by Fred Pruitt
On a just-turning crisp fall day in 1980, leaves starting to fall, my wife Janis and I took a forty-five minute road trip through the north Georgia countryside to Kennesaw, where we were going to have what we thought would be a “counseling session” with an “old missionary,” Norman Grubb.
I was used to having a “minister” tell you what to think do, to interpret God’s will for you. We had more or less been programmed to think that way. But now we were coming to Norman to hopefully unravel the knot we were tied in. I knew he was a famous missionary and author and I hoped he could help us find God’s will again and get back on track. We had recently left a ministry we’d been involved with for seven years, something we felt we’d had no choice but to do, but still we were eaten up with guilt and condemnation for all kinds of good reasons.
When we arrived I started in on my tirade, my justifications, my heart desires to “only please the Lord,” all the wrongs done us, etc., etc., etc. Blah blah blah blah.
At some point in my presentation I said something about needing ministers “above” me to show me God’s way (always trying to prove my humility). It was like a bolt of lightning hit eighty-five-year-old Norman. Up until that time he’d been slumped over against one side of a wingback chair, looking disinterested and half asleep. But when I said that about “needing ministers,” he suddenly straightened up like he was hit with fifty thousand volts! Then he raised one finger and fervently told me that I didn’t need “any man” to teach me, that Christ was already my total adequacy and teacher inside me!
I don’t remember the exact words he said, or anything else he said in that meeting for that matter. I just remember that bells, whistles and foghorns went off, lights flashed, birds sang, every valley was filled and all mountains became plains in that one double-whammy instant of realization. Scales fell from my eyes; frozen rivers suddenly cracked and ice began to break up; flowers broke through the barren topsoil, and the abundance of lush summer green popped out of every fiber of the fabric of creation.
All the issues I’d gone there to get answers for — What should I do about this, What should I think about that? What about the people left behind? What about their teaching? Did I do right? Did I do wrong? Was it God’s will? Am I in God’s will? All those questions and their hundreds of already-speculated answers went flying out the window into the land of irrelevancy.
In a moment, eternity opened up and I saw the whole ball of wax.
God — Father, Son, Holy Spirit — IS my permanent indwelling adequacy!
Simple, right? Surely someone had mentioned that before. I had been part of a Charismatic/Pentecostal church, which believed in the infilling of the Spirit and all the gifts. So I surely believed in the Holy Spirit living in me. Even had the “gifts” working, which should have been fair evidence to my mind.
But this was something different. Despite my charismatic training about being “filled with the Spirit,” which I had experienced numerous times, I still lived in my mind apart from God and was self-condemned most of the time. Since God was still apart from me in my consciousness, the infilling of the Spirit seemed to come from outside me and was directly dependent (I thought) upon my performance, behavior, habits, and self-discipline. (Which I always found lacking in myself.)
And so, even though knowing the “indwelling of the Spirit,” and practicing the use of the “gifts” for years, still I had no inkling of the permanent adequacy of God within me, and even less of an inkling that in “receiving Him,” He had become one person with me. (1 Cor 6:17)
The issue on the line that day, every day before, and every day since, is this: Is the inner adequacy of Christ steadfast every moment on its own, with no help from “me” (i.e. “my” efforts)?” Is God really a well of water springing up into everlasting life, Who will cause me to never thirst again? (Jn 4:14) Is the water always there, springing up to overflowing?
That day, I saw in a heartbeat that it was true. A shift in my consciousness began in earnest that day, starting with knowing God’s adequacy as permanently residing in me, to the even further “knowing” of Christ living in me as simply my regular “me,” instead of some stylized idyllic image I had conjured up in my head which never appeared.
And everyday that same question rears its head, and every day the answer is the same. The question always is this: Is God sufficient, right now, in me, in this present moment? The answer is always: YES! Have I died in His death and been raised again to new life, so that He is now joined with me as one spirit, one person, within me? In other words, is Christ my True Real Self?
Other questions are irrelevant here. No other questions belong here. Questions like: “Well, if it was Christ living in me, then why is my life like this? If Christ is living my life, then how come this happened, or that?”
All those questions are answered by answering the One Primary Question: Who are you? First things first. “Seek ye first the kingdom.”
The answer we give is a present moment answer because God is only in the present moment. We will not discover Him in the past or the future. God only lives in reality, and past and future are not real. All that is real is right now.
And today is the day of salvation. Today is the day the Holy Spirit speaks. Today, “Thou are my son, this day I have begotten thee.” (Ps 2:7)
The day is eternal now. This day God has begotten you as His son. Don’t worry about yesterday, or tomorrow. Today is the Day of the Living God. And today He has begotten you as His son. Today, right now, is the moment of faith.
“No, wait a minute, I was saved on June 5th, 1958, and….”
No, no, no — you miss my point. Yes, maybe there was an earth day, the “day” you were saved, the day you finally turned to the Lord with all your heart. O Glory Day! Hallelujah!
But every day is the day of salvation! Every day He is begetting us anew even as the Son is always new, fresh, and innocent.
The reason is that God bursts out of the Eternal by His Love and takes up dwelling in time in us through the power of His own desire. His Love is the instigator and the empowerment, not something coming from us. Every moment is His moment, every situation His situation, every obstacle His obstacle, every negative His purposed negative.
Why? Because he puts us to the test, not to test “us” to prove that we are inadequate, but to prove Himself in us. He overcomes all things. It is a purifying ordeal, trial by fire, but it is not to find all the bad stuff in us and make us give it up. All that is gone in changing kingdoms from darkness to light. The only “bad stuff” in us was the wicked one, who had secretly hidden himself spiritually in our false independence, and now in the Cross and death of Jesus and our death in Him and with Him, the wicked one is cast out of us, and in the resurrection we rise in Him as servants of righteousness only.
The “trial of faith” is therefore to make our faith as pure gold. And our faith as pure gold is simply this: that we latch in our consciousness onto one faith “object,” and one only, the Living God. God purifying our faith then means His further and further solidifying our faith capacity onto God Only, and nothing else — no other person or persons, no church, no teaching, no books, no possessions, no social position, nothing else except God Himself as we each know Him in the inner depths and foundation of our being.
In other words, just nekkid God and nekkid you. Everything else stripped away.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Ex 20:3) That’s the very first commandment.
He sees to it. You don’t have to. Anything You do to try to look good and attract God’s attention to how much you dedicate yourself to Him is laughable vanity. I know. You can’t consecrate enough. There’s always more to do and become because He is above all we ask or think and we can never do, know, or be enough to reach Him.
Likewise you can’t mess up enough to get Him off your back, either. You can try to “believe not,” but He “abides faithful.” (2 Tim 2:13)
In hell, when you can’t speak because of your thirst, when you can’t believe because it’s just too preposterous, when you can’t take another step because it’s pointless, when victory is not possible because you have not worked hard enough or said the right words or made the right incantations, when everything seems lost and it seems you made a wrong turn somewhere and got hopelessly lost out in the boondocks — is Christ right then and there your total adequacy and are you One with Him?
Do you say YES?
It’s easy to believe when all is hunky-dory.
A storm suddenly bearing down on us in the middle of the sea can change all that in a heartbeat. We quake with fear, and know surely we’ve done something wrong, or there wouldn’t be a storm.
Right then and there in the midst of the storm, ourselves cowering in fear in this fragile little boat, a Man who’d gone unnoticed for a while, forgotten, asleep in the back of the boat, arises and with no effort speaks and stops the wind and the sea.
That Man is You and me. He has risen in our lives and wears our identities now as his. And He is our permanent inner Adequacy, our hidden True Self. (Col 3:3,4; 2 Cor 3:5) In the incarnation Christ is formed in you and me. (Gal 4:19)
1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
You do understand, don’t you, that the Messiah dwells in you, and this passage, which refers to Him, describes you?
Taken from Hearts of Flesh, published 2005. It is basically chapter one, with a few minor adjustments.