Order In the Chaos Reprise
By Fred Pruitt
(This serves as a follow-up to the most recent post – Every Man Perfect in Christ Jesus)
(This is part of an exchange with a new friend to me. He was the recipient of the recent piece, “It Starts In the Spirit.” This is sort of the Part 2 of that. This is really glorious, because it traces the Spirit’s opening his understanding in a new way. It is always so exciting to me because I know only the Spirit can reveal this, and to see it happening, makes everything in my life that has been given toward that end, to be more than worth it!)
You wrote 1:
In an attempt to bring some order to the chaos, I decided to try and discard every belief I held and simply let a few beliefs back in to act as security checkpoints. This did bring about an unusual level of (short term) calm. Which beliefs you ask?
– Jesus is my shepherd. I am His sheep. I KNOW his voice
– I am God’s son
– Not I, but Christ (trusting that He will add “who lives within me” in due time)
– I am a branch. He is the vine. I can do nothing in or of myself.
My (Fred) response 1:
I think that’s a good way to start. Norman used to say, “Just keep what the Lord gives you and throw the rest out!” Amen!
Everything you say is solid foundation, the Rock!
You wrote 2:
However, it didn’t take long before some of the rejected beliefs came knocking, wondering why they weren’t given a fair hearing.
“So what’s wrong with long life? You don’t think God is going to satisfy you with long life anymore?” asked Mr Young. “Not looking that far ahead at the moment,” I reply.
My response 2:
Is “long life” something you think about normally? I’m sure you mean your “earthly” life, since you can’t get any longer than eternal. But seriously, which are you, temporal life or eternal life?
I understand the sense of the years flying by like scenery from a moving train. I can remember the way back years, when this (my) train first started rolling. It seemed to meander for years in an almost interminable childhood while I longed for that glorious Day of freedom, when I would become an adult. Ha ha!
But when the time comes, finally, that in some way thrusts us out into adulthood life becomes so full we have no time to contemplate it because now our train is moving much faster as we seek to “become something” or accomplish something, to take our place in the world.
I remember in the 1960 movie version of H.G. Wells’, “The Time Machine,” when he pushed to throttle to full speed in his time machine, the years started going by in a blur, getting faster and faster and faster. It becomes almost like that.
Until the train starts to slow down a bit, and you begin to be able to commune with the scenery, and you know you’re on the back end of the ride. You also finally know, that one day sooner or later, this train will stop altogether and we’ll have to get off.
If that was all there was to it, it would be very sad. If that was all there was to it, mourning would encompass the earth, so that what was – what was beautiful, what was wonderful, what was good – have all gone and shall never come again.
Now here is where we can see how all things are one in Christ Jesus. “Eternal” does not mean an unceasing amount of “time.” There is no “Year One,” or, “Year Four Trillion,” in the Eternal. There are no “years” at all, because there is no sense of measure like that. We “measure” years by the orbits our planet makes around our Star, Sol, or “the Sun.” It takes Earth 365 days to make one orbit of the Sun, and we call that amount of time, a “year.” But in the Eternal there is no outer sun or moon and external temple. The Light is in us. (Rev Chaps 21 & 22).
Now, I’m not knowledgeable about how our perception and other things will be in the life after this one. I trust the Lord that it will be “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (Eph 3:20). I don’t give it much thought after that. There’s too much to do in this life now while we are here to give too much speculating about what’s over there in the by and by. Paul wraps that up for me – this was one of the first verses in my beginning that I wrote out to keep with me in a little book all the time – even though at the time I had little understanding of its meaning but I liked the Spirit of it: “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Tim 1:12).
What did I commit to Him, back in that beginning of Days? My life. Whatever I would be. It was serious to me, and a gamble. If I fall, will He really catch me? Somewhere in the first six months of my life in the Spirit, somehow I came to an inner faith conclusion when I quoted that verse, that “Yes, He catches me if I fall.” I didn’t really know what I had committed back then, but my inward self knew and like John the Baptist stirred in the womb of Elizabeth when Mary walked in carrying the Holy Child, I was stirred in the Spirit. And now after all these decades, I am stirred even more than then.
What we are looking at is that two worlds, realms, universes, states of existence, whatever you want to call them, are simultaneously existing in some way in our lives. There is the temporal and there is the Eternal, and we live in both simultaneously. Jesus said we are “in the flesh but not of it,” and that is what is applicable here. We learn to live Spirit lives in temporal bodies and temporal circumstances.
All the pathos and sadness (with joy interspersed along the way, of course), that I wanted to evoke with my train analogy, is this life we are living now. Except the Lord comes and interrupts everything, we are all going to die. The older we get the more death we see. The older we get perhaps we can find more beauty, but also the older we get the more problems to face and overcome. It seems to be never-ending.
Nothing remains the same. When we die all we have cared for will eventually become non-existent, too. If we are not famous, then if anyone remembers us more than two generations later it will be unusual. The America of our year 2017 political concerns will be as if it never was to us. Whether it lasts on earth we won’t know and we won’t care. It won’t be in the history book of Heaven.
Neither is the temporal “our history.” If that were the case, then kings would come to heaven as kings, and peasants as peasants. But we know that isn’t the case. Everyone is equal before the Almighty. We are all made kings and priests and testimonies to our God.
Before we existed, the way we walked had been ordained from the Eternal. Though perhaps from our temporal vantage point, it sometimes all looks and feels like chaos under the control of no one, acting on its own volition, we find through all this exercising that we KNOW what we know and cannot be shaken from it. It is because it is no longer a suit we have to put on, something we try to be. The truth is now US! We ARE it. He IS the truth, and He is one with us. And in that inner union with God in Christ through the Spirit, we walk around being that in our world.
You wrote 3:
“You not interested in protection anymore? Dangerous world we live in, you know,” asked Mr Danger. “I doubt He will bring me this far, only for me to die before finishing it,” seemed the appropriate response.
But they did have a point. Could I still trust God for provision, healing, protection, and everything else? I never had a problem believing it in the past (that is, after I believed it first) – why now? Just to be clear, ‘no problem believing’ doesn’t mean ‘no doubts’. I still had plenty of doubts, but the belief was greater than the doubts, e.g. my heart knows that He carried my diseases, but it isn’t always a practical reality in the here and now. Any experience I had that was in conflict with this was simply (in my mind) temporal/subject to change/not truth, and Truth would certainly manifest at some indeterminate time. My experience didn’t change my belief.
My response 3:
I guess you are expressing a battle in your mind that has been going on for quite a while. What I am saying is that you seem to try to be shoring up and making sure that you are not deficient in actually “believing” your theology of healing etc., and still hold the results to be coming at some later time. Just a general tip here – but anything that mentally you have to do a whole lot of self-convincing to yourself that you believe – sounds like a lot of unnecessary work to me.
As to your question about trusting God for provision, healing etc., well, of course we look to God for those things, even if we are attaining them by working a job or taking medicine. Everything is God’s provision. But I wonder what makes you ask that. In the past when we’ve talked about one with God or Christ as us, etc., some people have thought we were sort of doing away with “the Transcendent God.” They would ask, “Do we still pray, or who do we pray to?” “Is there still any room for praise, or do we still ask for things we desire?”
The simple answer to those questions is the same for all of them. If you are led to do them, do them. If not, don’t.
So let’s make sure we are clear here. We aren’t the Universal Transcendent God, Whom Jesus called “The Father.” Jesus also said, “My Father is greater than I.”
We come to KNOW HIM in a new and different way when the Spirit opens us up to union understanding. We are human beings, in whom the Living God walks and talks and testifies to the world through and as us.
As far as “how it works” inside us, whether we live “I-Thou” with God, or just, “Thou,” I doubt any two of us would describe it the same way. That’s why Jesus so often said, “The kingdom of heaven is like …” It cannot be described objectively; we can only get close with parables and indirect definitions.
I don’t worry about it. There is no new set of rules for living in union. People ask stuff all the time like, “Now in this union understanding, how do we ……..? Like we have a new manual or something, that we now have to get to know. There is nothing like that. Some people will try to convince you there is some “way” that is appropriate, but there is not. For myself, long ago I quit looking for God or the Spirit up in the sky or around the next corner.
For while I am not the Transcendent Universal Father, I AM Christ in particular form in my particular portion of the universe. As such, I live a normal life (visibly, a super-normal life invisibly). The normal life of a normal human being, hiddenly tinged with glory from beyond.
All the Lord has called us to be is to be the Light of the World and Salt of the Earth in our particular corner, and that’s not as hard to do as we thought. The reason is because He now does it, and we know that He does it. I live spontaneously, being “me,” and put on no “airs” or look for some kind of worshipful recognition from others. In fact, I no longer seek any sort of affirmation or confirmation from others. It doesn’t matter if they know Who I am, but that they know who they are! It happens. The Spirit does it!
You wrote 4:
Until now. I wasn’t so sure anymore. Did all the promises apply all the time, or only when the Spirit confirmed it first? Did I have to wait until I have a ‘sense’ and then go with that, with the Word acting as a yardstick for the ‘sense’. That feels even more dual natured than I was used to. Was there any sense in asking God to provide if I needed to first lose everything as part of His grand plan? It would be absurd to choose my house if I had to choose between keeping my house and experiencing the fullness of union with Him. (Not that I don’t want my house). And what would be the point of having wisdom and favour for my new business, if it meant missing the chance of being able to know “yet not I, but Christ who lives within me”. I just didn’t know anymore.
Right on cue you brought in Psalm 91. I love psalm 91 – it is one of my favourites to pray over my children; it is similar to Psalm 23, where simply seeing the Lord as your shepherd includes the rest of Psalm: simply tucking my kids under His wing includes all the protection, deliverance, safety and nearness of the rest of the psalm.
It was as if the Lord was saying, “Yes, I am still here for everything else. You might struggle to focus on more than one thing at a time, but I don’t J. Don’t worry!” The storm, once again, calmed down a bit.
Thank you so much for the encouragement.
My response 4:
I had not read this all the way through before I started replying. I was just taking it a paragraph at a time. But how wonderful to get to this part, where the Spirit has confirmed what I was saying to you! Yes yes yes! Praise God!
All those questions a couple of paragraphs back (“Until now …”) are answered the same way. Just trust Him to CAUSE YOU TO KNOW OR DO! That was the first hint of deliverance for me when years ago I was unsure I was taking the right spiritual steps, and was deathly afraid of taking a wrong step off the path and sliding all the way down to hell for not knowing which was the right step to take next. We were leaving a church that often shunned people who left and predicted they would not go far with the Lord. One “minister” even hinted God might “kill the kids” of those who were leaving. This was not an intellectual worry. And it wasn’t the devil I was scared of – it was the Lord! It was abject terror in me that, had it persisted, would probably have made me insane. The Lord brought me through again with a Psalm – “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” (Ps 73:24-26). It was the “Thou shalt” that emitted light off the page that Day. Oh, I saw it!
My questioning in those days, (1980), had to do with knowing God’s voice from the devil’s. My deliverance began when I saw I didn’t have the stuff to do it on my own. How could I know? I HAD to trust God to enlighten me, for who else could do it? At the time, I was thinking that my life was like being trapped in a minefield. (By the way, my kids at the time of this instance were 3, 5 and 7, so I understand your current predicament.) Any wrong step I took could cause an explosion. But then the Spirit let me know He would “know” in me, and I could trust Him for it. He would bring me through, and no mines would go off. It went as He said and I believed! It still didn’t happen overnight, but by about three months’ time, that temptation left me and I’ve lived from what I learned in those days 37 years ago every day since! He’s got me and He IS NOT GOING TO LET GO!!!!
You wrote 5:
It has been a really good week. That frantic panic and confusion is dying down a bit: the objections aren’t as loud and not as frequent. I suspect the matter might be settled in my heart already – my head is just trying to adjust to the new way. The old beliefs might try a coup at some stage, but that battle (as for all other battles) is the Lords.
I’ve also finally made the decision to go my separate way from my church. I’ve sent them one of the nicest, most sincere, farewell letters (possibly in church history), and they graciously responded, with much more love and acceptance than I expected. I won’t be tracking down a new church any time soon – pretty sure God will supply the necessary fellowship when and as required.
I am still a victim of confusion and doubts and questions, but there is a much greater level of acceptance and peace. There is also a greater level of expectancy: an “OK Lord, what next?”
p.s. my eldest (5 years old) helped me quite a bit: I generally pray with each before bedtime, and he interrupted me this week. “What does daddy God look like?” He has asked this before and I was about to start again with the no physical body, but we look at Jesus to see what He is like, answer, but he interrupted me again: “I know: we are pictures of Him.” “You are more right than you know, my boy. Who told you that?” “No one. It just makes sense. Jonathan (his younger brother, who fell asleep on my shoulder during story time) is a picture of Him sleeping and snoring.. hehehe.” Out of the mouth of babes…
My response 5:
Brother, you are blessed! God is working in you and no doubt He will finish what He starts! You’re in for it now!
Keep in touch!