Letters from Norman
Oct. 24, 1972
What a precious letter from you. Actually the day it arrived (two days ago) I was thinking of you and hoping that, when I am able to come to Texas again, hopefully next April, though I havent worked out details yet, I might also be able to come to you. So you indeed encourage me to do so!
My dear, you are well on the way (for it is those who hunger and thirst who are filled), and you actually have arrived, only you dont recognise it because of various snags!
It is our misconceptions about ourselves which tie us up. You mention right at the end about How can self be dead etc. Self isnt meant to be dead, but very much alive! The self has died in Christ from its central control by the Satanic self-centred spirit of error; but the same self is well alive in Christ in its new union relationship with Him, the Spirit of truth. Rather like if a man works for a steel firm under a steel boss, then changes to a cotton firm under a cotton boss, he has died to the one and come alive to the other. But because both the steel and cotton firms continue in existence, the steel boss may try to tempt you back again. So we are still in a world where we are now in the Spirit; but the old spirit of error still gets at us by temptation.
But, dear, this is just as God means it to be. A Positive can only manifest by having a negative which it swallows up. So God Our Positive must have human negatives (we), who are stirred up our self-reactionsfear, worry, annoyance, hurt, lusts, dislikes etc.and so are alive reacting negatives. Now our misconception is if we think we human negatives should change and not have these reactions. Thats our mistake. We are meant to have them and we never change.
But what Gal. 2:20 means, (the Exchanged life, yes, thats the best title) is that you are not really just Your Page you, nor I just Norman I; you are in an eternal, inner unity, the branch of the Vine; you are the Vine in its Page-branch form. Now then, as you have these self-arisings, you dont condemn yourself, you dont get guilty or try to change; but inwardly you transfer your inner recognition from what is humanly stirring you up to the True Fact, which is CHRIST the Real you. Then as you recognise and affirm Him, and praise, you find He overflows, swallows up your negative human reactions, and He manifests Himself in love, praise, faith, peace, what-not by you.
So you see, love, it is not a matter of you hoping and searching and looking for some new experience of Gal. 2:20 not yours already. No. You ARE eternally in that union, and HE is eternally within you, the Real You. All you do is to dare to affirm and recognise; and as you do this, He Himself will confirm to you that this union is a fact.
Then you see you dont accuse or condemn yourself for being yourself and having your own will, wanting your way etc. No, when you feel like that, dont be afraid of going your way and reckoning it to be His way in your union; or you just say to Him, Thats what my will is and how I feel about it. If I should be different, You get changing me. So be yourself, and dare to believe the fact that you are not you, but Christ in you.
And where you have guilt or conviction that you have slipped, well, immediately thank God for the precious cleansing blood, and where is the guilt of sin? Not there, disappeared long ago in the blood! Yes, for books, a great many have found help in Watchman Nees Normal Christian Life. Others like Christians Secret of a Happy Life. Others find help in Carruthers From Prison to Praise.
Yes, I know Miles Stanford and his Green Letters. They have helped many. My one question might be whether they put too much emphasis on the death side, and leave folks rather as you sayhow can I be dead when self is so evident? And does not enough bring you thru to the full sunlight of the life side which has swallowed up the death, but not swallowed up self, but liberated us to be real selves!
And how fully I agree with you about those who say, If God gets anything done, it will be done by the Holy Spirit working in me. No, thats not the answer and is proof that those who say it dont know it yet. Because the answer is God is getting things donein and by methough all Hell and other folks and accusing self would seek to deny it. Ye ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD not become it, may be it, ought to be it. No, ARE it! So are you, my dear.
Should love to hear from you again and I think it wonderful that you have so poured your precious heart out to me like this. And I will hope to be with you and Tom soon.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 19 No 4
- What about Temptation?
- Editors Note
- The Gates of Hell Prevailing. Why? And How To Close Them.
- Tape Talk
- Temptation and Its Beneficial Effects
- Reminiscences of Rees Howells The War Years, 19391945
- A Look at a Book
- Living Letters
- Wickedness in High Places
- Every Man is Tempted
- Kims Story
- Letters from Norman