Thursday 29 January 2009

Alphabet Soup - The Second Helping

One Woman’s Answer: What To Do When Your Life Resembles Alphabet Soup!, by Page Prewitt

This is the second and final part of Page’s superb article, “One Woman’s Answer—What To Do When Your Life Resembles Alphabet Soup!” Part 2
Confusion between Soul and Spirit
You are not just spirit and body (figure 1). Your “bugaboos” and your problems and difficulties in life come mainly from the third part of you: your soul. Let me hastily add here, though, that not only do your problems stem from your soul, but also your joys and exhilarations spring from your soul. Your very experience of life on this earth is because you have a soul that operates in full capacity. But until you understand it, the negative capacity of your soul messes up your life so badly that you don’t know how to enjoy the positive capacity of your soul. This is because you are jerked around and tossed here and there, not by your soul, but by what the enemy tells you about your soul.
Your soul has two capacities (figure 2). This is vital to know. One capacity of the soul is emotion; the other is reason. You will notice on page 12 that I have written the word feel under emotion; and under reason, I have written the word think. This is what the soul can do: it can feel and it can think.
The spirit has three capacities. One of these is desire, through which we express real love (the Greek agape, the love of God). Our human spirit is also where, even apart sometimes from mental reasoning and understanding, we know. The remaining capacity of the spirit is will, which has its fruition in choice. Free choice originates in God, and we, made in His image, are endowed by our Creator with like freedom of choice.

The Real Problem: Satan’s Lie
If you have been seeing yourself as an “independent” person and acted from that belief, realize that you have gone for Satan’s lie about the believer. You have gone for Satan’s lie about yourself. God only sees union with Himself; Satan sees and sponsors this divided outlook. This is the sin of unbelief— unbelief about who God says you really are.
God has said that He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him (I Cor. 6:17). He has also said that He is the vine and believers are the branches. He is their owner, and believers are His bondslaves. He is the deity placed in the temple. We, the believers, are the temple to manifest and display Him. He is the husband, furnishing the seed to the productive wife. Believers are the wife, wedded to this One. He is the treasure, and we, the believers, are the vessels that contain Him.
The branch, the vessel, the temple, the wife...all are dependent. The branch is dependent upon the vine, the vessel upon the contents, the temple upon the deity, and the wife upon the husband.
The analogy of the owner and the slave shows that the master is the one who owns the slave, and as in Romans 6:17, the slave is never his own owner or his own operator.
So, if you are a believer, to even “see” yourself as an “alone-I” who has the ability to operate himself—even that seeing is sin. The Scripture says when we find sin present with us to confess it. So the remedy is just to confess it. Call it sin and confess it. By confession I don’t mean “sackcloth and ashes.” Confession is no more than agreeing with God. It’s as if God says, “Look what you have been doing. You have let the enemy get you confused and mixed up. See it. Confess it.” It’s as simple as that.

The worst sin you will ever find out you have committed is the sin of wrong believing about yourself. And in doing that, you have allowed Satan to misuse you. That is what is wrong with every non-redeemed person, and with every born-again person who commits sins, minor or major—small ones that just “mess up” your life or blatant Biblical sins. Serious sins like theft, murder and adultery always stem from wrong seeing about ourselves as believers.
The result of living like this is not a life of sin-consciousness, but a life of true liberation. Bondage lies in wrong not see yourself as who you really are, one with Him. Wrong believing about yourself will immobilize you.
Wrong believing about yourself can cause conflict in a marriage, in the work place, with your children and in other situations. Satan, in your “independent self” believing, manages to get his hooks into your “members.” The Bible talks of believers in these terms: “sin in my members” (Rom 7.23). “Members” means your soul and body (your “flesh”) and not your spirit. Satan gets his hook in there and he is the confusion. He is the cause of the confusion. I’m not talking about the feeling of confusion I discussed earlier, but the confusion that results from the conflicts caused by wrong believing.
A Practical Example
Let me give you an example of how something seemingly small and insignificant in your life can be completely immobilizing to you. This past summer when my husband and I were in North Carolina, his car needed washing. Being in a very small resort center, there was no automatic wash place like I am used to back home. The place I took the car to was one of those where you plug the money in and then squirt off your own car. The coin slot was one of those flat things you lay quarters in and then slide in, where some mechanism picks up the change and deposits it, and then you have access to the hoses and water.
I put in the required three quarters and the machine only took two of them; the other was left in the slot. Of course it would not operate without the full amount, and I did not have another quarter. The way the machine is made, there is a small hole beneath the quarters. So I decided to reach in and just pop my quarter out. Well, I got my quarter, but my finger got stuck. It was the same kind of situation as when you’re having trouble getting a ring off.
I said to myself, “This will come out in just a second.” But then I realized my finger was not coming out. It was stuck! You know sometimes you can get a stick caught underneath your automobile, and if you pull hard, you can just jerk it out? So I thought, “Just jerk it out. It doesn’t matter if it hurts a little.” Then I re-thought: “That is your human finger! You can’t just jerk it out!”
I could not go anywhere to get help. Nothing but the tip of my finger was caught and yet I could go nowhere. I was immobilized. All kinds of redeeming thoughts went through my mind: “If only I had some soap; there’s a restaurant nearby—I can scream and maybe they’ll hear; maybe someone else will come in for a car wash.”
Finally, I said very meaningfully, “God, you have got to get my finger out.” I gave a soft jerk, and out it came. Later that week I realized what a great illustration this was of how one little sin thing in my life can completely immobilize me.

So in Conclusion
If you are a believer, the Spirit in you is going on all the time—know ing, loving and willing. What you are thinking and feeling is also going on simultaneously in your soul. Make the distinction between these two. And never deny your feelings; that will make you psychologically sick. But realize that you are not your soul. You, at your center, are spirit—one with the Lord and Creator of the universe.
Yes, there are times when I look around—at others amid perplexing situations, or even within myself—and all I see for a moment is “alphabet soup.” But, this does not occur often. When it does, I retrace my steps to see where unbelief entered.
Sometimes this takes only a moment or two. Once in my experience, it took several months, and I spent those days in what I now call my “black hole” of unbelief.But on that occasion and on less serious ones now, I check myself by claiming that I am Christ in my form, that I am an expression of the Living Savior. I acknowledge to myself that I today live, not as the illusory “independent Page,” but as “Christ-Page.” I step out of unbelief into faith.
This article is available in booklet form and can be ordered from Zerubbabel press.
As at 2001 - Page Prewitt lives in Boone, NC, where she is a full-time Teacher/Sharer at our Total Living Center. She has dedicated most of her adult life to bringing to others the pure message of Christ in you as you as taught to her firsthand by her mentor Norman Grubb. She has been a true example of the “hope of glory” that comes as a result of allowing Christ to live one’s life. Page is the mother of four adult children and the grandmother of eight young grandchildren, all of who live on her same street.

This article in two parts, although not finely composed art, nor delivered with any strong sense of anointing in the manner of Thy Kingdom Come by Ern Baxter in 1975,still has the basic simplicity and elegance of Einstein's E=mc2.When we look back it will probably rank with other outstanding 20th Century achievements as one of the most important writings of the century. It takes the complicated ideas of Norman Grubb, who was a Cambridge undergraduate with decades of missions experience, and with a woman's insight is able to condense it down into its main insight :no independent self and Christ in you as you. Many female blogreaders will probably read this one text and understand one whole year of my outpourings, exclaiming..."Chris , well why didn't you say so..." Guys, these women make you sick don't they!!!


lydia said...

Thanks for that Chris...........I think that you will find in Bill Gillham's book, "Lifetime Guarantee" some similarities to this article, and in "The Rest of the Gospel, when the partial gospel has worn you out." ............I don't think most Christians know they are tripartide beings, spirit, soul and body - I never did.

Hope you and your family are experiencing peace in this time...............

Jamie said...

This is really good stuff. We learned this under the name "The Control of Love" in that Christ's love compels us. We are never in control; we're either yielding to the Spirit or to Satan's lies of independence, which puts him in control of our thoughts. Scotty taught this as part of a series called "The Influence of the Gospel." Thank you, Chris for making this available. :)

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Thanks for the responses.
It was Dan,Lydia or Julie, or all 3 that recommended The Shack - which did indeed turn out to be a synthesis of so much I'm saying. So I have no doubts that I must read the books that you have recommended before and do so again,Lydia.....or perhaps it was Jamie.
Jamie....that's so interesting. Indeed a customer of mine in Chichester, spoke in much those terms...about Christ's love and His control. It was a complete release for him...he had known 2 divorces and much nearly suicidal depression. He was dead against me calling this blog "Third Level".Because of the obvious elitist feel. I thought about this for ages....but in the end...because of the clarity of chapter31 heading of Yes I am...and also I really wanted to jar those people who have settled into a comfortable charismatianity.
It is hard to adequately describe God's loathing of 1st and 2nd level Christianity. As "grow-through" stages He lets them pass... but just as truly as He came for Jacob at Peniel...whether it was His actual form or a special angelic envoy....with all His kind but firm intent...he wasn't going to let any Jacob survive into the purposes and calling of God. That night Jacob died....the charismatic miracle-worker of speckled and stripe sheep manufacture....met His God and had a Name change. Internally. And at that point was fit to really enter into what God had for him......the raising up of 12 sons...the beginning of an incredible dynasty. And the rest is history.
And that's where I believe we are now. The Church knows Abraham stuff. It knows Isaac and Jacob stuff....and thinks that's all it needs...but doesn't see the angel lurking in the shadows ...coming for us.

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

don't know how that doubling occurred.

Oh Lydia,that's such a telling comment about spirit soul and body.Certainly the secular world does not recognise this. I think it is quite a shock to realise that unless people are introduced to Watchman Nee Jamie or myself...there are still precious few who spell out these things.

lydia said...

Yeah............I just got "Until Christ is formed", by Paul Walsh, and am lovin' it so far.........just had a discussion with an old friend about resting in Christ, he doesn't think that the bible promotes a" let go and let God life", I wonder how he would interpret Heb.. 4.........The more I read, the more I get it, and the more I think I am entering it myself, that rest of Christ in me as me............I also bought the Normal Christian Life, on Jamie's recommendation.........looking forward to delving deeper and deeper..........Peace to you!!

Anonymous said...

Today, JD, a slightly troubled, gangly 15 year old lad at my school, with an impish sense of humour, landed a large snowball squarely on the head of the headteacher - who took it in good heart. No doubt JD will dine out on this for years to come. It will also probably take years to dawn on him just much blessing his headteacher has landed on him during his years at the school and contributed to his personal development.

JD, like most of us, wants to run before he can walk.

But he can only delay the process. He may even delude himself at times that he has already learnt to run only to come crashing down.

We tend to get things back to front. Jesus knows this as we give ourselves to Him. We come as children and are then immersed in two places: Christ Himself and also His body the church. We learn and are moulded by both baptisms. For example we learn to pray. In Christ we hear His voice. In the church we learn how to pronounce 'Amen!', or to kneel or to walk or to be prostrate. The life of the Spirit causes us to rejoice and sing for joy and in the church we learn how to carry a hymmn book or how to dance and raise our hands. In Christ we may be given a prophecy and in the cultural setting of our church we learn how to deliver the message. If the former dominates we'll keep prgressing. If the latter speaks loudest we learn to walk from the soul and end up living the christian life back to front. To anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear it all looks rather tragically amusing as we become ever more a caricature of the real deal and less like Christ Himself. Just like it would be if JD tried to be the Headteacher for a few days.

I have no doubt that I have provided many tragic and amusing moments to those around me in my vain attempts to pursue the genuine but in fact all to visibly imitating true warriors.

I was born into Level 2 Christianity. Not all in the church were at all comfortable Level 1 to 2 transistion christians. I learnt to hunger and thirt for reality of Level 2 and found myself drawn to desiring to reproduce the anointed Jesus life - i.e. preaching, healing and so on. But during all this time there was a quiet but persistent niggle. Lately I have considered Jesus' first 'filled with the Spirit' 30 years. There was real sustained growth 'he grew in stature/spirit before God and man'. No miracles. No preaching.

I am learning now to see life like Paige Prewitt. Jesus wasn't joking when He said that from our bellies will flow rivers of living waters. That river was flowing through Jesus every day until His baptism and every day afterwards. The river of the Spirit is chanelled through our souls. Through our thinking our minds and can do some very intersting work there revealing truth, stimulating thinking and so on. Though our emotions we find ourselves increasingly sensitive to the heart of God and gain insight into the hearts of men. And through our wills we direct our bodies to fulfill the life of Christ through us. As Paige says she is Christ in Paige form. Radical but true. If Christ directs us to preach or prophesy or heal or encourage or to obey our parents, love our family members, or simply to work smarter, praise God. All is 'spiritual', all days of the week are equal, all hours of the day are as holy as the rest. All food is kosher. And from love we can rejoice even in restrictions if in voluntarily limiting our freedoms we allow our brothers and sisters to grow in grace.

Anyway. Thank you again Chris for pressing on with your blog. Be one of the precious few. Churchill would have been proud.


Leonard said...

Delicious Post, Thanks Chris.