Not Two Powers–Only One
In what ways does the Spirit flow out of us as rivers? Have we any clear pointers? Yes, there are two. We shall see that He flows out of us as Spirit through spirit (Chapters 34-43) and Spirit through body (Chapters 44-51), and we shall see how He does this.
Let us look into the most basic first: the way He flows out through our spirit. That way, of course, is the way of faith, for the Spirit way is the faith way. We shall be foolish if we think we already know plenty about that way. We have hardly begun! We shall soon find, as I have, that there is plenty more to learn and apply through the whole of life.
The faith way is the one and only way by which the Spirit has flowed into us, and it is the one and only way by which He flows out. As I near the end of my days on earth, I have no more fascinating and fruitful occupation than living the life of faith in action. I join not only with those men of Hebrews 11 in their exploits of faith, but also with great men of faith of my earlier years, such as George Müller and Hudson Taylor, from whom I have eagerly picked up invaluable lessons of faith. But crowning all, for me, have been my years of intimacy with that man of faith and intercession, Rees Howells.
It was not now the faith of my own relationship to God in new birth or union that was interesting me. It was faith applied, and applied effectively, to every incident of my daily life; and beyond that, to the lives and needs of all to whom I was and am sent, or who come to me. This required of me, first, a new expansion to my seeing of things. I had learned that before I can believe, I must see what I am to believe. First, see–then believe–single sight, then simple faith. But I had double sight, and that was my confusion. I saw two powers, good and evil–with plenty of evil. How could I bring the evil within reach of effectively believing God is dealing with it?
So my first step of enlarged understanding was to discover the single eye–to step from seeing God personal to God universal. It cost me a year to get this finally and completely settled. Thank God, He put me through that painful period. It has altered all my many years–this seeing and knowing how to believe with no weak spots in any situation–and made me able to help others to do the same. As I say, the change didnt depend on the believing, but on the knowing what I could believe. There had to be an expansion of my inner understanding before there could be an expansion of believing.
I first had to have a shock–and this was Gods way of shocking me: In the course of my reading, I ran across William James Varieties of Religious Experience. As I read, it seemed to me that he was saying that Pauls conversion was just an inner self-adjustment, not an outward meeting with God on the road to Damascus. I may have misread him, but God meant me to read it like that, for my benefit: a negative to fit me for a total positive! Its effect on me–crazy though it may seem to you of more settled faith–was suddenly to make me wonder whether, after all, there is a human self-sufficiency with no need of God–and perhaps even no God! In other words, I did not have an all-encompass-ing faith which answered all possible doubts and questionings. But I needed a God with no possibility of a hole in Him.
That sent me on a desperate search. I must have a "total God" or nothing. Indeed, I went so far as to say to God, if there was a God, that Id had a twenty-year love affair with Him…He was all in all to me…so if He really was phony and non-existent, I would choose to be phony also, and in my love would cling to Him and be a phony along with Him. Love weathered the storm when the "faith boat" was being rocked. I went through a years search with much agony of spirit–believing, yet not believing. I need not go into details, except to say that, helped somewhat by the great mystics in their pursuit of and finding union with God, I too finally had a great inner "recognition" that He is all. That is why I am so strong on that now His being "all" has meant for me, ever since, that whatsoever there is in the universe, of whatever kind–whether good or evil, negative or positive, including Satan and all his works–God is the source of all, for He is the True All, the Alpha and the Omega. (I am not saying at this moment how that can include evil as well as good, but will explain that shortly.) But it became burned in me like a brand that I am one with Him in whom the universe is one. It is like a permanent inner light in me, for He is light…and we are light. Some talk of a "cosmic consciousness," and this became that to me, and I am branded.