The Realization of Actuation

LISTEN NOW!

2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

CONSIDER THIS

“Wake up sleeper and rise from the dead . . .

Your turn: “And Christ will shine on you!” 

The longer we peruse the many and varied scraps and scrolls on the tables of the apostle Paul’s laboratory of Word and Spirit the more we realize his secret. Faith is not aspiration. Faith is actuation. 

Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you[?]

This is not an aspirational admonition Paul gives here. It is an actuational inquiry. Some of you are asking, “Is that even a word?” Yes, it is. This is a challenging concept I am trying to get across here. Your intuition already understands it because it is how we are made; however, this is not the way we have been formed in the twenty-first century world. We have been taught and trained to quickly move from aspiration to activation. In other words, give us something inspiring and then tell us what to do. Another way of saying it is the move from inspiration to application. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Don’t just stand there. Do something. After all, doesn’t the Bible say faith without works is dead? 

Paul does not say, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Look at your activity log over the last week and see if you did anything that would point to faith. Did you read your Bible or pray or love your neighbor or go to church or give money to a person in need?” This is the deep rut in which most Christians are stuck—the tired movement between aspiration and activation; between inspiration and application. It’s why the most common thing we hear people say when it comes to faith is something along the lines of, “I need to do better,” or “I need to try harder.” And there is no end to this cycle. In time, it leads to two equally soul-stunting outcomes: Easy believe-ism on the one hand and harsh legalism on the other; abdication or addiction. 

No, Paul is not looking for the presence or absence of activity as the mark of passing or failing the test. He is looking for a realized actuality:

Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you[?]

This is a VERY different question.  

Inspiration and aspiration are wonderful. They are the work of the Holy Spirit. Application and activation are vital. They, too, are the work of the Holy Spirit. There is a missing middle movement here. It is the Holy Spirit’s work of actuation. This will require the development of the most neglected and, consequently, atrophied muscles of the soul. 

The key to moving from aspiration to activation is the grace-filled work of actuation: the deep realization that Christ Jesus is in you. 

Aspiration . . . Actuation . . . Activation. 

And now it comes into view, a scrap of text lying underneath the Apostle’s admonition. It has come to be known as 2 Corinthians 3. We will call it the Apostolic Instruction on Actuation. It is where we will spend the rest of the week together, and the rest of our lives. 

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:17–18)

Still day one. 

THE PRAYER

Father, I know my intentions are important and yet without action they mean little. I realize also just how thin my own activism can be. My actions are so often done from my own strength and willpower. I know I am missing something. I want to realize at the deepest level that Jesus Christ lives in me. Holy Spirit, would you lead me to this place of actuation? Jesus, I belong to you. Praying in your name, amen.   

THE QUESTION

I know this is some deep water, but isn’t that the problem? We are so accustomed to the shallow end of the pool. Aren’t you ready for the deeper waters? Does this notion of actuation make sense to you? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

Subscribe to the Daily Text Here

P.S. STILL DAY ONE—The Daily Text Summer Series on the Holy Spirit is now available as a book for pre-order here. 

A lot happens in us through these Daily Text series. Insights emerge, inspiration flashes, souls light up, and hearts awaken. At the same time, it all moves so fast. Today never stops coming. It can be too much to take in. That’s one of the reasons we put these series into books. It is especially important to review our path and rehearse our learnings. Please consider taking the next step with this series on the Holy Spirit by getting a book. Even better grab a couple—one to study and the other to sow. Order Still Day One here. 

Share today's Wake-Up Call!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

5 Responses

  1. Where is the line between faith and works?
    On the one hand, we know God’s love, mercy and grace are free. A gift that no one earns or deserves. No experience is necessary. Only truthful, honorary acceptence. On the other hand, God told us to feed His sheep. Spread the news. Be the hand, feet, and voice of Christ. How does R-I-S-K spell faith if we don’t take a risk?
    The answer is simple.
    We do it because of our faith, not to gain credit. Yet, as Christ does His work through us, our faith increases. The more we allow Christ to do through us, the more we proclaim, “Here I am Lord, send me!” the less we are, and the more He is. Want to know about the depth of your faith? The next trial and tribulation will let us know. Will I react in the Spirit of Christ or the flesh of the sinful nature? I pray for the first.
    No pressure, just grace.

  2. As a Christ-follower, I believe that our end goal is to fully display the image of God in Christ Jesus. As the image bearers of Christ, we should expect the same type of temptations, trials and resistance that Jesus faced in his earthly ministry. His key to successfully completing the task that he was sent by the Father to accomplish was in his ability to always operate in the power of the Spirit which he received at his baptism. He constantly reminded witnesses to his ministry that the works he did were not his own, but the works of the Father’s in him. When we can arrive at that level of confidence that it’s no longer, “I who live, but Christ who lives within me”, we’ll realize the freedom that the Spirit brings. I believe the keys to growth to this level of confidence are humility and submission to God’s will as revealed in his Word. This truth was also revealed when members of the Sanhedrin commented about how Peter and John, who were “ordinary unschooled individuals “ reflected how they’d been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

  3. Actuation is the “aha” that makes a concept come alive to you. Christian “actuation” moves your understand of Jesus 18 inches–from your head to your heart.

    Then ongoing, direct, and personal revelation of the actual presence and reality of the living Jesus begins to overflow from within you and makes you gloriously aware that “Christ in you” is genuine, living, and immediate reality, not just a doctrine. An inner river running over with awe-filled revelation gives you both the hope and the experience of being supernaturally changed from glory to glory into Jesus’ very own image and lifestyle.

    “He is risen indeed!” To actuate your faith, passionately surrender to, continually obey, and joyfully bask in Jesus’ real presence and transforming power. “Quench not the Spirit.”

  4. Adding in actuation….
    It’s like putting fuel in your car instead of trying to power it Flinstones style.

  5. “Father, I know my intentions are important and yet without action they mean little. I realize also just how thin my own activism can be. My actions are so often done from my own strength and willpower. I know I am missing something. I want to realize at the deepest level that Jesus Christ lives in me. Holy Spirit, would you lead me to this place of actuation? Jesus, I belong to you. Praying in your name, amen.”

    Having just returned from a three week vacation with my husband and two daughters, I feel just like this prayer sounds. I have had trouble keeping up with my prayer life during this time, and feel as if I have failed as a Christian. I asked the Lord how do I examine myself, and I sensed Holy Spirit saying “fruit” which I believe he meant spiritual fruit, as in somewhere in Scripture it says that “we shall be known by our fruit”.
    That helped some, because I have experienced most of the fruit of the Spirit recently and in the past as well. If there is any other way that I should examine myself, I’m praying that Holy Spirit will reveal it to me.
    The dialog with Timothy Tennent this morning from Experiencing the Holy Spirit class was very helpful and reassuring for me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *