Full Assurance of Faith
We struggle and labour and fight in faith, because we have not yet discerned between soul and spirit, the hallmark of the mature. We are constantly moved in the human realm by the impact of the visible. We "see" this or that failing or lack. We "feel" depression. We "hear" an unceasing stream of unbelieving talk. All this affects our minds and conditions, and we seem to have pressing down upon us a mountain of oppression, darkness, inability to maintain our grip on the invisible. We struggle, we strive, and the best we can do is dumbly, without feeling or sight, "to cling heaven by the hems": and the worst, which we more often do, is to let faith go for a season. The battle is fierce. The enemy this time is no dead and gone catalogue of past sins: it is a living, pulsing, corrupt nature. Blows are given and taken in an endless hurricane. One moment, flesh puts its foot on the neck of faith and summons it to surrender, the battle seems hopeless, flesh seems to pop up its evil head whenever it pleases. Another moment, faith rears up again from the dust, flings off the flesh, tramples it under foot and shouts, "They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts." "Cast out the bond-woman and her son."
Then what happens? Who can tell? The contest was unequal from the beginning, despite all appearances. Faith had the trump card all the time, the victory already won by Him who "having spoiled principalities and powers, made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in the Cross." Only one requirement was essential: that faith should endure to the end and not be bluffed into a surrender.
The same principle can be seen on the natural plane, in the exercise of natural faith. Take as an example the learning of a foreign language. You are faced with a series of hieroglyphics in a book, you hear a medley of sounds around, which mean absolutely nothing. Yet you know that it is a language which can be learned. More than that, you have gone there to learn it. Now that is the first rung of the ladder of faith. However weakly or waveringly, in your heart (even though out of modesty you might not even confess it yourself) you do believe that you can and will get it. Otherwise, obviously you wouldn’t try to learn it. So you plod on. Many a time faith and courage fail, the mind is weary and the heart heavy, and you almost give up. But not quite. To give up is faith’s unforgivable sin. On you go at it. Months pass. It seems largely to go in at one ear and out of the other. Then–the length of time depends on the difficulty of the language and the ability and industry of the pupil of course–a miracle seems to happen. The day or period comes when, without your hardly realizing it, what you are seeking has found you; what you are trying to grasp has grasped you! You just begin automatically to speak the language, to think it, to hear it. What was an incomprehensible jumble of sounds without, has become an ordered language within the mind. That is the way of faith. It takes what God gives–here a language. It believes that it can attain it. It works at it both by maintaining faith (keeping the spirit up as we call it), and by industry; then the day comes when through faith and through work, the Giver of all knowledge is able to implant in that mind, as part of its very own possessions, that department of knowledge He had already given and by dream, by vision it was seeking. Faith has gained the objective God was offering it.
So, in the spiritual fight of faith, the moment or period comes when we know. Every vestige of strain and labour has gone. Indeed, faith, as such is not felt or recognized any more. The channel is lost sight of in the abundance of the supply. As we came to know that we were children of God by an inner certainty, a witness of the Spirit in our spirits, so now we come to know that the old "I" is crucified with Christ; the new "I" has Christ as its permanent life, spirit with Spirit have been fused into one, the branch grafted into the vine, the member joined to the body; and the problem of abiding becomes as natural as breathing
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 15 No 2
- The Deep Things of God
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- In His Completeness
- Straight with God by 30
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Full Assurance of Faith
- The Age of Miracles Past?
- Questions & Answers
- Letter to a Friend
- A Look at a Book
- The Mailbox
- Zerubbabel Focus: Total Living Center
- Faith Action
- The Faith Process
- To Think About
- Bible Study: Philemon
- Living Water: British Easter Conference Spring 1999
- Tape Talk
- Area Fellowship News: History of the Irish Fellowship
- The Real Problem: Satan’s Lie
- Words to Live By…