SPIRIT MATURITY IN A TEENAGER
Hi, what’s up? Thank you for the card, it was cool to hear from you out of the blue.
Well, you ask how I’m doing–well on a feeling level absolutely "lousy" to be honest. But, we know it doesn’t stop there, right? On a real, spirit or believing level, I’m doing really top class! And for once, to me, that (the latter) is so much more important. God is piling on all the negative looking things, loads at once too, but I know it’s exactly what He wants for me so that’s cool. In James it says, "Count it all joy when you fall into various trials" and that is what I am doing!
Since our fellowship week-end, when I decided to make some changes in my life in spite of big-time feelings on the issue, God has picked me to represent Him in so many areas of my life. Yes, I’m now actually fit to do that. For the first time, I’m letting Jesus Christ work to His full in my life and with whom I’m in contact. (To my knowledge at the moment anyway.) It is very real to me now living this message and I wouldn’t swap it for any amount of earthly things. How about these for cool verses, also out of James: "Do you not know that friend-ship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God," and "For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy."
Pretty powerful, heh? In case you hadn’t guessed, I’ve just read the book of James. It’s the best!
You’d be so proud of what I’ve been up to. God’s suddenly had me growing up quickly. A friend phoned me from university and we talked a long time about God, and also her relationship with her boyfriend. And I knew if I didn’t talk or kept it brief to spare my image, etc., I wouldn’t be for her. I just went on and on about God. It felt scary and she didn’t like it either (she’s ready to write me off as mad) but I know it was God’s choice for me (Christ/me) to bring this to her attention! On a feeling level it’s hard because I’m giving up a ten-year friendship with a close friend and losing her approval and my reputation. But it’s Christ’s reputation, not mine, and I’m pre-pared to lose our kind of relationship if she comes to know God, or just because I know it’s the right thing to do. At the moment it stands that we are just communicating through letters–basically me telling her about God, Jesus, etc. and hope-fully her writing back! Only God knows what will happen here. But it’s exciting.
If you’re ever having a dodgey day, please read this and remember that it’s Christ in the form of Sanda that has helped greatly to get me this far. And I’m grateful for that! Also, if I’m not doing well, you might read this back to me!
Give my love to everyone. I hope everyone is doing well. Philippians 1:3
EITHER/OR NOT BOTH
Greetings in Jesus’ name,
Thank you so much for the issues of The Intercessor. This issue’s "Here We Stand" reminded me of a little study I did several years back which I titled "The Two Sides…Either/or, but not Both." The subject of "either/or" as compared to "both/and" is a point of contention in many Christian circles. In one breath a person can vigorously state that they are a new creation in Christ, and in the next breath claim to be a sinner, having the "old nature" within.
This is a most subtle duality, and one strongly promoted by Satan among God’s people. It is a lose-lose situation: if things go right, praise God because He did it and He gets all the credit. If things go wrong, punish myself because I’m a sinner, my old nature is acting up again and I take all the blame. What a mess! I can see why many Christians readily identify with Paul’s Romans 7 experience, and wind up saying’"Wretched man that I am." Yes, they are wretched, if they stay there in that situation, with that limited and erroneous understanding.
I’ve begun to see, however, that many of us must plumb the depths of Romans 7, and be utterly exhausted and frustrated therein, before we are really ready for Romans 8. My experience was to be stuck in Romans 7 for many years, only able to give feeble lip service to Romans 8.
Then I saw it, as God by His Holy Spirit revealed it to me. I was finally ready to say with conviction from my own experience, "there is therefore now no condemnation…." And regarding sin, God showed me what Paul knew, that "I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which indwells me." The real me, the Christ-I, the one "born of God" as John puts it, cannot sin. I could not see that while stuck in Romans 7!
Suddenly, God pulled back the curtain on who I really am, and to my amazement I found myself to be holy and righteous, even with all my human frail-ties and failures. It was almost overwhelming. And Satan was right there to derail me. He did two things: tried to focus my attention on my humanity and tried to get me to be a "better" Christian. He failed at both, because even with all my warts and bumps, God gave me a very strong inner knowing of who I really am.
Thanks again for your great magazine.
Temple City, California
A WIDESPREAD FAMILY
In the fall I attended a week-end conference at Castleton, a tiny, picturesque village in the Derbyshire Peak District of England. Many of those attending knew each other of old in the fellowship of Zerubbabel and had kept coming back time and time again across the years. They came from three different countries of the United Kingdom: England, Ireland, and Scotland. We welcomed Page Prewitt, Sanda Cooper and Scott Prewitt from the U.S.A.
The mutual support given within the group was both dependable and forthright. Like members of a family we got to know a great deal about each other, and I think that very often we get to know even more of each other than family members would.
Sanda Cooper once wrote something to us who live in different countries and she signed off with "… from your family in America." This really is an international family and I’m glad to be a member of it.
APPRECIATION OF GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY
The Autumn Conference for me was a time of us all getting together and sharing what God is saying to each of us as individuals as well as a group. It was a challenge and a privilege to participate in the teaching and be part of a team working together to give a presentation of the full gospel which I know was particularly helpful to our new members as well as giving us all a deeper understanding of God’s Word.
I see more clearly that in all situations, particularly intercession, my first port of call has to be God, to find His will and to act upon it in certainty of the fact that it really is Christ as me carrying it out no matter what it looks and feels like, especially in the face of adversity and opposition when faith and under-standing are being stretched, and that God, as the absolute ruler of the universe will direct people and circumstances according to His perfect plan for us all.
Much love, Christina Duncan
East Kilbride, Scotland
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 12 No 1
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Weekend in New York 1995
- The Letter to the Romans
- The Mailbox
- God’s Promises
- A Look at a Book
- Questions & Answers
- The Walk Through The Bible
- God’s Wonderful Plan
- New Light on the Twelve Steps
- Excerpt from After C.T. Studd
- Tape Talk
- Words to Live By