A Short Lesson on “How-to”
By Fred Pruitt
PS — One thing to finish saying at this point. In your original question above, you ask if I can share with you “how to become” a father, (in Christ) etc. Well, there’s the rub. God brings this about. There is absolutely nothing we “do,” except believe by receiving what He is and has given us.
What did Abraham “do” to become the “father of faith?” What did Abraham “do” to bring about the birth of Isaac (save the normal human activity involved) when he and Sarah were past age? What did Paul “do” to bring about the vision on the road to Damascus?
Speaking of “seeing,” what do we have to “do” in order to “see?” Absolutely nothing!!! Eyes have one function. Just receive. In other words, open your eyes and see what is there. It is effortless. Our eyes don’t jump out of our heads and go here and there to grasp all the sights. No, if we are awake and have normal vision then when we open our eyes, everything there is to see is just right there instantly. No effort of any kind to see.
Now back to Abraham, Sarah and Paul. They did NOTHING. Except to believe when God spoke the Word to them. There is no “road” to get there. There is no “way” I can tell you except Christ. I sense you want something, like a plan, step 1, step 2, step 3, that I can give you that will be a sure-fire path to what you want. But there is none, except Christ Himself, Who Himself IS the Way! There is no formula, no scriptural principles to find out and apply, there is only raw faith in the Invisible Imperceptible Living God. There is no other way. No step by step.
People want a plan, like, “How much should I pray? What books should I read? How do I apply the scriptures? How much should I study and what should it be?” We like a plan. Along with clear instructions. To be clear, there is nothing wrong or ill-advised in studying the scriptures. There is nothing wrong in having a “routine” of sorts that works for you if you want. There is nothing wrong with reading books and seeking wisdom wherever it can be found.
However, something new and different happens in and to us when the Spirit reveals our union identity, of being one Spirit with Him. We begin to realize that the Source and key to our liberty is in us, and not “out there” anymore. The simplest way to describe it is like this. The Spirit made it known in me the reality of an inner well of water springing up into everlasting Life. It flows out from the center of my being to be in a continuous never ending outpouring into the world. Because of that, I began to experience an inner sufficiency I had not known before. The life which that replaced was a life of condemnation and self-effort, in trying to find the way to be pleasing to God and to get the big frown off the face of my Father, Who I thought could never be pleased with me and was always disappointed in me. That went away in knowing “It is no longer I that live, but He lives in me.” Knowing He was my continuous artesian well of the Spirit within me, always “keeping” me, changed everything from that day until now.
Remember the story of Naaman, a high-ranking officer in the Syrian army, who came to Elisha to be healed of leprosy. Elisha told him to go dip in the Jordan River seven times. That offended Naaman, thinking what a menial thing to do for someone of his rank! He was looking for something flashier, something for him to “accomplish,” or some deed worthy of his status. So, he turned around and started back the way he came.
Fortunately for Naaman, his servant convinced him to go try it, this absurd simple thing. “Who knows,” the servant said, “the old prophet might be right.” Naaman took his advice, and was healed.
However, Elisha’s message having been forgotten, the “church” of today would then make a principle and a ritual out of dipping in the Jordan seven times. There would be books written, courses developed, and seminars given on it. We would see thousands down there on the riverbanks dipping themselves for a healing, when only Naaman was told to do that. No one else. We receive from God alone, individually and personally. No human activity on its own will bring it about. He does it, or it isn’t done. Simply trust Him to fulfill His own Word. He’s very good at that. That’s all it took for Abraham to be declared “righteous.” And in so doing Abraham became the “father of faith.”
Now all my “how to’s’” have converged into one reality –
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)
That covers EVERYTHING!