The Turnabout – From Unbelief to Faith Pt Two
By Fred Pruitt
“If I could flick a switch & be totally free. I wouldn’t hesitate!!”
“There’s this frustrating sense of being stuck because of double mindedness & unbelief.”
I’ve pulled both of the above statements out of what you wrote me, because in it you have given yourself your own prescription to get through to where you want to be.
But first I need to tell you about the “holy but.”
I was thinking how you remind me of me in the Fall of 1980, when I went to have an appointment with Norman Grubb. I had just come out of a difficult church experience and my inner life was much like you describe yours to be. I had read most of Norman’s major books by then – he is the person the Spirit used to show me union with Himself – and I believed that I understood them. I wasn’t really going to him to “learn” his teaching, but because of the oppression I was experiencing. I couldn’t get rid of it. What I was looking for from Norman was to be delivered from that oppression and to know I was still acceptable in some way to God. I had been afraid I might have become a castaway. Also, like you, previous to our meeting I had written Norman an 8-page single-spaced typed, detailing everything I was experiencing, etc.
It was early afternoon when my wife and I got to the home where he was staying. He invited us in and we sat down to talk. To get us started he asked something like what did I want, what was I looking for, etc. I answered basically what I wrote in the preceding paragraph. From there he started talking about Christ living IN me. Now I had come out of a Pentecostal environment, so the concept of the Spirit of Christ indwelling me was not foreign. But I had no solid grasping of that, because we were always asking God to “come down” and “fill us” and “bless us” and “heal us, etc.” I knew the Holy Spirit lived in me but I do not think I quite saw Him as a Person. But when I heard Norman talking about living by “Christ in me,” I knew he was talking about something I had yet to see. Still, the old way of thinking dies hard …
More than once, quite a few times in fact, I responded by, “Yes, I see what you are saying, but ….” and then I would go on and on again about “my problems.”
And that, is an example of the “holy but.” The phrase was coined by another friend who has gone now to glory, Dan Stone, who said someone’s truth came after the “but.” As in, I see what you are saying, but I have this problem that isn’t solved, etc.” In other words, as a general rule, one’s major focus comes after the “but.”
Norman was saying to me the truth about Who I am right in that very moment, with me having to do nothing but recognize it. And I would say, “Yes, I see that, but ….”
Which really meant, “No, I don’t see it at all, because if I did, this ‘problem’ would no longer be a problem to me.” The “problem” clouded my view, because it was the only thing I saw, so to speak. Even though Norman was telling me the answer in plain words, my “problems,” i.e., “me,” blocked my understanding by overshadowing everything. Something had to rip that focus off me, so that I could see the real truth behind it – which was not any of the issues or problems, but God All in all and the Source of everything.
And, He was that in me! What happens when we turn on the light switch? The room is immediately filled with light, the light having swallowed up the darkness. That is exactly what happens when we see for the first time Christ in us as one person with us, and that He is the upholder, the Life – and in Him there is NO darkness at all! Turning on the inner light of Christ in us, in no other “way” than by faith which comes from the Spirit and is fulfilled in us by and in the Spirit, swallows up the darkness in every nook and cranny, and we see it no more. We learn from Jesus, “The prince of this world comes, but he has NOTHING in me!” Do we FIGHT the darkness? No – just turn on the Light!
In my last to you I wanted you to know He is your real inner self. And your answer to that is, ‘Yes, I see that, but ….” and then you type several pages of unbelief as if those are your truths.
I am not scolding you. Instead I want to tell you how easily you can turn that around, and it can happen right now.
Instead of answering someone who says your real identity is Christ with, “Yes, I see that but I have all these problems here,”
Change the order to this:
“Yes, I’ve got scads of problems and things I do not understand – BUT Christ is my real life, and I am trusting Him to be my life in this present moment.”
You can write a thousand pages of your problems or fears or attitudes you believe you have, but the answer for you is always going to be one thing only: “Be not afraid, only believe!”
There is no other answer in the things of God than to believe Him.
It is so simple, which is why it is missed by so many. Most of us are like Naaman the Syrian, who sought to be healed from leprosy by Elisha. When he came to Elisha, Elisha told him to go bathe in the Jordan seven times, and the leprosy would be gone. Naaman left angry, thinking if all he had to do was bathe in the river, they had much better rivers in his country! He was looking for something a little showier from Elisha. Fortunately for him, his servant suggested for him to “do it anyway.” So Naaman obeyed the prophet, and was healed.
In this case, our bathing seven times in the Jordan is to just tell Him you believe Him. Trust Him. He is THE Person. He is Truth, the Way, and the Life, too, but in all that He is still The Person, which is why all of this existence is at its deepest core found to be Love, because God is Love. Love can only come from Person. We can make the easy choice to believe Him, because it is in us, simply by our word. That’s all it is.
(At this point I am asking the reader to suspend theological thinking here, getting into the inevitable and unsolvable questions of “free will” and “choice,” or “sovereignty,” etc. Life is not answering those questions. Daily life is walking in the Spirit, and we find that negative situations occur, strong feelings overtake us, questions perplex us, and the only answer on our part to and for any of it is to walk it through daily. Speak our words. Do our deeds. Choose between alternatives. Take the next step. And the next. Say what comes into our minds. Choose you this day between … Be still and know that I AM God. Keep silence when we have nothing to say. Be a full and real person as you find yourself to be in the present moment. Trust the Spirit. Every day will be the same. Every day will be different. God is All and in all.)
Remember what you wrote: “If I could flick a switch & be totally free. I wouldn’t hesitate!!”
You’ve got the switch to flick!! He has already provided the freedom but you have yet to believe it. Believe it – THAT IS flicking the switch! (“How” do we believe it? We just say, “I have decided to believe that, and I am saying so!”)
Then, in the other sentence I quote, you diagnosed yourself well: “There’s this frustrating sense of being stuck because of double mindedness & unbelief.”
I believe you got that right. Don’t worry. Everyone except Jesus has walked in double-mindedness and unbelief. Someone had to say it to me one day, and it penetrated. As James says about the double-minded man, “For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”
Oooh, scary! Sounds awful, doesn’t it? It sounds like punishment.
What is this double-mindedness? It is nothing other than the same Romans 7 man we have talked about forever. The double-minded person cannot make up his mind whether he is spirit or flesh. He is the man who has come to this as a final conclusion: “So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Rom 7:25b). A large portion of believers are camped there, believing Paul is describing a permanent condition – a “sin nature.” But he isn’t saying that at all. He is just talking about “how” we work. When we have flesh consciousness or mindset, we cannot do the things we would do to walk righteously. When we have a Spirit consciousness or mindset, “the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus HAS SET US FREE from the law of sin and death.” (Rom 8:2). To be double-minded is to believe we are jumping around between those two mindsets all day every day, and we can never land for certain on one or the other, but if we had to bet, we’d probably say the flesh wins. To live a Spirit mindset, (Christ in me as me), we start out by taking it as fact that Romans 8:2 is personally true for us, AND, we have the “mind of Christ,” who cannot be double-minded.
So for the double-minded to receive “nothing” isn’t punishment, but actually incredible positively tremendous news! The reason that “negative” statement is great news is because we have a solution to double-mindedness and unbelief, instead of just being left there forever with some sort of “human nature” or “fatal flaw” we cannot escape. There is no solution to a “sin nature” or a “fatal flaw.” When James pronounces that the double-minded man will not receive anything from the Lord, He isn’t talking about punishment for unbelief. It really isn’t that at all. It just means we are doing it incorrectly and getting the natural results of what we are doing. Is it punishment for a child to burn his finger on a stove he’s been warned not to touch? Did God up in heaven say, just as soon as he saw the child touch the stove, “I sentence you to pain”? No, the child got burned because excessive heat burns our skin. Good lesson, but not punishment. It is experience! And the lesson in that case works for life – do not touch hot things with your bare hands!
So we find out all our issues boil down to simple belief and faith, and all that means is that we are willing to receive God’s gifts. God says, “I will dwell in you and walk in you and be your God,” and we say, “Thank You, Lord, I will receive what You say!” That is all there is to it! Get up and start walking and talking.
What of the “belief” aspect of faith? Here is an analogy that might help.
If you take your clothes in to the dry cleaner, he will give you a ticket and tell you perhaps, “We will have this ready for tomorrow afternoon.”
We reply, “Thank you, I’ll be by tomorrow afternoon to pick it up.”
That is a faith transaction, based on belief. The “belief” is that I take the dry cleaner at his word, that the garment will be ready when he says. We don’t think about it maybe, but we have made a “choice” to believe what the dry cleaner says, and we expect he will be true to his word.
The next day, we go back and pick up our clothes. Assuming our clothes are ready, our “faith” (that he would have them ready at the proper time) was consummated or fulfilled. We had the “fruit” of our faith – our cleaned garments!
It is the same simplicity in Christ. I take God at His Word and simply stand there in that faith and refuse to budge from the belief that God performs His promises, and that He performs His promises personally in “ME!” It might not be the next afternoon like at the drycleaner’s, but at some point the Spirit in us will confirm that in us by inner consciousness. It will become not a “concept” in which we believe, but a “knowing” by which we live.
You died, so there is nothing more for you to do.
When you come back, it is not you as you were, but now it is Christ who has come back – Christ in YOU!
Somewhere, somehow, in all this, you are going to have to plant your feet and make a faith stand. It is not magic so we’re not trying to break a spell that makes everything alright again. But we learn to look inwardly in Christ (the Spirit teaches us that, so don’t worry about it – His job!), trusting Him from the inside out. We stop trying to judge our lives by how it seems we look on the “outside. Living in “Spirit-seeing” is living from within, which is “how” we see the outer, by the truth of the inner “in us.” “Flesh-seeing” is judging ourselves by the outer, and reasoning backward as flesh judging spirit, which is always askew. That is why Jesus told them to “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24).
“While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.” (Mark 5:35,36)
Do you think your problems are harder to solve than raising a dead little girl? “Be not afraid, only believe.”
I am so glad for you, that you have seen some real Light! If you want, you and I can agree together in faith that He is your keeper. He is your revealer. He is your thoughts. He is your mind. He is your True Self. He is All in all in all of you.
For the moment, it might be good to just focus on the fact that He is your keeper. What that means to us is that He keeps you safe in Himself. The entire running of your life has now shifted from a false sense of yourself to Him. You and He have been one for a long time, but I believe this is the point when you begin to truly grasp who you are by virtue of Who is your true inner Self, Christ in you! But not just in you “separately” as if dwelling alongside you in the inner self. No, it means that there has been a union (a oneness, or unity) of selves, one Divine, the other human. “I, yet not I, yet here I am living the life of Christ.”
The old “I” that I used to be died – out for good in the death of Jesus! It was for the sake that we might escape that false “I” that Jesus came, died and rose again, finally ascending back to the Father. And that is exactly what He did by the Cross.
It began with the forgiveness of sins in His eternal blood, and by that I take it to mean all sins for all time are forgiven and cast away into the sea of forgetfulness (as to God). God holds no one’s sins against him. (2 Cor 5:16-19). The only “issue” with God, ever, is the obedience of faith, i.e., just as Abraham did, we “believe in the Lord, and He counts it to him as righteousness.”
But of course there has also been that second part of the Cross, not discussed as much as the forgiveness issue – the body death of Jesus. That was a completely different aspect of the Good News, and indeed, the Good News is incomplete (in us) without understanding and taking advantage of the accomplishments of Jesus for us in His death.
The Blood delivers us from the penalty and self-loathing of our sins. The Body takes care of SIN itself, because it is SIN, and not sins, that keep us on our side (not God) in blindness and deception. SIN itself is the Wicked One, who for a time (for God’s perfect purposes) had us in his grasp, and we lived according to his basis of life: self-for-self. We lived a life which was the opposite of Divine Love, which is “self-for-others.”
In the physical death of Jesus, the Father, for OUR sakes, allowed that Serpent Spirit to invade the dying spirit, soul and body of Jesus of Nazareth. It had been the Father’s plan all along, for the EXPRESS PURPOSE that in His death, Jesus’ death, in Jesus’ death, His Son would become SIN, that we might BE made the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor 5:21.
When Jesus died, out went that Sin Spirit, since spirit cannot dwell in a lifeless body. He went into the place of death but because He was the Son, it could not hold Him!
Then the third day He rose, and we ALL potentially rose with Him, though often we do not know it so that it has become our job to let everybody who does not know it, to know that we rose with Him, with the same life of the Father that had raised Jesus, now to be the Eternal Life within us and a fountain of the water of Life shed abroad to others!
In His Resurrection, Ascension and the somewhat “diffusing of Himself” on the Day of Pentecost, so that the same Spirit-Person, the Spirit of Christ, would indwell all who would receive Him, The Holy Spirit has been poured out, according to the prophet Joel and confirmed by Peter on that particular Day, ON ALL FLESH!
Now what that means is we have the Life in us, and it is not a matter of “trying” but “resting.” “Be still, and know that I AM God.”
You and He are one as the scriptures and the Spirit say you are, ______, and as time goes by the Spirit in you, Who is your True Teacher, will give you greater and greater understanding of that basic fact. That by the Spirit in you, you are to the world Christ, in the form of YOU!
One thing, ______, that got me “over the top,” (faith-wise), was to finally say to the Lord: “I can’t even do the believing! You’re going to have to do that, too!” That really liberated me to know I was operating by “God’s” or Jesus’ faith, and I could relax in Him —
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly
in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy,
and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)
He’s got you so you can let go.
“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest
me dwell in safety.” (Ps 4:8).
Keep me up to date!