by Fred Pruitt
A couple of people recently wrote me almost back to back asking somewhat different questions, but in the end having the same answer. It reminds me of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem, “How do I love thee?”
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
It is a little bit different but out of the same ardor with which Elizabeth expressed her love to Robert, the growing Desire in us for the Life of the Spirit drives us on in the pursuit of Love. We all seek the same end, reconnection with our Beginning through going all the way through to the End, from Alpha to Omega, union with the Divine, out of Whom we came, union with Him Who was, Him Who is, and Him Who is yet to come. All of these states are played out and lived by each of us in our own inviolable secret place with the Lord, each of us being the melody the Lord plays particularly by us, in the eternal Choir in which we have been forever harmonized and each giving and receiving freely from the other and to the other.
Even now, still in this body, we can catch wisps of it, the underlying melody which Julian of Norwich caught and reexpressed for the rest of us, declaring, “All manner of things shall be well.” All will have praise of God and testify that “true and righteous are all His judgments.”
Here are the two questions paraphrased, and their similar/same answers.
I. Hi Fred, I have read and re-read your email and I understand.., but I have been indoctrinated in the established church and have certain ideas that have kept ‘popping up’..
I have been trying to read Jacob Boehme, but I think I need a brain transplant..to understand it fully!! I was reading, The Cross in the Heart of God…but I’m sure I have read it wrong!! I have put it to one side and will go back to it at a later date.
Maybe I haven’t ‘got it’ fully yet, in my head I know the truth of Gal 2 v 20 but I want to REALLY know it..and be as enlightened, as you all are.
Every moment I get.. I am reading, whether it be Norman Grubb..or your articles or some others. I would really like to know.
Just briefly, I would say you don’t need to understand Boehme or even Cross in the Heart to be “enlightened” as you said. They are helpful to our understanding but do not provide it. HE provides it by being it in us. You already are and have all you need, because He Who is already IN YOU is right now, this moment, your completeness, your adequacy within. You do not need to “get it” because you already ARE it – Christ in YOU!
All “faith” is in regard to this, is that joining in by faith, you are acknowledging this “general” truth of Christ in you and Galatians 2:20 and Galatians 4:19, is specifically true in you. It becomes your “reality” in your own consciousness and understanding the moment you by faith agree with the Spirit, Who is in you this very moment to be all of this. It does not come from you as your currently know yourself, but from Him in you Who is already your righteousness, holiness, sanctification, completion, love, wisdom, power fully resident in you.
Faith in this instance is merely acknowledging by a word or decision, that you will take God at His Word and agree that it is true for you – just like you took Jesus in the beginning by a word of faith, it is the same as this. And just like in a marriage ceremony when we say, “I do,” which makes the marriage a reality from that point on, when we say, “Yes, Lord, I do not see it but I will agree with you that it is no longer I who live, but you who are living in me, and I find myself alive still but now it is your life being expressed by my human life.”
That’s the key. Just take it as God has provided it, and He becomes in you in your understanding what He already is in you apart from your understanding. That might be confusing. I am just saying that He is already at work in you both the will and to do of HIS good pleasure (Phil 2:13), and that when you come to the place of acknowledging His Life in you, you will see it as the Spirit reveals it to you, within you, day by day.
Always remember, HE is your teacher! We are just helpers, as He sends us to others, but He is the teacher and Life of all of us.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
II. What Does it Mean to Live from Your Spirit? First I would like to let you know how much I enjoy your teaching. Most of the teaching I have received on Christ living in me as me has been listening and reading on some websites. I have read Dan Stone, Steve Pettit and others. I have been to their teaching repeatedly but I was thrilled to hear you, John Fautley, and Linda Bunting share many of those same truths. Thank you.
In your own words will you explain what it means to live from your spirit? I really don’t have a complete understanding, yet. I know that is where the Holy Spirit is leading me and He will reveal it to me, but I would just like to hear your feedback. I don’t know if you have read Dan Stone’s book “The Rest of the Gospel,” but he talks about living above the line. Even though the Holy Spirit leads me, I see where much of my living has been below the line.
Thank you for writing. I am glad you are interested in this, because this is our central truth in Christ, that we have been crucified with Him, though we find ourselves still alive, but it is no longer “I”, but Christ in me, who expresses His Divine Life by means of my human life and identity in the world, in a union of Divine Spirit with our core inner human spirit, which comes out as one new identity, Christ as us, but, this is where the paradox occurs, I don’t become Jesus, rather, He comes into me and is one with me to make me my true self, hidden in Christ in God, but Who has now been revealed as the True Self within us.
Frankly, this boggles the mind, because it is beyond the comprehension of the mind of this world in which we most often find ourselves operating. Our spirits within comprehend, though it is hidden to the natural mind.
What you asked, “how to live from your spirit?” is impossible. You cannot do it. You cannot comprehend it. You cannot know how. You cannot do anything whatsoever to make it happen. As Jesus said, “Which of you, by taking thought, can add one cubit to his stature?” It is not in our humanity, as it currently is, to perceive and operate as you have asked.
However, all is not lost, because this is one of the overriding truths of our lives, that in losing all things (that we thought were foundational to our lives or security, including our own selves on which we have relied all our lives), we find Him Who is beyond all things. Over the course of our spiritual lives that happens all the time in little ways, and for many of us is the course through which the River of Life flows that brings us through the wilderness of the Law and self-reliance, trying to please God as did Cain, shedding that consciousness in the desert (the times of privation in our lives), that brings us to the Jordan where Joshua (Jesus) finally takes us over on the other side on wings of eagles, into the Promised Land of Rest. I am just a little poetically describing what you have no doubt run into in you reading, since you have been reading the ones you mentioned, and they all talk about this – the Romans 7 experience, which culminates in Romans 8:2 –
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
So here is your situation, and it is mine as well, as well as that of everyone in Christ. The standard for our lives we might say is Christ and Love. As Christians, the scriptures overwhelmingly say this truth over and over. However, it is impossible of fulfillment. Like Jesus’ word in the Sermon on the Mount:
Mat 5:20 — “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” — and Mat 5:48 – “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
What then is the solution? We realize we cannot do anything. Jesus knew this:
“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.” (John 5:19,20).
If we cannot do anything, and yet this branch MUST bear fruit, what are we to do? We realize what Jesus realized, and Paul, and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David and all the rest. God does it! Period! We learn this —
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear … not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (Ex 14:13,14)
It is that simple! We say the Lord has done it, and then leave it to Him. We declare what He has taught us within, that Galatians 2:20 IS MY truth, your personal truth, not a doctrine or a teaching that you try to figure out how to apply, but simply reality in the present moment – this IS you now! Christ as you!
The Spirit within is really your Teacher, and you can know He teaches and opens up to us all truth, AND causes us to walk in it. That’s all it is. The simplicity of a wedding vow. This is what God promises to do in all of us. We “hook into” it when we agree with the Spirit Who is telling us this is our truth. Exactly the same as initially “entering” into salvation. You prayed, believed you received, and at some point the Spirit sent the witness. There may have been a gap between the prayer and “believing,” and the “witness” from the Spirit, but that only serves to teach us the one main operating truth of the Christian life, operating by faith in what we believe and has been shown to us, but for which we do not necessarily see any “outer” evidence.
Just as then, we come now, empty, and as little children and freely receive what the Father has freely given.
From then on, we say it is Christ living as us. My life in the world is He expressing Himself – as ME! Now, that’s a shocker, and one hard to believe. But that is the mystery of the Incarnation. Jesus didn’t just come as the one and only incarnation of God, but to bring us all into the same Incarnation, so that it is millions of “Christs” running around in human bodies, minds and souls of all types, being the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
And you are already that, and only need, if you haven’t done so, to declare its truth for you.
And this is the same as the above the line/below the line model of Dan’s. That was Dan’s way to describe how it seems like our realities are two – heaven and earth, but the real truth of it, and Dan got to this as well, is that ultimately, there is no below the line. In Christ, everything we are has been taken above the line. Heaven and earth are made one in us, as the prophet Habbakuk said —
“But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.” (Hab 2:20).
That’s all it is! You can’t do it. God can. He will. Believe Him. Even trust Him for the faith to believe Him. You cannot do that either. But He can. He will. Do not be afraid, only believe!
I hope this helps you some. Let me hear from you.
Love in Jesus,