How Can I Make It Mine?
By Fred Pruitt
If Jesus lives in me …
Let’s first discuss what it is to live by or in faith.
This statement of faith we make is like a marriage vow. When we say, in faith, that Christ is living in us, that it is not we who are living, but Christ living in us (regardless of our understanding of what that means exactly), it is a holy inviolable commitment between God and us. We are standing in agreement with God, that our lives are He in us living according to His word and not according to our own limited sight and understanding. If we were never to move beyond what our own sight could see and our understanding could grasp, we would never move into the Spirit of God, but would remain forever in the flesh and in separation. Faith is God in us in Word and Action!
I have to add that this faith does not come from us, but up from the depths within us where He dwells in us. But it DOES come to our mouths or if not there at least in a fixed sense in our minds, and whether orally or in a fixed way inwardly, we speak. That is why Paul wrote, “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.” (2 Cor 4:13; Ps 116:10a).
Therefore, if we have come to it, faith does not say, “IF Christ is in me.” Faith says “Christ IS in me.” There is no “if” there.
On the other hand, the devil said, “IF you are the Son of God, make bread out of these stones … IF you are the Son of God, jump off the temple …” Among the many issues that were going on in this encounter between Jesus and the devil in the wilderness (Matt 4:3-10), was this very same issue we are speaking of now. Jesus went into the wilderness, through the revelation of the Spirit already knowing who He was, evidenced by the baptism of John and the voice from Heaven pronouncing Him as the Beloved Son. The issue for Jesus was not to make stones into bread and thus prove who He was, but to abide in what was ALREADY THE REVEALED PERSONAL WORD OF GOD TO HIM, i.e., that He was indeed the Son of God – the Anointed Messiah.
For Him to have bought into the devil’s “if”, as if He was not the Son of God, even though He had already had been told and knew who He was, would have been for Him joining into the devil’s unbelief, and we would still be in our sins, because Adam’s sin would have been repeated in Him.
However, in His inner Spirit, Jesus was fixed in Who He was and He lived Isaiah 42:1 (“Behold my servant, whom I uphold”), but this temptation pulled Him toward separation and a battle with the devil on the devil’s terms. It would have been a departure from the fixed Word within Himself. Therefore, He did not respond and act on the devil’s pull, because the Spirit brought Him through by the Word out of the “Law,” Deuteronomy 8:3 –
“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”
Jesus only quoted the last part to the devil, but the full verse shows even more what we are speaking about here.
In a different context, Paul uses the phrase, “If Christ be in you,” (Rom 8:10), in a completely different way than the devil does. What Paul is after when he says, “If Christ be in you,” is the opposite of what the devil is after when he said to Jesus, “IF you are the Son of God.”
The answer Paul is looking for in believers was not, “Oh my, is Christ really in me, is that why I am having the problems I’m having?” No, Paul, like Jesus, was eliciting faith from his readers. Faith that says, “Of course Christ is in me!” In that statement and a lot of New Testament statements, our individual faith takes the “IF” out!
I want to underline this issue, so I am going to repeat it. This goes to understanding and acting in Who WE are, as no longer being under the fear of or dread of the devil. The Spirit desires to bring each of us to the same personal awareness Jesus knew, that we also might be Who He is in our world. (John 17:3; 11; 20-23).
That personal awareness is what Jesus told the apostles on His last night with them: “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” (John 14:30b). The same is true for us in Him when we see it. There is no more reason for anyone in Christ to fear the devil. Can he wreak havoc in our lives? Only according to the law of intercession, which Paul stated so succinctly in the following verses:
“Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you.” (2 Cor 4:10-12).
So that whether we experience positive or negative “situations,” Christ is magnified! (Phil 1:20-21). Please do not make the mistake of saying, “Yes, Christ should be magnified in me, you are right.” I am not saying that at all!
I am saying Christ IS magnified in you, IF you be in Christ, because it is He AS you! Whatever comes our way, positive or negative, we see the Father’s eternal purposes and that everything works to “save many people alive!” (Gen 50:20; Rom 8:28).
When we had the last “Louisville Reunion” in 2011, a wonderful truth came flooding into me as I spoke on Saturday night. Janis and I had first walked up that hill early on a Friday morning in September, 1981. We did not know a soul except for Norman Grubb whom we had met the previous fall. (And had corresponding with him since. He had invited us to Louisville.)
I saw two things that night 30 years later. The first one, having been proven true by life, is that I never know when I meet a person for the first time in any circumstances whether I will see that person that one time only, or for a season, or from then on as part of my life. We did not know, Janis and I, when we walked up that hill, that we were about to meet a whole group of people who would quickly become a family to us and that we would still be with many from the beginning 30 years later.
The other thing I saw and shared was the difference between my first visits in the early 1980s and the final conferences in the 2000s. In those beginning days, we were younger of course, our kids were in elementary school, and we were greatly encumbered under the weight of the problems of life. Making a living for one thing, the main thing. And every thing else entailed with having a family. So when we came to the weekend conferences, which we did over a several year period, it was for us both a spiritual education and a “break” from our “real lives” back at home. During the meetings we would experience incredible “highs” and love for one another. It would last the whole weekend.
But just like when I was a kid and all weekend Sunday night loomed with dread, because I had to finish all my assignments and had played from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon dreading all my “homework,” Sunday at the end of the meetings always loomed with more than a little “dread” at having to return to the life of “struggle” we were having in those days. It really made departing and saying goodbye to everyone after lunch on Sunday slightly bittersweet, because we knew we were going back to the pot of stew. We would still be on “meeting high” for a couple of days after getting home, but it would quickly recede as “real life” took over again.
At the same time, however, I believed I believed I believed! Once I saw the “Truth” of union, not just in Scripture but coming to birth in me, immediately a great burden to share it with everybody came over me. I started writing old Christian friends with my new-found understandings, spending lots of money at the copy store and the post office. Every conference after 1981 I was asked to be a “speaker.” I could communicate the truths as the Spirit gave me utterance.
But I didn’t yet really “know” then it as a settled fact, so there were lots of ups and downs, lots of highs and lows. Some days I “believed” and all went well. Other days condemnation would relentlessly overwhelm me, and sometimes it would be weeks for me to work back out of that dark hole. But I always did, and always knew it was by the Spirit that I did.
But then, and I have no date or moment that I can pinpoint when this came to be, but one day it just came as a realization that it had become a settled almost unconscious “fact” within me, that in all things I and my Father are one, and the Son can do nothing of Himself, and the Father that dwells within me, He does the works.” Period. It just became as true for me as the sky is blue.
And that’s what I saw that night at the 2011 meeting, that I no longer dreaded going back to my “real life,” since I could no longer separate any parts of my life like that. He had caused me to “learn, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil 4:11-13).
Do we see? When we see God as the source of everything that comes our way, even stuff engineered by the devil, then we are not afraid of it. Because that puts the whole universe under One Power, and that Power is Love! When we see that everything is engineered to be part of the great final accomplishment, the unveiling of God’s Sons in their fulness with our little small part in it given by the Father, then what is there to fear?
Therefore this is a vital issue to see, if we are to come to and walk in the fullness of life. It is the very issue brought out in Hebrews 11:6: “For without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he that cometh to God must believe that He IS, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
There are two key parts in that verse. First, we believe that God IS. In order to do that we cannot be working according to our natural reasoning human mind, that has to see everything one-two-three, only being able to believe in things it can prove by things it can see or touch. One cannot “prove” God’s existence by either human logic or science, which is all the natural man knows.
Believing that God IS, comes from the witness of the Spirit. He cannot be known except the Spirit reveal Him inwardly in our spirits, but when He does reveal Himself, we are overwhelmed not with a doctrine or a static bit of truth, not with some preconceived image of Him we had formed in our minds, but that HE IS THE ONLY UTTERLY TRUE AND HOLY PERSON, immediately (here and now) revealed as, “I AM THAT I AM.”
When it further says that we also must believe that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, it means that we have come into a faith awareness of the true nature of this Person, not only WHO He is, but HOW He is, which is that out of His eternal infinite LOVE, He extends His bounty freely and liberally to all who ask of Him.
He is like the Lord in the parable of the talents, who gives 5 talents more to him who has increased his talents by trading. They seek HIM, and not things. They seek HIM, and nothing else. But they also further testify by their faith, that because HE IS, HIS reward is in His hand. He IS All in all, and we now freely receive of all the bounties of the “All in all,” as heirs of Him who holds all things in His hand, Who procured them especially for us, that we might freely and thankfully taste His Salvation and Life, in which are the inner provision of everything. That is true faith.
How do we enter into this faith? By our word, as I stated above. If we have seen the truth of who we are from the scriptures and the testimony of others, though we may still not be certain that we have been given the full Spirit’s witness to us, if we have been drawn to this point, to see that we are “not we, but He,” even if very dimly, then that is where our marriage contract with the Spirit begins.
We begin in a word of agreement with what we have been shown by the Spirit. As I stated above, it is like a marriage vow because when we make a marriage vow, which is nothing more in our culture than a simple, “I do,” it is both according to the law of men and the law of nature and God, a binding contract, that we abide in as long as the law of the marriage continues. To violate the vow and go into another, is to be an adulterer. We are given to know this not only because of the sanctity of earthly marriage, but because it points to the True Spirit Reality, and that if we violate our marriage to Christ by unbelief, we are also adulterers, and of the much worse kind, because we are adulterers of the spirit, which the flesh can only dimly point to. But as another scripture in Hebrews says, (10:39) “We are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”
So because He is in us, we then join in with Him in His own truth, and trust nothing but Him and His word in us. That means that we begin to look to and know the inner spirit truth as the real truth over against everything, no matter what appearances are to the contrary. We realize at that point that we are not our own, that we are bought with a price, and that our bodies, souls, and spirits, the “temple” which is ourselves, are now indwelled and filled with the God of heaven, instead of our former indweller, “the prince of the power of the air.”
We know we can do NOTHING of ourselves, as testified to by Jesus numerous times. And if HE could do nothing of Himself, how much more are we incapable of doing anything, except we continue in our inner weakness and nothingness and continually say within ourselves what Mary said who bore the Lord as a human babe by miracle even as we bear Him in ourselves, “Be it unto me according to thy word”?
And once prayed and believed, then we do not leave that heart confession. We have cast all upon Him, and now He is the government upon our shoulders. The Life, Wisdom, Righteousness, Holiness, are His only and come only from Him, and we as vessels are only receivers and manifestors of something we do not originate.
But through our oneness with Christ within us then this is coming out of our innermost selves, as Jesus said again: “He that believeth on Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
He did not say, “ought to flow,” or, “should flow,” but, “SHALL flow.” So then we join in with the Lord Jesus in his faith word about us, saying, “Yes, Lord, you have spoken it, and therefore it IS True. YOU DO FLOW OUT OF ME AS RIVERS OF LIVING WATER.”
We leave the rest to Him. The Holy Spirit does the rest of the doing. Both in us and out from us.