When someone speaks of potential, our minds quickly turn to what we might be able to accomplish or accumulate. When God speaks of our potential, He looks at us, points to Jesus, and says, "That's what I want for you. That is your potential!"
Paul tells us that, “the first man Adam became a living being, the last Adam [Jesus], a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45). He then goes on to say that, "the first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man [Jesus] is of heaven” and concludes by saying, "just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man [Jesus]” (1 Corinthians 15:47, 49).
The first heresy in the church was that Jesus came to earth as deity and not as a man. As deity, we can be certain that He would have been able to atone for the sins of man, but, as deity, He could never have been a role model for what God created man to be, nor could He have shown mankind the potential God had in mind for him.
This first century heresy is still present in the church today. We look at Christ’s life and say, "I can never live a life like that. He was supernatural, and I am merely a man!"
Yes, Jesus was supernatural because He was God, but He never lived beyond His resources as a mortal man. Jesus' every temptation was to live out of His deity, yet He always rejected this option and never lived as more than a man. Had Jesus drawn power from His deity, He could never have been an example to you and to me.
Jesus—who is the Creator of the universe—was the most uncreative Man who ever walked this earth. Continually, He took dictation and instructions from His Father. Here are a few examples of this in the Scriptures:
- “For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.” –John 12:49
- “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” -John 5:19
- “Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” –John 14:10
The teaching, the wisdom, the works, and the miracles we observe in the life of Jesus came not from Himself. They came from the very life of the Father that was expressed and flowed through the Son as He lived a life of complete dependence and surrender to the will of the One who sent Him.
Jesus lived a life of abiding in and depending wholly upon, the almighty resources and the very life of God abiding in him. "…as you, Father, are in me, and I in you" (John 17:21).
Likewise, we are to resemble Jesus, the second Adam. This allows us to apprehend our potential.
"A life hidden with Christ in God," is certainly a life abiding in the "True Vine” (Colossians 3:3, John 15:1). It is not a life of asking God to help us, it is a life of asking Christ to live through us as we abide in Him!
Jesus, live through us as we abide in You. We know we can do nothing apart from You. Amen
-from an East-West missionary to Russia
East-West's missionaries and national partners are stationed in nearly 50 countries around the world that are categorized as unreached or restricted access. For security reasons, we do not disclose their identities.