By Fred Pruitt
Follow up comment and question:
Thanks for the response Fred. I stirs and hl’s clarify my thoughts!
I thank many evangelicals struggle with Bibliolatry – worship of the Word, instead of worship of the Author of the Word.
I like the husk metaphor – it’s good. It would offend some evangelicals, but that is exactly the point.
Maybe using the word literal is misleading. A better word might be plain or common sense. That plain and common sense meaning of the words you’ve written make perfect sense to me. So wouldn’t we agree the plain sense of the scriptures point us to the heart and nature and character of the Author? Or point us toward the spirit of the word over the letter of the word?
Yes, I see what you mean. I think Norman one time said something like “living by the Spirit is often just normal common sense.” And Norman was a visionary and a rebel and a troublemaker, so for him I’m pretty sure “normal common sense,” meant something other than what other folks might think it meant. I’m pretty sure he meant “normal common sense,” from the platform of his sight, which by the Holy Spirit had extended into seeing in the end only God or God only. He never lost sight of the creation or the forms. Because, what the push really is, is from spirit to form, as spirit’s means of expression.
It is not to be interpreted as something which is just “pure spirit.” Not just off in the invisible.
It is not just that – off in the invisible. Spirit seeks expression, seeks form by which it may be manifest and participate in its part of the ongoing expansion of the kingdom by love, i.e., by desire.
Spirit and desire are part and parcel of one another. Desire is another word that is connected with love, because desire, once divested of its “for-me” aspect through the Cross of Christ, becomes pure, and is the “push and pull” that creates the creative tension in our lives which explodes into the outgoing love of God flowing out of our lives. That is the purity and common sense of the gospel. It is God “Emmanuel.”
This is the real truth Adam lost sight of. He lost sight of God in the garden, really the “garden” of himself, and thus the garden turned into a cursed earth that he had to till with the sweat of his brow, and Eve’s desire turned toward her husband as her all. Doesn’t sound too bad, but Adam could never be her all. He could never do or be enough to fill the void or gap created by the lack of the consciousness of God. Therefore sorrow filled all existence, tinged here and there with moments of joy. But I know this right well, and everyone else does too – that “feeling” that keeps us from rejoicing “too much” with temporal joy, because “sorrow” is obviously (to our consciousness) just around the corner.
But it all changes when we find the invisible God, expressing in us as Himself, but in our human identity, and not in His own transcendence or universality. We don’t “find” this, but it finds us, of course. He finds us and says, “Hey, you’re the house I live in to be ‘you’ in the world. Relax, do not fear, and only believe. I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
And as it overtakes us that He is as He says. He is He Who is First, Last, He Who Was, He Who Is, He Who Is To Come, Author, Finisher, the Same – Yesterday, Today and Forever, then we find Him in expression all around us in everything and everyone we see.
Oh, there are distorted forms perhaps, folks who haven’t yet seen that He has called them, too, to Himself, but because we are able to see past the temporal in to the Eternal, so therefore what is to prevent us from seeing these the Spirit brings to our attention as not fixed in their distorted condition, but inwardly joining in the reconciliation that is already freely provided for all?
And in that we become agents of the Spirit’s release in their direction. Some may say, “Well, God is sovereign, He will draw them to Himself,” and that is true, but the agency by which He does that includes you and me, by simply us being the containers and expressors of Christ in the flesh as He has declared us to be. He has made us a fit house for His dwelling; we are dwelling in inner innocency in Christ, being without guile for He is without guile, but simply declaring by word or life whatever words or deeds the Spirit determines, that by US, the world joins in its reconciliation to God.
None of that, obviously, comes through formula or applied techniques, but simply through the normalcy of walking every day, doing what comes next in the rest of the Spirit, though we may be drawn into a thousand temporal distractions daily, all of them buzzing by in our consciousness as we take care of one thing after another. Perhaps we may take a moment here and there to give attention to and praise for the Obvious hidden in the mundane, that this has all been Christ in everything – that there is no part in our universe, in which He is not Lord and IS the Word by which all things consist. It has not depended on our constant attention to or nurturing of our “relationship” to Christ, but rather a simple settling into a relaxation of being He walking around — with no real “sense” of that whatsoever in most of my daily living — but just having been fixed in this consciousness (awareness, understanding) by and from the Holy Spirit — and by that Spirit’s “fixing,” life then becomes sort of an unconscious consciousness, of simply being “me.” Just “me.” But I know as deep as I know that I am not I, but Christ.
Logic cannot carry us here. Formulaic systematic knowing cannot grasp or encompass this. But it is a gift of the Spirit by the simple receiving in faith that Galatians 2:20 is the literal truth of who I am, period. It may be right costly to say that, for who can claim to such a thing? That “revelation” surely must be something special for somebody so holy as St. Paul, but not for us regular folks! But it is exactly for us “regular folks.” Paul learned it through the Spirit and spoke it for all of us.
And as we are taken by this “invisible” truth, as I said above, the temporal comes back into view, but with new eyes. “I had fainted until I saw the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living,” cried the Psalmist (Ps 27;13). This is true in every level, in every sense.!
But then, the world becomes a safe place for us. Why? Because we have changed kingdoms, changed perspective, changed sight, changed natures, from wrath to mercy, from darkness to light, from Satan to God. “All things have become new,” and the world as it was to Adam the first before the Fall, is restored in us who are still part of this lost and wandering Adam, as we find the Second and last Adam as the very fount of self in us.
The world is now safe for us, and us for it. From then on whatever we do we re safe, holy and righteous in it all, because we are in it but not of it, and because we are for it, rather that it for us! Now we exist to emanate God outward, rather than draw in others into our possession.
This safety then becomes a settled thing in us, after a time, as what we have taken, takes us, but He has changed the world inside us and therefore has changed the whole landscape/ He has removed the curse; He has restored the Tree of Life in the midst of us, and we the leaves of that tree which are for the healing of the nations. What could be more wondrous or miraculous than this treasure, this gold and diamond contained in an earthen vessel that shines with a glory not its own — but shines nonetheless? Only God is capable of this impossible “miracle”!