By Norman Grubb
Q. Why should a Christian read the Bible?
Scott B., Florida
A. If it is only a case of “should,” not “can’t help reading,” better drop it until the Spirit makes me so hungry for it, I can’t refrain from reading!
I should include one caveat in that, by saying that, while we are only miserable, limping, “duty” Christians (“you ought”-under law), maybe duty reading is better than none, till it dries up on you! And maybe for young beginners it is good even on that level.
But answering you as supposedly Christians who understand that Christ is in you and you are in Him, according to Galatians 2:20, then the Scriptures are the gracious means by which the Spirit interprets the living Christ to us, and all the ways of God in Him. And we are deeply thankful, for by what other means can we tread the fully safe road in this deceiving world?
There is a precious way, isn’t there, that Isaiah gives us in 35:8 where the wayfaring man, though a fool, won’t err. This, of course, is the way of the Spirit. But He has given us all through the centuries our guidelines in the written Scriptures as to how the Spirit operates in us. If Jesus used “It is written” (Lk. 4:4, etc.), and if the mighty Paul says “whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we might through patience and comfort of the Scriptures have hope,” I find this to be both the all-sufficient and only totally safe guide (Rom. 15:4). We do not live the Christian life by trying to perform the Scriptures; but they are certainly our plumb line for the life that the Spirit within us generates.
Q. When God shows us something in our life that has to go, habit, methods, etc., I find I can’t always accomplish it even though I want to obey. Is there anything you can tell me that will help to carry out His directions or does it just take some time to accomplish?
Mary G, Florida
A. No, you can’t get rid of that a thing that holds you, though you want to and God has told you it is to go.
That is how you learn that you are no longer Mary trying to obey God. You are the living Christ in you, Christ in your Mary form
How do you know that? Because of the one simple fact that you have believed God. And what does that believing consist of? The fact that in your need as a lost sinner, you accepted as true what you read in the Scriptures of Christ dying in your place and rising, and now giving you eternal life. You inwardly accepted that fact in your heart and you made some kind of open confession (Rom. 10:9), and it resulted in the Spirit of God in you confirming to you that Jesus is now your Saviour and God your Father, and you accordingly rejoice and live in that inner reality. Is not that so? I take it to be so.
And so now you walk on by no other means than “by faith.” You began by believing, and you go on the same way. “As you have received the Lord Jesus, so walk in Him” (Col. 2:6). Therefore your only obedience is not of struggling and trying, but the “obedience of faith” (Rom. 16:26).
And what does that mean in your present “problem”? (Which is only a problem because you believe falsely in the power of the thing over you instead of believing in HIM who is the only power “the power of God” as He is called in I Corinthians 1:24.) It means that you say plainly to God that you cannot get rid of the thing He tells you to get rid of, and you won’t try!
He, in infinite grace and love, has taken you over and is living His life in you. (I hope Galatians 2:20 is where you are living!) So you say to Him, “You only, Lord, deliver me from this thing I can’t give up, and I will go on doing it till you do. But I declare now in definite faith, and speak that word of faith, that you have delivered me from this thing and I shall experience that deliverance.” You say what Paul said in 11 Corinthians 1:9-10.
So you have it clear. You do not deliver yourself, or try to, because you cannot and that is just why God has put you in this helpless position. He wants you to know that you can do nothing apart from Him. But you are delivered by faith-that true obedience, not of works, or many prayers, or what not; but obeying by believing what He has said in the Scriptures and now inwardly confirms to you by the living Word within, and saying that word of faith to yourself or to others; and keep saying it while He in His own way and time gives the deliverance.
Q. I am honestly confused about this whole idea of an “effortless” Christian life. Paul talks so much about working out your own salvation and provoking one another unto love and good works. Christ tells us to “seek,” “to be on your guard,” to “deny yourself and take up your cross.” Paul also says to “stop grumbling and complaining,” to “forgive,” so that this whole passive life-letting Christ live through me-sounds great, but is confusing me.
Bill G., Greenville, SC
A. THIS IS NOT a passive life, but a life of far more vibrant activity than the former one of self-effort. Galatians 2:20 gives us our key. We start by moving by faith into the marvel of the “replaced life,” where the “I”, who was formerly expressing the Spirit of error, is crucified with Christ, the expressor of the Spirit of truth. “Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” But then we move on by the Spirit into the restored, liberated “I”-which is really, of course, He in me as me-as Paul says, “the life I now live in the flesh 1 live by the faith of the son of God.” Here we are back again in full self-acting self, yet inwardly fixed and knowing it is not really we, but He! The eternal paradox! Or put it, if you like, by combining Paul’s word in Philippians 2:13 with his previous statement of 2:12!
In this new inner union relationship, all those “commands” and “exhortations” are spontaneously fulfilled by us, for it is the Spirit who “causes” us to walk in His ways. (Ezek. 36:27). Just as once you went through the chore of learning to drive you now spontaneously keep all the laws of the road!
Q.Your magazine has been my only source of joy and comfort and I eagerly look forward to each issue. But tell me, what does one do when one is old, alone and one’s children despitefully use them?
Georgie M. Springfield, MO
A. THE UNION LIFE editors sent me your letter, maybe because I am humanly as old as you, 85. (Of course in actual fact, where I live, I am eternal and young in God’s eternal being!)
Brother, I am glad God speaks to you by the magazine as He does to many. But He hasn’t yet revealed to you the reality of union by which, according to Galatians 2:20, you are no longer just Georgie, but Christ in His Georgie form!
For when you see this you will know that all that happens to you is actually happening to Him as you! So even if your children despitefully use you, praise God, for He is meaning to live the love-life by you towards them and all, as He did on earth and now does by us His body members.
Don’t “see” opposing children, but “see” children each as precious to Him as you are to Him. He is their life as He is yours, though it is likely they don’t know that yet, but only know their blinded selves. If your attitude to them is the same as theirs to you, they will only see flesh — flesh seeing flesh. But if you simply love them as Christ’s, though they may not yet know it, and show them only love and acceptance in whatever way God leads you to do so, then they will see the Christ of love in the one they “despitefully use.” God is giving you maybe one final glorious chance of being Christ in the flesh towards what the world might call “enemies.”
Q. “As in Adam all died even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Cor. 15:22). This Scripture puzzles me. We did not choose to die in Adam – so why do we have to choose to be made alive in Christ? It seems to me that the sinless Son of God should have more power than the created Adam.
Ruth H., Victorville, CA
A. LIFE IS ALWAYS a choice between alternatives. The Scripture says that God Himself “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2), meaning that God Himself has eternally chosen not to be a lying — self-loving — person. So being made in His image, we must be choosers. Jesus had to confirm His humanity (deity in the flesh) by forty days of fierce confrontation between choices in the mount of Temptation.
So with the first Adam in the Garden choosing between the two trees. Yes, we were caught up in Adam’s choice because we could only be conscious beings by having become involved in a choice. And Paul plainly states that we went along with that choice – “for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12).
But yes, yes, yes, our last Adam totally conquered and replaced our heritage from the first Adam just as the Scripture describes the great Adamic replacement in glowing word in Romans .5. Therefore the way of changing our choice is totally available within us, and only we are the determined refusers if we don’t (see Jesus’ word in John 3:19-21)!
We only become mature sons of God because we have first tasted the horrible negative in our first Adam and through God’s mercy respond to the voice of His Spirit pressing us into our faith choices. But because He must have responsible sons to whom He can entrust the inheritance of managing His universe, He will only manifest His total victorious power in those who choose to respond. It is His pressure on us and revelation to us of His love in Christ which “causes” us to make that choice, so it can barely be called a choice! But all fits perfectly into the total harmony of truth as in the verse you quote.
Q. I have always tended to be overweight. It is not a gland or health problem; I know it is accentuated by frustration and times of pressure in my life. If self-effort and personal discipline is not the answer, what is? If you want to change a bad habit, whether it is over-eating, or laziness, or smoking, or nail-biting, what should a person do?
A. HOW DOES ONE change a bad habit? Don’t try. But much more radical than that, change your whole negative outlook on yourself. Instead of seeing yourself as a poor, weak human with some distressing habits (over-eating, smoking, or what not), see and delight in yourself as God sees and delights in you as His precious possession, as His dwelling place, as His holy temple.
You should admit to yourself and to Him that there are certain things you like and to which you are partial. Admit that you are tempted to feel guilty about doing those things, and that it might be better if you were rid of them. But also honestly admit that a main reason for wanting to be rid of them is because they hurt your own self-esteem or reputation in the eyes of others.
Then tell the Lord that since you like them, you will go on with them; it’s no good trying to stop doing them, and you are not going to bother about it. But being His, if He wants you to stop them, then you take the position of faith that He will do it in His own way and in His own time. Meanwhile you are free, refusing the guilt or condemnation of others. You continue to “love God and do as you please! ” And God does have His ways of doing things!
Q. I have been questioning what it means to have been “crucified with Christ” and to have “Christ in me.” I have been taught that Romans 7:14-25 is an accurate description of the normal Christian life; that we have within us two contrary principles, one inclined to sin, the other to obey; and that, so long as we reside in our mortal bodies, a never-ending and often-times discouraging struggle between flesh and spirit will be a natural part of our day-to-day lives. I find it hard to believe, however, that what I now experience is all there is to Christian sanctification. What does “walk by the Spirit” and “Christ in me” mean? It seems to me there is a power and liberty available to us that I have not yet tapped into. I am not looking for an easy, carefree life. I am merely looking for a consistent, true-to-the Bible walk of holiness before God, appropriating the power He Himself has promised me.
Tom M., Lemon Grove, CA
A. IN MY SMALL BOOK Who Am I? I have sought to explain the fallacy of the dreadful teaching (that many of us have been soaked in) that humans have two fiercely fighting natures in them. Paul himself totally wipes out the dog-eat-dog of Romans 7, in his Romans 8:1-2! I am so glad you have enough inner honesty to perceive that such a foot-dragging life of struggles in Romans 7 would be a pretty insufficient experience for the kind of victory in Christ Paul so glories in!
The truth is that we humans are never created with a “nature” of our own. We are “vessels,” “branches,” “temples,” “slaves,” “body members,” for Him who eternally manifests Himself in His nature by and as us.
But because persons are only persons by consciousness of opposites – light/dark, soft/hard, etc. – we had to go through the experience of the two trees in the Garden and thus started off occupied by the spirit of the false deity, Satan, the god of self-centeredness, instead of by the God of self-giving love.
Therefore, the Last Adam had to come to replace the first Adam, and He did it by going through an intercessory death on the Cross in which we participated (II Cor. 5:14). Out from the dead body went that sin spirit — the false deity who was expressing his nature by us (see John 8:44) and into the holy body, representing ours, came the true Deity with His nature (see II Pet. 1:4). Thus He arose, and we also, partakers of His divine nature.
Once we dare to recognize this reality and get out of the confusion of Romans 7, boldly making our faith confession that we are sons of God with one nature only, the Spirit will then confirm to us our word of faith. Then our reckoning of ourselves dead to sin (Rom. 6:11) becomes our realizing of Romans 8:2. Now we begin this liberated walk, for “the spirit of life in Christ Jesus set me free from the law of sin and death.” We learn to utilize our temptations as assets in giving us many chances of experiencing swallowing-up grace!
Q. I find it somewhat puzzling, that if your message is as simple as some of your articles make it, why it needs to be repeated so often, or to be the special emphasis of an independent movement?But my reason for writing is to pose a different kind of question: namely, something that is not quite clear in the magazine, although I have long been looking for texts on the subject. The confession that Christ is living in me could mean one of two opposite things, with regard to moral choices. It might mean that, because the Christ who lives in me is identical with Jesus of Nazareth (who left some very specific. counter-cultural teachings and gave a very specific example), I would need properly to take substantial guidance from His words and His example, and therefore from the Scriptures which mediate those words and example to me, because the world around me has not been set up so as to train me in the meaning of discipleship.It could, however, also have a very different or even opposed meaning. I could claim that the presence of Christ in me is an independent source of revelation, needing no connection to moral education or Bible study, not even needing any special safeguards to keep me from being led astray by the world, the flesh or the devil, by self-deception or faddism. Then I would just do what I pleased and claim in faith that that was automatically the work of Christ in me. This position has been held by serious, spiritual people. It has variously beenlabeled by its critics as intuitionism, antinomianism, inspirationism and enthusiasm. Often in the past it has been connected more with the Holy Spirit than with Christ, but that distinction is not what matters for the present question.
The striking thing about reading your magazine, with this question in mind for several years, is that your writers seem to ignore the existence of that question, even though it has been a major burden of pastoral care and Christian learning for centuries. I cannot tell whether this is what some people call blissful ignorance or whether it is a sophisticated avoidance of the question for reasons which could be explained with some intellectual refinement, or whether one or the other of the above answers has really been given but was given so quietly and taken-for-grantedly that I did not catch it.A way to make my question more concrete is to point up the obvious reference to current discussions about the pastoral care of homosexually inclined people. Here the two answers given above are both represented with great conviction by pastors and preachers and counselors, talking past each other very aggressively.The one line would say that even though a person experiences himself to be involuntarily homosexually inclined, in terms of dreams and temptations and fantasies, he should affirm in faith that in Christ he stands before God as a wholesome heterosexual. With time and faith and loving pastoral care he will discover that it is possible to live up to that faith commitment and perhaps even find his involuntary inclinations changing.Another set of advisors, however, use the same language in quite the other direction. They say that to affirm Christ in them means that what they feel like doing is what Christ feels like doing. Then to accept God’s love for them as creatures, and to live out that love in trust in the presence of Christ, means to practice what they are inclined to practice and be confident that it is that which Christ is doing in them.I find it hard to believe that you would leave the choice between these two interpretations up to the individual; and yet neither do I find in your articles any indication as to which of these logical ways of deciding, reasoning, and counseling you would intend the homosexually inclined Christian to want to follow.I only chose this illustration because it is a current one in my own community experience, and because its logical impact is self-evident. Similar questions would arise anywhere around issues where there is difference among Christians about what is proper behavior, and especially where the elements of social pressure or custom, and of psychological inclinations and drives are powerful.
My purpose in asking this question is not to seek an argument but just to know what you believe. I shall be grateful for whatever degree of fullness you might provide in your answer.
A Professor of Theology at a Mid-western Seminary
A. First of all, I appreciate the spirit in which you write — not of controversy, but of seeking clarity.
You raise the question of why the constant repetition of such a simple message. I know you know the answer to that — it is only simple enough to the saints to who the message has become a revelation by the Spirit. You also know how much the gospel has to be preached to some to be received.
As for Union Life being an independent movement, we don’t intend that, and thus have no membership, subscriptions, groups, churches, etc., and we have no intention of having such. We belong to only one movement-the whole redeemed body of Christ. But I do have a calling to stop at nothing in sharing and declaring this, to me, total truth of Christ in us, as us, to the church worldwide, and thank God for any others who bring the same truth under whatever title.
As to the questions you raise truth is paradoxical, and what to human reason may seem questionable is to those who have become knowers in the Spirit forever contradictory, yet forever livable, delightful and workable. We are squarely faced with the paradox in Galatians 2:20″I live, yet not 1, but Christ lives in me: and the life I now live in the flesh I live . . . .” Who lives it, Christ or I? Both!
This is why I am so thrilled with modern physics, and its insoluble paradox between the atom as particle-corpuscle-as mathematically proved by Max Planck’s quantum theory, and Einstein’s wave theory both a totally ridiculous contrast, yet both a fact and workable and Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg bringing them together under the term complementarily. Isn’t that God’s eternal truth tucked away in material physics-to the confusion but forcible acceptance by the physicists? And isn’t Galatians 2:20 complementarily?
So on that basis I do not intend when I bring the Union Life message to raise doubts or attempt to determine the proper balance between
Scripture and Spirit. To my mind Jesus Himself closed our mouths when He had made the startling statement that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood for Him to dwell in us (John 6). Because of this statement, many left Him. He then quietly added to the few who, with difficulty, stuck to Him, “The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life.” Which words, then?
Written words or spoken words, or words dissolved into the inner consciousness of Spirit and life?
I deliberately avoid raising such questions, but rather try showing by my speaking and writing and, I hope, by my living, that I live by both Spirit and words-complementarily! Of course, the Spirit is an interpreter of the word; how else should we know of the Spirit? The word must be inwardly dissolved for it to become Spirit. How else can I live spontaneously, except by being inwardly “caused to walk in His ways”? (Ezek. 36:27.) That is why I stress the infancy in the three stages of I John 2:12-14. The Word of God-Christ-has come in outer form to the lost that they may be saved. Then, in young manhood, the word of God” abides in you.
That is why spontaneity is often a paradox and questionable to those not yet enlightened. I see it as a totally workable paradox. Unconverted humans are operated by the deity spirit in them through the Fall, the spirit of error. As Jesus put it, “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do.” So who does them? Is it the inner lusting spirit who causes us to lust, or we doing it? Both. When we are redeemed, the Spirit of truth replaces the spirit of error through the body death-not blood-of our Last Adam as in 11 Corinthians 5:14, and 21, and Romans 6:6-11. Now, is it “God that works in us,” or we who work it out? Which? He or we? Both. Another paradox.
Isn’t this evidenced in day to day living? We acquire a know-how. We study a profession till it inwardly gets us. Then we practice it. Which is the doer? The inner know-how or we practicing it? I had to learn an unknown, unwritten Congolese language, Bangala (now the official language of Zaire). I thought I should never get it. Yet one day it had gotten me! I can still speak it after all these years. Which is it? I the speaker or the inner language know-how? “The voice of one crying”-which? The voice of John the Baptist, or the inner crier, the Spirit? “You are the pen of a ready writer.” Which is it? The scribe with his pen or the inner writer? And so it goes all through life. Spontaneity is delightful to those who have had the inner revelation-but for others it just doesn’t work. It means risks of blasphemy, excess or restraint. We say freedom as in Galatians 5:1; freedom in the former life to function spontaneously in Satan (Rom. 6:20), and now freedom in Christ (Rom. 6:17, 22).
You mention homosexuality. That is an obvious instance in which the inner Spirit abides by the plain statements of the word. If a homosexual is truly seeking deliverance, then, of course, we stand by him; if otherwise, and he is justifying it, we can have nothing to do with him or those who sponsor him. There was a sad case of adultery, a brother taking another man’s wife, and we had to cut him off from any further operations with us.
But still, I clearly prefer, as a union life witness, to walk by the balance of the paradox rather than seek to nail things down one way or the other, except in some obvious patently declared sin or basic fundamental error.
Q. Dear Norman,
For me to write you means I’ve come to the bottom line. I’m all out of hiding places and I must be honest with you about what our Lord has laid on my heart. I still remember the first time I met you. A bunch of us came to visit you in Pennsylvania. I was only 18 or 19 then and not much older now, only 23. I know you are a “see througher” and I’m presently having trouble seeing through. That is why I am writing.
The desire to trust, rely on and rest in our Lord is there, even though everything else says otherwise. My feelings, sight, and the little intellectual ability the Lord has given me are all saying my experience with Jesus Christ is not real-that it is all theological garbage and a hoax. Norman, is it all a hoax? Am I indeed loved and cared for by a real and caring Person, Jesus Christ? Not that there is anything in my flesh worthy of being loved. But am I loved anyway?
I’m a young man, and more than anything in this world I desire to be married. Sometimes I feel the desire is “wrong” because it is so strong. I have a particular woman in mind, and have “chased” after her for five years now. I know I love her and desire more than anything, even above marrying her, that she knows our Lord in a real way. I’ve written her probably 200 letters from every angle I know telling her the importance of knowing Him. But I get no answer other than “I’m a religious nut” and “our personalities conflict.”
I know what she is seeking in life as far as her flesh is concerned. Wealth, a good looking man, and security. I’d love to be that good looking man and give her wealth, and see her happy, however I know without Christ it’s all worthless. Besides, I don’t have a college degree (she has one year to go before getting a four year degree), and I’m always so nervous and have such a feeling of inadequacy around her that I can’t even talk.
I’ve asked the Lord to change my desire towards her since the door seems to be forever closed, and have even had a girlfriend or two since then. However my desire is still towards her and even though the feeling of “being in love” isn’t there I find no other woman attracts or interests me like she does.
I know I’ve looked like a total fool to her, her friends, her parents, my friends, and even myself. But I know that a God that made everything can have planned for her to be a born-again believer and my wife ever since time began. It seems like such a small task for such a big God. I trust He puts the desires of my heart there to be fulfilled. And this one 1 know to be real and lasting above all others.
However, my sight sees no way possible for it to come to pass. Like I said, I see so many things in my flesh that say I wouldn’t make a “good husband” for her. It leaves me feeling inadequate, and I feel so “unspiritual” and immature for desiring something with such fervor. So, Norman, I feel tired-tired of waiting. I have desired a wife who finds me attractive and whom I find attractive for so long, and no doors are opening. I’m beginning to wonder if the Lord even cares.
Sexual desire is driving me up a tree! Not that I’m so shallow to desire a woman just to meet sexual desires. However I do desire that woman God has for me (and me for her) to help put an ease to this burning desire. I know the desire in itself is not wrong, but I find my imagination taking me away into places where I know I have no business being.
Norman, I don’t desire peace about this woman I’ve written you about. I desire her, and a real sharing of the Lord with her. Is that possible? All I get is rejection from her and there is nothing I can do to change it. Please write soon.
A. Dear George,
I am glad you have written and opened your whole heart, and I’m interested to know you are the young fellow who visited me and that you have now got in contact again after four years!
Of course that is a main evidence to me that your real heart and desire is God, or you would not now be sharing your “wrestlings” with me. So that is why I also know that all you’re going through which so centers on your desire for marriage and this woman is really only secondary, however much it seems to possess you, and is God’s good and only way to fix you in Himself. The very fact that you constantly repeat that your main desire for the woman is not that she should be your wife, but that she should know Christ, shows again that God Himself is really the one and only pursuit of your heart.
And you see, George, God has to take each of us through experiences where we seem caught up in and swallowed up by our natural self-desires, to open our eyes wide once and for all to the false slavery to Satan, the god of self-desire, which has bound us through the Fall, and which seems to bind you, even though you are Christ’s, while you don’t yet know the full deliverance which is already yours in Christ. So all your agonies and tussles of these years are His way of preparing you to enter consciously into your secret of deliverance. So we praise Him for them, even as James says: “Count [not feel) it all joy when you fall into divers temptations”!
You see, you haven’t yet seen through the Scriptures and by faith that you died with Christ on His cross, as well as He dying for you. By dying for us, He took away the consequences of our sins-death, judgment, hell, etc. I know you know that. But your body and mind as a result of the Fall contained this false god, the spirit of self-loving self wanting its own self-desires, and he made you his captive. Now when Jesus’ body died on the cross, He represented all our bodies. So Paul said in II Corinthians 5:14 that “if one died for all, then were all dead.” And when His body died, it says “God made Him to be sin for us” (verse 21). This is not now speaking of the sins from whose curse and damnation He delivered us through His shed blood, but “sin,” which is Mr. Sin as it were-Satan, dwelling in our bodies through the Fall.
So when the body of Jesus died, which as representing us contained this spirit of sin (He was “made sin”), out went that spirit of self-desire that controlled you and me. And in His body resurrection, in came His own Spirit of self-giving (not self-getting) love, and thus the Spirit took hold of you when you received Christ; and that is why you really at heart want Him, and for the girl desire that she should know Him, because His Spirit of love for Him and love for others now really controls you.
But you see, Satan is tricking you and deceiving you, as if he still had hold of you with your passionate desires, etc., because you haven’t perhaps known by the Scriptures, such as Romans 6, Galatians 2:20 and so on, that you really did die with Christ; or even if you do know, you haven’t boldly and finally taken your position by faith that you have been crucified with Christ, dead and buried, and therefore that old sin-spirit of self-loving self is out, and Christ’s Spirit is in!
Faith, George, means that when you see a thing to be so-that’s the value of the Scriptures telling us these truths in print — then you can and do from your heart, which means by your inner choice against all outer feelings, say to God and to yourself that you have died in Christ to the control of that old flesh spirit. (Your flesh is o.k., but it is used by this lying spirit to make you believe that he owns and operates by your fleshly desires.)
Now that is faith, George. 1 had to do that years ago one night in a village in Africa by myself, and it took me five hours finally to say to myself, and to God and to my wife, that I, Norman Grubb, have been crucified with Christ forever, and now Christ lives in me. But I did say it and drew a tombstone on a card to bear witness to it. I confessed with my mouth what God says is true, against feelings.
And there is no other way for you, George. You can do that against all your strong feelings and desires for this woman and marriage. You have a free will, and I know your heart for God, so your will can operate by your heart choice.
So you must do it, and battle it through if necessary until it is settled, not to be repeated. And write and tell me you have done it.
You may still be “attacked” with the apparently strong desires for the woman, for marriage and for your natural and right desires of the flesh. When you are so attacked, you now inwardly accept that you are so attacked and have those desires; you don’t fight them or be condemned that you have them. But, you do then inwardly repeat to yourself who you now are-crucified with Christ and “dead” to any control by Satan and flesh desires (though they may still attack you by way of temptation). And you keep repeating that fact, and that therefore you are now under the control of Christ in you. This is your stand of faith.
You will find release as you keep doing this whenever it is necessary (once you have once for all taken your stand of faith on the truth of Galatians 2:20). But much more than that, the Spirit of God will bring into your inner self a certainty and knowing that He is now the One living your life. You will have that inner witness of the Spirit which John speaks of in I John 5:10. And as that settles into you as it did in me, you will walk free and begin the true life, which is when you are able to lead others into that same freedom.
So there it is, George. I have taken you no easy way, but it is the only way. You will never get through by fighting and struggling against your natural passions. The more you struggle, the more they hold you tight, because it means you are believing in the power of these things (and Satan behind them). But you have now turned your faith from believing in Satan’s lying claim on you to believing and accepting and confessing that Christ only now lives in and controls you. So you are exchanging the false believing, in the apparent power of flesh desires and Satan over you, for your now true believing in who you really are — Christ in His George form.
So go to it, brother. The deliverance is already yours in Christ. Possess your possessions!
With my love and be sure to write me. I shall await your letter.
Lovingly in Christ,