His ‘Everlasting’ Opinion!
My husband and I have recently been watching ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy together, and I was struck by the evil Sauron’s ‘all-seeing eye’, and the dread and fear that the eye forcefully imposes upon people. It reminded me of every single system within this world, whether a religion or a philosophy of culture. All of these systems place humanity on a never-ending performance treadmill that whispers different sized portions of dread and fear into every one of us, sometimes very subtly. Our mind always has a constant awareness of certain ideals that these systems advocate, and a further awareness of how we are lacking in the perceptions of this culture. It is like we are hosting an ‘all-seeing eye’. For example, being placed under the system of culture may come with a nasty sting. It may tell you that you are not such-and-such, and don’t have this-and-that, to be beautiful or successful, and this nagging thought can become the system which warps your sight and taints the way you view the whole world. It becomes the system through which you evaluate yourself, and everyone else. It short-changes us, and really, it is a complete load of gillyweed. However, Romans 7 articulates every human’s battle with the performance treadmill, and ends with a heart-felt: “Thank you Jesus for delivering me from this!” – Thank you Jesus for throwing the perceptions, evaluations, and judgments of these performance-oriented systems into the fires of your love (Song of Solomon 8:6; Hebrews 12:29)!
In the book of Jeremiah, God says ‘before I formed you in the womb, I knew you….I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (Jeremiah 1:5; 31:3). You have your origin in the awesome wonder of God’s heart – that sacred place of all true magic and wonder. Your origin, and therefore your definition and worth, supersedes and transcends all earthly systems. This word ‘everlasting’ is a timeless word. You are valuable – that value is hidden with Jesus (Colossians 3:3), in whose image you are made. You are an irreplaceable and unique design of the divine excitement of the Godhead that has never been seen before. God created you specifically, because He wanted a child, made with the value, dignity, worth, and imagination of the entire Trinity. You are made in the image of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This means that your beauty, your energy, your essence, your creativity, and everything else about the true you is ‘everlasting’ – vaster, and greater than you ever could have dreamt. Steve Mcvey in his book ‘Beyond an Angry God’, writes this truth so eloquently:
“Why did God bring you into existence? It was simply to be loved. The quality of love shared among the members of the Trinity has always been perfect. Divine love can be nothing less than perfect love…. The quality of love was impossible to enhance… He didn’t need you. He wanted you! You are your Father’s dream come true! The apostle Paul described us as ‘God’s masterpiece’…Our God had an eternal dream that He would create you and bring you into the eternal circle of His love and life”
God created you because you are His most favourite, fondest thought. He wanted children to bless and lavish love upon! The language of God’s love silences all of those nagging chants that eat away at us to embark on perilous, wearisome journeys of self-improvement that have no real value. Through the cross and resurrection, Jesus cut away from us all of those inferior identities we had attached to ourselves, and all of those vain pursuits to discover an identity that was always only found in Jesus. He plugged us into the candyland of Himself, and revealed to us that in Him, we are partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), with the entire realm of heaven inside of us (Luke 17:21). Heaven and earth is entirely ours, and we are royalty with Him, able to freely access everything good and perfect from the bounty of God’s good heart. Benjamin Dunn in ‘The Happy Gospel’ writes:
“In the New Creation language you won’t find longing and wanting…It’s a language and song of blissful fulfillment and ecstatic satisfaction… It is the song of mortals transformed and swallowed by Life…We should revel and frolic like Paul in our newly found union with Christ. So, listen with your heart. Listen intently to the sweet truth. Let the Lord minister to you the scroll that is sweet like honey. Let the realities stir you in the deepest parts of your heart. Let the new become real to you. Simply submit and surrender to God’s way of salvation. The new language is the language of faith, which is trust. It’s the language of love, not longing. Yes, you were once lovesick but Love himself came and cured that disease. What you hungered for, Christ became and was given to you for your satisfaction. I ask, if we are not completely satisfied with Christ’s offering on the Cross, with what will we be? Know this, that God himself is completely and supremely satisfied with Christ’s sacrifice.Listen to Paul’s words, “nothing can separate me from the love of God”…For, when this reality hits you, it will instantly change your native tongue. You will blissfully forget how to speak the old, and you will be overcome with the new… Baptized into the love cloud, you will have no choice but to sing like ones whole existence is to love and be loved by Christ. Frequencies of heavenly bliss are yours, and as a New Creation you must respond to the revelation by singing them.”
The everlasting enlightens us to our ‘everlasting’ nature, and taught us what it means to be truly human (Titus 2:12). In the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis, Lucy asks the benevolent Lion, Aslan, why he appears bigger, and he responds it is not because he has grown, but because: ‘every year you grow, you will find me bigger’. In the same way, as we grow in our understanding of the goodness and grace of Jesus Christ, we also grow in our understanding of our inherent beauty and worth. We contain the riches of His grace! (Ephesians 1). This understanding causes us to ‘outgrow’ the lies of legalistic thinking, and all of those ‘do to become’ mentalities and lifestyles. They completely lose their sting, and their lies no longer have any effect.
Those who live the abundant life are truly those who have glimpsed at the cross and resurrection of Christ, and seen themselves completely and thoroughly co-included in the cross, and thus completely co-resurrected with Jesus (Colossians 3:1-4). Robert Capon articulates it this way: “The saints were home before they started!”. We enjoy the abundant life as we see Jesus as the testimony of our Origin; our true, original template, and the life of our design, just as the Godhead always imagined it to be! It is God’s goodness revealed in the cross and resurrection of Jesus, which leads us to a true understanding of who we really are (Romans 2:4).
The abundant life is knowing that before we were defined by Adam’s disobedience and its results on humanity, we were made in the image of a God who loved us passionately with an ‘everlasting’ love that gives us ‘everlasting’ worth and value.
By Paige Hunt