Notes from Norman

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Present Tense Perfection

by Norman P. Grubb

I find the same thing in attitudes. Now we have had a blessed, blessed Word of God on attitude earlier in the Conference and so I needn’t spend much time on that. Our brother searched us to the bottom on that. I am only talking on one aspect, and that is the immediate reaction—just that. He talked of the deeper reactions which followed, the seed which becomes the root and produces the fruit. He talked on that one.

But I don’t know—perhaps it’s good that I haven’t natural love. I have natural criticism and natural reserve. I thank God I don’t have it because therefore it has to be God’s love. Now I find this all the time. Nearly always my first reaction to a brother and sister is the critical and the cold one. I’m amazed at myself that way. My first reaction when I meet people, and so on, is to tend to pick a hole, to be cold. It isn’t natural love. I find that in anything, all over the place: I’m naturally hard; I naturally see the world in a worldly person, or the flesh in a Christian if I can, and so on. And the other has to be supernatural.

I have to learn again and again—of course I am learning—learn to be quick to put it out in a moment, and say, “Oh no, one Christ is in us.” One Christ; and so of course we are one. The same Person lives in me as in you and I should think we are one. That blessed One lives in you and lives in me—we are indeed one. And then the power of love is there and flows. Or if it is an unsaved person, I’ve got to say, “Well if there had only been you in the world, Christ would have died for you. That’s His love. If you had been the only person in the world . . . you are individually precious to Him.”

And so I must look with the eyes of love on people. But I don’t find that natural. I find I have to walk that even though I’ve been 35 or 40 years on the road. Still, my natural reaction is not to love, but to criticize and to pick holes; and I have to walk again and again, and replace that false thing with the real thing, which is the Divine Person loving through me. These are little things now, but they are the seed out of which the fruit comes. Out of those seeds come the roots which dig down into us, and the evil fruits of quarrels and divisions and all these things.

Karuizawa Japan Conference of 1954
Topic: “Daily Walk in the Spirit”