BY: FRED PRUITT
MARCH 26, 2004
A lady wrote me the below responding to something on the website, and a reply is below:
I’m taking Ken Walker’s FOLIC course and in the midst of studying/ruminating on the chapter on ‘Entering God’s Rest’ from Dan Stone’s Book.
I read your article ‘Some More “Rest” stuff with interest and have a few thoughts.
You talked about how God rested after doing all His work and later speak about how Paul ‘dies daily’ meaning how God’s kingdom is brought forth through God alone.
One Scripture which really highlights the end of any of Christian self-effort to me, and to be able to ‘enter God’s rest’, which is a barrier to experiencing the reality of “Christ in you” is Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”. (NIV). When I read this, I realized that I don’t have to ‘do’ (i.e., my own self-effort) a thing, but follow the Spirit’s lead through obedience and love to be available to already ‘do’ the work that God has already done. All of God’s work has already been accomplished throughout all eternity (past, present, future).
It’s His work, I’m just the vessel for Christ’s love that happens to be around when people are put in front of me with some need, or who need a word or whatever. It’s a very spontaneous thing. And it should be. Usually, this is no effort on our part, if God has already ‘done the work’. And He also prepares us to do His work (as we are His workmanship).
When I was learning about God’s rest (Hebrews), I was given the picture of going through the cross of Christ to the other side, where there was pasture (i.e., rest). If I only stay on the blood side of the cross (forgiveness of sins), I will never experience Christ in you, because you have to go through the Cross (Gal. 2:20) to the other side to have Him Live in you, the body (i.e. rest).
Another quotation that gets me thinking along the lines of your article is from Teresa of Avila who said “Love turns work into rest”.
God did all His work in love. If God is love, so must His work be love. As we obey His word to us to ‘do’ His work, which has already been accomplished, we do it through Christ’s outpouring love to the recipients of God’s work, for the Lord of Love lives in us.
Just a few thoughts. Not as eloquent as your article, but anyway… I gave it a try.
I’m very new to ‘Christ in you’. But have been blessed and very grateful to the Lord for opening my eyes to ‘see’ the Truth. I’m also a fairly new Christian (since November 2000).
Anyway, thanks for reading this. I hope you don’t mind me writing.
Not at all, I’m honored that you write.
You are really getting a full dose, aren’t you, taking Ken’s course, reading Dan’s book, and if you’ve stumbled across me then you must’ve stumbled across the whole lot of us, and now you’re in a mess, I’m afraid, for we’re a naughty bunch and we’re all a bit strange.
But I certainly see as you said, and it ties in with what I wrote actually (though I didn’t think of it, you did) that in Christ’s “body” we find our rest, for we find Him living as ourselves.
And the key of course is not just to embrace “this” as a new teaching, but as our Living Reality. Not just as “teaching,” but as Christ Himself the Living Water in us. The Invisible which upholds the visible, though the Invisible perpetually remains what it is – Invisible.
So we find we stand on “nothing” (that we can perceive with our senses or witness to with our eyes or touch with our hands) and trust beyond seeing, thinking and feeling, what God has made known to us as real, which is, “I live yet not I but Christ liveth in me.”
This is a literally true reality, that CHRIST LIVES OUR LIVES FOR US AS US, and there is no requirement on our part whatsoever to attain it or to keep it going or to make it grow. It is a gift freely given of God, and is true of us as we are chosen in Him, as you said in the Ephesians verse – “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – and the only thing we say about it is that we simply acknowledge with a word in agreement and walk as Jesus walked, Who simply said, “The Father doeth the works.” We are not of those who “draw back unto perdition, but believe unto the saving of the soul.” (Heb 10:39 – I’m a KJV man, sorry.)
I am certain you are right, that the “work” is not from strain but of course there may be a lot of “strain” from time to time getting to the place of “no strain,” because after all, that is the nature of temptation, which is an enticement to “worship other gods,” which simply means some form of self-aggrandizement. But when we simply see God Himself as our Complete Totality and Living Water, Christ rises as the strength in us for us to be unreservedly given (in Christ’s wisdom) in strength or weakness (as He pleases) for others, and that is always the strain (of believing He is our lives in our weakness especially) and always the “victory” as Christ always rises in us to be Himself in us, and we trust Him to be just that in this present moment, right NOW, since Hebrews is very bold and repeats Psalms which says, “TODAY is the day” and “THIS DAY have I begotten thee.” Which means to me that right now, this moment, out of eternity God is eternally begetting Christ in us, each moment is new, each moment is God’s Reality, and there is no HOPE of attaining to it or even seeing it except that we find our complete own nothingness (“I find that in me dwells no good thing” – Rom 7) and find the complete ALL in all–ness of God in ourselves.
It’s absolutely the most humbling thing in the universe, because only those who lose their lives find it. And those who lose their lives realize that they did nothing and all they did was receive a gift that is beyond comprehension.
And those who do wake up to a great boldness, as Another sets them on their feet and fills their mouth with fire and life and love and sets their faces like flint to do His will, beyond their own human capacity – and yet in the midst of it.
So, yes, I think you’re hitting the mark going down this road, and thank you so much for writing and commenting. Hopefully we’ll hear from you again.
All my love,
PS. Annually, for the past 27 years, we’ve held a conference at the Bunting’s home in Louisville in September. Not a large group, these past years a hundred or so attend. Please think about it and contact Linda Bunting (on the Christ as Us website) if you have an interest. Dan is usually there, and a whole host of other crackpots and misfits, as well as me, though I don’t know what category I fit in, but I know I can’t run for President.
GOD’S REST [Fred Pruitt] 3-26-04 1