The Turnabout – From Unbelief to Faith Pt One
By Fred Pruitt
(Recently a lady contacted me wanting to know if she could share her life experiences with me. So I said sure. What happened after that was about a 2-week back and forth on the issue of faith and unbelief, not in the theoretical but in the actual, in this woman’s life. Her main difficulty was focusing almost exclusively on her problem in herself, and by her admission she could not find “faith” to believe God would forgive her for past sins or accept her back after she had (she felt) turned her back on God. I have run into many over the years who cannot receive forgiveness or find the faith to believe God would accept them “back” after a “bout” with sin-stuff. I believe by the time we finished our little dialogue, my friend had begun to find faith and to believe it truly is Christ in her, as her. She even encouraged me to use her story for the benefit of others. )
I have read both of your emails to me.
First, let me say you are not unique, that others have had the same problems, issues, situations, and fears as you. I have had some of them myself.
There is no need to address all those things that happened in the past to you. Once you see that you are His and always have been His, you will see that everything that has happened to you, has been for two purposes — first, that He might reveal Himself to and in you, in order to bless You! And second– that He might reveal Himself to the world through and AS you! (In order to bless the world, as YOU!)
Paul said, “When God, who separated me from my mother’s womb …. was pleased to reveal His Son IN ME … !” (Gal 1:15,16). Nothing is different for you than it was for Paul. Just as God separated Paul from his mother’s womb and put Paul on the course of life that would lead one day to the revelation of Christ in Him, it is the same with you.
I know you might think God couldn’t have been “responsible” for so much that has happened, or that He would “do things to you” that were awful so you would learn the truth. No, it is not like that. We are all in the world and we all experience the world. In the world there is sin and evil and until we know Him, we are part of that sin and evil. But then, when we come to the
Lord we are delivered from the power of darkness, of Satan, and transferred into the kingdom of Light, through Christ and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. And we begin to believe that God has used and will continue to use EVERYTHING, be it good or evil, that happens to us or in us or in the world for the good of ourselves and all who are in Christ.
What strikes me to emphasize to you, ___, is that from the moment you have been in Christ you “died” as to your old life, even though to you it did not feel it or look like it. It looks like it was up and down and in and out, to you, and I cannot deny that part of it was, but at the same time we must ultimately trust the Spirit with your past, because He has kept you, even though you thought you were not doing such a good job of “keeping Him.” And that is one of the things you are supposed to learn in this — we do not “keep Him.” We are NOT faithful! Ah, but HE IS the FAITHFUL ONE, and when we realize and believe it, we can count on Him working His faithfulness out in our lives. It may be, probably will be, a “way” we do not understand, but we
do not live by understanding, but by faith that God IS, and that He performs His promises to us in His way and time.
Whatever has been sin in your life the Lord God has discarded in the Blood of Jesus and no longer remembers. There are no “issues” keeping you and He apart. He loves you with the same Love He has always loved you with, as He also does with me and everyone else.
Your problems are worse than some, better than others. None of that matters. The only thing that matters is that you continue to believe.
Believe HE will bring you through! Believe the responsibility of your life is not on your shoulders, but on His! He has come by His Spirit to live in you, to “indwell” you, and by that to be “one spirit” with you. (1 Cor 6:17). “Spirit” is “person.” That means that you are one person with God.
Jesus said we were “one” with Him through the whole 17th chapter of John, especially verses 11, and 20-23. We are “one” with God!!! We are the light of the world! (Shining, not with our own light, but with the Light of Christ!)
It is His life within us, and His Life wells up from within us without our prompting, because it is the nature of the Spirit in us to “come out” and “manifest Christ” in our daily living. That is not according to any sort of preconceived notion whatsoever, nor does the responsibility to “make that happen” fall on our shoulders!
We died in Him, and are now risen in Him.
The risen Life is His Life in us and “one” with us in our humanity.
Remember these words of freedom from Paul:
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil 2:13)
” Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thes 5:24).
That is where you find your final and ultimate freedom, when you see that you are He are one, and that He is the One Who brings all these things to pass in us, as the prophet says,
“Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord.” (Zech 4:6)
We dare to believe He lives mightily in us, because what other way would He be in us, except “mightily?”
This is the central issue, which if you can receive in faith, puts everything else in proper order and perspective. I hope this might help some.
In Jesus’ love,
It wasn’t given to you to “know” those things until they are revealed in you by the Spirit in His time. Almost everyone, actually I would say each of us who are in Christ, have our times of difficulties of various sorts. I have not met anybody yet, who hasn’t gotten beat up a bit out in the world where the cold human winds blow. You are not unusual, believe me. I took a 10 yr hiatus from the things of God in the 90s. I’ve had my struggles, too. They are what has accomplished and brought up the kingdom of God in me, as they are the same to you, but you do not yet see it.
It does not matter that you “turned away” as you say. It may be you didn’t really “turn away” as much as you think you did, because it seems to me that even when you were sowing all your discord over those years, God was still very much in your mind, though you could only be aware of Him at the time through your own self-condemnation.
My dear, His hands are ALWAYS (ETERNALLY) outstretched for us and welcoming. You may think you left Him, but He DID NOT leave you, for He is not a liar. “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Heb 13:5)
If you think God would reject your “return” to Him, you must not know His love, but I would certainly want you to know it.
His requirements are simple – “Believe on the Son.” That’s it. That takes care of everything, in every level, no matter what.
First, we believe “on the Son” as Savior and Lord. We often spend years just on that. But that “Jesus” is apart from us and we can never close the gap into ultimate intimacy, precisely because we still “see” Him as separate and apart from us.
Second, we believe “on the Son” in us, as revealed by Jesus, Paul, and John etc. It is no longer I, but He! It does not matter what it took to bring us to that point, whether it was “sin” or righteousness. All of that is preamble to coming to know who we are. When we believe we are no longer “separate” from God, but that He is the very Life inside us, and comes out of us, as Jesus said of those who believe (and nothing else), “Out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)
Now, that’s you! Living Waters can come out of YOU! Your main problem is that you are focused solely on yourself. Get your mind off yourself! (I know that is easier said than done, but you will see it!) When you confess the truth as revealed from the Father by the Spirit, we take the focus off ourselves and put it absolutely where it “needs” to be, that is, that God has me, HE is taking care of me, and it is His life I walk in right now! In fact, He is being ME!
Hebrews 11:6 – I know you must know it. “He that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Could it be this easy????
There is nothing you have done that has caused His love for you to diminish! You would not be in touch with me right now, if He had not already “taken you back.” (Truly, He didn’t have to take you back, because He never let you go. But you didn’t know it, but He now wants you to know it!)
Quit dwelling on your past. It is past. Now we reach forth to new things, a new day, new beginnings, when we realize we are believing and counting on the faithfulness OF GOD, and not the faithfulness of ourselves – because we do not have any! You have no holiness, righteousness, faithfulness, love, or anything else that is your own exclusively. All that stuff belongs to God and He doesn’t dole out little bits of it to us here and there.
Instead, He lives all those things IN US, and distributes them, as us!
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Cor 1:30,31)
Chew on this a while if you would. If you see the ease and simplicity of simply “believing,” this will all come clear to you. I know the Spirit will do that in you. We trust Him to do it, because we cannot do it for ourselves. But we believe that HE DOES! “Faithful is He who calls you, who will also do it.” (1 Thes 5:24).
As Jesus said repeatedly, “Be not afraid. Only believe!”
I never knew & understood the things you are teaching. I wish I had met you many years ago.
I wish I never turned away from God and I’m wondering if he’ll ever fully take me back.
END PART ONE