by Fred Pruitt
From a recent email:
Well, dear, you’ve given me a lot to chew on, and actually, you’ve really sort of delved into a few different issues, so let me give you a little comment and see how the Spirit will open this up to us.
The way I see what you’ve written about yourself and your answer to your friend, touches mainly on the issues of soul and spirit, and of what it means to be one with God, or in union with Christ.
So let’s start with being “one,” first, because I think soul and spirit is easier to see when we first of all get our identity straight.
Very simply put, in being born again your inner human spirit — the essential you — was joined in a oneness with the Spirit of God — the essential “person” of God. What God has really done in Jesus’ cross, is to become Man in many men, just as He became Man in Jesus, in whom all the sons of God (men and women of course) already existed in His spiritual loins, even as we all were in the loins of father Adam in our first birth. This is very important to see, because the church has gotten it correct as far as who Jesus was, as Redeemer, Savior, Reconciler, Intercessor, etc., but has for the most part failed to see past that, and have simply held Jesus as an “object” — i.e., someone apart from us that we “worship,” or “adore,” or whose coming we “await,” or strive to “be like.” The church has mostly not realized, that in His death and resurrection and our subsequent receiving of Him into us, that He is “born again” in us and becomes man, again, Emmanuel, in each and every one of us who are His.
That is the entire meaning of redemption and in becoming a son or child of God. That GOD would be reproduced in us, as a father and mother are reproduced in their children. God doesn’t recreate Jesus of Nazareth in each of us, but sends His Spirit into us,. i.e., the Comforter, Holy Spirit, to cause the same Life that Jesus IS to be that same Life in us. God became fully a human person in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and then by His death and resurrection (intercession) for all of us, God becomes a human person again in each of us — in you and me.
Now, in what I read from you, you are really not seeing that He is YOU, but you are still seeing Him apart, and your evidence for all this apartness or separation is your self-judgment of all these thoughts, feelings, actions, you are having, that you have interpreted for yourself are not He in you, but some separate “you” who ought to be or should be different, to change, to become, to grow, etc.
And dear, as long as you look at things like that, with God still over there and you still over here, you will never ever bridge the gap. Because it is never bridged in any way except by the recognition that you and he are One Person – He and I ARE ONE. In other words, my “me” is He. You have judged in some way by whatever influences that because of all these things, be they thoughts, feelings, actions, forfeitures, missed opportunities, etc., that you keep missing the mark and therefore you keep striving to hit the mark.
But dear, you have already hit the mark and you don’t know it! HE IS the Mark, and by His action and power, He has already made Himself one person with you, so that you and he are one. He has donned you as His identity in the world. Period! You may think you are not worthy or ready or have too much baggage or whatever, but who are you to question His choice? Does He not say, “I chose you, you didn’t choose me”? (John 15:16). Well, don’t you think if He chose you, you better get around to choosing yourself? Surely you can trust His choices!
How much more together can “he that is joined to the Lord is ONE SPIRIT” be? How can you get any closer than “one?” “Two” is, “I’m here and have a lot of growing, learning, maturing to do,” before I’m really “like Him.” (Which is secretly idolatry, you know!) But “One” is relaxing in His choice of Himself in us, who He has chosen in Him before the foundation of the earth, not just to bless us or save us or reconcile us, but to BE us! HE has chosen to BE YOU, not just do stuff to you or for you! That is the true meaning of redemption. God has “stepped down” Himself, we might say, just as He did in Jesus of Nazareth, and through Jesus of Nazareth, now dwells in us in the same oneness in which He dwelled in Jesus, Who said, “I and my Father are one,” and, “How is it I have been with you so long, Philip, and you haven’t known Me? When you see me, you SEE the Father.”
Same oneness, dear — John 17: 11,22,23!
So, you are he living in the world as you, which He has intended from all eternity.
But then we say, “But I can’t be He, look at me, I’m a mess!”
So, our first answer to that is that messes are what He specializes in. He likes messes (earthen vessels) to be exactly what they are, so that out of that earthen vessel can shine the excellency of His power. No “earthen vessel,” no cracked pot, then no excellency of His power shining forth. What I mean by that is that if the vessel could clean itself up and become something more resplendent than a common pot which looks like every other pot, then the focus would be on the pot or vessel and not on the divine treasure hidden within, and visible only to Spirit-desiring eyes. “We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
So, dear, if we “have it all together,” then the pot gets glorified rather than the contents of the pot. Praise God you don’t have it “all together.” I don’t either!
Lots of people won’t take that, don’t like the embarrassment of it for one thing, don’t want to be a foolish-looking, weak-looking, lack-of-control-looking, fearful-looking vessel. No, they want to exude strength, calm, certainty, in control, never fearful, never wrong. But because God wants people to see the kingdom of God WITHIN, He purposely leaves us in this world, to be His life in weakness and apparently being all those things I listed above — because we still FEEL like all that.
The Spirit reality is that we ARE HE in our form, living and expressing Him only in our world. “As He is, so ARE WE in this world” (1 John 4:17).
Where we “feel” all this weakness, self-focus, and fear, is in our soul lives. People, as I said above, don’t want to look weak, foolish, etc., (even though Paul says we are fools for Christ’s sake) and want to seem like they have it all together, because, in our human reasoning minds, we think God has it all together, and if He is living in me, then I should have it all together, too. But that is a great misunderstanding of how God has made us and why He made us that way. He has made us that in our spirits we would simply BE the spirit reality which is the truth in our inner selves — if we are darkness, no matter how “good” we may act or seem we are still darkness. And if we are light, the converse is true. Now, I’m not saying it is not possible to commit sinful acts, but it isn’t our purpose here to go into that. I am speaking a general truth here which you can believe for you particularly. That your inner truth is HE, and that your essential “you,” your true identity, is as a son of God who expresses God in your humanity in its common humanness, because in your heart you are He, and our hearts determine the expressions of our lives. “A man’s heart deviseth his way, and the Lord directeth his steps.”
But we are also, in this world, subject to all its fears, sorrows, and contradictions, etc., which all have a divine purpose. First, we must realize that God MEANS US to experience them, every single one of them. We are meant to FEEL afraid, to FEEL weak, to FEEL distracted, annoyed, frustrated, etc. Those are perfect feelings that have in them no moral or spiritual goodness or evil inherent in them. They come because they are ordained of God that they come. Doesn’t matter the source or the reason, whether put on us by devil or man.
Most Christians believe that if they “feel” any of those things, they are somehow at fault and they still have some growing up or maturing to do, or it is because they have done something to cause them — watching too much TV, having the wrong influences, not praying enough, etc. Most Christians secretly hold a sort of Buddhist view of life, that we would experience none of those up and downs and would have psychological and emotional peace and stability if we were just more spiritually mature. But God means us to have all those, and then by the tensions and energy caused by them, to bring forth through faith God’s truth and reality in the Spirit. Soul feelings are MEANT to bring us to speak Spirit reality!
Remember, Jesus said, “MY peace I give you, not as the world gives. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 14:27; 16:33). His peace is NOT the soul-peace of the world — which you can get by things going right, by drugs, by meditation, by a “great church service,” or some other “method,” but HIS peace — the inner peace of the Spirit, is outside the realm of soul feelings, and does not come or go because of any of that. Soul feelings may or may not change — but Spirit reality IS and is fixed and permanent. That is what you must begin to see. You wrongly think you are being run by your soul feelings as if those are your reality, thinking that when all that settles down then you’ll have it. But you ALREADY have it. He is already completely running your show, even all these negatives and your apparent “lack” of sight, because you ARE IT NOW, and what is inner in you IS THE REAL, and the outer feelings are there expressly for you to learn to say the inner fixed spirit truth.
In the world you WILL HAVE tribulation — that isn’t just dicey experiences, but all the things you wrote in your email — but be of good cheer, because HE HAS (not one day will) overcome the world, and where HE HAS OVERCOME IT IS IN YOU! Right now, today, THIS MOMENT!
We find it in Him by faith, and only in Him by faith, and never ever in our feelings or sight.
What you have to realize is that it has been this way for your entire journey. You are only recognizing what has always been since the moment you received the Spirit of God through Jesus Christ. He perfected you in that moment, which is eternal. What you are seeing with your outer eyes and experiencing with your outer consciousness is a 1-2-3 representation in time and space of what is already true and is forever true in the heavenlies.
You are perfect in Him now and always have been (Hebr. 10:14; 12:23). He has guided your every step — even all the apparent missteps. All the mistakes are His mistakes. All the seeming wrong paths, the bunny trails, the wrongs seeings. All the sorrows and frustrations He has sent by His express purpose to make a Joseph of you. Joseph was always who he was, as the dreams he told his family demonstrated, but Joseph HAD TO GO THROUGH all those years of apparently NOT being what the dreams foretold, for him to come to KNOW IT, and therefore become conscious of who he was, that he was ruler of the whole land of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. In this case the land of Egypt is the land of our lives, and Pharaoh in this instance is God the Father — so that you have been made Joseph, in other words Christ, who runs the whole kingdom for His Father, God.