Christ Formed in Us
I don't think anything in my life could have delighted me more than getting your testimony to me. We find that we live for nothing other than this, to see Christ born & formed in our brothers and sisters, and find God's Spirit by means unknown to us working out Jesus' Life as God pleases through our own daily living.
One thing I want to say to you, that of course you know and you were only using a figure of speech when you said to me, "You have healed me." Of course without reservation I know you meant by that the Spirit in me. But what I would further like to point out, is not that "God through me (Fred)" has healed you, but that Christ has risen up IN YOU, and you have found your own "healing" by the inner resources in yourself, Christ in YOU! All my words gave witness to was the Word within yourself, where Christ is, and where the true YOU is found, only in Christ.
This is what is being formed in you, hearing and believing God's word in yourself, and you fixedly as God's expression in the world. He has come to live as each of us individually. Christ Himself is our life, but as ourselves, not as some religious idol we all aspire to become like. This is the meaning and the secret of Galatians 2:20. I cannot live of myself; nothing of "me" (what I think is me) can contribute to the equation. God Himself is my All in all; I can do NOTHING except He do it.
And are not we like the servant who had a talent and hid it in a napkin if we make his word of none effect in us by refusing to believe what He Himself has told us, that we are One even as He and His Father are One, that We are the Branches of which He is the True Vine, that we are the temples in which dwells the very presence of God, which we carry around in our mortal bodies, experiencing the death of Jesus in our bodies daily for the groaning and travailing of the world, and then all the more experiencing the rising of Jesus in us, but disguised in our weakness and humanity -- "treasure in earthen vessels"?
As Hebrews 10:39 says, "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." And this, too, not of ourselves, but of the Living God, in Whom we have placed all our hope.
So, again, brother, rejoice, for God the Father has known you from the foundation of the earth, even more than you can know, and with Godly Eternal Desire has DESIRED TO FILL YOU WITH HIMSELF -- to express His Own Life of Love-for-others by His created expression of Himself -- so that the "union" of you and He appears outwardly as YOU!. This is the meaning of Psalm 139, that God has thought SPECIFICALLY OF YOU from the eternal depths of His mind -- beyond mystery. And this is in keeping with what Paul has told us, that it pleased God to reveal His son in Paul, and thus the same for us: it PLEASES GOD to reveal the SON IN US!!!
The Son is Who we are -- created expressions who can do nothing but throw down the supposed "crown" (rulership) of their own lives to Him Who is All in all, and in our own created nothingness, the Allness of God through Christ rises up in us in His resurrection in us, and we find just ourselves living, with the trust of faith, believing in what we do not see, being continually as Paul said, "We believe, and therefore speak."
I'm just so blessed to hear from you and knowing that the meat-grinder you've been experiencing, you are now seeing as God's glory. This is our liberty, when we get past "ourselves" (and by that I mean our "hurt" selves, our "self that looks after itself and protects itself" -- which is really a little bit of the dark weenie hanging about but never mind [he's not our concern, but God's]), by seeing God in all who come to us, whether negatively or positively, even if for the moment such a one might be wearing a red suit having a tail and two horns sticking out of his head. He wouldn't be there if the Father hadn't determined him for some purpose, so we recognize all as sent by the Father and that takes the real sting out, even if hurt in the flesh, because we see in the Spirit in faith, that every purpose the Father has determined will work out to the good of all, for that is all He is, "the eternal Will to all goodness."
And in that eternal determination we now find ourselves as expressions of Him. We further find that we are meant to have these things come our way, that first of all we might learn faith and the inner resources of God's Spirit in us, not by rote teaching and memorizing principles, but by the rising up of the Person of Christ in our own midst, where we have found some portion of "our life which is hid in Christ in God" -- and it's enough of a portion to know that all the rest of the portions can only be "in Christ in God," and nowhere else.
And because we see all as coming from the Father, therefore no "root of bitterness" enters our hearts when our brethren (and even those "of the world") oppose us, falsely accuse us or misunderstand us. We come to understand that no matter what human beings might think they mean when they do what they do, whether or not they are deluded in what they do, nonetheless God means it for good, to "save much people alive." (Genesis 50:20; Rom 8:28). And we can, like Stephen and the Savior Himself, forgive all, and retain no one's sins in ourselves. We find ourselves in the same "ministry of reconciliation" as brother Paul: "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." (2 Cor 5:19)
Indeed it is the Christ Himself Who died for the very ones who killed Him. "Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children." (Matthew 27:25). And so it is, and on every son of Israel, and on every son of the Gentiles, the blood of forgiveness, of forgetfulness of sin, of holding no sin to anyone's charge in ourselves. (Though of course, unfortunately, a person may still hold onto sin and its consequences in himself, but our ministry of reconciliation is to declare no one HAS TO! Forgiveness, grace, is HERE, right now, in this present moment, to cover every sin of mankind, in the blood of the Cross.)
And we walk in that same Spirit, and thus are acquainted with grief, and in the midst of grief, in weakness, in confusion, the God of Israel rises in our midst, and again, like David we say, "For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall." (Psalm 18:29).
God is faithful, dear brother, and God is faithful IN YOU!
So take courage, and continue to rejoice, and I again I am so glad to have heard from you. What blessings!
All my love,