BEYOND OUR CONTROL
I didn’t realize until Mom’s letter, in our Anniversary card, that your ear problem was as severe as it is. Mom said that it can happen when you are driving–that must be scary. I can only imagine how it feels–scary, out of control, embarrassing and frustrating. When I felt out of control and fearful, I also felt lost and hopeless. Later I realized that God was bringing me to my second crisis. The first was my need of salvation; the second, that I alone can’t live the Christian life. My life was unmanageable and felt very hopeless, yet I knew I was a Christian and the two did not add up. I thought I one could handle my life and make it work, but God was wanting me to know the truth of Gal 2:20–"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." So I gave up trying to live the Christian life and recognized that it was He that was now living my life.
It is God that engineers these situations. In Yes I Am, Norman Grubb says "We may say we can’t account for this horror or that tragedy, but we must never say, ‘What kind of God are You to permit that?’ We ca.n only say, if we are not to have a cloud over our spirits–‘What You do or determine is always perfect love with a perfect outcome;’" The Bible says, He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: "What have you done?" (Daniel 4:35). "Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, ‘He did not make me?’ Can the pot say to the potter, ‘He knows nothing?" (Isaiah 29:16).
I discovered that I had a lot of anger toward God–why did He put me in the situation that I was in? I found that I had to express this anger to be honest with myself and God. To my surprise, it was okay to express anger (even towards God). Anger and all other feelings are just that–feelings; neither good nor bad. Certainly the Bible shows that both the Father and Jesus had a wide range of feelings. All this to say that you should not feel guilty or shameful because of the feelings that you are having about your illness. The bottom line is that I only find peace when I am honest with God, myself and others about how I am feeling.
I am trusting that God will use this difficult time in your life to bring you to a deeper understanding of what it means to have Christ living your life.
I have included a copy of a recent "Intercessor" that has my testimony. I hope this will help you in your current situation.
God is continuing to do a mighty work in my life and in my family. What a change has occurred since summer camp!!!
I’ve come to see the truth more clearly. That is, that I am a person, a precious vessel that Jesus Christ lives through. It has been a real change for me to treat myself with respect and dignity. Also to expect the same from others. The change has not come easily, but I started by being honest about how it felt when others did certain behaviors. The others (the main one being my husband) were not initially happy that I was not doing the usual lying down and dying, so to speak (stuffing my feelings and acting like everything was okay). Having clear boundaries with him also has helped a lot. Satan is no longer able to misuse me like he did before. Through making daily choices to believe that Christ is living my life, following suggestions by other Christ people and by keeping in touch with them, I can see how we have come out of a deep hole. I am truly grateful for this.
Just recently I’ve realized that even past pain and abuses have been meant by God for good. That good is for others, the very pain and consequences I have experienced are so I will understand the pain of others and know the way out of sin for them. Dave and I have also recently said a "word of faith." This is now a fact: Jesus Christ is having a weekly meeting at our home. It is God’s problem who comes. After saying the word of faith, it seems like my vision has changed. I’m seeing opportunities for friendships, sharing and treating people like real persons. When it seems right, I plan to let th m know about our Bible study. That is really exciting to me.
Thanks again all of you for praying for us, and for your input and care. I look forward to seeing you all soon, probably at the annu al business meeting.
FREE FROM BONDAGE
Even though, or maybe because I had spent two weeks with most people at summer camp in America, it was so good to meet up again at our Autumn Conference at Castleton.
For me, it was a time of being more established in the fact that Jesus Christ lives out His life through me. There was work in many different forms that needed doing and I refused to live from a "just me" feeling. I experienced the life of Christ going on in me doing the next right thing, from collecting song books and speaking out where necessary, to sitting with and talking to people who needed help in coming to know Christ as their lives and encouraging them to walk this out in day-to-day living.
All this brought me to see (once again!) how great it is refusing to believe Satan’s lies: "you’re not up to this, who do you think you are? You can’t possibly do that or see, now you’re left out."
There is no independent me to take on any of those accusations, in spite of those thoughts. I said "Jesus Christ as me is up to this. I am Jesus Christ in Meryl form; because of this I can do that thing and I’m not left out because we’re all the same person (how can Christ reject himself?). I’m simply living out a different role."
I experienced the defeat of Satan in those areas; it meant so much to me to know Jesus Christ freeing me from bondage. Truly, there is no limit to what can be achieved by believing Jesus Christ lives His life through us, as us. I hope this will encourage you to come to our Easter conference.
A SPIRITUAL QUEST
(The following is Sanda’s reply to a friend in a time of great searching in his life.)
Sorry I have been so long in answering your letter. I get so used to phones and out of the practice of taking pen to paper.
I loved hearing about your spiritual quest. You are obviously on one. I can relate to a lot you shared. I have had my share of depression, been on medication, then different medication, then off it, searching high and low for THE ANSWER. I’m older than you and have played about all my trump cards. I have finally put my faith in "Christ in me, the hope of glory." This business of faith is something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently, and your letter reminded me of myself. You say you believe 99%, and would believe 100% if you just "knew." I have hunted for that knowing myself. I have always wanted God to give me a little nudge, a little wink, somehow let me know with some certainty that what I believe is right. And there are some aspects of the truth that "feel" true to me. But by and large, I have to say that faith for me is–and has been, now, for 22 years–pretty much just a decision. That sounds right to me, I would like to believe it, I choose to believe it. I finally have seen that I was looking for some indefinable something that would give me assurance; but isn’t that just hunting for a feeling? If I feel like something is true, why would I need faith? Faith is choosing to attach myself to an invisible, unattainable Person, including everything He says about Himself and my relationship to H. I believe in Him, not in my feelings, or lack of them, about my own believing. This has helped me greatly, as I always in the past wanted God to clear up all my doubts so I could pick, then give me some pat on the head that I’d picked right. But it’s faith–raw naked faith–that conquers doubts. Nothing else. And it’s doubt that gives faith its punch. The greater the doubt, the greater the potential for faith.
So that just to encourage you to launch out into the deep with God. The verse you asked about is 1 Cor. 2:16. "We have the mind of Christ" He died for you, forgave you, lives in you, lives His life out through you. Believe Hina. God is a person, not a message. I simply hang out with the folks who believe the same about God as I do. I’m just thrilled that you’re on a search, because you will find God–really, He will find you.
Proverbs 2:2–5 says:
For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the Lord,
And discover the knowledge of God.
Much love, and let me hear how the quest goes,
KEEPING IN TOUCH
Greetings from England. I hope you’ve been doing well since Blowing Rock. I think of you and remember our conversations as we travelled back and forth to Page’s house.
We have recently had our Autumn Conference here in England. This year we had twenty-eight, which was a bigger number than we’d had in a while. Pat, Sanda, Steven & Scott came from the U. S. It was great to renew fellowship with them. Also Irene, Marian and Richard came over from Ireland.
Our main concentration was on teaching the basic truths we believe in: Body, Soul and Spirit and No Independent Self. Also we discussed choice, that our only choice is what we choose to believe about ourselves. When we choose to believe we are Christ in our forms, that gets Him in operation in us. I have experienced some very intense negative feelings over the past few weeks and have been able to say that in spite of them, I was still Christ as me going on. It’s wonderfu1 to come through that kind of experience as I used to be very shut down and not really in touch with my feelings at all.
We have our next fellowship weekend here at the beginning of November and may not meet again all together until the New Year. I will be going back to Ireland for a week at Christmas. I hope to get to see Irene, Marian and Richard then. Give my love to Colette when you see her; I enjoyed sharing a room with her at camp. I’m looking forward to next year already. I’ll close for now and hope to see you in 1995.
CHRIST IS MY PERFECTION
As usual, Castleton conference was a profitable time for me. I enjoyed teaching for the first time and was thrilled to know that people got something from it. It was fun to watch how God used my basic drawing skills to illustrate points and it actually got the message over to people.
The biggest thing I saw over the three days, time and again, was that I do not have to be perfect, I do not have to teach exactly perfectly, I don’t have to draw perfectly, and I don’t have to know it all. Christ in me is the perfect teacher, artist and knows exactly the right information that is needed in the circumstances I am in at any given time. That takes the responsibility off me and puts it where it belongs, with Christ. My part is simply to believe the truth about myself at any given moment, which means I am available for Christ to be for the world through me.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 11 No 1
- God’s Obsession
- Editor’s Note
- British Update
- Moments with Meryl
- Excerpts from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Get-together in New York
- Our Weakness Is Our Glory
- The Divine Intercessor
- Straight and Narrow and Uphill
- The Letter to the Romans
- To Think About
- Struggle of Romans Seven
- Questions & Answers
- The Only Two Natures
- God’s Promises
- The Mailbox
- New Light on the Twelve Steps
- A Look at a Book
- From God Unlimited
- Words to Live By