Sometimes the right thing at the wrong time can be the wrong thing. Jesus said He only did what He saw His Father doing and only said what He heard His Father saying. This means He was walking in a present reality of His Father’s will. He wasn’t doing what His Father was doing yesterday, but what He is doing today. God is righteous and when we are in Him, we are made righteous and we can share in a righteous nature by which we are enabled to live righteously.
The normal tendency is to divorce right living from righteous being. We then structure rules to follow to make our own self-righteousness. Sometimes those rules are things He has told us in a moment that we take as a law. He leads us to hug a homeless person and we turn it into a rule that we have to hug every homeless person and make everyone else do it too. It’s easier for us, we think, to find a structure of rules to obey then to have relationship with the one who is righteous. He does the work for us, and yet we try to keep doing the work on our own strength for our own merit. He says give me your burden and I will exchange it for something lighter, for something better. And yet we hold on to our burdens and struggle under the weight of things He is ready and willing to free us from.
What if when we get married our spouse gives us a list of things to do that they believe will be good for the marriage. What if we then work at the list and try to fulfill it day after day? Maybe that list even has really good things like spending time together or loving each other. But all that is being done is to honor the list to keep the law. All becomes rigorous duty instead of the actions of love. Would it not be better, for the husband and wife to serve each other out of a relationship of love instead of duty? It is the same way with God; Christ frees us from the law of obligations and duties. He came to open the door so that we don’t need external guidance from a set of laws.
When I profess that Christ frees us from the law, I am not saying that we are given license to sin, far from it. I am saying that we are freed from needing the law to keep us on the right path. We have something better; the door to the Father has been opened to us without our earning entry. The price was paid by Jesus and we can enter into full righteousness through Jesus. Also the Holy Spirit guides us in all truth. We learn to listen to the voice of God and allow Him to direct our path. It’s not a control thing, it’s a relationship thing. When you are in relationship with the Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Almighty God, the Perfect Father, the Loving Friend, you soak in His love and righteousness and from that place you desire to live as He and reflect Him. He doesn’t hold the puppet strings and make us conform to Him, but the more we get to know Him the greater our desire to shine Him in all we do.
When we accept our inheritance from Him, He saturates us with Himself. He dwells within us and us within Him simultaneously. We take on a new nature because He is giving us His nature. This does not mean we become God. But it does mean we become like Him in our identity just as a son is like his natural father. He isn’t his natural father, but he can be like him. The Bible equates our union with our spouse – our oneness – to give analogy of the oneness we can have with God. The husband doesn’t become the same person as the wife, but they become one. It’s a mystery of unity. In the earliest days of the Church the followers of Christ were dubbed “Christians” as a derogatory term meaning “little Christ.” The irony is that there is great truth espoused even when it was done to be derogatory. The truth is, as believers, our lives are to be a reflection of Him. What was intended as an insult was really a testimony of the witness of the early Church and how they were living lives that mirrored their Savior.