By Fred Pruitt
Norman Grubb often spoke of a “fixed inner consciousness.” His way of explaining it was to use practical illustrations of daily life, to give us insight into this spirit reality. For this one his illustration would almost always be something along the lines of a “carpenter with his carpentry,” or a “doctor with his practice of medicine.” Norman’s use of the term fixed inner consciousness simply had to do with graduating from apprentice to master. He would use the carpenter or doctor illustration to show how “what you take takes you.” You take the trade of carpentry, starting out probably as a helper, learning all the do’s and don’ts of carpentry for a season. At first the steps are halted, lacking confidence, often making mistakes, but always learning and learning, practicing and practicing, until one day you just “are” (in a sense unconsciously) what you have taken. You have taken carpentry, and after a while, when you have mastered the craft, they call you a carpenter. Carpentry for you has gone from those first halting unconfident baby steps to doing all you need to do almost unconsciously. “Carpentry” has become you! When that happens they say you are a carpenter. Same thing with a doctor, or learning and taking on anything else in life. After a time, you become “it” and “it” becomes “you.” There is no separation between you and what you have taken, because you are now “one” with it.
So spiritually, that is what we are meaning by the term “fixed inner consciousness.” In taking Jesus Christ, not just as Lord and Savior but as the Real Self within our selves (Gal 2:20), one day we just become aware of the fact that we have been “taken” by that which we have received, which is the Spirit’s inner confirmation of that which we have taken by faith.
Someone recently wrote me, asking a few questions about this “fixed inner consciousness,” and wondering if perhaps there was a way to “increase” that consciousness, i.e., is there something “we” could do, or need to do, in order to facilitate this last vital confirmation of our union in Christ?
This is the reply I sent: (edited a bit)
The simple answer is, “Open your eyes and see.” What you are seeing IS out of that consciousness. I know what you are wanting, I think, because for a long time I wanted it, too. When you say an “increase in consciousness” what do you mean? A heightened awareness? A greater sense of God?
But it is none of those things. Open your eyes and see. You are already the consciousness expressed. You don’t “find” that consciousness; instead you realize that you ARE the consciousness.
But it is not self-revealed, i.e., you do not get to bask in your own derived divinity, but it is an outgoing reality that you are Christ as you, not for your benefit, but outward from you Christ enlightens your world. You simply go about in your normal human day-to-day self-consciousness, from which we will never be released as long as we are in the body, so that we feel and experience in ourselves weakness, lack, need, etc., not for ourselves, but that by us the Spirit uses these “negatives” to bring light and life to others.
I think what most people think they are looking for when they hear “Christ in us,” is that somehow they are going to become “super,” and we keep waiting to to see it happen. But it does not happen to most of us in that way. We still seem caught in all the muck of the world and its issues. And that is exactly how it is supposed to be. Because light shines out of darkness. We seem, sight- and feeling-wise, to be the opposite of our confession of faith. Our confession is that it is Christ living in us, not longer I, but He, and now “I,” as an outer human perfect expression of the indwelling Christ, but we seem far away from that in reality. This is a necessary conflict. True faith cannot grow except in opposition. We are in the Spirit’s school!
“Fixed inner consciousness” is not an “experience.” It is simply you realizing one day that what you have taken by faith as true, even though seemingly not manifest, IS the truth about you! It just becomes something settled, like the fact that you are married. It is simply a fact. You may not feel differently, look differently, but none of that has anything to do with the fact that you were single, and now are married. The fact that you are married is not something you have to struggle with every day to believe. It just is. In the same way the Spirit over time settles our awareness of Christ in us as something which just is, and never need be questioned again.
There is usually a period of time, short for some, longer for others, where we are in this struggle to keep on confessing what we have taken as true when everything in our lives seems to scream the opposite. It is a battleground for a while, because we have to be settled on this issue. Something not tested is not settled. Therefore, we confess our confessions, and then the Spirit takes us out of the conceptual classroom and into the “lab” experience of daily life, to prove in us what He has revealed as the truth regarding who we are.
He does not send us down this path to find out all our little foibles so he can “perfect us” by trimming off this and that. If that even occurs, it is only a side issue and not a goal to be reached. What He is proving to us as He walks us through circumstance after circumstance is that He is the Inner Upholder, He is the Leader and Guide. He is the Life and we are the perfect “containers” to express Him even through apparent human inconsistency, so that one day, in some way the Spirit lets us know that this is settled. We ARE He.
There is a change from the “how do I do this?” “how does this work” “What about this?” “What about that?” “How does sin fit in?” type of mentality, to a mindset that ceases to question because we realize we have moved from the outer waiting room, where we are sort of waiting for something visible to “happen” to or in us, to a fixed realization that we ARE HE in our form.
From there we see all the “how to?” and “what about this?” questions are swallowed up in an inner confidence of continuous faith. We continue to be pulled on and stretched to and fro every day, often taking our minds or feelings into uncomfortable places. But now, it is no longer so alarming when the waves come, because we have moved in consciousness from being the disciples afraid of perishing in the storm, to a consciousness of being the Man in the back of the boat, who is so unconcerned he is sleeping peacefully in the midst of a dangerous outer storm.
He only said, “Why are ye so fearful, O ye of little faith! Peace — be still!” Jesus saw no storm because there was no storm in Him, and all He really did was just to pronounce what truly was. The story said the waves stopped and the winds ceased, causing them to exclaim, “What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
Well, now you realize that Man is you. It really didn’t matter if Jesus made the outer storm go away, for what this is really talking about is resting even in an inner storm, and what He really did, whether or not the outer waves and winds abated, was to transmit His real inner calm to the disciples, whereby the storm in them abated. Because that is where the real storm is. In Jesus’ inner consciousness, there was no storm. Had they lived in that same consciousness, too, then they could have slept like babies in the boat while the storm raged without, and would have needed no outer “rescue” because they already had the inner, REAL rescue, something that no outer storm could ever touch or destroy.
Therefore, one day you just say, “Ok, that is me. He has come into me to be one me with me, so what He is, I AM in this world.” It is not something you “feel,” but deeper, something within that you know.
We do not touch this. We do not hurry this along. There is nothing we can do to “do it better or quicker.” All we are is the Lord’s, and we trust His times — “My times are in thy hand.” (Ps 31:15).
“This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Dare we believe the Father is speaking of you and me?
Actually, we dare NOT to believe it!
He looks in you and find only the Son. You may have the hairy skin of Esau, but God has heard in you Jacob’s voice, redeeming Esau’s forsaken birthright and blessing, so that Esau is received in the Father because He has the voice of Jacob, despite his rough hairy skin.
Who are we to disagree with God, to call unclean (us) that which He has cleansed?
Believe the Father’s word to you:
“This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”