Tuesday 30 July 2013

Yes I Am 21 - How Do I Get This Inner Knowing?

Yes I Am by Norman Grubb
Chapter 21

Have you grasped what I’m saying? We must have inner knowing. Nothing can be a substitute for that. Remember how I said that faith is only completed faith when it has been replaced by conscious assurance - "substance," as Hebrews 11:1 tells us. We have several times emphasized this, and do it again. Throughout life, faith in its initial form is placed in something external, available to me, and desirable... and by inner decision of my mind, heart and will I then say, "I’ll do that. I’ll go there. I’ll make that." On the human level, I then put that inner word of faith into action. I take my car and go there. I use my hands and make that. I take that fruit and eat it. And then what happens? When it reaches out to something, that first inner form of faith is dissolved and replaced by outer facts. It is no longer "I’ll go to that home." No! Now I am in that home. Not "I’ll eat that." No! It is food in me. Not "I’ll make that." No! Here it is, made. The taker’s taken! My bodily actions have turned the faith into substance.

But now we are talking about a faith-leap into the real dimension - the kingdom of God - the invisible realm of reality with Father, Son and Spirit; and we who are born-again know that when our faith became "substance" we came to a new kind of assurance - ridiculous to the world - in which the Spirit, not human actions, was the agent which brought faith into substance; and that new-birth certainty is nothing but inner knowing - a nonrational knowing. We just know that we know, and neither man, heaven nor hell can move us. Just as Paul almost shouted to the Galatians, when beginning his letter to them: "I so know this new revelation (of the inner union of Galatians 2:20) in my inner being that if an angel from heaven, or I myself, preach to you any other gospel, let him be accursed!" That, surely, is inner knowing.

And now it is this second inner knowing we are talking about, which was so plainly demonstrated by Paul himself in his cry of distress turned into shout of praise and assurance (Romans 7 and 8). And I am asking, "Do I know that?" Yes, I do. Do you? Don’t deceive yourself; don’t mistake your first believing of outer given facts for the spontaneous inner knowing. Get it clear. Faith starts off by my attaching myself to something. We have instanced food, a chair, going to a home. But that’s not what makes it real to me. It is the response back, like an echo, from the thing to which I am attaching myself which makes the inner knowing. I take the food; I am conscious of it inside me. I sit in a chair; the chair makes me know it is holding me. That is the knowing. So the knowing does not come from my putting my faith into something, it comes from the something in which I put my faith. I must never mistake my faith in its first form - my attaching myself to something - for the completion of faith by which it has attached itself to me. Do you see this? So the final knowing of my eternal union - that it actually is He inwardly joined to me: that it is now He living in me, and not I - comes from Him the Spirit, and not from me the believer. He turns the faith into substance: absolute certainty.

So don’t try any imaginings on this level, or try to make yourself think you have it. Don’t try anything, for once again that is this old "self-effort stuff" we have died to. No, I keep doing my part, which is constantly affirming that what the Scriptures have said about my union with Christ is fact. I have been and am crucified with Him. I am dead to sin. I am crucified to the world. I now live in His resurrection. No, it is not I, it is He living in me. I have said it, and still say it. But keep this clear: My saying it is not yet Him saying it back to me. That you do not "try" to make up, or feel, or have any scraps of self-effort in it. No, it "comes down from heaven"! How? When? That’s not my business. Keep off the grass! Don’t inquire. Don’t occupy yourself with hoping or waiting. No, remain steadfast in your part of the bargain - affirming the fact on the basis of God’s Word even if it is not yet inwardly confirmed to you as fact. And when and how will you know? Neither I nor an angel from heaven could tell you, because it is the prerogative of God Himself, God the Spirit, to speak that inner word. All we humans can say is "You’ll know when you know!" Sometimes at once, sometimes after a time-gap.

I did not lightly move into my part of the believing. After five night-hours of battling around with it (so little did I understand the ease of faith in those days), I did finally put my finger on Galatians 2:20, or at least on the first phrase of it, and said right out, "I am crucified with Christ." Then I added a little bit of confessing with my mouth, which Paul said confirms the inner believing: I took a post card, drew a tombstone, and wrote, "Here lies N.P.G., crucified with Christ." I had not reached far out into my resurrection by then!

But did I feel different or know anything different? No. My precious wife, Pauline, was with me and did the same. We had those five hours sitting in our little camp chairs in the forest, in the banana plantation of a precious African brother we had gone to visit. But the Spirit responded more quickly to Pauline. Within two weeks she felt what she took to be a touch on her shoulder, beneath the mosquito net on her camp bed. It was the Spirit confirming her word of faith, and she knew and has known ever since. Next morning, as we sat outside the little native hut we had been staying in, breakfasting at our camp table, she began to say to me that she had something to tell me; but I said, "No need, your face shows it" - and her life has showed it all these years since. But for me, perhaps because I was more a "thinker-through" of a thing, and a slower believer, it wasn’t until two years later that the inner light was turned on in my consciousness. During those two years I never went back on that crisis of affirming faith. It had been as serious to me as a wedding ceremony (yes, faith is serious business). So it was background fact to me as I continued my missionary village travelings. But not until I was home on furlough, and speaking with Mrs. Penn-Lewis, a woman of God whose writings had first helped me into this understanding of Romans 6-8 and Galatians 2:20, was this light inwardly turned on in me. I brought some missionary problems to her. But I think she sensed I was the problem, because she answered by what she called her "baptism in the Spirit" - not by some outer sign, but by an inner revelation of Him in her, so great that, as she spoke that day to a group of young women, the Holy Spirit brought them all down on their faces to the ground. But the point to me was not her story but that as she spoke, I knew. How? I don’t know. But I knew, and that was a great number of years ago. And I still know. Just as certainly and clearly as I knew by the inner witness on the day I came to Christ that I was born again. That’s how I know; and you know, or will know in God’s time. He confirms what we have affirmed. That’s all.

But I do know that as He thus became inwardly real to me, as the One living my life, I did move into an inner knowing which was and is equivalent to saying It is He living in me and not I. I was conscious of Him only doing the thinking and speaking. He, not I. Yet of course it was and is I. And I still have that inner knowing of it being He, not I. So it is not difficult for me to say that it is Christ speaking, willing, thinking, acting. It is Christ in His Norman form. It is that Spirit who Jesus said speaks in us (Matt. 10:20) - not to us, but in us and by us: "For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." It is "God working in us, to will and do of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). So He is the willer and doer, and I just as spontaneously express His willing and doing in my actions.

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