By Fred Pruitt
Someone recently wrote me from Europe:
Can you help me understand how to become a father in Christ as described in 1 John 2:12-17, and strong in the Lord and scriptures as in Col 2:6,7 and 2 Tim 3:16,17?
You bless me, brother. I am so glad you have written and we are getting to know you.
Linda sent me the email that she sent to you also, and I have to agree with what she said to you — the Spirit is your true teacher and He already lives in you — in fact, as you know, He is the One Who has already brought you to this place.
We can be helpers, but this is something that has already been started in you by the Spirit and He will finish it.
So the first thing to do is to relax. What you are wanting to know about is already the Truth about you in Christ. So what you are learning is only Who you already are. You are not becoming anything. You already ARE.
As far as where to start, start with what draws you the most. The Spirit will use all that we send you, plus whatever He sends your way from other sources, to open your understanding little by little. He will do it.
You bring up being a mature Father in your last paragraph below. We take everything by faith, and you already know that. Norman Grubb used to say, “Just SAY you are a father.” That is the key. What we desire, we pray or say so, and simply take it by faith that it is so. God will work it out into His perfect manifestation in His own way and time.
We live in simple faith, brother. “Faithful is He who has called you, who will also do it.” 1 Thes 5:24
You already ARE strong in Him. Why? Because HE IS your strength within you. You, as the vessel (container) of Christ, remain in perpetual weakness in the flesh. Even Christ was “crucified in weakness,” yet lived in the power of God. (2 Cor 13:4). You are the same. We live in weakness, and in that is His strength manifest — not in making US strong, but in us being the earthen vessel, clay pot in which HE lives, so that the excellency of the power is ascribed to God. That is the right place to be, and you ARE there.
This is not something we attain or become, but something we recognize by faith that we already ARE by virtue of the fact of His indwelling us, and in His indwelling us, we have become one person with Him, living in the same oneness in Christ that Jesus Christ on earth had with the Father — the SAME EXACT Oneness of self and spirit — John 17:11, 21-23; 1 Cor 6:17.
You are He are one person. This moves beyond “exchanged life” in which I am in some sense exchanged with Him, to union, which is that He and I are One, as the scriptures say. This is the summit, the pinnacle, because a person cannot be closer to God than “one” with Him. Union is the reality out of which life finally comes into perfect gear, when we see that we live in “rest” and in that “rest” Christ comes forth.
Christ is the inner reality of my very “I-hood,” that is, my very self-identity is eternally united in Christ, so that, “the life I now live in the flesh” (last part of Gal 2:20), I live by His faith, but it is “I” living — but, no longer just “I” as if alone, but “I” and Christ together as one “I.” This is the final key in the lock of the treasure within you, and your faith-agreement with it is what turns the lock and opens the door in your understanding, which comes as a revelation from the Spirit, that you and He are one person living. You are a living branch of the Vine which is Christ, or in other words, you, brothe, are a branch form or expression of the Vine, which is Christ. Therefore we say you are Christ living in your form — the form which is YOU!
Now that’s all I can say at the moment, and that is enough to chew on probably. There’s some meat you were asking for!
Much love in Jesus brother,
PS — One thing to finish saying at this point. In your original question above, you ask if I can share with you “how to become” a father, etc. There’s the rub. God brings this about. There is absolutely nothing we “do,” except believe by receiving what He is and has given us. What did Abraham “do” to become the “father of faith?” What did Abraham “do” to bring about the birth of Isaac (save the normal human activity involved) when he and Sarah were past age? What did Paul “do” to bring about the vision on the road to Damascus? They did NOTHING. Except to believe when God spoke the Word to them. There is no “road” to get there. There is no “way” I can tell you except Christ. I sense you want something, like a plan, step 1, step 2, step 3, that I can give you that will be a sure-fire path to what you want. But there is none, except Christ Himself, Who Himself IS the Way! There is no formula, no scriptural principles to find out and apply, there is only raw faith in the Invisible Imperceptible Living God. There is no other way. No step by step. People want a plan, like, “How much should I pray? What books should I read? How do I apply the scriptures? How much should I study and what should it be?” We like a plan. Remember the story of Naaman the Syrian, who came to Elisha to be healed of his leprosy. Elisha told him to go dip in the Jordan River seven times. That offended Naaman, thinking what a stupid thing to do! But luckily for him his servant convinced him to go try it, this absurb simple thing, who knows? The old prophet might be right. So he did, and was healed. The “church” of today would then make a principle out of dipping in the Jordan seven times, and you’d see thousands down there dipping themselves for a healing, when only Naaman was told to do that. No one else. We receive from God alone, individually and personally. No human activity on its own will bring it about. He does it, or it isn’t done. Simply trust Him to fulfill His own Word. He’s very good at that. That’s all it took for Abraham to be declared “righteous.” And in so doing Abraham became the “father of faith.”