By Fred Pruitt
Someone asked me if in a Christmas letter I sent out on the song, “Joy to the World,” (see previous notes, Dec 3rd) was I meaning the “flesh” was “stinky” before God. Below is the reply:
Thanks for writing. I always like hearing from you.
The comment you are speaking of is in my Christmas letter, where I am talking about the song “Joy to the World.” You should have received it on Dec 3rd under the subject line: “Merry Christmas.”
The comment reads like this:
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come …
Imagine, for a moment, what world. Into what world does the Lord from heaven come? Into what lowly manger, what dirty stable full of dung, does the Babe from heaven consent to lie? Nowhere else but in the lowly manger and the dirty stable full of the dung of human reality. Into the very place HE should not be, as we would think, for it’s not fine enough, not clean enough, not fancy enough, and certainly not HOLY enough, for the Majesty from On High to make His dwelling place. And such are we! We are the lowly manger; We are the dirty stable full of dung, into whom the Lord generates Himself as a newborn Babe. Into the conflict and strife of the world that beats in and wears out our fleshly hearts, into the midst of the pain we feel every day from things not being as we wish they were, into the mire of the consequences of actions and decisions that seem insoluble, into the depths of the underlying fear that gnaws at the center of our very being in every moment of our existence, there the BABE is born!”
I really wasn’t making any sort of doctrinal definition of flesh there, that is, I was not really technically equating the biblical concept of “flesh” with “the dirty stable full of the dung of human reality.” I was really talking about human life in general, which is never “clean” and “perfect” according to our limited human viewpoint. And I was making the point that it is exactly in that general “mess” which we call our human living or reality, that is where the Christ appears and manifests Himself. I suppose some would call looking around and seeing things messy or imperfect as “fleshly,” but I don’t see it that way. I have no open view into heaven and see gold streets and angels and blinding light. I wake up every day in this world, with this day’s things to face, problems, negatives & positives, joys & sorrows. There are a million things to do; a million things undone, problematic situations with friends, crises with relatives, not to mention the world situations and the problems that come through our TVs every day.
And THAT is where I see the perfection of Christ in the now. To walk in the Spirit is to see with the eyes of the Spirit, which eyes penetrate through all that which seems to be anything but the kingdom of heaven, and to see, with those eyes by faith, the perfect purposed meaning and goodness of God in everything, whether worked by man or devil, and Who even NOW is in our midst All in all — i.e., THE All in all the alls there are, including in you and in me. It is seeing outside of time in time. So that in a sense what we call “single eye seeing” is a double seeing, in which we see what is before our eyes and hear what comes into our ears, and feel what pours into our souls from this world, and at the same time we see through it in the Spirit to God Who as Paul says, “is above all, through all, and in you all.” (Eph 4:6). This is that place where Jesus said, “In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I HAVE overcome the world,” (Jn 16:33), and “Peace I leave with you, MY peace I give you, not as the world gives, but I give unto you.” (Jn 14:27)
When we have this single sight by faith, which sees both outside time and in time, then we have penetrated all the way through to God in all things, and in Him we have it, because He Himself is our sight, and our believing, and our knowing, and most importantly, our love which pours out of us because He is in us.
Hope that gives you a little help with this.
Merry Christmas to you!