MY BILLS ARE ALL DUE,
MY BABY NEEDS SHOES AND I’M BUSTED
BY: FRED PRUITT
APRIL 14, 2005
I got this from you a few days ago and I think I have in some sense experienced everything on your list in these few days in which I’ve thought about what you wrote. Everything you mention — being personally “offended,” feeling “unwell,” financial strain, uncertainty with our own actions or decisions — is as you say common to us all. That’s the privilege of being an “earthen vessel” which operates in weakness while displaying in that weakness the power of God.
I think there is a misconception that is also common to us all until God shows us something different, that to live Christ-like is to live without being affected by and/or reacting to the daily stresses and strains of human living. That we would somehow become “spiritual” persons who feel no negative emotions, no thoughts of any kind except holy thoughts, never a twinge or ache or pain in the body, money out of a fish’s mouth anytime we want it, and total self-confidence that all we do is right and good.
Few would admit to it, but I’m pretty sure that’s what we all think. It’s certainly nobody’s official theology, but it’s pretty much everybody’s defacto living mindset in starting out this life. It’s everybody’s REAL theology. That is, that to live a holy life and pleasing to God, to be Christ living, would mean an elimination out of our lives the problems you mentioned above, and conversely that if we are experiencing those things, then they are indicative that we are somehow out of sync with God, and really couldn’t be Christ living.
I saw a lady on TV the other day, who undoubtedly was talking to multiple thousands of people at that moment, maybe many more, and she was telling them that they couldn’t be in God’s will if they were sick. If they were in God’s will, then they would have no body ailments.
I almost wept on the spot for the thousands who heard that, many of whom were probably tuning in because they were hoping for a healing, and most of them not getting a healing, and then to be told they cannot be living in God’s will if their bodies are sick.
Each of the things you mentioned above are places of faith, as I’m sure you know. To live Christ is to swallow up personal offense in Him, and to realize that nothing comes to us that first of all doesn’t come FROM Him, no matter by who or in what form, and then even more mysteriously it is received in us IN HIM BY HIM, so that whatever offense or evil might have been intended, He swallows it up in us by His life and turns it around in some way into His glory and manifestation.
Regarding our bodies, I only know one scriptural body guarantee — our new body in the resurrection — and until then this one is mortal and “perishes day by day.” It can be “quickened” (given new life) by the Lord in sickness or health, and in either condition manifest the life of Jesus. Because it is an immortal life we exhibit, not of the physical body, but the Spirit in and through our flesh as long as God gives us to live in the flesh — and in whatever physical state we are given. Certainly we can pray for and expect healing as we are led of the Lord, but in all things we trust the Lord and Him only.
Shortfall in our finances? If I knew a surefire in the flesh cure-all for that I would fill stadiums and I’d be the richest man in the world. Job lost everything and praised the Lord. He got everything back double or more and used it to bless the world. Paul said he had learned to be content in all things, to be “abased or to abound.” To be full or to be hungry. He was the same in all things. The same Christ living, whether by strength or weakness, in abundance or poverty. “Whatsoever you do to the least of these my brethren, you do unto me.” He was talking about the poor, those in prison, those who were sick, etc., being Him. I don’t think he was being figurative, but absolutely literal.
Uncertainty about our choices? I’d worry about you, brother, if you didn’t have a little uncertainty. I think only the devil has moral certitude. And he often uses that moral certitude to eradicate evil. The devil has no self-doubts. I think he sleeps fine at night.
But our human doubt is the springboard into faith and the sign of a vital life in God. It’s the privilege of sonship, to doubt. To become aware, “by the exercise of our senses to discern good and evil,” as Hebrews says, which is our growing up into Him who is the Head. Doubt precedes a big influx of darkness and stress into our lives. We are unsure, we don’t feel right, things aren’t going as we wish in some way, we are uncertain. Just like Paul said, “For when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.”
Now this is exactly what God has intended for us, in each situation, as you come to know that this life is not we trying to live it and to figure out God’s will and to apply principles and such like, to improve ourselves into becoming “like Christ,” but rather it is God filling us with the Spirit of His Son, whereby we cry, “Abba Father,” and therefore since it is God’s life in us, it originates in Him and not in ourselves, and instead of us then trying to always catch on and catch up because we can never measure up nor figure it out, we find we are instead at the forefront of the revelation of Christ in our world, since it is He as us. “We are His people and the sheep of His pasture: it is He who hath made us, and not we ourselves.”
And faith is really what this is all about. From day one through all the eternals faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith itself is the substance and the evidence.
And that finally is where we live. In our faith. And not faith “in” our faith, but faith received as a gift from God which testifies that God is in this place right now. That the invisible (God) is true and HERE. (Gen 28:16)
Then you ask how does one “consciously” live in this reality?
Well, you already are.
God has revealed to you the truth that you are in union with Him. That knowing that you have “experienced” — where does it come from, where does it reside? It resides in your “inner man,” or your spirit, the inner sanctuary of our self, where God dwells. Paul says we know the deep things of God by the spirit within us, but our “outer man,” i.e. outer mind, doesn’t necessarily catch on to what is inner truth in us. That doesn’t mean that the “outer man” is somehow some separate part of us that is wayward, sort of like a lower nature or something, but rather the way I see it is that our “outer man” has become, just as our inner man has, the dwelling place and manifestation of the Lord Jesus. When we walk in the Spirit, i.e. as Christ living in us, the outer man is “the life of Jesus manifest in our mortal flesh.”
But we may still be, as Paul said, even while “manifesting the life of Jesus in our mortal flesh,” filled with fears within and fightings without. We live by an inner consciousness of Christ living in us, and that is not something we necessarily “think about” during the day. We just are “it.” You don’t think about being yourself — you just are yourself. No effort. Same thing with Christ living in us, as us. It’s just being ourselves — no effort.
Sometimes being ourselves finds us smack dab in some circumstances we’d rather not be in, maybe with some people we’d rather not be with, feeling like we wish we didn’t feel, wondering if we’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, and right there the inner word comes and we hear it because we are His sons, that we are exactly where we are supposed to be doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing, because we are not our own, but have been bought with a precious price — the blood of Jesus — and having experienced the resurrection to newness of life we are now joined with Him in His broken body as bread for the world, broken for all, we included, He broken for us, and we broken for others.
All those negatives we feel and experience are His life pulsing through us for the comfort and raising of others, so that’s why we can count it all joy and know it will all bring many sons unto glory. We trust the Lord who brings all things to pass.
Please write again. I am privileged to be sharing with you.
All my love,
MY BILLS ARE ALL DUE, MY BABY NEEDS SHOES, AND I’M BUSTED [Fred Pruitt] 4-14-05 1