I Know It But Cannot Live It

by Fred Pruitt

Someone wrote:

I still don’t seem to have the faith that makes it a reality – nor do i think I could possibly find it myself. I’ve hit rock bottom – can’t read the Bible, worship, pray, etc. Conceptually, i know that I died with Him on the cross and He now is me, but i just can’t live out that reality.”

Reply:

Thanks for writing. Now, on what you’ve said, I want to refer you to a couple of articles, but before that I want to give a couple of comments that might help you.

The first thing to tell you is this: Rejoice! You are there!

How can I say that? Because He has brought you to a place where you “conceptually know” that you died in Him and He is now your lived life, but you cannot live it!

Hallelujah! That’s it! You HAVE reached rock bottom, exactly where Paul reached in Rom 7:18 (last part) — “for to will is present with me, but HOW TO PERFORM THAT WHICH IS GOOD I FIND NOT!”

In Romans 6 Paul taught us that we died together Him in the Cross and rose together with Him in the Resurrection, and that is a fact about us.

But when he “tried” to live it, his life seemed like the opposite. Just like what you have said, “I just can’t live out that reality.”

And that’s where I jump in and say, “Silly, you never have been able to operate it and you never will.” That’s part one of Paul’s revelation, “we can’t do it,” but it is not the final part. The bulk of the church has been parked there for 2000 years. The mantra is, “We can’t do it, so it will always be this struggle of flesh vs. spirit, and we will usually not prevail.” How anyone could derive that from Paul’s life’s example, I don’t know. But they do, nevertheless, because it is everyone’s EXPERIENCE, until we come to our final denouement, to not only realize that we cannot ever of ourselves bring forth the fruit and life of God, to the superceding truth of Romans 8:2, that, “the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.”

The “living out” of that reality, including the “believing” part, we now give to Him, that He is the “doer” of all of it, everything, He is even the “believer” in us. We, in effect, go down to nothing, that He might be all. (We come back, because we are not really “nothing,” but that’s later — in this place, we become “nothing” to ourselves, that God might be All and in all.)

Here’s a little word about the faith part. You don’t do it. He does. You don’t do anything, because you are dead. He does it all, including, as I said above, the believing.

Faith is not a “thing” in itself, but only the use of a faculty, the human faculty of receiving. Eating is the best example maybe. There’s the food, it looks good, we’re hungry, so we decide to eat it. Why? It looks good, or smells good, or we may be so hungry we don’t care, but something “draws” us to the food. So we conclude that we will eat THAT particular food. We say a word of faith: Let’s eat! The thing is, until we put it into our mouths and taste it, we really do not know if it is good or not, or that we will like it. Even if we have had the same dish a thousand times, something could have gone wrong with this batch, and only the experience will give the answer to the rewards part of it. So we might say that “exercising faith” is sort of three or maybe four-fold. First we are drawn by desire, and in that desire mode we do our considering of our options. Meatloaf or chicken? We make a decision and it is expressed by a word, “I’ll have the chicken.” Expressing the word gets the ball rolling for whatever has to happen to get the food to the table. When it arrives, we are at the final stage of faith, where we experience, or “are taken” by the thing we took.

Food of course does more than taste good or bad. It hopefully provides nutrition or some other benefit, and hopefully it will not upset our stomach, but, once down the hatch, whichever way it goes, we’re in for the ride, whether smooth or rocky. We made our “word of faith” good when we put the food in our mouths and “took” it, and then the food “took us” in its results in our body.

Now faith in “spiritual” things is just as simple and is exactly the same. Exercising faith is not some high-powered “mental believing,” but simply the exercise of our “choice” faculty, which simply decides what we will “receive.” Paul says, “What do you have that you have not received?” (2 Cor 4:7) Everything comes to us this way. It comes to us this way in the natural to demonstrate that this is how the spiritual is. It is as simple as saying, “I do,” in a wedding ceremony, which “magically” makes you married. You don’t even have to “believe it,” because, buddy, once you say, “I do,” you’re married!

Your “I do” has been to Christ. You have “taken” Him in your faith. Your “considering” it all was coming to believe the scriptures and the promises God gave you. Your word of faith is to say, “I believe that and I am dead to sin and alive to God,” etc., however you say it. The exact words don’t matter, but just what you told me above about knowing you are dead in Him is the starting place, but then perhaps to add that you believe Galatians 2:20 is your current truth, right now.

Your part then is complete, if you can call, “I receive this” a part. (It goes without saying, that it is God who has brought us to that moment, and the words of God fill our mouth when we “receive” by the Spirit. “No man can say Jesus is Lord but by the Holy Spirit.”) It just follows that to experience the food sitting on the plate in front of you one must pick up a utensil and start eating, and your “word of faith” is your picking up the utensil and starting to eat. You have taken Him in.

Now the rest is Him and leave Him to it. Trust that He is your life no matter what the circumstances, “I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.”

Now here is where a lot of people get bogged down. They have expectations of “something happening.” But do not expect anything ‘out of the ordinary’ to happen. You are just yourself and will continue going on being just yourself. Only now you know you are not “just” yourself, but you are Christ as yourself. Don’t worry about the outside or how it looks, or don’t worry about how you feel about it.

Believe the promises God has given you, over and above everything else that would deny them validity. This is not something you do with your mind and convincing yourself by reason, but in your heart where you are in a “fixed” marriage commitment in Him, where you are beginning to realize that He is not a separate person inside of you, side by side, but “One” with you, like Jesus was “one” with the Father, when He said to Phillip, “If you’ve seen the Father, you’ve seen Me, or if you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.” In your inner spirit, the center of your being, you are not two but one, because “he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” Oneness, union.

Not longer I, but He!

So again to remind you, don’t “try” to live it out. Just relax and trust the Spirit to do it. He will.

I’ll look on my blog and find a couple more articles that might help you.

Thanks for writing. Please let me hear from you again!

fred

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4 thoughts on “I Know It But Cannot Live It

  1. It doesn’t LOOK like it, it doesn’t SOUND like it, it doesn’t TASTE like it, it doesn’t SMELL like it, it doesn’t FEEL like it and I don’t even THINK that it is, but somewhere deep inside I KNOW that Christ must be my life because all other alternatives are complete and utter madness.
    Thanks for the above posts Fred, just what I needed to read, have a good trip, love from Joe

  2. Fred,
    Again, pondering this….are all public events in which believers convene, such as an event to worship and pray together (such as, on National Prayer Day, there was an event scheduled for people to come together held at the race track in Myrtle Beach)….I ponder whether ALL events are truly spiritually filled in a good way? I am not convinced that all fellowships of this nature are of the “good”.. I say this because sometimes when a person attends they leave there and their personality, nature and attitude is one of a “funk” instead of light -hearted and love filled…..I would think that if it was a truly blessed coming together they would leave full of love,hope,acceptance, happiness,joyful instead of withdrawn and distant with others. Just wondering what your thoughts are on this?
    Thank you.

    • Dear Brenda, thank you for writing, but I’m not sure what you are asking really, in the context of the article to which your comment is attached. I suppose you’re just asking a question that is on a different topic from the article, so, the general answer to your question, I would think, is that any “event” is whatever the individual participants make of it. If I go to an event, any event, I do it in the spiritual state in which I live — in my case, and theoretically in any person born again of God’s Spirit, then wherever we go, we go in the Spirit of Christ, and receive and walk out of the inner Spirit of Christ who is in us and His Life flows out of our innermost being as John 7:38 says. Environments (events, happenings, meetings, etc.) do not affect us; we affect our environments. That is why Jesus called us (all who are His) the light of the world and the salt of the earth. As His Life in the earth, we are not about self-concern nor fearful of ANYTHING whatsoever “in the world,” because we are no longer “of” it, even though we are still in it. We trust Christ to be our sufficiency and adequacy in everything, and rejoice that “his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Pet 1:3,4). Once we realize that He has us and uphold us and we walk in Him in the Spirit, not because we have done certain techniques or procedures or works, but simply because He says we do and by His grace we DO walk in His Spirit and manifest Christ “in our mortal flesh,” as Paul explained in 2 Cor 4:8-13. We are not “needy” because these things are true, so the focus of our lives is no longer to “get our needs met” since we know and believe and by faith say that all our needs are fulfilled in Him, and that we have learned to not differentiate our circumstances between “good” and “bad,” but like Paul, we learn to be content in all things, whether we are full or hungry, whether we are down or are up, whether we have much or little, but to receive everything with full thanksgiving to God, knowing that all things that come our way, are of Him — even if they might happen to be brought through the actions or wickedness or evil, because God takes everything that comes our way, whether good or evil, and uses it for good. And when we begin to realize these things, knowing the abundant never-ceasing inner adequacy of Christ within, and the outworking of the Spirit without, then we can be at any event, in any environment, face any obstacle, knowing God will prevail, and we will prevail with Him. The way I live, is to see Christ All and in all, as the scriptures say, and not give “place” whatsoever to the devil, and know as Jesus knew, “the prince of this world cometh, but He has nothing in me.” We can say the same. The wicked one, “prince of this world,” goes around doing his nasty business, but he is eternally within the limits God has set for him, because there is no power in the universe except the power of God, so that even the devil is using God’s “power” in a reverse way. But he point is, he has none of his own, since he did not create himself, nor is there any other source of power in the universe except the Living God, and all that “power” is now in the hands of the Eternal Lamb Slain, the Lord Jesus Christ, as He said in Matthew 28:18: 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” I can’t find any left over for the devil, can you? So why fear him, since we have overcome him through the death and resurrection of Christ, and as Jesus said, “he has nothing in us.” So, bottom line regarding your question, it does not matter what an “event” is in itself, since our lives aren’t derived or made from something outside us, but flow out from the Spirit of God within us. Hope this helps.
      fred

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