Self-Consciousness and Christ-Consciousness
By Fred Pruitt
(This is an exchange on the public comments section of my blog, replying to the recent post, “I Don’t Feel or Hear God Anymore.” I thought this would be good for everyone. PS – For me it’s SHORT!)
From: Tim Wood
June 1, 2015 at 12:03 pm
I believe, I believe, I believe! I don’t always understand, but I believe, I believe, I believe. I know Him in whom I have believed but I still carry a load of self consciousness that I am acutely aware of in all I do. May my self consciousness be swallowed up by consciousness of Him!
Thanks Fred, as Peter said of Paul’s writings, your writings are not always easy to intellectually grasp, but they always leave me dependent on His Spirit.
From: Fred Pruitt
June 1, 2015 at 1:01 pm
Hi Tim! So glad you have found this helpful. Here is something that might help you more. A common misunderstanding — or preconceived idea may be more accurate — that many of us have, is that “consciousness of Him” is “something.” That is, something tangible that we can identify, an “experience,” or a “feeling,” or some perceived “knowing” that is above and beyond and different from our normal “self-consciousness.”
We keep waiting for that, thinking that this “norm” we live in will somehow be made different, changed, etc. I certainly thought that for quite a while — years in fact. The Spirit made two things regarding this clear for me a while back, and perhaps this can help you.
First, we are always, in this life, saddled with “self-consciousness.” It is impossible not to be, owing to the fact that we ARE selves, and we cannot help being conscious of that fact. It is not self-consciousness that has to go, only “wrongful” self-consciousness, which is the consciousness of independence IN the self. That is what the Romans 7 experience is all about. It is not about overcoming sinful deeds, though that may be what drives us there, but about discovering the true nature of our selfhood, as a CONTAINER-SELF only, with no inherent power of our own to produce either sin or righteousness.
Paul comes to many great revelations in that Romans 7 chapter, but the one that concerns us at the moment is his revelation, which may seem negative but is not, that “I find that in myself dwells no good thing.” He does NOT say he is evil, only that he is “not good.” That is exactly what Jesus said, and I’m sure you know this, to the “rich young ruler:” “Why do you call me good. There is no one Good, except God.” It is an “emptiness” of self, an availability of self since it is not filled with anything else, (after the usurper Satan is kicked out in the Lord’s body-death), that, now being filled with the Spirit of God, causes me to overcome and walk in Romans 8 as we come to it. We lose that false self-sufficiency of the self, but not the consciousness of “self” in its right use.
Then, the second issue, that of being overwhelmed by a “consciousness of Him,” suffers from the same misconception. The FAITH itself that causes you to confess it, IS THE SUBSTANCE AND THE EVIDENCE of the “consciousness of Him,” which does not “feel” like anything. It just IS. It IS whether you are awake or asleep. It IS whether you are driving in your car or sitting in church. It IS whether you feel like crap or if you feel good. It IS because HE IS, and HE cannot deny Himself in us.
ALL we do is take it by faith, confess it as the Lord puts the WORD in our mouth, and live on the completed basis of it in the NOW. Remember, in 1 John 3:2a, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” NOW — THIS MOMENT!!! Take it as yours! You ARE! Period! What is the consciousness of HIM? People keep looking for some sort of transcendent experience, when the real truth is you only find your true and LASTING consciousness of Him in your faith — that’s where it comes from! Don’t say, “I know I am one with Him but I hope one day to be conscious of it.” Instead say, MY consciousness is YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS IN ME, LORD. Whose MIND do you have? The Mind of Christ. YOU ARE the consciousness, not “have it.”