by Norman P. Grubb
Nov-Dec 1983 Union Life|
Q. My life has been one of a series of seeming failures. I never seemed to receive God’s blessings as others did. Oh, occasional showers to keep me alive, but not the sweet presence I so longed for.
I always worried about my husband and children (even though my children are grown now). Nightly I would cry out for God to just “hold me close.” But nothing happened. I had so-called “victory” sometimes, but family problems (money or marital) would cause me to run back to Him pleading for relief. I’d usually get it, but I wasn’t quite sure if He really answered my prayers, or if it would have happened anyway.
For several months prior to June, 1981, I prayed for nothing but to glorify Him in everything. I wanted to love Him more than my family, etc.
On June 8th, my husband suddenly passed away. After three hours of shock and fear, I found myself actually rejoicing. I wanted to rush out and comfort all my friends and relatives who came to console me.
It was as though God has released my spirit for other things. My personal needs were no longer important. To me, my family had no more problems, though it was actually no different than before. I no longer felt the need to protect them from hurts. I didn’t understand why God was so good to me. He became a husband to me as well as a father. I knew no real loneliness, yet previously other family deaths had left me devastated. I recognized God’s perfect timing in my husband’s death. It was at that time that I picked up a copy of Union Life and read an article by Walter Lanyon about identifying with the Lord. It struck a chord, for then I realized who I was in Christ.
I sent for Lanyon’s books, hungry for more, but I still don’t understand how the divine abandon takes place. I have the peace, but unlimited faith escapes me. Yet, I don’t want to see manifestations. First, I want to get rid of the limitation I’ve put upon His ability or desire to release me completely from human concepts. I want nothing more than to glorify Him and decrease my own importance.
I’m not clear concerning some of your teachings, and need Bible verses to back them up before I accept them as Truth. But the belief that we are in Him and that there is one Power is real to me.
A. I am very glad of the account you are able to give of what the Holy Spirit confirmed to you after your husband’s death—that He is your sufficiency, as husband, as well as Father.
I am not sure that the Spirit has yet revealed to you by the word and by Himself that Christ is permanently the Real Self in you. You must be confirmed by the Scriptures that this is so, before you can settle into Him by faith. That is why we publish Union Life magazine—to give readers plenty of evidence from the Scriptures, and from personal experiences, that He is the Real You in you.
The truth is so simple when you see it from the Scriptures and then personally believe, accept and confess it for yourself. As humans, we are always lived in and operated by one of two “spirits” in us—either of error, or of truth. Satan was that “spirit of error” in us from the Fall. Jesus by His death as us, “died to sin—that spirit of error—in us; and by His resurrection “the Spirit of truth” replaced that lying spirit in His body, and thus in ours by faith. Just as once we were really walking Satans, now we are walking Christs.
As free and real persons, we have our own authority to accept or reject the revealed truth. It seems to me that you wholly desire to accept it, but haven’t yet grasped that faith means putting yourself into something and then it takes you over, just as you take food and then food takes you. You make that act of faith, which means by the Word and by your own inner heart choice you affirm that he is in you as the Deity Person replacing that false deity, and that therefore He is now expressing Himself by you, just as Satan once did (John 8;44). The law of faith is, “What you take takes you.”
So when you take and affirm that Galatians 2:20 is true in you, and you confess it, then the Spirit bears His witness in you that this is fact (1 John 5:10). It comes down to your having enough Scriptural evidence that this is the Truth, and then acting on it. It is evident that the spirit is now leading you into the full inner settlement of what you so hunger for, so that now Matthew 5:6 will be fulfilled in you.