Saturday 24 December 2011

Possessing Our Possessions: On the Brink - Fred Pruitt

By Fred Pruitt

(Author’s note: This is written specifically for and about what I am calling a “generation” of us who have now, at this time, come to the brink of that “new day” that we have been seeing for years, for which the Spirit has prepared us all our lives, for just this time now. I do not know what lies ahead, except that I sense that there is a wave of the Spirit that is just at our doors, a Divine Intervention, the aspects of which I am still at a loss to fully see. But let me further say, that what I have written below identifying a “generation,” really means “whosoever will,” and “he who has ears to hear.”)

But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame ….” (Obadiah 1:17,18)

John Bunting has been saying, for quite a while, that there IS a day of graduation.

There comes a day when we realize our heritage, and who we are because of it.

What we have sought, we have found. What we asked for, we received. Where we knocked, doors opened.

It may have been by a circuitous route, and our doom may have been forecast by many, both within and without. At times we may have believed it ourselves. Doom at times seemed far easier than facing the coming day. “Ah, blessed-to-me accuser, sweet condemnation, my bosom friend! You think you are my enemy, but you keep me on my toes and remind me every day I am I and He is He and He and I are one.”

Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me.

The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.

The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly.

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.

The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.” (Ps 118:13-18)

It comes to me to speak about being at the brink of the Jordan, and was Israel in Deuteronomy, and at the same time the image comes to me of the doubtless thousands of sermons and exhortations there must have been regarding this same point of embarkation. The temptation in that is to think that I have slipped into an easy metaphor, a preacher/writer finesse of some passage of scripture to enlist in my attempt to massage the ears of the listeners, to take them some “place” I want to take them to.

We trudge on anyway. The only answer to that daily temptation is to disregard it.

Above I mentioned, “point of embarkation.” I am talking, figuratively anyway, of a “place” where we “gather” in order to begin a new chapter, to go into an unknown but we expect to be a fruitful land, once we make the journey to get there. But we cannot get to the end of the journey, unless we start at the beginning, at the “point of embarkation.” That is where we make the final decision to leave the safe surroundings of the edges of all we have known, for the sake of the prize we see at the end.

In our US’s westward expansion in the 1800s, during the “wagon train” era, the pioneers came from all over to meet at Independence, Missouri, a little town a few miles south of the Missouri River, close to the Kansas border. They came by the thousands. Think of these masses who gathered in Independence. They were from every state in the union as well as from other countries in every continent. They represented every race, every religion, every craft, every economic strata, and every possible dream in the heart of human longing.

It was no small feat, to move to the West. One didn’t simply saddle up his horse and trot off to Oregon or California. For many, maybe the majority, it took everything they had. Everything. They sold houses, businesses, farms, worked and saved up, gambled, finagled – however they did it – they were gathered finally in Independence, with fees paid, equipment bought, and signed up for a wagon train headed out in the great wide open, where the sky was the limit, and they all said they were “bound for the promised land.”

And then here we are now. A big crowd from everywhere, all prepared and ready to use the equipment they have taken up along the way, ready to head west! I am sensing, and have been for a long time, that that which has come to many of us as a lifelong commission – the raising of the consciousness (in knowledge, wisdom and understanding) of the body of Christ, into the “Head … even Christ,” is moving into its completion phase. Paul sums it up perfectly in the great Ephesians passages of 4:12-16:

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

A new day has arrived. In this time and place, in this earth, this is fulfilled in us in this present time.

Long ago we heard our commission – “Give my Life out,” and we took it to heart and sought and strove with all our might to do it. That which was in us acted as an inner urgency from the very day we met Him. It was the inner urgency of love, which we could not explain but only felt as an up-bubbling joyous love being shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit Who is given unto us. It was of a miraculous sort, this love which we first knew, and we knew it was.

The love of God led us beside still waters and green lush pastures, and through the valley of death. The love of God did not abandon us in our frustrations and despairs. The love of God did not see when we slipped and fell, sometimes disastrously, because the love held us the same there as the love had always held us. If we erred still the love did not err, and has done all things concerning us perfectly. If we strayed still the love did not stray, and always kept us to our course that the love had laid out from the Eternal. As off-beam as we may have gotten, because the love has guided us every step, we have never really been off-beam from the eternal side of things.

The “valley of the shadow of death” is where we took into account the “cost” of our commission. Like green soldiers who only dream of the “glory” of battle (not knowing yet its horrors), we blurted in our prayers – “Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar” – “Here am I, Lord, send me” – “In the volume of the book it was written of me, lo, I come to do thy will, O God” – not knowing for what we prayed to receive. (I remember in my beginning days, “seasoned” older saints I ran into, more than once told me, “Be careful what you pray for, because you will get it!” They were right!)

In the privation of that time we discovered Him where He had always been but we did not know it, until the day came that He revealed Himself “in” us. Not just in a corner, but as the inner Truth and Person behind and sustaining all, including and most especially ourselves, so that we have seen that He has made us “one” in the Beloved, and that we walk as He walks in the world, talk as He talks, love as He loves.

All of that has been the preamble to, the preparation for, the Spirit’s move in our time now. We stand at the brink. On the other side of that brink is that land of Promise, revealed in a new way and lived in a new way, from the “fatherhood-king-priest-intercessor” level.

We might even say there are more than one enterings into the “land” in the various stages where the Father currently has us.

In the most “total” sense, we entered the “land of Promise” the moment Jesus kicked out our old slave-boss and moved in and took over our lives. He Himself IS that Land, and when we are in Him, we are “in” His land as well.

But we do not know it yet. We were only in the beginning, and in the beginning we start out in separate-mindedness, still flesh or “earthly” minded, and know only to rejoice that our sins have been wiped clean, forgiven and forgotten, that we now have an inner relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and that we are experiencing a totally “new” life which we now realize IS Life, because by the Spirit’s revelation in us we know that we came out of “death.”

That set up that walk for us, out of Egypt and bondage, cleansed by the blood, baptized in the Spirit, to head for the land of our “fathers,” and there to take that which has been provided for us, to “possess our possessions,” i.e., all the fullness and riches of Christ, to be USED in our final commission from the Father.

What does that mean, to “possess our possessions”? It means that there is a gap between our possessions being provided for us to possess, and we showing up to pick them up and start using them.

Consider this analogy. Imagine a father when his son is born into the family. On the date of his birth the father sets up a bank account for him and puts a million dollars in the account. Now of course as long as he is an infant or a small child, he knows nothing of banks and accounts, so there is no need even mentioning it, even though he has a million dollars waiting for him down at the bank.

The older he gets, the more knowledge and understanding grows, and at some point the father tells the son about the million dollars. He has not given his son full access to it yet, but the son begins to grow in awareness and appreciation of the heritage awaiting him when he comes to adulthood. The father even lets him use some of the account from time to time, to give him understanding and experience in using it and drawing from it. So during this time the son, still having not come to his majority, knows “of” his account, and just the knowing of its existence is a great source of future security for him, and makes the present more tolerable, just knowing what will one day be his.

But the day comes eventually, that the entire account is put at the disposal of the son, to do with as he pleases. He now, “possesses his possessions.” That is where we are now.

On this side of that “brink,” we are now being called to put aside all the condemnation and double-mindedness that have dogged us for so long. We are now called finally to stand with full faith in Who we are and His keeping, nothing held back, in full assurance that “as He is in this world, so are we.” No more waffling; no more spirals downward when a doubt assails us and we’re pulled back into that “maybe I am, maybe I am not” mode where we are often waylaid. The Spirit is our perfect Upholder!

We perhaps found the second “Promised Land” experience when we first began to know we are in union with Christ, that He and I are one. Coming into that initial understanding was for many of us like being born again, again. Scales dropped from our eyes, and our tears were flowing as we realized that He was fulfilling His own promises IN us, that He is the doer, He is the Life, He is the Wisdom, power, He is the Love, and that grace upon grace, He is all that in us in our continuous walk, and that as we are working out our own salvation “in fear and trembling,” we found Him in us, to “will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Phil 2:12,13)

And now we are here for this final push, this final taking up the possessions the Lord God has provided for us, and it is a good thing that we pause here and consider somewhat that which has brought us to this point, and that to which we are headed.

End Part One

Next we will look into our firm foundations, so that we are not caught out as in Hebrews 5:

12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

No, we are not stuck here, but are ready to move on as in Hebrews 6:

1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

3 And this will we do, if God permit.

No comments: