Two Short Pieces from 2001 – 1
Mental Conviction and Complacency
By Fred Pruitt
(As happens often, I ran into these pieces this morning looking for other things. Both are from 2001 and from emails sent to the Buntings from me. They were probably sent out with my sendouts back then, but I had lost track of them. When I found them, I thought, “Oh how appropriate to post these now!” Of course I’ve updated them a bit. Here is the first below.)
Did John tell you what I told him the other day about feeling a lack of mental conviction about certain things? They were for doctrinal sorts of things and what they were is not important.
At the time of thinking about them they seemed important, and sent me wondering whether I could carry on, i.e. whether without those particular mental convictions I could be effective.
The other day I think I was lying down, sort of dozing, maybe half asleep, and this must’ve been on my mind. Then it was as if I heard the Lord say, “I don’t need your mental convictions, I just need your body and your mouth.”
Another way of saying, “It’s not me, but HE!”
“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Cor 1:9)
There it is in a nutshell. On one side of things there is nothing human that is needed. Everything must be discarded. As Boehme put it, “The (human) will sinks down into nothingness,” which is the same thing Jesus said also, “Except ye lose your life …. “
“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Col 3:3,4).
When is this “appearing” of Christ? Is it now, or is it later? In the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to the Apostle John, He is described as “Him which is, and which was, and which is to come.” (Rev 1:4; 4:8). Therefore, the “appearing” of Christ is also of this same quality, so that it is always that which was before, that Life which is always now, and that Life which always is yet to be. That is how we read the Col 3:3,4 passage above. Paul starts first by declaring something that is always past once we see it, i.e., that we “are dead.” I have described what that means amply elsewhere and we won’t review it here.
But that is our starting point in Christ. We may not realize for a while that when we entered His Life we died to the Old, but that is what happens.
If so be that we are dead in Him, then by HIS power, by HIS will, by HIS desire, are we raised again. This is NOT of ourselves, but of HIM who raises the dead. We do not DO this; we don’t EFFECT it; we don’t COAX it! There is nothing about it that is “of ourselves!” Being raised from the dead into newness of Life has NOTHING to do with anything “we” are able to do. The entrance of His Spirit into our death is completely a gift of grace, freely given, and only received, not grasped, grabbed, demanded, or owed to us for reason of good behavior. We are DEAD! Dead people don’t choose what they do or what they get. They’re DEAD – but in our case not quite gone yet! A new Spirit rises in the death in us.
And if we are risen with Him, then we are What and Who He is in this world. We are His face, His arms, His eyes, His Life wherever we are, whatever we are doing. He bought us with a price and raised us not of ourselves and therefore we are completely and totally His — mind, body, soul, spirit, arms, legs, thoughts, desires, actions, motivations.
Death of another kind is in the constant judging that is going on in our mind, but that is exactly as it is meant to be, because this is the affliction of the world, which we are bearing in our bodies. But also, death is swallowed up in victory in us, swallowed up of life, because though we have this sentence of death within us, borne by us every day, every day by the law of our new being that death (which is “trust in ourselves” – or any extension of ourselves, or any picture of ourselves) is raised to Life!
We “regard not ourselves.” We see only Him, and paradoxically when we do that, we see ourselves and everyone else in His Light.
Now, I can define no “specificity” on how to “do” that, except that it’s as simple as breathing, which is mostly ignored by the conscious mind. That is handled by the sub-conscious mainly. In other words, though we’re not conscious of ourselves inhaling and exhaling all the time, there is a part of our makeup that is conscious of that and paying attention to it, and that part is just as much “myself” as is the “thinking me” I am conscious of most of the time. I’m busy spontaneously being “me” in the world while constant breathing is going on in my body without me taking any conscious thought of it whatsoever.
It is the same thing in death and resurrection and seeing only HIM. Outwardly we are grabbed and our attention is held by the thing which is before our eyes. This is what we are “conscious” of outwardly, while inwardly, below the level of what our conscious mind is grabbed with, we see only HIM.
Which is why the Lord said “I don’t need your mental convictions” ….
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
People might misinterpret what I’m saying above and think I mean it doesn’t matter “what you believe.” On the contrary, it matters most definitely. It’s the greatest simplicity, because there is only ONE THING to believe – believe on Him!
“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
And where we find Him to believe on is in the midst of ourselves.