by Fred Pruitt
A reader commented on the previous article: Faith and the Burning Bush
We are indeed moving into the deep things of God by this and we are also touching the freedom of being a son. God desires to hear me speak into existence what already exists in the Father’s mind, but since I am not an automaton I am free to “refuse” to speak the words that bring His victory or whatever He has in mind into visibility. I can for instance say: “No, this is not possible…this cannot be” and withdraw from speaking what wells up in me or not pray the prayers of the Father because I think “it is only me”. No matter where I turn faith is the keynote to all this.
Thank you for your comments. I have to tell you that when I first read this, I was very surprised with the “I am not an automaton” thought and the rest of it after that. It isn’t that I think what you wrote is incorrect, because technically, being that we are in the realm of temptation until we leave this life, the possibility is always present that we might follow a temptation into the conception of sin. So that’s a given. And your last sentence, “No matter where I turn faith is the keynote to all this,” is right on! Absolutely! 100% agreement.
But by your statement of, “I can refuse,” that you bring out, that thought seems to be much more in the foreground than it need be. It just surprised me that while agreeing that God speaks in us in “our” voice, that you throw in something like a “warning,” “watch out, you can trip up, you can still sin, you can ‘refuse’,” which to be honest, seemed out of place in our discussion.
This is an aside, but I cannot tell you how many times over the years, after I had expressed that in oneness or union with God our lives are He expressing Himself, so that we walk in the Spirit and speak the words and do the “acts” of God because of His indwelling, that people have responded by saying, “I have free will, and I can still sin if I want to.” In fact, that seems to be the only time when “free will” crops up, when we are speaking of “sin.”
People go out of their way to assert their “free will” to sin, but seem not to see that the “free will” they are speaking of, is of course, in us as sons of the Father, as a “free will” unto righteousness. The fact of the matter is, NOBODY knows truly “free will” until they realize they have been “slaves of unrighteousness,” not operating by any means in some supposed solitary independence, but have believed and done the will of our false father. (Jn 8:44, Eph 2:2,3).
It is “natural” to us to express unrighteousness, because in our lost state, we are in the kingdom of darkness and run from within as his slaves. In his hidden kingdom of darkness which was our home and captivity, we had free will to do anything we wanted. But it all came out of the same hellish foundation the devil speaks from, and all our “free will” was within the confines of the kingdom of darkness, expressing unrighteousness. Thus our “free will” within unrighteousness, was actually the will of the prince of that kingdom, and was never just “our own” will at all. We all expressed the “lusts of [our] father, the devil.”
But Paul told us, Christ “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” (Col 1:13). And on this side of things, we have our free will in all the whole realm of the kingdom of heaven to express as we please, because now, having been bought with the price of the precious blood of the Lamb, having died in His death and raised in His Life, we belong not to ourselves but unto Him Who redeemed us by His blood. We have transferred from one slavery to another, from slaves of unrighteousness to slaves of righteousness. But these are Love-slaves, who are obedient in faith to the Master’s love and will. We begin to want what He wants. We are no longer under the fear-god, and no longer his servants or slaves. We belong to him no more. We do not live unto the Lord out of compulsion, as with our former slave-owner, but out of love and loving what He loves, because in His kingdom that is now our “nature.” Who of us would refuse to do the bidding and will of our heavenly Lover? We would rather die first, because we have been caught, and He will not let us go, nor do we want to go out from Him!
Instead, we have come into a kingdom so vast it is bigger than the known universe. And within the “confines” of that kingdom, which we could say are infinite, we operate our “free will” in righteousness. We are partakers of the “divine nature,” and because God’s outpoured Love is the center heartbeat of our lives, our lives express righteousness, because inwardly we ARE righteousness! What we are in our heart, our innermost spirit center, we are outwardly, though it may not be apparent to human eyes.
Now, let’s look again at that statement: “I can refuse.” The first question to ask, is who is making that statement? Christ in us? I think not. How did I come into the kingdom? I confessed Jesus as Savior, and for all practical purposes it looks and feels like it’s “just me,” when I make that “free” choice for Christ. But Paul said, “No man can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:3). That must mean, that even though at the time of the encounter we still technically belong to Satan, that the moment the Spirit recognizes our turn toward God (which He has engineered of course), He is there to meet us as the words are forming in our mouths.
Our first “act” in the kingdom of God is our confession of faith in Christ, and in that exact moment the translation occurs from one kingdom to another, transferred from one slavery to another, and we find that even that most “basic” act or choice in our very beginning in Christ, we are speaking not just as ourselves alone, but by the Holy Spirit. Our first “act” in God’s kingdom is a “union” act, right away demonstrating that we are not doing our “own thing,” but God’s “thing,” working in a union of selves, one spirit (one unified identity) within, our “heart,” out of which flows all the issues of life. All in righteousness.
Do we see this? We may think “union” with Christ as something to be “obtained,” or apprehended, something to shoot for, but consider the ramifications of 1 Cor 12:3. We don’t GET to union, we START OUT in union, which is what that verse is really saying in its depths. How much clearer can it be, that in this union grace love-bond with God, He speaks and our voice is heard!??
I cannot think of a time when I “refused” to speak what I knew needed to be spoken from God. I’ve had lots of times where it took some time to “get to” faith or a word of faith, and most of those were in days past, so that in the now, I live in the faith, am encompassed by it, and inwardly it is unshakeable. I can panic in the soul just like anyone, but what I am trying to get to, is that the demand of my “faith” had to disallow thoughts like, “I can refuse.” To me it’s like driving down the highway continually reminding yourself, “I can have an accident, I can have an accident.” Of course that thought as a possibility is always there in the background, but for purposes of daily living, “to live is Christ,” and all the rest of the things we say.
You know my story which I’ve recounted many times. But this is the heart of the struggle, when you see that even though we do not know the way, we trust the Guide in us, knowing by the Spirit’s revelation that, “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory!”(Ps 73:24-28).
I don’t know this “I can refuse” person. Who am I, but one who states, “My meat is to do the will of Him Who sent me, and to finish His work.” (Jn 4:34)?
THAT is my declaration of faith! (And not, “I can refuse.” What “faith” does that statement arise from?)
You have emphasized to me before that, “that which is born of God does not commit sin.” (1 Jn 3:9).
How? We are kept! Our “keeping of ourselves” is to commit “ourselves” into His keeping, so that we come to know the promise to Jesus,
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.” (Ia 42:1-4).
Just because this is the Promise of the Father to the Son, it is a Promise through Him to all the sons, that they are KEPT and UPHELD! And this includes YOU!
Like I said above, what you wrote is technically true, but meant to be in the background. However, old Slewfoot likes it to be in the foreground, because it is an opening to him. But we do not acknowledge it, even as Jesus said the prince of this world has nothing in Him, and as Paul said, we give “no place” to the devil.
Well, those are my thoughts for this morning.
Blessings and love,