By Fred Pruitt
It is a union reality we are seeking to find for ourselves. A settledness in the grace and rest of God that undergirds everything in our lives, so that inwardly we continuously walk in the faith of “I live, yet not I, but Christ,” upheld without our own self-efforts by an unfelt, unseen strength, that penetrates its sufficiency into the very fiber of all our existence.
This moves us beyond the realm of believing in a “teaching” or “doctrinal position,” by which we “define” our God and how He is, etc., into a pure “seeing Him Who is invisible,” Who, “hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son,” Hebrews says. And where we see the Son He has spoken by, is in the Sons He has redeemed by His blood — you and me.
We always start and finish at the foundation, which is that there is Only One Person, one truly self-existent Person, period. And that all other persons, be they angels or human or whatever might be a person, can only be derivative expressions of the One Original Person. Everything in the universe, and in ALL universes, has the One Living God as Source and Being.
The JOY of the universe is that it is upheld and created out of and in Freedom.
I can give no scripture quote that says that straight out.
Except that I know that in the character of Love and in the character of Joy only Freedom could be at its base. Only Freedom could possibly produce true Joy. There is no joy in unwanted bondage. For there to be Joy in servants who are bound to their Master, their service must be freely given in Love, which is never a product of debt for quid pro quo, tit for tat, but arises out of the depths of the infinite Freedom of God within us, as the passion of our lives.
The “Freedom” I talk about is not contradictory to God working “all things after the counsel of His own will.” I don’t deny one and uphold the other (free will vs. election). The Living God is the conductor of an eternal orchestra, an Eternal Song being sung and played. It’s an ageless symphony, that plays through all times and realms, a Song He wrote. He picked out the parts each instrument would play, what notes they would play, with what force they would sound. At times the symphony is filled with dissonance, harshness that hurts your whole being, at other times the sweetness lifts you to mountain meadows on a sunny day in the spring. The most wonderful thing about the symphony, as you study it more closely, is how much joy and delight the players have in their parts. Though they play parts in a symphony they did not author, still they are so joyed at their part, it is so exactly what they wanted to play, down to the very notes and timing, that you can see the tears of joy streaming down their faces as they bow their violins or strike their glockenspiels.
The symphony moves on, and one begins to see, through the dissonance and the sweetness, through the adagios and pianissimos, One Theme taking shape, always resolving yet moving toward the ultimate resolution, a building passion, sometimes abated by contrary tones, but still pressing through in overtones that eventually come back to the forefront and gain momentum until it’s an explosion into the 1812 Overture, and cannons are firing and fireworks are cascading, because the Sons of God are born and have become manifest.
So, the part Lucifer or Satan plays in that symphony, he both does the will of God and enjoys his freedom in rebellion believing he has his own will. Which he does not.
He plays his part in the symphony — his dissonance gives the sweetness its delight, his stirring makes the senses sharp, his off-timing somehow jives with the right-timing anyway. Funny how his part works.
But it does, and the Father is always the conductor, the Son the Music, the individual players with their own parts, the Spirit the Sense of All the Music Blending into One consistent Whole, with one End, as at the beginning, God, ALL in all, Jesus, the Alpha and Omega. “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph 4:6)
This is for me the point to drive home. Our lives are only to be found in Christ. We are dead. The real true life which God has seen as ours from eternity lies hidden in Christ, who has been born as if in a manger in us as a babe, to grow up into the Root of Jesse and the Hope of Israel, in our mortal flesh.
The “Day” we step out of what we thought all along was ourselves into the “glorious liberty of the sons of God” is the day grace dawns on us, and we realize that grace is far more than unmerited favor, but the very power and love of the living God in substantial form as the inner Rod of our lives. As Jesus said, we are able to say, “I and my Father are One.”
I am One Person with my Father. When you see the Father you see me.
These are bold words but are of the same words Jesus spoke in the synagogue in Nazareth, and they are our words, too, when we see it.
That is the meaning of the incarnation. God dwelling in man. Not just one man, but through Christ Jesus all men. That is the incarnation.
I feel naked when I talk about these things. I think we must handle these things with awe. I almost seem presumptuous to myself to say anything at all about the Living God. But I press on in faith. For I truly don’t know all mysteries. I haven’t been taken in clarity into the depths of the Godhead, so that I have seen with my eyes the beginning of all things. I do not know why God is. It sometimes sweeps over my mind why is there anything at all. At the very heart of things, as far as our human minds can go, is an impenetrable mystery that defies all our intellectual attempts to describe it.
At times He seems in my conscious mind to comprehend all of everything within Himself and makes my heart very glad; at other times He seems a will o’ the wisp, almost phantom in his unremarkable appearances, and leaves me a bit skittish; at other times there is no reason to believe that He exists at all or that there is anything to live for. Then I am always brought down to the floor in weakness, and always on the floor see a suddenly noticeable light streaming out from under a door I hadn’t noticed before.
2012 (ten years or so later) Addendum:
I wrote the above a decade or so ago, but it seems like eons. How much we cram into these years, no wonder!
I left myself down on the floor with that one. It was that way for a time. It seemed like it was that way forever. I was dimmer in the ways the Spirit was teaching me, then. Not wrong, just a dimmer bulb. But what ten years can do.
I understand the cycles better than I used to. What do I mean? I mean that every day was not rosy, but there were days also that were way rosy. But in all I found only God and His purposes – which are all for love, they all bring life – and have found contentment in those ups and downs, knowing full well by living experience, that out of it comes the pure gold of faith, and the resultant outflow of the Spirit into the world in the way God does it as me. More than ever I know I can do nothing of myself, and more than ever I know that I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.