The Spontaneous Life of Christ In Us P2
By Fred Pruitt
(This is a follow-up to the previous article, “The Spontaneous Life of Christ in Us P1.”)
(Previously published under another title. Revised.)
Correction for Part One
When I posted Part One last evening, I had neglected to finish a couple of paragraphs. Here is the finished version of a few paragraphs of Part One:
“And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament.” (2 Cor 3:4-6).
I see this as Paul’s succinct encapsulation of our life in Christ. The first period of our Spirit life we spend learning we have no sufficiency of our own. It can take a while to be disabused of that notion, since everything in this world exists to shore up this one lie: that we are independent self-reliant, self-responsible free agents, capable of producing our own good or our own evil. That is the subtlety hidden in Cain’s offering.
However, in graduating to the next level, we come to see we have zero to bring to the table. All the “goods” are His and completely in His Hands. What are Christ’s “goods?” Love, peace, joy, salvation, power, etc. There is nothing in us to generate or create any of that. It comes exclusively from the Lord via the Holy Spirit and operates outside the will and desires of humanity. This is the “Not I,” phase. (Gal 2:20).
The completion of “Not I,” is, “But Christ liveth.” We move past “Not I,” away from ourselves, to “Christ liveth!” This is one of the most tremendous understandings to have, to understand the spiritual sense of this Spirit-engineered transition from self-inadequacy, to Christ-in-us adequacy.
Again, thank you for your correspondence. And your openness!
I admit I misunderstood what you meant when you said, “wait on God.” Now that you have explained it to me, I see it. It is basically your “habit” you have established over the years in your walk, and I suppose I could say it “works for you.” I know of others who “do” what you describe. I read a book back in the 80s about a person who operated in “healing.” He did not do traditional “prayer” or words of faith. Instead he described what he did which was to simply sit in the Presence until he felt or experienced some sort of release. Often the person for whom he sat with God would be healed of physical or mental conditions. In a less formal way, that is my life. Every moment I know I am in the Presence. Not by anything I know how to do, but that He maintains our union in ways “we know not how.” It is not anything I “feel” or “experience,” so to speak, but something I “know.”
“And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” (Mk 4:26-28).
A long time ago I found out by the Spirit that is how it is with us. HE is maintaining us every moment, beyond our awareness or consciousness. He is bringing us every moment in a hidden way into the fullness of the Kingdom. One day I simply realized I had “grown up” into Him – and I “knew not how!”
In the “knowledge of God,” there is a difference between objective knowledge, which I am certain you understand, and as you phrased it, “subjective” knowledge. One, the former, is simply information, theories, hypotheses, ways of thinking, stuff we “deal with,” or what we attempt to “apply” in any given situation. All that stuff is outside us, not a part of us, but rather out there milling around in a hodge-podge patchwork of trying to understand or grasp God in some way.
The “Biblical knowing,” (“Adam ‘knew’ Eve, his wife) is we are one with what we know, so that we are “it.” There is no “gap” between us and God in this state. We are spontaneously living as ourselves, but it is also Christ in us as one with us. When we are living in this state – we are describing the father level – we have moved beyond the warm fuzzies stage. When we’re in the “warm fuzzies” stage, we are still about ourselves. We’re still fussing about how we’re doing, trying to overcome this or that and always wanting reassurances we are accepted in the Beloved. So the Spirit gives us all sorts of comforts and reminders of His Presence in our lives, but while in this consciousness, we are still living as if we are two instead of “one.”
Oh, but wait, haven’t we taken it by faith that “it is no longer I, but Christ?” Yes, we have, but it does not become oneness in consciousness (unity – 1 Cor 6:17; John 17:11, 20-22) until we see by the Spirit that it has become a Permanency in us. NPG used to call this “fixed inner consciousness.” Before we see this, we spend our time confessing, believing, carrying on with our lives, asking lots of questions. Questions are almost always about “how to do something in a union way,” such as you are asking in yours below. Hundreds of “what’s it like” questions and “now that I know union shouldn’t I be this or that” issues. Others also crop up, too, such as, “Can we still sin, and if we do sin, who is doing the ‘sinning’, being that we’re one with Christ?” And many many more.
And while this is a necessary period almost all of us experience, the Spirit comes one day and says, “Ok, we’re moving on.” The “moving on” is what John Bunting used to call, “Graduation.” We graduate from spiritual babies or teenagers, where much of the day by day knowledge is objective and eventually frustrating, because we keep trying to grasp and hold on to objective truths and make them work. But that is a lost cause, because objective truth isn’t truth at all, since it has no substance in and of itself. It is only meant to be a pointer, road signs if you will, of the greater reality that lies ahead.
When the Spirit moves us into that final subjective “knowing,” we have found the inner rest and inner peace. We ARE, not one day will be. Finally, we take it to be a “fixed” thing, that we are He living and expressing Himself as our human selves.
Here is an illustration from my life which might make this clearer. After being with Norman Grubb in late September, 1980, for that life-altering meeting, he later invited us to a “Union Life Conference” that was held at the Bunting’s and Wearren’s properties in Louisville, Kentucky, every year. We met everyone (many of whom we are still with today) that September, 1981.
Attending the conferences in Louisville became a regular thing for years. When we first started attending, it was difficult on our end to take care of things, finding someone to keep all three kids who at the time were 8, 6 and 4. Then to get off work I had to find substitutes to take whatever shifts I would miss. I was working all night at a yarn mill at the time, so several times we would leave early in the morning after I had worked all night to drive to Louisville. We were young and had LOTS of problems, like we all do. But going to the conferences was always like a vacation. The people were wonderful and loving. We had great food, great fellowship, and wonderful sharing and teaching. We could “forget” the outside world with all its problems and issues for a few days and just bask in the warmth of our fellowship with each other and with God.
But then every time, Sunday came around, and everybody had to go back home. And what was at home? Our problem riddled life!! It was like a tremendous weight had been lifted off us when we would arrive, only to be placed back onto our shoulders as we were driving down the Buntings driveway to go back to our home in Georgia. Worry, dread, condemnation would seize me and would build all the way home. It went on like that for years – more than a decade!
When we held the last Louisville weekend in 2011, I realized how different I was at the end of that meeting compared to past meetings, especially the first time, 30 years before. Yes, I still had to go back to a “problem filled life,” but it didn’t phase me anymore. It wasn’t like this awful dread that used to flow all over me. It was “fixed.” I realized one day that I was the same, no matter what. Yes, we get pulled and pushed, tempted, etc., all that, but it has become inner fact in us that we ARE HE, and there is no new “how to do things” when we know union. We don’t know all things, but we KNOW His adequacy within us for ALL THINGS, nothing excepted.
Moses asked God at Mt. Sinai what His name was. We know the reply, “I AM THAT I AM.” He then tells Moses to say, “Tell them ‘I AM’ sent you.” Interesting phrasing, don’t you think? He could have said, “’He IS’ sent me,” referring to God in the third person. But no, Moses keeps it in the first person. “I AM” sent me to you. And that’s where we have been brought. It has been God’s plan from the beginning. We are I AM!
As far as those other issues you brought up, wanting to see change or different things to happen. There is no new “way” to deal with all that. We live as the Spirit directs, period. And for me it doesn’t seem to be hearing an inner voice or receiving commandments or assignments, but all of that out of pure spontaneity. If I am an “arm,” do I just go about fussing about being an arm, wondering how I work it, what to do or not do with it. As an “arm,” I’m not really cognizant of any process. When it’s time to move I just move.
Give that some thought. I batted that around for a while a few years back. Let’s leave the Body of Christ analogy for the moment and talk about how I, as a human being, do stuff. This is really simple when we think about it. Let’s say I want a glass of water. I go to the water source, get a glass, fill it up, and drink it. What was the process I demonstrated there? It was the pure spontaneity of it. Think – when I decided I wanted water, what did I do? I just walked over there, got a glass, filled it up and drank it. But how? How did the desire to get water and the process of getting it work in me? We walk to the water source, the tap or jug, etc. There are a few glasses sitting there available. How is it I reach out, take one, fill it up …. Etc.? Is there a process operating in my consciousness whereby I say within myself, “I want water. Hand and arm, reach out and take a glass.” So we reach out and take a glass. Then the inner controller says, “Now drink it.” So we drink it.
Does it really happen that way? No, of course not! There’s no discernable gap for the giving of specific instructions between wanting water and reaching out to take a glass. No, you just do it! No thought, no will, no instructions on how to move my arm, no calculations of the distance between the water and my arm and hand, none of that. We just do it.
Now, that’s what this fixed inner consciousness has brought us to. All our lives we have operated that way, even as in our previous days we were led about and deceived by the god of wrath. In those days we spontaneously participated in the things of wrath. It was natural to us. Spontaneous. Now in Christ, it’s the same way and even more. We just walk around and “do as occasion serves us, for God is with us.” (1 Sam 10:7). Samuel has just told Saul he’ll meet some prophets and prophecy with them, and, Samuel said, you, Saul, “shalt be turned into another man.”
An amazing revelation in the Old Testament! We just are spontaneously HE! That was perfect advice Samuel gave to Saul, even though later because of other issues Saul slipped and lost his faith. (Something to talk about another time.) But Samuel’s advice holds steady! “Do as occasion serves thee, for God is with thee!”
Of course, we are held by grace through faith, and we do not forget that aspect of keeping the lifeline open between us and God. But the fixedness is there, and we walk it in our faith. Anything you want to do, do as occasion serves you, for God is with you – and IS you!!
Hopefully this will answer some more things for you.