get condemned, discouraged or deeply stressed trying to perform. This all happens when we don't really find the Lord as our shepherd. When we are following voices that only lead us to ourselves, we can end up in spiritual death. Jesus had harsh words for those whose lives were not truly nourished by the spirit of God:

Matthew 23:25–28 (ESV)  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.  So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

So what is theantric action? It is where the child of God and the life of God become one in the heart and mind of the believer. "Our Human disposition is merged with life of Christ through a process of growth and the intake of bible doctrine and faith obedience."  Paul refers to it. When Divine Justice blesses and produces his divine nature in our lives.

Romans 8:3–4 (ESV)  For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,  in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Notice it says that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled "in" us, not "by" us. This happens when we are humble and filled with the spirit of God and his word lives richly in our hearts. "God's nature controls the believer's nature through the government of the indwelling Word and through the power of the indwelling spirit in us. God literally takes over who we are with divine/human results or theantric action. Then it is a joy to be a believer. The powerhouse of God is where we will find the theantric activity of God and learn to live theantrically. Usually this process will lead us into and under the shepherdship of the proper pastor/teacher and into a fellowship or body of believers. We should be prayerful however, because who we submit to is very important. They should be an undershepherd of Jesus Christ and not anything more. We need to grow up into him and not a religious system of any other sort. Paul described this process in this way:

Galatians 2:19–21 (ESV)  For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Totally guilty before the Law. Then Killed and Executed in Jesus Christ. Now dead to the law because my death with Christ put me beyond its jurisdiction. Now living in the life of Christ and allowing grace to nourish, teach and lead me in theantric action. Blessed beyond my wildest imaginations.

Lord Jesus, we have awoken in your likeness and in your renewed image for our lives. We have been resurrected and graced to walk in a brand new life. Help we pray to realize our full theantric potential today. Amen!!!

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