Healing, Cussing, Anger Fits, and Cigarettes
Someone recently wrote me with several questions, three from the writer's friends and one from the writer. These are questions that are so common we hear some version of them almost everywhere. Hopefully some will get some benefit from these.
Here are the questions:
1. If Jesus has removed sin and the devil from me, why am I not healed from sickness when I ask for it?
2. If Jesus lives in me, why am I still having anger fits?
3. If Jesus lives in me, why do I still use words I don't think are proper?
4. And then finally, my favorite question, from you and not your friends, because it does not start with, "IF Jesus lives in me." Your question starts out with faith, by your saying you know that Christ and you are one, and that he lives in you as you, and in that faith you are wanting understandable clarification about the cigarette issue.
The first three questions have little to do with having come to faith, and I don't think that your friends will find their answers until they can say, "Christ lives in me and expresses Himself in me, through me, as me, and I believe this because it is TRUE, regardless of appearances or feelings to the contrary." (Or something similar.) This statement of faith we make is like a marriage vow. It is a holy inviolable commitment between God and ourselves, that our lives are He in us living according to His word and not according to our own limited sight and understanding. If we were never to move beyond what our own sight could see and our understanding could understand, we would never move into the Spirit of God, but would remain forever in the flesh and in separation. God honors FAITH! Only faith propels us into Him.
Faith does not say, "IF Christ is in me." Faith says "Christ IS in me." There is no "if" there.
The apostle says, "if Christ be in you," and in that regard he is stating a fact about ourselves that is true by virtue of our being in Christ (Rom 8:10). On the other hand, the devil said, "IF you are the Son of God, make bread out of these stones ... IF you are the Son of God, jump off the temple ..." These first three questions seem to me to be more along that line. Because among the many issues that were going on in this encounter between Jesus and the devil in the wilderness (Matt 4:3-10), was this very same issue we are speaking of now. Jesus went into the wilderness, through the revelation of the Spirit knowing who He was, evidenced by the baptism of John and the voice from Heaven pronouncing Him as the Beloved Son. The issue for Jesus was not to make stones into bread and thus prove who He was, but to abide in what was ALREADY THE REVEALED PERSONAL WORD OF GOD TO HIM, i.e., that He was indeed the Son of God -- the Anointed Messiah. For him to have bought into the devil's "if", as if He was not the Son of God, even though He had already had been told and knew who He was, would have been joining into the devil's unbelief, and we would still be in our sins, because Adam's sin would have been repeated in Him.
Therefore this is a vital issue to see, if we are to come to and walk in the fullness of life. It is the very issue brought out in Hebrews 11:6: "For without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he that cometh to God must believe that He IS, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
There are two key parts in that verse. First, we believe that God IS. In order to do that we cannot be working according to our natural reasoning human mind, that has to see everything one-two-three, only being able to believe in things it can prove by things it can see or touch. Believing that God IS, comes from the witness of the Spirit. He cannot be known except the Spirit reveal Him inwardly in our spirits, but when He does, in Him we find the grace to believe that God IS, i.e., not only that He exists, but that He is not a figment of imagination, He is not a point of doctrine, He is not a mysterious concept that we form some image of in our minds, but that HE IS PERSON, immediately (here and now) revealed as, "I AM THAT I AM," and that HE IS HIMSELF.
And secondly, the second part that says that we also must believe that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, means that we believe in the true nature of this person, which is that out of His eternal infinite LOVE, He extends His bounty freely and liberally to all who ask of Him in sincerity, and who seek HIM. They seek HIM, and not things. They seek HIM, and nothing else. But they also further testify by their faith, that because HE IS, HIS reward is in His hand. This means that when we have sought HIM WHO IS ABOVE, BEYOND, OVER, UNDER, THROUGH, and IN ALL THINGS, that we are also "rewarded" with that which He IS, All in all, and we now freely receive of all the bounties of the "All in all" as heirs of Him who holds all things in His hand, Who procured them especially for us, who now freely and thankfully taste His Salvation and Life, in which are the inner provision of everything. That is true faith. Anything else has no promise of fulfillment.
How do we enter into this faith? By our word, as I stated above. If we have seen the truth of who we are from the scriptures and the testimony of others, though we may still not be certain that we have been given the full Spirit's witness to us, if we have been drawn to this point, to see that we are "not we, but He," even if very dimly, then that is where our marriage contract with the Spirit begins. In our word of agreement with what we have been shown. As I stated above, it is like a marriage vow because when we make a marriage vow, which is nothing more in our culture than a simple, "I do," it is both according to the law of men and the law of nature and God, a binding contract, that we abide in as long as the law of the marriage continues. To violate the vow and go into another, is to be an adulterer. We are given to know this not only because of the sanctity of earthly marriage, but because it points to the True Spirit Reality, and that if we violate our marriage to Christ by unbelief, we are also adulterers, and of the much worse kind, because we are adulterers of the spirit, which the flesh can only dimly point to. But as another scripture in Hebrews says, (10:39) "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul."
So because He is in us, then we join in with Him in His own truth, and trust nothing but Him and His word in us. That means that we begin to look to and know the inner spirit truth as the real truth over against everything, no matter what appearances are to the contrary. We realize at that point that we are not our own, that we are bought with a price, and that our bodies, souls, and spirits, the "temple" which is ourselves, are now indwelled and filled with the God of heaven, instead of our former indweller, "the prince of the power of the air." We know we can do NOTHING of ourselves, as testified to by Jesus numerous times (and if HE could do nothing of Himself, how much more are we incapable of doing anything, except we continue in our inner weakness and nothingness and continually say within ourselves the same word as Mary who bore the Lord as a babe by miracle even as we do, "Be it unto me according to thy word"?)
And once prayed and believed, then we do not leave that heart confession. We have cast all upon Him, and now He is the government upon our shoulders. The Life, Wisdom, Righteousness, Holiness, are His only and come only from Him, and we as vessels are only receivers and manifestors of something we do not originate. But through our oneness with Christ within us then this is coming out of our innermost selves, as Jesus said again: "He that believeth on Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." He did not say, "ought to flow," or, "should flow," but, "SHALL flow." So then we join in with the Lord Jesus in his faith word about us, saying, "Yes, Lord, you have spoken it, and therefore it IS True. YOU DO FLOW OUT OF ME AS RIVERS OF LIVING WATER." We leave the rest to Him, because our part is receiving by our confession, and the Holy Spirit does the rest of the doing.
Now, let's get to the 4 questions you specifically brought up.
1. Healing. The promises of God for healing are primarily concerned with the New Creation, not to the old. It has been erroneously preached for generations, that physical healing is universally promised to this world and this body, which is just simply not so. Why would God promise universal healing to something that is only food for worms in the end? The scripture I referred to above, Rom 8:10, says "the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." The creation, which includes our bodies from out of this world's material, is decaying ("perishing day by day," Paul says), and will continue to decay until this whole creation reaches the fulfillment of all things, and then this creation will dissolve away and a new heaven and a new earth will come. We don't know for certain what that means, but we do know that this in which we are living now is passing away due to the corruption that is in it and that it is temporal, and this cannot be undone.
Our bodies are quickened (made active, alive, lively) by the Spirit every day, and healed here and there as the Lord pleases. There are those with true gifts of healing, but healing of the body is never the point, and if God is pleased to heal us from sickness or disease or not, either way we are manifestors IN OUR FLESH of the grace of God. We give thanks in everything, and give glory to God in everything. Even Job blessed God when he suffered the grievous physical attacks of Satan. He gave no glory to Satan, didn't even mention him, but only continually related his trust in the Almighty, from whom Job knew that all things come. "My Father's cup, shall I not drink it?" asked Jesus when Satan engineered His crucifixion. All things are in the Father's hand; Satan is in charge of nothing.
Therefore when we receive everything, even hardship, trial, suffering, disease, death, sorrow, as well other so-called "good" things, we receive everything, good or ill, with thanksgiving and praise to God. And if we are called to suffer, or to be sick (that is, if after we ask and God doesn't deliver us from it), then we don't fall into unbelief and say, "Why didn't it happen?" Instead we realize that we are only like our brother Paul, who realized the grace of God appeared IN his human weakness, and that by his weakness God's grace was manifested in his life. Paul said that within him he suffered continually the dying of the Lord Jesus, and that by this Jesus was manifest in His mortal flesh. And that was the basis of his faith confession, which drove Paul in all that he did. "I BELIEVE, and therefore I speak." (2 Cor 4:10-13).
2. Anger fits. We all know about this. Anger overtakes us all from time to time, and some more than others. Sometimes with seemingly good reason, sometimes seemingly not. Though we may have used anger the past 10,000 times we've felt it rise up in us as some tyranny over others and because of that we are scared to death of it, today through the Spirit we can know we can trust Him with even that. Anger will rise up in us from time to time, but now that we know that He and we are one person, then we know this anger now has a new use in Christ's dominion in ouor lives. If anger comes, we recognize no separation between Christ and us, and therefore know that as a right expression of our humanity, God has a perfect use for this "member" of ourselves which, we know through faith, is now given to His perfect use. We may simply say something like, "Lord, you have come into my life to live it and to be one with me in the world, so that I live, but it's not me, it's You. So I am saying you are using this anger I feel in your perfect way for your purpose, and I trust you with it." And then we leave it to God. Anger has its place. Trust God in it. Some might ask, "But what if I am acting out of the flesh?" and Romans 8:9 would answer, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Stay with the truth.
3. Bad words. Same as above, except we might say, "Lord, since you are living as me, then you have my mouth also, and I trust you with it. I trust you with whatever words come out of it." And then leave it at that, continuing to trust God and honor your faith word. (That issue is for most people more about the traditions of men or issues of personal conscience, and really doesn't have much to do with righteousness or sin.)
4. Cigarettes. I think you already gave your own answer when you wrote me and said they were God's and you were praising Him in them. Except for one thing which you said, that you were "trying" to get rid of your few cigs a day. One hand praises him for the cigarettes, and the other "tries" to be rid of the thing you're praising Him for? Let go of the "trying" and just do the praising! I smoked for years, even while being a teacher of this union truth. I had all the emotions and feelings about it you have, I'm sure. And I know for a fact that there were those who "despised" me for smoking. But I had to give it to God in me in faith. It is not in me to condemn folks I know to be smokers, and certainly not to accuse them of sin because of it, so why should I do it to myself? I decided I'd relax in my faith that my cigarettes were for the glory of God.
You're right, a lot of people question that. But we don't live after the questions and objections of the flesh. I know all the objections -- scriptural, medical, smell, financial, etc. In their way and realm they are all true. I heard them all and said them all at one time or another to myself. But when we have become those who can do nothing of themselves, then we see that applies with this issue, too. It must become God's smoking problem, since this body we are living in is also His body that He is living in. By grace we have given our bodies to him as His free habitation. But not just our bodies, but as a sacrifice on an altar we have given everything else that is us or that belongs to us, to Him, to do with as HE pleases, and the cigarette habit is in that realm of everything which now belongs to Him in us. So there we remain, praising God, and enjoying every cigarette blissfully down to its last glorious, wonderful draw, in sincerity giving glory to God in ALL THINGS. Oh, I know, people really get bothered about this issue particularly, especially in these times now, and will fight you on this, but that is where we begin to rejoice in Him only, even if no one else sees what He has shown us. One day the Lord did remove the cigarettes from me, but I would still be saying the same thing if I still smoked them.
So that's what all these things boil down to. That we believe God, and further that we know that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. What is the reward? His life expressed by our faith and through our mortal flesh, which we trust Him for every day. It is ALWAYS, "I live, yet not I, but He lives" -- and this life in the flesh is Him expressing Himself in this current moment. That's where we hang our hat, and leave it.