[ Statement #1: We submit to Jesus as Lord[i] and recognize the Bible as having authority in our lives ]
Let’s keep it short and sweet, yeah we actively seek to submit[ii] and surrender every part of our lives[iii]
We’re[iv] scratching at the surface of a deeper way to live, of a fuller way to be[v], a more hope filled way to die
And this is just a shadow[vi], a hologram, a projection[vii], full of beauty but lacking all the same
And we don’t have to look any further than ourselves to find a longing and an ache[viii]
We found the answer![ix]
But lately I’ve been thinking how
A line is to a square is to a cube[x] is to a tesseract[xi]
There’s so much more than we can truly touch and see and feel
A line is to a square is to a cube is to a tesseract
So let’s get fifth dimensional[xii]
And stop believing that we can do this on our own[xiii]
And stop pretending that the world as we know it is our home[xiv]
And stop acting like what we create for ourselves is good enough, or any good at all
And start resisting[xv], begin standing up and fighting against
Apathy[xvi] and comfort and the need to have our own control
Sometimes it feels like we’re just holding on to our final shreds of hope…
Well, it’s time to let our hold go[xvii]
We’ve found the answer in surrender to Jesus as Lord[xviii]
[i] A great insight to “Jesus is Lord” can be seen in Dan Mohler’s first session of The Best of Power and Love. It’s directly referenced from 15:21 – 17:21, but I’d say just watch the first half hour-ish (or the whole thing, actually!) Here’s the short version: “There’s two things I tell people that I don’t think about in my life. And literally, it’s true. I don’t think about sin and I don’t think about the devil. I think about Jesus, and sonship, and covenant” … “What I’m saying is that we focus on the wrong things and we make much of something that shouldn’t be made much of and we make little of the wrong things. See, we need to make much of the finished work, much of the love of God, much of forgiveness, much of mercy, much of the power of God in us. Right? C’mon, he’s a little snake in the garden, crawling, cursed to eat the dust of the earth all the days of his life. The enemy! That was the last picture I had seen of him. And then all through the Bible I see him deceiving and tempting and trying and in Revelation somehow he’s a seven headed monster rising out of the sea. Wait… the last picture I saw he was a cursed little… by God, cursed, by God. Where did he get all that power? Men honored him and feared him all along the way… created a monster out of something that God knows is cursed. Men have made a monster. We’ve feared him, reverenced him, worshiped him. Jesus all the while is Lord. He is Lord. Jesus is Lord [chuckle]. Yay! He really is. That’s not hype. Jesus is Lord! He really is, oh yes he is. He’s the king.”
[ii] “When we submit the things of God to the mind of man, unbelief and religion are the results. When we submit the mind of man to the things of God, we end up with faith and a renewed mind.” – Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth, p. 47
[iii] From Dallas Willard’s The Great Omission (Chapter 1): “If your neighbor is having trouble with his automobile, you might think he just got a lemon. And you might be right. But if you found that he was supplementing his gasoline with a quart of water now and then, you would not blame the car or its maker for it not running, or for running in fits and starts. You would say the car was not built to work under the conditions imposed by the owner. And you would certainly advise him to put only the appropriate kind of fuel in the tank. After some restorative work, perhaps the car would run fine. We must approach current disappoints about the walk with Christ in a similar way. It too is not meant to run on just anything you give it. If it doesn’t work at all, or only in fits and starts, it’s because we do not give ourselves to it in a way that allows our lives to be taken over by it.” … then one page later: “Disciples of Jesus are people who do not just profess certain views as their own, but apply their growing understanding of life in the Kingdom of Heaven to every aspect of their life on earth.”
[iv] We, like, as people – as the human race – are just scratching at the surface. The joy, hope, peace, fulfillment, satisfaction, pleasure, etc. that we feel is real, but it’s not complete. We must admit that there’s something more, something deeper. Continued in later points…
[v] It seems like pretty much anything by NT Wright addresses this… that life lived in Jesus is to live more fully human. But, if you want to refer to specifics, check out his Surprised by Hope, or After You Believe. Also, you can listen his Hope in a World Gone Wrong series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
[vi] For more on this, read C.S. Lewis’ Great Divorce – In the story, when people are exposed to the “stuff” of heaven, they realize that all the stuff of life that seemed so real and solid and true is really like a ghost, like a shadow…
Also, but sort of a different angle, Colossians 2:16-17: Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Hebrews 10:1: For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.
[vii] A really quick summary of the holographic principal is that the entropy (disorder) of a black hole is proportional to its radius squared (dealing with the surface area of a sphere), not cubed (as would be expected from the volume of a sphere). This suggests that the information stored “in” the volume (3-D) of a black hole can be entirely represented on its surface (2-D), much like hologram shows a 3-D picture on a 2-D surface, and that “reality” as we know it may be encoded and projected from a 2-D dimensional surface.
A quick-but-slightly-less-quick summary of the holographic principle in physics can be found at Scientific American online. For a long read, check out Brian Greene’s Fabric of the Cosmos (chapter 16, in particular), or Leonard Susskind’s The Black Hole War (chapter 18). You could also watch an abbreviated summary from PBS NOVA here: The Fabric of the Cosmos: What is Space? (I’d suggest you watch the whole thing just for fun, but the holographic principle is addressed in the last 9 minutes – start it at 46 minutes in.)
[viii] This has popped up again and again at the Salvage Yard, but Molly preached on it while we were going through 1 Corinthians. The link is kind of funky, but you can listen to it here… you just have to scroll down to find 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 from January 28,1014.
Again, check out C.S. Lewis’ Weight of Glory, in which he mostly addresses this ache for something more: (p 32) “A man’s physical hunger does not prove that man will get any bread; he may die of starvation on a raft in the Atlantic. But surely a man’s hunger does prove that he comes of a race which repairs its body by eating and inhabits a world where eatable substance exists. In the same way, though I do not believe (I wish I did) that my desire for Paradise proves I shall enjoy it, I think it a pretty good indication that such a thing exists and that some men will.” While I totally disagree and think that I will enjoy it, I agree that, when we pay attention, we all will notice an ache for the deeper life that we were created for, and that is an identifier that there is something more than what we see in front of us.
[ix] The answer to the ache, the surface level, the absence of substance, and only finding the shadow.
[x] Put two lines (one dimensional) side by side and connect them, you get a square (2-D). Put two squares side by side and connect their four corners, you get a cube (3-D). Put two cubes side by side in four dimensional space, and connect their vertices, you get a tesseract (4-D). #Hypercube!
If you want to go way back to the source, you can read Edwin Abbott’s Flatland, which is so old that it is now public domain… You can get it here. I’d suggest skipping straight to “Part 2: Other World’s” to get straight to the good stuff and avoid the social and cultural commentary in the early pages.
[xii] We know exactly what lines, squares, and cubes look like. With a little approximation and imagination, a tesseract is understandable. Very few people, if any, can actually visualize an extension of a tesseract into five dimensional space. Consider this thought that was impressed on Bill Johnson: “If you don’t change the way you perceive things, you’ll live your whole life thinking that what you see in the natural is the superior reality.” (When Heaven Invades Earth, p 38.) In the same way, we can try to do God’s kingdom work out of our own strength and imagination. It’s easy to get defensive and try to justify our “really good” ideas, but the truth is that God is the one that rescues and restores his creation, not us. Our ideas might appear to cause some amount of good in the near term, but they won’t satisfy and they won’t last. We live in a broken world. We just do. So, we surrender even our best ideas, because we know that Jesus works out something even better. We let the supernatural invade the natural. We might not be able to fully understand it or visualize all the pieces coming together, but we stop, we let go of our stuff, we listen, we follow God’s leading. We rise up and live out the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in those who have surrendered their wills to God. And you know what happens? We see stuff we never thought was possible. We feel things more deeply than we knew existed. We live more fully because we draw life from the life giver – and it might look a heck of a lot different than we thought, but it is real and it is good. So let’s get fifth dimensional. And, thus follows what has been dubbed a manifesto, of sorts.
[xiii] John 15:5 – I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
[xiv] Remember this theme from going through 1st Peter at the Salvage Yard? Also, after this song was written, I found this song Exile Dial Tone by Beautiful Eulogy that speaks to the nature of being exiles in a world that is not our home.
[xv] Inspired by Josh Garrels’ The Resistance. Why DO good people lose their faith, peter out, become a part of a system and a condition that they were once fighting against? They don’t believe in resistance.
[xvii] Not let go of hope. Don’t be ridiculous. But let go of our striving to produce the hope we’re desperately hanging on to. This was totally stolen/inspired from Josh Garrels’ Farther Along. “We’re all cast-aways in need of ropes, hanging on by the last threads of our hope”
[xviii] So how do we win? How do we get below the shallows of life into deep meaningfulness? How do we conquer the ache? Find meaning and purpose? See beauty in the worst of times? Let Jesus use us to help restore his creation to unimaginable awesomeness? We lay down our “stuff” and let Jesus be Lord of our lives.