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More on Old Me/New Me
by Fred Pruitt

Before I comment on your questions, I just wanted first to mention how far you have come since you first wrote me. When you first wrote me you could not confess anything as true, at least that's how you seemed to me. Now here you are saying Christ lives in you, all is sent from God, and that you could not save or help yourself, that God has to do it all. That "knowledge," does not come from "flesh & blood" (man) but from God! In other words, you couldn't "know" that stuff unless God had shown it to you. It's His knowledge, which He imparts to us. You may not yet realize you have heard from the Spirit of God, and think these things are just things popping into your head -- but I assure you, you are speaking things that have come from God and have been revealed by Him -- to YOU!!!

And your questions are the best questions you could possibly ask, too. Your questions, also from God, show that you're ready to move into God's life as your own realized truth -- your reality. (Here's a general principle to remember: when we question or seek answers, it's because God moves us to question these things in order for us to move further or deeper, and with the questioning, we are always given what we seek, because He has "gone before us" and from eternity has prepared the answer to every question, revealed to those who seek Him.)

So then let's look into what you ask.

First of all, you hold the key to your own life, as we all do. You ask, "I understand that Jesus is living in me, that the old "sin me" is dead, put to death by Him. But..............how does the flesh get out of the way so that Jesus can "LIVE" through me?"

As I said above, you are asking the exact right questions which take you from knowing that Christ lives in you, which you now say you know, to Christ living AS you.

First of all, the solution never comes through our visible sight or through or from our feelings. You will never be able to look at your human self and say to it, "Well by golly, you ARE Christ living," by the evidence of human thought, reasoning, feelings, or sight. God is working everywhere in everything, and yet we don't see it, and so everything just looks like the world out there being the normal world. Yet everything everywhere is God manifesting Himself according to His purposed Will from before the world began.

Can we see it? No, we can't, because, like I said, it just looks like the normal world to us, especially when you throw in the factor of all the conflict and good and evil going on. The whole wide world, right down to our own lives, looks like chaos is in control, not God. Nothing in our sight, nor anything we can deduce through our reasoning minds, indicates in any way that the Living God is on the Throne of the Universe moving everything, including all our human history, both personal and collective, toward the final consummation of His purposes towards us, with every single thing, including natural disasters and wars, purposed for the good of all.

But in the same way that we cannot see what is really going on "out there" in the world, in that everything lives and moves and has its being (existence) in God, which we can only see and accept by faith, in that same way we are not given sight to see that same operation in ourselves. We seem to ourselves and to others as normal human people living normal human lives, as we look out at others and think the same of them.

People keep waiting for God to do something "special." Folks, ourselves included, are always looking for special events or better feelings, as some indication that God is present and loving us. You say you're feeling depressed today, and it would seem logical to think that if all is okay between you and God and you were seeing everything correctly and living right and confessing right that you wouldn't suffer being depressed, but there you are depressed, and wondering if, since you feel depressed and negative, you could be Christ living through you. "Surely," we have all thought at one time, "if I am depressed, then Christ is not being expressed in my life."

Then you ask about how you can get "the flesh" out of the way? Oh I'm so glad you asked that, because apparently the Spirit wants you to know it. And the answer is very simple. You have already said it. You said that in the Cross, the "old me" is dead. Now, do you realize what that "old me" was?

The "old me" was a union in my spirit with the god of this world, the god of self-for-self, of me-for-me. The spirit of sin, of disobedience and rebellion, that deceives the whole world into disunity and separation from God through unbelief.

Paul says that in the Cross Jesus was "made sin" for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. What was contrary to us, God destroyed completely in the Cross, by Jesus taking the sin -- the person of sin who had invaded us and usurped the rightful place of God within us -- into Himself and dying forever to it in the stead of the whole human race, and as the whole human race taking the full consequences of sin onto and into Himself in that He descended to the deepest depths, and then leaving sin behind in the darkness, by the Holy Spirit He rose to newness of life, to "fill all things" with the fulness of Himself, and in that resurrection to Life to "give gifts unto men," which are our own lives hidden in the eternal in Him and eternally procured for us by His blood and body. In the death of Jesus on the Cross, the iniquity was completely removed from us (which was not an iniquity inherent in being human, sort of like a "fatal flaw," but instead the iniquity lay in the person of sin, the snake who had invaded us and had taken over our humanity like a disease) and replaced in the Resurrection by the Holy Spirit of God. We were wrath, darkness and selfishness, but now in the new birth we are praise, light, and love.

That is the simple message of Romans chapter six. We WERE servants of sin, we ARE NOW servants of righteousness. Our "members" (our human makeup -- soul/body) WERE instruments (tools) of unrighteousness, but ARE NOW instruments of righteousness. We died to sin and rose to righteousness in the Cross of Jesus, because we were there in Him.

But the issue you bring up moves us further along in this truth, because as you are experiencing, once you begin to know that you have Christ living in you, the next place to go is how can I give out what I've been given, or how can I be who I know I am, or how can He be Himself in me?

The "flesh" that you mention, wanting to "get out of the way," is a pretty elusive thing. It's not our body, because we can't say our bodies are evil. And it's not exactly our minds either, since they are part of the God-created makeup of our humanity, meant to be used as an instrument of God. So what is this "flesh" that Paul seems to have such a problem with (and all of us ever since)?

Since it is such an elusive thing, it is hard to describe. I would say it's a consciousness, or a way of thinking, or a mindset (something the mind is set on), but none of those words exactly invoke the full meaning. Maybe an easy way to say it is that the "flesh" is an environment. It's an askew view, a separated mind and understanding, alone in itself, trusting and alternately fearing itself, seeking itself. The "flesh" knows nothing of God and seeks nothing of God and trusts nothing of God. Likewise in its separation and fear and mistrust of itself it lives in separation from and fear of all the other selves all around.

To live in that environment, Paul says, is death. And that's the environment Paul encountered in his Romans 7 struggle, where he finds he cannot keep the law or become "become Christlike" by his own efforts. He discovered the "flesh" which was this false environment which had been created in us from Adam, a building of separation and pride from and of the devil, from which he had no ability to escape, except through the mercy and grace of God, and by that mercy he found himself propelled on into Romans 8 where he tells us that we do not do the lusts of the flesh when we walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit fulfills the law of the spirit of life in us, swallowing up death and turning it into life every day.

How?

I thought you might wonder that.

Same way you entered in. You say Christ is living in you. You are comfortable saying that now, but a few weeks ago you didn't seem to be. But you said it anyway, and now the next thing the Spirit is moving toward is for you to know that He lives as you -- right here, right now, today, right in this moment He is living THIS MOMENT as you!

You just say, "Lord, I believe you when you have said that I am one spirit, one person with you, and that you have come into my life to will and to do of your good pleasure, and you are living by and as me since we are in union with each other."

You say it and leave it with the Lord. And you thank Him that it is so.

And then anytime the temptation comes up that says, "You can't be Christ living as you because your flesh is in the way," you can answer back, "God's got me, lock, stock and barrel, and I don't trust in myself or in any ability in myself, but only in Christ in me, who by His power is living in me and manifesting His own life through my life, and that's all I see." You don't argue with temptation, you just turn on the light, which is your faith.

And that is the simplicity of all this. He says in the first chapter of John that "as many as received Him received power to become sons of God" and that's a pretty big thing, if it's true. Sons of God? THE God? THE BIG CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH GOD, would take me into His bosom as His son if I simply "receive Him?" This is ASTOUNDING!!!! Imagine!!! By simply receiving Him, by simple heart invitation, we become sons of God!

Then would He not fail to provide everything for us, including all the wisdom and knowledge, for they are Himself in us, and as he has given us Himself we therefore have all things in Him, and everything in the world becomes our friend, because we see it living and moving and having its being in God.

Well, that's a short version. Don't need a long dissertation on this, though, because as we say, it is simple. Believe on Him, and out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water.

I hope this helps.