Trust God in Them
Thanks for all you've written the past few days. I don't know that I'll get to everything you asked or said but I think I know the gist of what you are experiencing and what your questions are.
I see from your latest today from talking to your Pastor that you don't feel he's as far along as maybe you were hoping, but you rebound with faith and that's really where the rubber meets the road.
It's not an impossibility, and I wouldn't by any means limit what God might do, but it just does seem that seeing union is not a thing for the crowds. There is a lot of stir about the "exchanged life" and "Christ our life" in the Christian world out there, and I'm thankful for all of it. A lot of it goes only a short distance, I think.
My part to share of it, I'm seeing more clearly now, is to share the totality of this reality, as I see it. That we might really actually believe it, that our "I" is "He" expressed as "me" leaving no one but He (in one sense) and yet He expressing Himself hiddenly in the complete uniqueness which is me -- "me" being representative of us all. We are all unique individuals in Christ, yet the Same One Person in each of us.
Now, you mention your frustration at others not seeing this, etc. Like I said above, "this" happens more to individuals than to groups, i.e. churches. It's not an institutional thing. Except maybe in a monastery. It just seems to be the way the Father brings people along, since usually coming into a union "I live yet not I but Christ" living reality is usually predicated in most of us by various levels of crisis or burnout or failure, and we are brought by the Spirit through some "dark night of the soul," whereby we learn our own total helplessness, a Romans 7, "I know that no good thing dwelleth in me" happening, and we find ourselves doing what we loathe, and failing to do what we believe we should be doing, until we are finally brought to an end of our ability and in despair we confess in dust and ashes that we are as incapable of producing righteousness and the works of God or to keep ourselves from evil now that we are "saved" as we were before we were children of God.
And what you are beholding in your church and are frustrated about is the Father's work at various stages in various people, as He brings each of them through in His own way and in His own time. Did you know that "getting into the Word" is a gift? If you are delighting in "getting into the Word" rejoice and enjoy it. Tomorrow and for many days you may not want to open it. Can you believe that would be grace for you? Can you trust God to uphold you even if you don't read the Word?
You see, I do. There is an inner God Who spoke to Abraham, who had no leather bound notes-in-the-margin-concordance-in-the-back to refer to when He heard that inner word from the Invisible He Who Causes To Be. When I read Abraham and those old stories, I have to think that instead of something different being about their day (like I heard a lady sadly say, "Oh, I wish I lived in Bible days."), that "our day" is the same as their day, and we hear God the same as they heard God, and maybe he had a theophany or two (theophany is a term that means an Old-Testament appearance of God in a physical form), but I believe that Abraham heard God in his heart, and by grace he was given to know it was God speaking to Him. And He believed in that God and, the scripture says, it was accounted as righteousness to him. In other words, by "hearing the word of God" by faith Abraham entered the kingdom of grace, an inner kingdom, and his life became righteousness.
He didn't have to do anything different. There was no law. He had to do the circumcision thing, but that really wasn't for him but for his descendents and to make a point to us (one of which being that it is not by the means of human reproduction [human effort, knowledge, wisdom, power, etc.] that God's seed is reproduced). By the one "act" of faith Abraham became the father of many nations and was counted righteous before God.
Which is what we are finally brought to see at the end of our Romans 7 trial, in which we in some way see that we have no strength of our own, that even our desire to do good is evil when we desire to do good for our own sake, to "save ourselves" and "become good" or "righteous" or "holy" or "spiritual" for our own sake -- because the human self still infected with the lie of independent self will still think it has some capability to attain unto spirituality on its own merits, by some keeping of some unknown law, some adherance to vague standards, and the purpose of God's sending us into the desert of our own efforts is to finally break us of the lie and delusion and deception that we are independent self-acting selves who run ourselves, which is still the devil's lie whirling about and having us in its sway (in our consciousness), until one day when we collapse and give up and can go no further, and say to God in some manner, "OK, you old #E((@Q*, I've had it, and I can't and won't go another step. If you want anything else out of ME, you #*$*%, you're going to have to do it yourself. I quit!"
Strangely, God is not the prude we think He is, and kind of likes being talked to crudely and honestly from time to time.
So you are seeing folks who are on their way to a crack-up. The Father determines the times and the ways. And He is good at His job. And on the other side of the crack-up is "gold, tried by fire" and coming out pure, because the Father sees to that, too.
So let your brothers & sisters be themselves, trust God in them, as you trust Him in yourself, that even as your times are in His hands, so are theirs, and He will have His way in your precious pastor also.
That doesn't mean that you don't see particular things and speak specific words of faith and live in belief for them. But it also means to relax and rest in God, Who will bring all things to pass.
It's pretty much "win-win."
All my love,