Read 1 Peter 1:13-25
Nothing about the new life in Christ is realistic. Everything about it pushes the standard limitations we place on what is possible. Approaching the word of God and how it applies in this world is completely unrealistic from the reality established by the world we have been raised by. Everything about the new life in Christ calls us to expect what our world teaches us to never expect. The world leads us to believe that certain things are not to be expected, that certain things are out of the range of possibility, and certain things simply cannot be. The concept of genuine selfless love for another is clouded by our belief that the limits of our human hearts can neither handle nor be expected to exhibit such unrealistic love. The concept of complete abandonment to an authority that has the power to permanently change us from paralyzing insecurity to confidence and contentment is not realistically possible. We are wary of anything that might tempt us out of the real world and into a mere fantasy state.
There is no synchronicity between the new life in Christ and the life we were born into in this world. The two lives are in a state of constant contradiction. The more one is overcome by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, the more one begins to perceive oneself as a “stranger” in this world. A stranger that has a home somewhere else, but is nonetheless in this world with a job to do. That job is not to reproduce or replicate the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of others. That job is to simply bear witness to the power of the Holy Spirit in our own life. One cannot simply share the expectations of the Gospel with another and expect that those expectations be received, followed and cherished. Rather, they are completely unrealistic and should receive an adverse reaction. If one is listening and understanding the implications of the words of the Gospel, these words are not liberating. To begin with, they are crushing by the magnitude of what they expect from us. They are unrealistic and impossible. They should not be taken seriously— if the words are the only witness.
However, witnessing the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in the life of another suddenly opens the door of possibility. The real-time power of the spirit of Christ in man is the only witness that can effectively lead a person from utter desperation in the face of the Gospel’s expectations to complete satisfaction and hope. We are not meant to read the words of God as one reads literature. Literature is from man and for man and thus will be received by man as man would naturally receive it. The words of God are from God, for man. They will shake us, press us and ultimately change us. Our expectations when standing in the presence of God must only be to expect something entirely different from ourselves. However, what we should expect to find is beyond our reality and supernaturally good.