By Fred Pruitt
(This below is derived from excerpts of a several week email dialogue with another seeker in Christ. We really did not cover “everything,” but we did hit on most of the basic questions and issues that come up as we are beginning to realize that “it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me.” The dialogue was not “systematic,” in that we covered each issue one at a time, but more conversational, as we would talk in a living room. I decided to leave it in that format, rather than try to pull out things categorically, but just leave it as the Spirit worked it through my brother and I. One issue did remain on the table through the whole dialogue, and that was the “we should be healing …” and wanting those “greater works” that Jesus spoke of, which is a common issue for many.)
It’s not that I am looking for the results as proof of Christ in me; I’m looking for results for the sake of those who need God’s touch of goodness in Power. In Christ we have been given the Spirit of Power, Love and a Sound Mind. Power is first on the list.
Power, eh? Let me tell you my take on “power.” I know that’s a big word in pentecostal/charismatic circles, and in those circles normally means signs, wonders and miracles. But for me, who normally only deals in words, I have certainly seen that “power” is necessary in what I do, but the “power” I receive from God accomplishes something different than healing someone’s body does.
I realized early on in this current bout of sharing the word of God, that it wasn’t by my words — i.e. my verbal clarity, my doctrinal correctness, my ability to explain the truth clearly and authoritatively, my accuracy in expounding on the scriptures, etc. — that would cause people to see the truth and be set free. I realized how VAST the gulf is between a “union-Christ in me” consciousness, and the normal separated consciousness we have all been born with and live in as long as we walk in the wilderness and attempt to obey the law or fulfill God’s word by our self-efforts.
What I call “self-effort” is attempting to build the Lord’s house by trying to be like the Lord, be like Jesus, perform great works, love others, etc. We attempt this in the consciousness of being just ourselves alone trying to work the things of God, trying with God’s “help” to apply principles and believe scriptures, trying to be led of the spirit, trying to obey, trying to produce the fruit of God. Maybe we have come to the place where we see He is in us to do those things, but if we then add onto that something “we” have to do in order for God to fulfill His word which He has spoken in us, we have gone back to the Old Testament. The old covenant depended wholly on our doing our part, which would make the blessings of God flow. It was a contract between two parties, each having to fulfill its requirement for the covenant to be enacted.
Whereas in the New Testament we only receive by faith and God does these things, as Paul said, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves…” Paul is here saying he has found his own nothingness, his own lack of ability to do ANY THING in the Lord, but then goes on — “but our sufficiency is of God…” (2 Cor 2:5,6.)
Hallelujah, here Paul is seeing the second part. Paul does not stay in his own nothingness, inability to do anything, and lament himself forever that he has no sufficiency of his own and alas, lets God down at every turn, waiting for the day when he’ll finally feel some kind of sufficiency and THEN he’ll get to do the real stuff for God.
No, he doesn’t stop there, but right on into God IS (not will be, ought to be, should be, but IS!) my sufficiency for all things IN THIS PRESENT MOMENT.
That’s faith, and if God IS the sufficiency that covers everything, because anything you can think of — doing, being, thinking, resting, praying, right choosing, walking, healing, wisdom, righteousness, holiness, etc. can only flow out of the sufficiency of God, since NONE of that stuff resides in us or originates in us, but only in Him and out of Him.
Therefore testifying that HE IS our current sufficiency in all things, even in what we will and choose, He is Lord of all, then Paul goes on finally to the third part of this realization, and he speaks the ”result” of finding His own nothingness and God’s allness together operating as a current moment eternal inner union reality. Paul completes the transition from insufficiency, to God only is sufficient and is my sufficiency, on to the final rung of the ladder, in that God ”hath made us able ministers of the new testament, not of the letter but of the spirit.”
“God hath made us,” is the key to see here, even as Jesus’ promise to the disciples was, “I WILL MAKE YOU fishers of men.” The emphasis is on I WILL MAKE YOU! Because we can’t make ourselves. And of course a ministry “not of the letter” isn’t a behavioral thing but a realization of where the Life is and what causes it. The “letter” merely points to it. The Holy Spirit enacts it in us in a living reality, that we might walk around in the earth, doing our daily mundane affairs, getting gas for the lawnmower of whatever, and we find God in His fulness in every moment, and give thanks and praise for the One by whom all things consist and by whom everything, the mundane as well as the glorious, are upheld in every current now. (Col 1:17; Heb 1:3).
And in my life in what God has called me to do, I have realized, like Paul, my own nothingness and total inability to perform the task He has called me to do. I am burdened with raising the consciousness of the people of God into Christ who is the head of all of us. I have only the words I’ve been given from the Spirit as my tools and method. I bemoaned this with God for some time, feeling quite an impotent person if all I could give a person was words.
“What good are words,” I asked, “if somebody wants a cheeseburger?” Like you, I thought I would really cut the mustard and help an awful lot of people if I could put my hands on some folks and have them rise from wheelchairs and such. But God has continued for the most part to give me only words to give out, despite my thoughts otherwise. Not that I don’t live in the miraculous and am touched by it every day, for I am — I experience God’s quickenings in my body and soul as God gives me each new day. Every landscape is filled with a hidden glow that is always there to those with eyes to see. And there are miracles of the traditional sort along the way, too.
But back to my bemoaning my “words only” situation. Though of course I had read this next scripture for years and years, one day the Lord spoke it personally to me: ”It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63). I’m sure that’s very familiar to you as well. What I saw, for me, and I repeat, for me, not necessarily for you, was a great joy to me, because from that point on I have not questioned a moment the validity of this call He has given me.
If His words, which He speaks unto us, ARE spirit, and ARE life, (and I am one who can testify to the truth of that), then the words He speaks by you and me are also the same, and are sufficient in themselves, because it is His word that has gone out by us. It matters not whether those words are perceived as powerful, dynamic, deep or even moving according to any fleshly measurements. I simply trust Him by us to accomplish His will that He manifests into the world by means of you and me as He wills. We do not “lean unto our own understanding” in saying how God should or ought to manifest Himself in our lives, but trust Him implicitly in all things to be working in us according to his pleasure and will, as He has said and we have said that we believe.
But this bit started out about power, so let me finish the thought. There is no human way I can communicate to anyone whatsoever the revelations of God. What I do — talk and write — is a complete waste of time and money unless the Word goes out by the Spirit, and is likewise received in and by the Spirit.
I have learned to the uttermost it is not by my verbal craft or quick wit that the things of God are enacted. So right there I’m stumped, stopped dead in my tracks. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to “make” it happen that when I speak the Spirit moves in the hearts of people and people are quickened by the Spirit in them to grow in conciousness and understanding in the Lord. I don’t know how to make the words right; I don’t know the right tone of voice to have, right inflection, right way to look at the people I talk to, or who to make eye contact with. Likewise, I have no access to anybody’s inner person to open their ears and make them hear. But when the Spirit opened my understanding in a new way to “My words are … spirit and life,” it became clear as a bell to me the “power” of God is carried in His words in and as me. The words we speak and write in the Lord are the very power of God and have no limit as to their working.
Therefore, something I do not do, wouldn’t have the foggiest notion how to do, but that happens anyway in a way we can’t understand, and folks here and there wake up and hear the Word. And again we rejoice!
End Part Two