I am certain that the title of this post caught the attention of my evangelical Christian friends, though that was not my intention. The Word has been in my spirit since a friend expressed her views regarding the afterlife. You see, few people do not in some way sense that they are a part of something much larger than this life. Of course out of that come numerous opinions and from there a plethora of religions.
In my belief, Christianity, the Word incarnation is pivotal. We believe that God became flesh and dwelt among us “incarnate”. As well, that post crucifixion, Christ was resurrected bodily and ascended back to the heavens (that part is to me quite the mystery).
His birth, death and resurrection is a source of hope for those who fear death, as well as a demonstration of what awaits the believer. Why the title? By way of a relationship with this living Christ, I have become a new creature, reincarnate! My experience with Christ was just that dramatic. I walked into my Dad’s living room the night of January 3, 1973, a very broken young man, only to be confronted by his prayers. A very spiritual moment occurred and my best description was “born again.”. My thoughts changed, my language changed and my habits! I began a journey that was radically different from the path of literal destruction that I was on.
Now 43 years past, with quite a different genre of friends and a culture no where near the one I was born into, I am realizing how little most folk know about such experiences. Even my church friends possess few of the mystical moments I have experienced. Please hear a desire to be transparent with my story only and by no means a sense of arrogance.
It was only about a year after my experience with Christ that I found myself surrounded by others with similar experiences in their life. Something seemed to be occurring, perhaps an influence of the 70’s Jesus Movement, as well as something known as the Full Gospel Businessmen. The latter brought credibility by way of marketplace leaders, many who like myself found themselves being recruited by little known Pentecostal churches. I had some advantage as I had been raised Pentecostal.
From a Methodist Men’s breakfast that soon became interdenominational and crossed paths with the Full Gospel Businessmen, I was introduced to an Assemblies of God pastor, Woodrow Oxner (photo) with a most radical life story that included the kind of miracles that I had been told of as a child and would later see and experience personally.
With that exposure came a desire to fully experience a walk beyond just a moral adjustment, though radical mine had been. As I began to read scripture and open myself to the same experiences as early believers in the New Testament, the miraculous began to occur. I have experienced physical healings in my body, laid my hands on others to see them healed, as well as answers to prayer in an array of fashions too numerous for this post.
My life has been reincarnated. Christ is in me by way of the Holy Spirit. This is not entirely mystical, for God first in Christ demonstrated the capacity to become man, and now through the Spirit, can actually dwell in a man. I think perhaps that was my reason for choosing the stark title, for I find few who fully understand this as a reality, as opposed to a base of knowledge that dances around the possibility and calls itself, Christianity.
I am a new creature in Christ Jesus, all things that used to control my life have lost their power over me. Do I still have choices, absolutely! Do I always make the best of choices, absolutely not, yet there is a voice inside of me that pursues me every day. A comforter who gently instructs, to use Biblical words, “this is the way, walk you in it.”
Christ in me (incarnate), the hope of glory.