The Cat out of the Bag :: Life

We have embarked upon quite a journey together. 9 Cats have been released out of the Bag throughout the last nine weeks. Whew! It’s time for the 10th and final Cat…of this series anyway.

Let’s start this journey with a short video…about cats.

If you lived in the 80’s, this scene would be complete with a big piece of cardboard. I always wondered why refrigerators came in cardboard boxes…until I saw that first break dancer…spinning on his back…

What are the chances?

Granted, this guy set up the cat, for sure…but to be spinning and, with precision, smack that cat into orbit!? That is supernatural!

When I saw this video, it summarized the series I have been writing about…The Cat out of the Bag.

There’s this guy trying to get down with his funky self. He just wants to move to a funky beat. Cuz he’s funky!

I think the Body of Christ is funky. Maybe even phunky!

As the Body of Christ is gettin’ down, these different cats have tried to launch themselves on the Body. They have tried to restrict the freedom of the Body’s phunkiness!

Listen to what the enemy is saying to us about these Cats and feel free to lisp the s’s. It sounds more serpentine that way.

The enemy’s Perspective…or lies…or distortions…

In – Just believe in Jesus…you know, like, he really is God’s Son. Really. Believe it. There’s nothing to it, really.

Grace – It’s amazing isn’t it? Grace is something that God gave us at the cost of His Son. Don’t you feel worthless and pathetic because you could never do this on your own. Just feel bad and be thankful that you aren’t going to be thrown into hell forever.

Will – Keep seeking for God’s will for your life…you’ll find it…some day. If you strive hard enough, maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of what God wants you to do…like move to Utah, or Peru, or stay where you are. Or date this person or that person. Or go onto this career or that. Or buy this house or condo…

Truth – If you know what’s right or wrong, you’ll be free from being wrong! Look for the absolute truth…the absolute right. Everyone else is wrong. Be sure to gather people around you that agree with you on ways of being religious and ways of interpreting the bible and ways of disciplining yourself to be a better version of yourself. Absolutely.

Glory – Yeah…that’s something you might see some day…if you’re right! Be sure to hope in seeing magnificence. You can’t experience it here, so yearn for it and patiently wait for it. Maybe the Holy Spirit will come down and reveal His glory every now and then…look for those places. They are the places you can give yourself away to…because they are probably right. But real glory is for after you die…so wait for it.

Discipleship – The best discipleship is something that uses disciplines…because they have the same root word anyway, right? Do the right things and you’ll become the better version of you. And keep doing that list of things. You’ll keep failing so you’ll need to keep doing things to get better. I mean, you won’t, but keep trying. Everyone is doing it. Everyone you agree with, anyway. If they aren’t, there are great books about how to get everyone to do the same thing. Grab it at your local bookstore. Well, you’ll probably have to go to the Christian bookstore to find them, but they’re there.

Salvation – You said the sinner’s prayer for yourself. You’re good. You’re saved. Relax. Those people who want to be with you on this spiritual journey are there just because they can’t hack it alone. You can do it. It’s a personal decision. You’ve made your decision. Chill out.

Purpose – The purpose of The Church is to feed you. Find a great place that you feel filled up afterwards. Those services won’t take too long. You’ve got a lot to do. There are plenty of places that will have cool music and a great speaker. They probably won’t even ask you to get involved or to give them anything. Their purpose is to serve you. That is the purpose of Church…so enjoy. If it isn’t enjoyable there’s a place down the road that you heard about…their music is a little more to your liking anyway.

Head – C’mon man! That’s an easy one. The Head is a ruler, a person of authority. You must lead! Man up! Step up to the plate! Ladies, you’ve got to submit! Your man might be a passive guy, but he’s the leader. That’s what Jesus said, right? Or Paul did, right? Either way…the dudes need to step it up and the ladies need to step it down…

Let’s get to breakdancing!

Life.

Is.

Christ.

Being in Christ is actually too simple for my rational mind to grasp. My mind needs some big thing to be a part of. My flesh needs something I can agree with through my rational thought processes. My will needs something that is better than the thing I was a part of or that place that is down the street…

The Best Breakdancer In The World

Life in Christ is like this breakdancer. Impossible things happen when he gets phunky! We are given the opportunity to experience this amazing Life that the Lord gives when we see Him and experience Him. He builds us into His Body and the Life that follows is unlike anything any of us have ever seen!

Teetering on Universalism

A friend of mine, who is from Puerto Rico, recently said this: “If you name it, you lose the experience.” This was during a conversation in the context of speaking of Life. I thought about that for a day or two and landed here:

The Lord’s Life is immeasurable, unstoppable, uncontainable, indescribable, unfathomable.

There is no -ism that you can put on the Life of Christ in His Body.

A Quick Spanish Lesson

My friend pointed to a chair and said, “What is that?” and I replied simply, “A chair.”

He said, “No. It is a silla.”

This translation of the word, chair, finally hit me! When we put our language on our view of Christ, we limit Christ to those who speak our language. If you are outside of my language, you need to learn my language so you can appropriately describe the Christ that I see and experience.

I must say this, if you name your experience through your lens and through your language, people who understand and see the way you do will understand and appreciate your experience.

If you speak in a way that excludes a certain people group, or makes it difficult for a certain people group to join in the experience of Christ, you may be limiting your experience of Christ. And theirs.

Please Pass the Sugar

Do you like coffee? Do you take it with cream and sugar? What do you drink your coffee out of? A cup or a mug or a thermos?

My friend shared with me a story of when he first came to America. He was among friends and they were hanging out. He grabbed a coffee cup and proceeded to pour another drink in the cup.

His friends looked at him like he was crazy! “What are you doing?” they shuddered. “I’m getting a drink.” he replied. “But that’s a coffee cup. You put coffee in a coffee cup!”

He looked at the coffee cup puzzled and said, “It holds the beverage I’m drinking. It doesn’t have to be a coffee cup. It is a container that holds things, one of which is coffee.”

If you name it, you lose the experience.

There is no right way to experience Life in Christ. There is no wrong way to experience Life in Christ.

There is only Life in Christ.

Everything else that is opposed or opposite of Life in Christ is death.

But breakdancing in His Life…that is steep in experience. Imagine you. Breakdancing. Only Christ would be able to get the glory from that experience.

And He does.

May we experience Salvation and Life In Christ as Truth, being connected to His Will and His Purpose through His Head, being Discipled by His Grace for His Glory.

What Cat do you need to let out of the Bag? Watch out for their claws… Those tend to make us throw the Cats back in the Bag.

9 responses to “The Cat out of the Bag :: Life

  1. Very encouraging post Mark. Thx!!

    I LOVE the Lord’s Life! A taste for HIS life is the main “thing” He used to lead me out of my death-filled life.

    In the garden, the penalty for sin was death.
    In Romans, the wages of sin is death.
    On the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for death.
    From the tomb, Jesus rose and overcame death.

    These realities scream to me that “it’s not about heaven and hell, it’s about Life and death”.

    And then there’s the home-run; our Lord’s unstoppable, overcoming life eventually overcomes ALL death….for everyone.

    1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ ALL shall be made alive.

    All means all on both sides of the comma.

    The only questions left are around how and when He shepherds everyone into His victorious life? And for those of us that are already in “it”, how can we fully enjoy the privilege of helping in that endeavor?

    • What a taste His life is! Life and death are the only two options. That’s for sure. Praise the Lord He has provided us this Life through His Son’s life. Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m looking forward to your insight from Watchman Nee… Love you, brother.

  2. This is my favorite cat, and I dig the following comments:

    “The Lord’s Life is immeasurable, unstoppable, uncontainable, indescribable, unfathomable.”

    “If you speak in a way that excludes a certain people group, or makes it difficult for a certain people group to join in the experience of Christ, you may be limiting your experience of Christ. And theirs.”

    good work bro!

    • Thanks Jim. Praise the Lord. He has spoken loudly and clearly. I am glad you have been encouraged. May you continue to be a light of His immeasurable Life!

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