By Fred Pruitt
Many experience what you are going through, to varying degrees. But take heart, the ripping away of all human supports hurts, but its purpose is to place you consciously and firmly held in the Everlasting Arms, and when there is no more human prop to hold you up, even your so-called “righteous behavior,” or if you prefer, your “unrighteous behavior.”
You do realize, do you not, that to grasp either righteous or unrighteous behavior as your “own,” i.e., it is something “I make happen by my self-responsibilities,” then you are owning and running it as if you have something to contribute to the situation, other than “abiding” (“staying put where you are — in Him as a branch on the Vine, Christ).
These so-called “sinful” behaviors you told me about are nothing but the last screams of your false independent consciousness experiencing its own death, which it does not like to do, and so the conflict.
It is God Who has brought you to this place, and it is He Who will walk you out of it into another room in His time. You are at a maybe pivotal point, where you are strongly tempted to go “back.” However, having come this far, you already know that where you came from no longer satisfies you, even though there are well-defined borders and a sense of “safety” to be doing what everybody else is doing. To go out into what looks like the Unknown with nothing to hold you up but an inner Word, is a scary thing. But I am convinced that God has called you to this.
However weakly, stay with the Word the Spirit has given you on Who you really are, and believe not your outer eyes and ears.
This is you:
“For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.
For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.
Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. (Ps 18:27-36)
Notice this is all present tense. That’s what faith does. It grabs onto to the verities of God while in the present tense, i.e., present moment, and declares what appears not to be true, or what might come true in the future, as fulfilled now in this current moment. We just agree with it, if the Spirit has in any small measure opened our understanding and hearts to this.
Your lack of consciousness of Who you really are, does not nullify the fact that it is true. Just like when you fly from one city to another and there is a cloud cover when you make your descent at the destination, and because of that cloud cover you cannot see the city below. But the pilot is flying on “faith” that the city is there even though out of sight. And then when you burst through the cloud layer just before landing, the city appears resplendent, as strong and vibrant as it has ever been, even though you couldn’t see it before. Believe first — see later.
It is a hard birth sometimes, but the travail we endure that “Christ be formed in us,” has eternal ramifications. It is something akin to the fire surrounding Mt. Sinai. Around the “glory” are lightnings and thick darkness, earthquakes, dark billowing clouds. This is something like going back into Eden through the Angel who guards the entry with his sword. Moses penetrated through the darkness and the fear and saw the glory beyond it.
So there you are. He’s got you, no going back, He must see it through, because we find out we cannot, but then He shows us that He has done it, so we rest there.
All that you are looking for is already in you, and in this moment in intimacy, this “it” is with you closer than your own thoughts about yourself. His thoughts and mind in you precede everything. Ponder that.
It changes everything in the universe in our perception when for one moment we realize that our lives are coming out of God, rather than an inner image of us being “over against” Him, as if He is sitting on the other side of the room from us. We believed that for a while but it is not grown-up believing. I am not “facing Him” as much as I am faced “out” from Him into the world. I am an expression of God through and in Christ, in particular form.
We don’t make up our lives. They are His exclusively for the purposes of love. So we just say, “Ok, on with it, Lord! You’ve got the whole shebang and I am blessed to be receiving and flowing out your river of life from my innermost being. You see to it, Lord, because I don’t know how to do that, but You do and I am counting on the fact that You are doing that.”
And on we go. He’s got it! He’s got “you” and has become one spirit with you. How closer can one be than “one”?
And that is Christmas. Emmanuel. The most precious gift in all creation. Christ within.