The shape of the cross is positioned in spirit circle. What is written in the section on the spirit describes what there is at the bottom of the cross.
The shape of the cross is divided into two columns and two rows.
- The two columns, like for the square, are self centred on the left and God centred on the right.
- Underneath the crossbar is our spiritual position and is located in the central circle, the spirit.
- Above the crossbar is what happens in our experience and practice. Our practice and experience of life happens in the square mentioned previously. Thus in reality, the square actually rests on top of and above the crossbar. (Draw this out for yourself, and particularly note the difference between the crossbar and the water level of the square.)
- The bottom left part of the cross (beneath the crossbar) is thus our spiritual position before we become Christians. Spiritually, we are dead to being able to respond to God.
- The bottom right part of the cross (beneath the crossbar) is spiritual position after we become Christians. He we have been born again to God, we have been transferred into a new kingdom, we have died with Christ to our self-centred position and the spirit of God has come into our lives. We are now in a right relationship with God who is both in us and with us.
The shape of the cross (spiritual position) in the context of the square (life experience). There are 2 extremes of our Christian practice and experience as expressed in the square which rests above the crossbar.
- A consistent Christian life. This is living a God centred life, (right-hand side of the square) even if we are struggling beneath the water level in our experience. What should happen is that our experience and practice in our lives through char circles should be in line with our position. We should be living a God centred life in the God centred quadrants of the square which rests above the crossbar.
- An inconsistent Christian life. This is living in a self-centred life, (left-hand side of the square) even if we are succeeding, above the water level in our experience. So often, individually and as a church, we actually find ourselves in the left-hand side of the square, which does not match up with who we say we are. It is as if what God has done in us (bottom right hand corner) has little relevance or affect.
In other words,
- when we became Christians, it is as if we came to the cross and the cross was implanted in the centre of a life, in our spirit. God changed us then right in the middle of our lives, in our spirit. (The theological name for this is "justification".) Christian wholeness happens as we keep on coming back to the foot of the cross. (The theological name of this is "sanctification".) Here at the cross, we receive again what is already ours, and is located in our spirit. So much happened inside of us that theoretically we should become very different people.
- However, when we so often see ourselves as living not much differently from before or when compared to other non-Christians, and when we see our churches as being little different from other organisations (and sometimes worse in the way we treat each other), we wonder and doubt if anything really happened to us.
Why is this the case?
Paul, particularly in Romans and Galations asked the same question. The problem is we don't live from our centre, from who we really are and from what God has done in us. We so often forget or don't believe what God has already done in our spirit when we took the first step and let Jesus into our lives, and were born again. It was at this time, that not only were we born again into a new family, but we actually entered into a new kingdom, with a different king other than ourselves, submitting ourselves to the lordship of Christ. It was also at that time, that because we became so connected with Christ, that just as he died on the cross, we also died to our selfish nature and self-centredness. This happened, even though we may not have been warned of this or not aware of it.
It is easier to believe and respond to the experience of the past or the desire for other things which speak so loudly into our heart, mind and by physical life. It can be easier to believe that I
- am alone and of no worth because of some bad experiences I had, rather than to believe that I am loved and that indeed God is with me. It is easier at times to be preoccupied by my sense of shame because I mess things up, rather than to receive his unfailing love.
- do not belong anywhere and have no respect for myself or sense of clear identity as to who I am, than to remember that I am actually a child of God and connected with Christ. It is easier to believe my guilt when I have done something wrong than his forgiveness.
- am out of control because of the situation around me, rather than see myself as being free to respond to God, who is above all situations.
- am self-centred when in fact in Biblical reality, I died to and I am freed from my self-centredness when Christ died on the cross (Romans 6:6). I just forget this, don't believe it (my experience says I am self-centred) and so I just don't live it out. (Look at Romans 6:6 -- 12 to see Pauls thinking along these lines.)
- am not a Christian because of my thoughts, feelings, actions and experiences which are self-centred and in the left-hand column of the square, than to remember and to believe that God's presence is already within me, even though I am living a hypocritical life, which is not consistent with what God has already done in my central circle, the spirit.
So what can we do about this?
As mentioned above, as we keep on keeping on coming back to the foot of the cross, (the theological terms for this is repentance) we can then move on to again (and again) work out what God has worked in us. (Philippines 2: 12 - 13). As we bring our self-centred experience (the theological terms of that is "sin"), from the left-hand side of the square, and take it below the crossbar to our bottom right-hand spiritual position, we can remember, believe and start to live again a life which is consistent with who we are in God, and with what he has done in us. For when we became Christians, God changed us then. As we live from that, it makes a difference now.
Question: Where are you at the cross below the crossbar? Have you ever moved from the bottom left to the bottom right? If so, how much of the above do you realise has happened to you? When he became a Christian, God changed you then. What difference does that make in your life now?