Our relationship with God is comparable to a marriage relationship. We are married to Jesus. We are one spirit with Him. In this union, we can come to know and experience Him. And this results in children…
A man and his wife do not have to force themselves to have children. (Well, they shouldn’t have to, at least!) Children are the natural by-product of their one-flesh relationship. Their marriage union. Their love-bond. Their closeness and intimacy. In fact, most couples have to work hard not to have children! They have to put preventative measures in place. If they don’t, then they are destined to become parents in time.
In the same way, the natural by-product of our one-spirit relationship with Jesus is also children… Children with names such as Love, Joy, Peace, Patience… Good Works, Serving, Ministry… We should not have to force these things in our lives. They should be the effortless consequence of our closeness and intimacy with Jesus.
Men contain seed; women have wombs. Children are conceived when a seed of the man is planted in the womb of his wife during a moment of intimacy and oneness. After conception comes a time of development. The baby grows in the womb of the wife. All the growth is behind the scenes. At first it is totally unseen and undetectable. Only the woman knows that she is pregnant; nobody else. After a few months, she begins “to show”. And after the full nine months – in the fullness of time – she gives birth.
Again, this is a natural picture of a spiritual reality. In Luke 8:11, Jesus said: “The seed is the word of God.” Jesus contains the seed of the incorruptible word of God that lives and abides forever (1 Peter 2:23). Our hearts are our spiritual wombs. Conception takes place during moments of intimacy and oneness with Jesus in which He plants the seed of the His Word into the womb of our heart. And the result is spiritual children, or rather, fruit.
The heart is the “inner man”. It is the combination of the spirit and soul of man. It is the unseen part of a person. It is the place of our will, emotions, thoughts and imaginations. In fact, the Hebrew word translated imagination in the Old Testament also means conception. Our relationship with God takes place in our hearts. And it is in the imaginations of our hearts that we conceive the plans and purposes that God has for is.
We have to see it on the inside before we can ever see it on the outside. After conception comes the behind-the-scenes, unseen growth. As with a natural pregnancy, something takes place on the inside. In due time, if not aborted, it will be seen on the outside. It is the birthing process. And before birthing comes birth pangs.
Romans 8:22-25 MSG
All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Before what we conceive on the inside, through intimacy with Jesus, is birthed into the natural realm, we will experience labour pains. Tribulations, persecutions and afflictions will arise in an attempt to prevent the birth. But we can count this all joy, knowing that these things develop our patience (James 1:2). The suffering is not worthy to be compared to the glory that is revealed in us once the birthing takes place (Romans 8:18).
Women do not produce children; they bear them. Likewise, we are not responsible for producing “spiritual children”. We simply bear them. And it is the result of our relationship, intimacy and union with Jesus Christ.
Children possess the nature of their parents. They inherit their parent’s DNA. The fruit of our relationship with Jesus is always going to possess His nature. It is always going to be love…
Grace and Peace
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