Enjoying the Journey
In our day of cheap facades, strange additives, and generic substitutes it is appealing when anyone offers something that is completely natural. Entire brands are now built on the idea of being “all natural.” But in this fallen world of ours even that which is “natural” is so often tainted by sin and the curse.
This was not the case with Christ. He was the most natural person to have ever lived, and yet the most supernatural. The Lord Jesus was all man and all God at the same time – deity clothed with humanity. As surely as His deity was perfect deity, His humanity was perfect humanity. The “second Adam” was the perfect Man.
I have been reflecting recently on one aspect of Christ’s life that seems particularly refreshing in our world of fakes: Jesus was completely natural! There was no pretense, no show, no playing to the crowds.
His prayer life was natural. One moment He could be talking to the disciples and the very next be speaking to the Father. Prayer was as natural as breathing.
His virtue was natural. Holiness was not something He had to put on for the multitudes to observe. He simply walked in the very character of who He was every moment.
His love was natural. Compassion flowed unhindered out of Him at every turn because “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
His conversations were natural. He could speak with a person of any background on any subject. Common things were familiar and also filled with God. He did not have to speak in a “preacher tone” for others to recognize the grace and truth coming out of His mouth. “Never man spake like this man” (John 7:46).
His friendships were natural. Roman tax collector and Jewish religious leader. Wealthy and poor. Men and women. All found in Christ the most wonderfully natural friend they had ever known. It is no surprise that little children loved to be around Him.
With Christ nothing is artificial. In Christ the most genuine is found.
Martin Lloyd-Jones said that some people have the idea that the Christian has to be an unnatural person, that the opposite of natural is unnatural, instead of realizing that the opposite of natural is spiritual, and the spiritual man is not unnatural! In other words, to be what God created you to be is to live the most natural life in the world. When you are real with God you can be real with everyone else.
Would you like to be an “all natural” person? We don’t need a return to our nature. Paul wrote, “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:14). This is a reference to our sin nature. We need a return to God’s nature! The closer you walk with God, the more like Christ you become, the fuller you are with the Spirit, the more you will be what God created you to be.
The true Christian life is not play acting. It is not putting on a good face for church or pretending some false piety to others. Christian ministry is not using the right gestures and cliches. It is not trying to be what you think others expect or publicly projecting what you personally are not.
No, it is all much more natural than that. It is becoming a spiritual man and then allowing the beautiful life of Christ to flow naturally through you every day. To be a natural person does not mean to be in step with everyone around you it means to be in tune with the One who Created you. To be a natural person does not mean to simply be yourself…it means to be like Jesus.
A recommended book for more study on the life of Christ is The Example of Jesus Christ by James Stalker.