by Fred Pruitt
“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.”
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!