I have found it of necessity to speak more of our definition of Christian Mystic, which is stated in our previous article. In my study of the early church fathers, my mind has been strongly challenged and impressed by their willingness to be martyred. I think I’m only beginning to truly see what is the “Passion of Christ” so often spoken of.
The “Passion of Christ”, as I understand it, specifically speaks of his suffering leading up to the cross, the acceptance of that cross, the suffering on the cross, and his death. The way I understand it, it is all about that day leading to, and ending in the cross. How he did not defend himself, the beatings he suffered, and the suffering on that cross even unto death. It’s all about complete obedience to the Father, a will that has been completely surrendered, even unto embracing your cross. It’s about “THE LOVE OF GOD FOR US”, in that he was willing to suffer that much in order to rescue his Bride from a fate worse than death. Is there a love in us so strong to enable us to such feats when called for?
The early church fathers saw that such a surrender was the ultimate proof and life style of a fully formed, fully Holy Spirit filled, follower of Christ. But how do you get to such a tremendous degree of surrender and ONENESS with the Father? Well… I think they knew it had to be the supernatural working of God in us, through his grace, growing us, whether quickly, or slowly, to such a divine place. So what does this mean?
It means these church fathers spent much time diligently seeking this inner work that only God could do! How many of us can really say we have embraced the Passion of Christ for ourself? You see, it reveals itself in little ways first. Self denial for the benefit of another, or for seeking a deeper relationship with God, preferring your brother before yourself, the embracing of our personal cross, identifying ourself with the Passion of our Lord, comes in many forms and fashions before we are ever ready to be literally nailed to a cross. As a matter-of-fact, our ultimate goal should be to reach such a place with our Lord spiritually, even though we hope we would never have to be literally nailed like our Lord. Let me say, our early church fathers had that same Passion of Christ! (And they proved it.)
That same richness of Spirit enabled Jesus to live such a cross-life every day, his whole life! And I believe if you’re already trying to think of ways to have that same mindset yourself, by hard discipline, you’re already on the wrong track! All we can do is pray for it. All we can do is admit it is right and desire it. But it will take God mortifying our flesh BY THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT, even as Romans 8:13 says.
So in simple terms, even though I think our longer definition is very useful in helping us to understand, but in really simple terms, I think the Christian Mystic is one who is seeking for Romans 12:1-2 to be actually fulfilled in their daily living. If you study those two verses closely, you will see it is all about becoming this living sacrifice. A life that embraces the Passion of Christ every minute of every day, a form of praying without ceasing. This is a work only God can do in us, BUT WE CAN SEEK IT! This is the Christian Mystic I want to be, and the definition thereof, and the goal every follower of Christ should have. This is meant to be NORMAL CHRISTIANITY! How does Romans say it? THIS IS YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE? (Lord help us see and agree with our whole heart, soul, strength, and mind.) But this is a mystical work only God can do.
So I’ve written all this to say, if you want my definition of Christian Mystic in its most simple form, combine a Seeker of God’s Mysteries, with Romans 12:1-2, and you have it. Or, just study intently, closely, veraciously, whole heartedly, and honestly Romans 12:1-2. (LOL)
And then always sincerely seek and pray to our Father, in Jesus name, for such a fire to be birthed in you. It is God’s fire! No strange fire! (Which brought death upon priest in the O.T.. Big NO-NO!) (Lev. 10:1-2)!