Another on Entering Into His Rest

Another on Entering Into His Rest

By Fred Pruitt

(This comes from a conversation with Ole Henrik Skjelstad some time ago. It has been edited and expanded a bit.)

One aspect of realizing that we in our humanity are an outer expression of Him Who is our true inner life, is that we can relax in that, enter into “His rest,” so to speak, having “given up” the “reins” so to speak, or I might say, the “rulership” of our own lives. We relax into Him, Who is our everything — our guide, our comfort, our wisdom, our righteousness, our holiness, our lead, our upholder, and really, when it gets down to it, the One Who is mixed in union with ourselves so that we are He living in human form. Now, that does not change the fact that we are forever “we,” created human selves, and that He is forever He, the Uncreated Eternal Deity.

He has entered into us, not to be a separate person in us, sort of like somebody in a little compartment inside of me that I have to learn to hear, to obey, to commune with, etc. That was perhaps my first impression of His Life in me. I knew He had “come in,” but I was very vague in my understanding about what that meant. I thought the Holy Spirit was kind of like a “battery” or something, something separate from me, in me, but I was I and He was He. I had to “do things” to get Him to work, to bless, to give me a sense of His presence, etc.

That’s why I, like almost all Christians before me, started on a campaign of self-improvement, to make myself more pleasing to God, to be closer, to tack things onto myself that were “like” Him. That sounds right, and it is almost universally accepted as what one does if one is to begin living a “holy” life.

Of course, I came to a fall, the crux of which being the realization that “I” neither could nor would ever measure up. I had embarked on an impossible task, to make myself over (with God’s help) to become like Jesus, by somehow figuring out what He did, and copying that. Jesus got up early in the morning to pray, so I got up early in the morning to pray. Jesus stayed up all night in prayer, so I tried a time or two to stay up all night in prayer. Moreover, it could have gone into the ridiculous, by getting myself a seamless robe and wearing only sandals! I completely missed the fact of “how” Jesus really lived His life, through His oneness with the Father, and “doing nothing of himself.” I had those phrases underlined in my Bible but somehow they went over my head.

Therefore, I had that “fall,” which happened through tough circumstances over a period of years, which brought me to the “end” of myself. And by that I don’t mean that I ceased to “be” as a person. It was instead a total death of my self-ability to do anything — a total giving up into God by realizing, by the revelation of the Spirit (it cannot come any other way — you don’t learn this in a class), that I could do nothing of myself. All my so-called “techniques” at attempting to live a spiritual life, get closer to God, be like Jesus, etc., were dung! Crapola — if you’ll pardon my language! (I could be more graphic!)

And that’s when I began to know in myself that it was no longer I, but He, and I continued like that for a long time, always saying, “it’s not me, it’s He.” I was, in a sense, still two, but that is where we begin. It all comes full circle, however, one day, when we realize the third part of that Gal 2:20, when Paul “comes back” and says, “and the life I now live in the flesh” — ah, there it is — UNION.

It isn’t me alone trying to be like Jesus, nor is it Christ alone living in me while “I” have stepped aside so to speak (having gotten myself out of the way), but now “I” come back to be myself, but this is a new self, one never seen before, because it is a unified self, Christ and I as one, but it’s ME!

This is the new self to which all the promises of God apply. This is the self to which we say, “Just go and be yourself. Christ is expressing through and AS the “you” that you are.” We don’t think about being ourselves. We just wake up in the morning and we are “us” without thinking about it. We do not say, “I think I’ll be ‘me’ today.” We just are.

Well, that’s what this life in union is like. We’re just ourselves, but, having gone through by the Spirit’s teaching and revelation the death and resurrection of Jesus in our inner selves, knowing inwardly the crucifixion and resurrection as it has transacted in ME, now we’re just ourselves again, but this time it is not a self that is going to go out and run amok and be a self-for-self sin self, because we know the One who lives in us and is united to us, is not that, and because of that we can be free from fear and live in faith that His will is being expressed by our deeds every day.

Now, of course people have these questions on the front end, because they really question their humanity. Condemnation about our humanity is probably the most common experience among Christians, regardless of Romans 8:1. We KNOW there’s “no condemnation” but it is as common as air to live in it, because we go by appearances, and to ourselves we never measure up. We have these imaginary ideas of what Jesus would be like, enforced by the imaginary ideas of preachers, churches, and fellow believers, etc., and we are condemned by these imaginary ideas.

People say, “I sin every day,” and I ask, “Tell me some,” and people get very vague at that point. Don’t get me wrong, there is sin, and sometimes there is a stumble — but it comes from unbelief, and is essentially unbelief. But we live by faith, and in the upholding of God, and don’t accept conviction for sin unless convicted by the Holy Spirit, which is one of His jobs, and He is faithful to do it. So we can therefore live without fear and be ourselves, running in the green light, knowing if we do get temporarily diverted off into a bunny trail, that the Shepherd always comes and finds us and fixes us firmly back on the road. We are HIS, and He guards us night and day.

We don’t bother too much about sin — too much concern about that! Jesus took care of it once and for all on the Cross — “Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.” It’s a done deal. “Shall we sin, that grace may abound — GOD FORBID. How shall we, who are DEAD TO SIN, live any longer therein?” asked Paul. So we don’t hang around that subject too much. We’ve left that. As Norman used to say, “Quick sinning, quick cleansing.” Get up, dust yourself off, take no condemnation for it, and get on with it!

After all, the Lord has not sent us out to stand against sin. It has been defeated already. We are here to announce the reconciliation:

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor 5:19-21)

We are ambassadors of the word of reconciliation, rather than accusation: “Not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the world of reconciliation.” What could we say against this? Is this being “soft on sin?” If so, it is the Lord’s softness!

But back to this condemnation thing. People often have a sin consciousness, thinking themselves, those who have been cleansed by the blood and made righteousness by His body (2 Cor 5:21), still sinners, when they have been made saints. Sin is specific; the Spirit (and only the Spirit) lets you know. Condemnation is a vague sense of never measuring up. Never being quite right. I often tell the story that for me, years ago, condemnation was so pervasive in me that when I was praying, I’d be condemned because I hadn’t read the Bible enough. When I was reading the Bible, I’d be condemned because I hadn’t prayed enough. And when I was witnessing, I’d be condemned because I hadn’t read the Bible enough OR prayed enough. I was condemned because I wasn’t (in my mind) a good enough father, a good enough husband, a good enough provider, not good enough with money, not loving God enough, etc. Name a thing and I was condemned about it.

So it was like water on a drooping house plant when I saw I didn’t have to live the life anymore, that He did, and that He promised to replace what I thought were things I had to accomplish by knocking, seeking and asking, with a door which opened, finding what I had sought, and receiving what I had asked for. I used to pray Ps 42 with all my heart: “As the hart pants after the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul for thee, O God. My tears have been my meat night and day, while they continually say of thee, “Where is my God?”

He is true to His word. He hears, and He answers. There comes a day when we find the Pearl of Great Price, and we sell ALL WE HAVE (which is the totality of ourselves) to get it. The cost is “losing” your life. By simply realizing we have no separate “self-life” of our own, but are now wholly His and have no Life but His. He does it. And the other side of losing our lives is finding them — hidden with Christ in God all along, waiting on the long-awaited resurrection which happened 2000 years ago to take effect in me, to raise you and me into total newness of life, where I live, yet not I, but He lives in me, and now I live.

So now I’m back to being “me.” I don’t say as a reminder to myself anymore, “it’s not me, it’s Him,” though it is. Because He is Love, He lives to give me life, like light exists to manifest what it shine on. His life is resident in me to manifest — ME! (But it’s He!) Crazy, makes no logical sense, but it lives out!

But then, once this true “me” is manifest, Christ as “me,” then I no longer live to myself another way, not in relating to God, but in relating to the world I live in, where the Light shines not for me, to manifest “me,” but that the Light coming out of “me” (“rivers of living water”) now serves to manifest that same Life in others!

Do not be afraid. How many times did Jesus say that? “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” He continually asked the disciples. To let go of our whole selves into Him, by faith, is a fearful thing, as is any faith leap, but if we trust the One into Whom we are leaping — His promises are true!

The meaning of the incarnation of Christ was not only for Jesus of Nazareth, but that His incarnation would now manifest in us, as John says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” (1 Jn 3:2), in our FLESH — “That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” (2 Cor 4:11).

“Yet in my flesh shall I see God.” (Job 19:26)

9 thoughts on “Another on Entering Into His Rest

  1. I have read this article at least six times. It has blessed my heart. I have been studying the deeper Christian life since 1987. I also am listening to many of the audio messages as well. One thing that I struggle with is the teaching that comes out in your articles and messages is that I have the DNA of Christ. I believe our Union in Christ does not make us Christ but rather I am his container and He is the contents.

    The enemy often copies the work of the Lord and he also has vessels and containers. Those poor souls can be filled with or possessed by a demon but that does not make them the devil.

    I think we need to be careful with our terminology to not steal the glory from God or rob Him of His divine work in us. I don’t have the theological training to explain these truth well like you do but I do have a big check in my spirit and felt led to share. We can easily cross a line here and take upon ourselves something that can lead to confusion and fleshly pride. It is all about dependency on Him. Second by second depending on Him as our source of Life. I would love to hear more on this but what I have listened to has been confusing and almost weaving in and out and not clear. God bless you!

    • Denise, thank you for writing. I have to be honest, I am not certain what I wrote that you are protesting. I appreciate your opening statement but the article you are writing comments from clearly contains a well-defined understanding that “WE” are not Christ, but that we are created human selves, but we live in oneness with Him, so that it is His life expressed. That distinction is stated constantly in the over 500 posts on the blog. As far a tempering what I say because someone might get a wrong idea and be led astray, I don’t live in that kind of fear. The most wrongly interpreted individual in history is Jesus of Nazareth, and second place goes to Paul of Tarsus. How many have misunderstood things they have said and other Biblical passages over the past couple of millenia? Both of them knew they would be misunderstood and misrepresented and take their words and make them mean things they didn’t intend in the speaking or writing of them, but they opened their mouths, or picked up their quills to write, the words the Spirit gave them without regard for what somebody “might” do. They left it to the Spirit and so do I. I constantly state these truths in a myriad of different ways, so as to cover as many bases or misunderstandings I can, but at the same time cannot back off what the Spirit gives me to say. I trust Him with “them” as much as I trust Him with myself. And then this, I am having a hard time finding in my writings an emphasis that we “have the DNA of Christ.” Other people I know use that kind of talk from time to time, but they are also not meaning that we are “organically” Christ, but rather just a term to let others realize Christ is in them in His fullness and to take advantage of that. But like I said, you said you got that from my writings, and aside from an occasional mention of DNA, I don’t know where you got that. That is not my usual line of sharing. Well, thanks for writing. God’s blessings!

      • Thank you so much brother Fred for taking the time to explain this to me. I was so thrilled and encouraged to listen to so many of your sermons and read dozens of your messages and each day I read more and I was flying through your website enjoying this oasis in the desert and hit a big road block when I heard the teaching on the DNA of Christ. I was so confused and upset because the messages had blessed my heart so much. I had heard that brother Norman Grubb also believed that we are Christ. Could you tell me if that is what he believed? I loved his book Rees Howell, Intercessor. It changed my life. I know it is hard to explain the closeness of the union in Christ. My husband often says that it is like the color of a cloth. If you tried to separate it from the material it would ruin it as it is impossible to separate the color from the fabric. I am also re-reading “The Rest of the Gospel.” Wonderful book. God bless you and anything you can recommend for me to read that would help clear up this theme I would be grateful.

  2. I stopped reading at ‘…and dont accept conviction of sin unless convicted by the HS, which is 1 of His jobs…’ and immediately came to ask u, R U KIDDING ME? I read ur statement now several times and am sick. Perhaps ur just confused.

    • Hi Todd, thanks for writing. I do understand your question and consternation at my statement, and the only thing I would say further is that you might have been relieved of whatever “negativity” you felt toward my statement had you continued reading. But I don’t know that, obviously. What is it about my statement that has caused such a reaction in you, even pronouncing me “confused.” How so, my friend?

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