“We will give thanks to your name forever. Selah. But you have rejected us and disgraced us… for your sake, we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. Awake! Why are you sleeping, oh Lord?”
That is often my heartfelt prayer, for that is often how I feel—as if God is repeatedly leading me into futility. That is also Psalm 44. Which means that it is literally part of the program.
In Romans 8:31-39, Paul gives the most beautiful exposition of the Relentless Love of God, writing “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. How will he not with him give us all things? …who shall separate us from the love of Christ? …as it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No…”
Paul is not disagreeing with the Old Testament Scriptures—He, himself notes that he is constantly being given up to death. “No” isn’t actually in the text. Paul is saying “YES, we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered and, NO this will not separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus… ‘we are super-conquerors through him who loved us.’”
SO… why are we still being slaughtered like sheep? Let’s Review:
Romans 8:20 “The creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it in [or “on” or “to”] hope.”
Futility is the existential knowledge of evil. God doesn’t do futility, but he does subject us to futility.
No good parent does futility, but every good parent subjects their children to futility in hope—hope that having experienced futility, their child will freely choose the good.
Yet, God doesn’t hope as we hope.
God foreknows, predestines, and is eternal.
God is not a thing in time, but all of space and time is like a thing (or “no-thing”) in God, like a womb.
And yet space and time are impregnated with eternity.
And you are impregnated with the very Spirit of I Am that I Am.
Christ in you is eternity in you; “The Hope of Glory.”
God doesn’t hope as we hope; God is Hope.
Romans 8:20-23 “Creation was subjected to futility in hope that the creation will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. The whole creation has been groaning in travail, and not only the creation but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit.”
Freedom is so hard to talk about for it is the presence of eternity in time.
But for Peter Hiett, freedom feels like a 2-million-dollar 1972 Lamborghini Miura driving 200 mph, across the nation, with no speed limits.
I came across a picture of a 1972 Lamborghini that looks as if it were disintegrating—nuts, bolts, and car parts are suspended in space and time—but it wasn’t disintegrating; it was actually re-integrating.
An artist took 1500 pictures of every part of his friend’s Miura and compiled them all into one image. He comments, “To me, it’s not just a Miura anymore, it’s… like a person… finished and fully restored, and every time I see it, I’m like ‘I know you!”
One day, God will hold up a mirror, you’ll get a good look, and exclaim “I know you, and I’ve always wanted to be you, but couldn’t be you; you are who I Am.”
Right now, God looks at you and says, “You are my workmanship, my masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works which I prepared beforehand (He’s quoting Paul in Ephesians 2:10).”
You look and all you see is a nut and maybe a couple of loose screws.
Satan looks and comments, “Yep… You’re just a nut… But you SHOULD BE a 1972 Lamborghini Miura.”
So, what do you do? You start collecting all the nuts and bolts you can find. And you build something in the shape of a car, but it’s not a 1972 Lamborghini Miura; it’s a false Miura; an “anti-Miura.” And it doesn’t work; it’s utterly futile.
Romans 8:29 “… those whom he foreknew, he also predestined, to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
You are predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus.
In the end, he looked like a slaughtered lamb nailed to a tree in a garden—that is bondage and futility.
In the end that is the beginning, he is a slaughtered lamb standing on a throne, ruling all things—That’s absolute freedom and supreme potency.
His death is birth and an entire new creation.
Somehow, “the church,” has actually managed to teach people that Jesus died so we wouldn’t have to die; but Jesus died so that we would die with him, rise with him, and rule and reign with him in absolute freedom and supreme potency—we are his body… even now.
When I try to create fruit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, the good, or faith—I seem to “create” just the opposite and it all seems powerless and futile.
But I have experienced those things in moments, not when and where I comprehended those things, but when and where they comprehend me.
If I preach because I think I have to build the church, I die, and it all feels futile (no matter the response or the results). But, I have moments, when I forget me and I am lost in Him; I lose the “me” that I think I have created and give birth to the “me” that God has already created, and it feels like I’m driving a 1972 Lamborghini Miura 200 miles per hour (no matter the response or the results).
Your new self is literally constructed with the eternal judgment of God (Love, Joy, Peace…, Faith) manifesting in the temporal failure that you thought was yourself; your new self is the birth of eternity in time. And so, it’s absolutely free, but it will cost you all of your temporal illusions—your ego will be led to the slaughter like a sacrificial lamb.
So, God says, “You are something like a 1972 Lamborghini Miura.”
Satan whispers, “You are a nut, but you should be a Lamborghini Miura.”
So, you take nuts and bolts and car parts; you steal them; perhaps you find them hanging on a tree in a garden. They are “all things.” You call them “your life:” people, events, the good, the bad, your experiences in time. In shame, fear, and wantonness you put these pieces together and think that is yourself; it’s your “anti-self” … and it’s futile.
When we take the life of the Good on the tree; the life of the Good on the tree delivers himself up.
His Spirit descends on us, dies with us, and rises within us, leading us into the inner sanctuary, and there we hear the Father’s Judgment: “You are my beloved in whom I am well pleased.” And from that place, we give birth to the New Creation: Love, Joy, Peace, and… our eternal selves.
“All things” work together for good with those loving God… including those moment in time that you didn’t love God. Filled with Grace, they become the reason that you do. They are Christ in you.
Eternity is not based upon your judgments in time.
All your good judgments in time, are based upon eternity; they are free.
It isn’t God that is sleeping; It’s always us, dreaming that we are our own creators and creation.
You are a nut, and you are something like a 1972 Lamborghini Miura.
When you feel nuts, life feels futile, and you want to quit, stop and pray:
“Father, I’ve been trying to put my life together and made a mess.”
“Thank you that you have put my life together, and now we are putting our life together in time, and I will know me, as I am, in you. Wow.”