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No Fear of Self
by Fred Pruitt

The gospel is useless to us if there is no resurrection, as Paul said. Jesus' resurrection only makes full sense as Christ is resurrected in US! God had no need to send the Son to resurrect only for Himself, but for the purpose that we might be restored to that which for which we were created. This further resurrection is ourselves coming into the fullness of our personal existence.

It is two-stage, we might say. The first stage happens in our new birth and our subsequent resurrection unto newness of life in this corruptible body, in which we learn through and by faith, to be our true selves as expressions of Him, but not just as Christ, but in a sense forgetting the union and simply being also ourselves AS ourselves -- as if we are just ourselves and the self which we are in union with Him is a right self being just itself.

The second stage is out of this body and we don't really know what that is yet, until we cross over. Therefore, at this moment we can only be mainly concerned with (to pass on to others) this first stage. What is our role in the here and now? Certainly we trust God for the second stage as well as this first -- but in this learning time in the Spirit the main thing is to know our living rightness as fully functioning, word-speaking, creative expressers -- human expressions (earthen vessels) of the Living Triune God!

Now, this is not automatic in the sense that God just zaps us or DOES us and we are as automatons who are simply made to be what we are with no input from us how that will be or how far we will go. There is a you and a me, which is a unified self as an expression of Christ. This unified self cannot be intellectually taken apart to see where God leaves off and we somehow separately exist. We are the clay and He is the potter and at the same time we are we and He together as one. Yet paradoxically I function as myself!

But there is a reason for the parables of the Sower and of the 10 talents vs the one talent hid in a napkin. "To the froward he shows Himself froward, with the pure as pure." (Ps 18:26; Titus 1:15) We are only receptors, but we MUST receive, and there is a moment when WE must speak the word. It is He but it is we and we cannot take that apart. He works all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph 1:11) and yet, "he who sows sparingly will reap sparingly" (2 Cor 9:6).

To stand up and be a PERSON who lives, considers, decides and acts is rampant in scripture. It is just that people read those admonitions in separated thinking, trying to fulfill them and failing, by God's grace not realizing that it is only fulfilled in our union reality. Again, this is not automatic, but as we as persons stand up by our word and go from faith to faith and into possessing our possessions.

Even in a union understanding, some get stuck in, "God does all, I do nothing," which may incorrectly lead us to, "I don't exist, only God does." This is a bunny trail some of us have gone down but we trust the Spirit to lead us back on the path where we do not live in fear of ourselves (thus finding solace in our own annihilation). Through that we subsequently discover, like Job, that when we step out and boldly be ourselves, trusting Him as ourselves, that sometimes we then surprisingly and fearfully find everything going to Hell in a handbasket which then becomes a stinky pile of dung (stuck on a dunghill as the scripture says -- 1 Sam 2:8; Ps 113:7).

O what glory! This is where the gold is found, because when "that which I feared most has come upon me" ("me, myself, I" being what I fear most), well guess what? We gloriously find, LO, here is God also, in this stinky pile of dung, and miraculously, we find ourselves to be the righteous expressions we believed in the beginning we were by His word of revelation to us, that HE SAID WE WERE. Just as He pronounced, before Job's trials, that Job was unlike anybody else in the earth, perfect and upright (Job 1: 8) -- and before our trial did he not say the same of us, which is why we are bold to step out in faith? "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Remember, this word came to Jesus at His baptism, BEFORE He had done any works. It is the same with us because He is in us as one with us.)

And now through the trial it has been proven to be true (His righteousness in us which then we know as OUR righteousness), that when this "self" has gone on and just been itself, there is God at the bottom and as the Source, and further, that thing which we feared most (ourselves) is proven to be what God has said it is -- perfect and upright before God. Can this really be?

For much of my life I lived in fear of "that which I fear most" (me). I have often responded to it by trying to eliminate fear -- fear of this, fear of that -- thinking if I don't fear anything then there won't be anything to "fear most" to come upon me, making me presumably safe from calamity and trouble. But in reality we all have this at the bottom -- stark terror of letting go to just be who we are, but when we do, "that which I fear most," proves to be absolutely nothing, and God proves Himself in it to be THE upholder and the One Whose Promise is TRUE. Then Isaac is born in us, the Son of Promise (not effort), and in our flesh we DO SEE God (Job 19:25, 26). Then we CAN and DO stand up and use the 10 talents to gain 10 more, rather than in fear hiding our talents because we're afraid we'll lose what we have.

Then in tears of joy and sorrow we boldly cast our bread upon the waters -- for we shall find it after many days! (Ecc 11:1) And therefore in Him we are steadfast, unmovable, ABOUNDING in the work of the Lord! Why? Because our labor IS NOT IN VAIN IN THE LORD!

Let us therefore keep the faith, and live Christ. Amen.