The Affirmed I – 2015
(New addendum at the end. This just begged a little updating!)
By Fred Pruitt
Back in the early 1980s, when I was first discovering for myself the reality of Christ in me, I began to have urges to start a publication that would proclaim “Christ in you.” There were already publications that did that, of course, but for some reason I wanted to do it, too.
So I went through the dance most of us go through before we have settled in who we are, when we have dreams, hopes and ideas that impress or urge us somehow toward a new action. It is the dance of, “Is this desire coming from God, or from some lesser source?” In other words, “Is this the will of God?”
That began a time of several months, in which I waffled back and forth on my answer to that question. My dilemma boiled down really to one thing — I had to believe in the totality of Christ in me, living as me, in order to trust that desire. I had to trust, to believe against appearances, that publishing a little magazine about “Christ in you” was not a self-indulgent thing, something for self-promotion, but that “the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works,” period.
My greatest fear was myself, or put another way, my fear was that Christ really wasn’t my reality, and that I was still the same self-interested egotistical person I had been all my life. *See addendum
But there came a point in that process, in which I came to a waterloo, and I made a leap of faith to jump over all the ever-present self-doubt and self-absorption (“What will people say? What if I can’t do it? What if people think I’m trying to get attention? What if I start it and it fails?”), and just do it anyway, believing without any sort of evidence (no voices, visions, fleeces) that this was a right thing to do.
So, with the help of my friend Cal Owens who offered printing & typesetting on equipment he had access to (no internet then), we started a little magazine called “ACT” — (Action in Christ Today), 16 pages, published quarterly, and we began printing and sending them out to a small mailing list of a couple hundred — which grew quite a bit over the two year period we did it.
I can’t begin to tell all the things that have happened since, because I saw that inner urge, which I questioned for months, through to completion. That little magazine was right in the stream of living water flowing out of me in God’s grace, and began a river journey that is still flowing, and the delta is still yet to come!
I couldn’t have told you that then. It was small, insignificant, with few tangible “results,” and I was as unsure of every successive step as I was the first one, yet kept taking them anyway, like finding your path across a stream on slippery rocks.
The same battle is sometimes joined in me today, almost thirty years later. The same temptations to self-doubt, the same self-absorption. Yet the answer has pressed itself deeper and deeper into my consciousness as faith has gone from glory to glory. And that has come to me these days as a once-for-all complete and total affirmation of what is to me the personal word of the Lord, that without equivocation or qualification He is my life and no other, that He has made me “accepted in the beloved.” He has presented me “faultless” and “without blame.” He “imputes no iniquity” to me; there is no condemnation whatsoever in Him toward anyone. He is the source, fullness and completion, and that He and I are one spirit, which means we are one person, and to say that is to say what Jesus said, to claim the same unity — unity — with the Father that Jesus boldly claimed. “I and my Father are one.”
Jesus even prayed specifically for that, that “they may be one as We are one.” “Glorify them with the same glory with which you glorify Me.” That’s the whole enchilada.
When I wrote the words above “that little magazine was right in the stream of living water flowing out of me,” I had a twinge of, “That sounds like you’re claiming to be something,” go through my mind.
But what else can we say and live in faith and not unbelief, except to say that “God is mighty in me?” Any other testimony would be unbelief, would it not?
I MUST affirm “I.” Because, “I and my Father are one.” My desires come from Him. My meat is to do His will. The fulfillment of them is by His Spirit. Rivers of living water flow out of me.
The faith of Joshua and Caleb demand it of us. The unbelief of the ten spies would keep us wandering in the wilderness, but today is the day to rise up and cross the Jordan, to possess the Promise of the Lord! “When you see me, you see the Father!”
Is that conceit? Maybe. If so it will have its reward. It will be burned up.
Is it dangerous? Yes, totally. It is the greatest risk in the universe. The stakes are the ultimate. To touch the mountain of God is death to self-seeking flesh.
Is it Truth? Absolutely. There is no other. (Person, that is.)
“I and my Father are one.”
“I am the bread from heaven, if any man eat of me he shall live.”
Jesus isn’t walking around as Jesus of Nazareth anymore. Now that He has come into us by His Holy Spirit, He is now walking around as you and me, so that we are now the bread people eat. We no longer live to or for ourselves, but because He is in us to be us, we live to be life for others, though it may be death to us.“
I will dwell in them and walk in them, and be their God, and they shall be my people.”
That is the New Covenant.
*Addendum – The page information on this piece says it was created in 2010. I guess I must have pasted it into a new document and lost the old one, because I know this was written a few years before that, probably 2002 or 2003. The reason why that it important, is because I want to pass along a little of what I have found, since, regarding the “I” and “figuring out the will of God.”
It really has to do with the “lesson” I learned starting the ACT Magazine, and how that “lesson” has settled in me since then.
The very first time I wanted to find out the “will of God” about a major life choice, was in 1973, just after our first child, John, was born. Too long to tell, (I’ll spare you readers!), but we had received an invitation to come join a church and full-time ministry in Monterey, California, from Cary Collins, who had prayed with Janis and I to receive the Lord over the phone the previous Christmas Day. He had written about the “ministry” and church he had joined and really wanted us to come be a part, too. It sounded wonderful, at least to me. I don’t think Janis was as gung-ho as I was.
But we had not really found a place to “fit-in” as new Christians in Rome. I visited other churches, but in the interim we were going to services at the Episcopal Church. At the time it had a vibrant charismatic element, so they were accepting of us coming to church in our long-hair and hippie garb. Plaid workshirts and jeans for me, long hippie dress for Janis. Plus our friend Jim frequently went with us, too. He had long hair with a leather “tribal” headband, so that, even though he was from Connecticut, he also looked like he might have been of the “eastern woodland Indians” who populated New England before the Europeans arrived. We were a great novelty at the time for those staid traditional southern Episcopalians!
Now I had read the story of Gideon and somewhere I heard about people “putting out a fleece” before the Lord, in order to find the “Lord’s mind” on a particular situation. For us it was a simple, “Should we stay or should we go?”
It was getting down to the wire come to a decision. At the time I had a job in a mobile home factory, making interior walls for three completed homes every day. What I made would not get us to California or sustain us for a while until we were established. So extra money was needed. That, and in my mind, a “sealing Word” from the Lord that this was what we should do.
I cannot remember the parameters I set, how much money in what time frame, but that was my fleece. I said that in such and such a time if a certain amount of money showed up “out of the blue,” that would be a positive, “YES – Go for it!” from the Lord.
It wasn’t much money, even for 1973. I’ve had to learn to stretch my faith since. But I think I was looking for about $150, or maybe $200. Whichever it was, IT HAPPENED! The money came!
But, I still had to be “certain.” O ye of little faith! So I sought that “sealing Word.” And not too many days after, it came! I’ve quoted it multiple times in my writings, not only because it got me on the sawdust trail in the first place, but how the Word the Lord gave me that day keeps getting deeper and deeper in its fulfillment, and how, just as it was to Abraham, much more was contained in the Word than just going to a certain physical location, and the inheritance promised so very much more than we could have known would be possible.
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” (Heb 11:8)
At this very moment (June 13, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT) 42 years ago, Janis and I were putt-putting in our little VW Jesus-van headed for Monterey. I do not remember what I thought we were going to. I didn’t know at the time it was just the first destination, on what has now been a life-long journey. I thought that verse was about that one trip, but have increasingly known it has been my “life verse.”
And now all these years later, I can say that I do not do too much wondering to God, “Is this your will for us to do this or do that?” The fact that He and I are one has settled in me to an extent that I just decide or do not decide, and know either way I choose, in most cases, is His Life going forth. Jesus, when asked to come here or go there, never said, “Let me pray about it.” He just said, “I will,” and He would go, or He would heal. Of course we have spoken constantly about His and our “inner life” where we continually have a consciousness that He and I are one, that more often operates as a subconscious consciousness. In other words, our union just “IS,” and we don’t have to take its temperature all the time. It’s nice and even joyful when confirmations come, but we do not live by them. Confirmations come AFTER we enter by faith. And we keep the faith, even if they do not come!