The Christ Life…In Everyday Living
Paul instructed older women to train younger women in the ways of the Lord (Titus 2:3-5). The following exchange of letters is a good example of how this principle can be applied in daily life. In the first letter, a young mother and wife is reaching out to an older, spiritually mature, woman for guidance on how to handle situations mothers and wives face every day. In her response, the older woman is able to show how the truth that Christ lives His life through her filters down even into common, everyday circumstances.
How are you? You are in my thoughts a lot! I’ve been listening to your tape, "A Pinhole of Light," and I was glad to get to know you better. You did a good job of giving your testimony. I was able to relate to you a lot. I knew that I am a lot "nicer" to people outside my home than I am to the ones I claim I love.
While I was listening to the tape, I came to a conclusion. You said you took your Christianity seriously. I know I’ve not taken much in my life seriously, certainly not my faith. I want to know how long after you met Norman and you knew he had an answer, did the total truth became real to you? I ask that because most of the time I know I’m mean to Dan and the children and I want my behavior to change. I say "Well Christ is living my life"; but because my bitchiness has not changed, somehow I must be in sin. Then no specific sin is revealed so I call my behavior Christ.
When I do that, I then think, "How can I call myself Christ when my life has been so full of sin?" I’ve seen how I’ve felt like I "know it all." I’m quick to commit to change and as soon as the change becomes uncomfortable, I bail! I’ve tried to fix my life so I would look good; but I can’t fix anything. The picture I have of my life is so screwed up. When I try to fix it, I fall flat on my face. Something was different in me when I was at Boone for this Summer Camp. I had more energy than ever. I can’t describe the difference. I knew I needed to keep my mouth shut and learn.
Now I’m tired again. You may say it’s because of my family obligations but I feel it’s more. I wish I could bottle what I had in Boone!
As I listen to your tape I also realize that what Norman taught is different than what the church teaches. I used to think that the message at the Baptist Church was basically the same and that our fellowship had found a way to make the truth work in daily life. Now I see that not only is this message not taught, but a lot of people are in a bad way because they don’t know the basic truths in the first place. It’s scary.
I was at a parent-teacher meeting for Andrea and her teacher read a poem about her philosophy for teaching. It went something like this:
If a child lives with criticism, he
learns to criticize, If a child lives
with violence, he learns to fight.
Then it goes on and lists positives. I drove home mad. I was yelling in the kitchen and then Dan started yelling at me because I was yelling. I shut up until dinner was over. He then asked me what was wrong and I told him about the poem. I know that what the children face daily through me is the negatives. I started to cry and told him that I want so badly to believe what I read and what I hear on tapes and that I begged God to make the truth real to me. And some-where in the conversation I used the word try and Dan said "you’re trying too hard and not trusting at all." I knew he was right.
I wish I could see you all more than two times a year. Please know I think about you a lot and I hope you’re all doing well. I will keep in touch.
Thank you very much for writing. I was very happy to hear from you. I will make an attempt to share with you truth that has been not just helpful to me but life changing. Also, I am glad that the tapes you have listened to have been of help.
Yes, Laura, my interest in the things of God started at a fairly young age. When I was five I worried about going to hell. I knew that there was a wonderful place called heaven where good people went when they died. (I erroneously believed in salvation by works.) On the other hand, I knew that there was a terrible place of fire called hell where bad people went when they died. Needless to say, I wanted to go to heaven, but I knew that I was not good enough. Then when I was 17, I heard the true gospel of salvation by grace through faith, and I subsequently accepted Christ. This made my salvation sure, and it put the heaven/hell issue to rest for me.
After this, the Holy Spirit shed His light on the Bible for me, and there I saw that God was the answer to all of life. It was also clear that He promised abundant life to all believers who obeyed Him and put Him first.
But the harder I tried to make Him the heartbeat of my life, the more I failed. I was desperately and hopelessly defeated. I fully identified with my brother Paul in his famous Romans Seven where he cried out for deliverance from his wretchedness of not being able to do the good he wanted to do and repeatedly doing the evil that he hated.
After finding from experience that I was unable to change myself, I took the tack of attempting to surrender my life and will to God in an effort to get Him to change things for me. I, like you, wanted Him to change or take away anything in my life that I found painful or difficult. I knew that I was the crux of all my problems –"me"–so I wanted "me" changed more than anything.
I think that this brings us to about where you are saying you are, Laura, so I’ll begin to share with you some of the truth that I learned and dared to believe that began to set me free to be the per-son I knew God wanted me to be.
To do this, let’s take a look at what you have written. You said in your letter that you are mean to Dan and your children. This sounds very familiar, but it is a terrible place to be. Saying that you are mean is another way of saying that at all cost you will get someone or pay him or her back for not treating you the way you want to be treated. We both know that all of this is sin and needs to stop.
We know from Scripture and from personal experience that the self-effort "try harder to live right" creed is impossible to fulfill. So we know we must have another answer. We need to look at the root of sin to find the answer that will set us free of its ongoing trap. The Bible teaches that sin began with Satan’s lie that he would be equal with God and operate independently of Him. In other words, he would be his own boss. This betrayal of God and His truth brought about Satan’s fall.
Satan infected the entire human race with his lie when in the Garden of Eden he convinced Adam that it would be in his (Adam’s) best interest to ignore God’s warning and to take his (Satan’s) advice. Adam’s choice to disobey turned the tide of all of history. From that day the spirit of error became the inner boss of unredeemed man.
Part of the reason we have a problem with Satan still being able to get us to do his bidding today is that he has kept his role as the operator of the unredeemed a secret. He does not want lost people to know that he runs them and that the deeds they do are of him, their father the Devil (John 8:44). What I am saying is that Satan does not openly say to anyone, "Hello, it’s me–Satan. I am your inner boss. Just stick with me and I will live out my deeds through you, and you will have a great life. Everything will be all for you, and you will never have to give up anything you are or have for anyone. It is very important that you stay away from your creator, God, who lies to you when He tells you that He loves you. He is also lying when He tells you He will give you an abundant life here on Earth and a home with Him in Heaven when this life is over and that all you have to do is to trust Him as your Lord and Savior."
Instead Satan tells you the same lie he told himself. I mentioned it earlier. Satan simply tells you that you are an independent, self-operated self and that you can do as you please and you suffer no consequences.
Satan loses his place within us when we choose to go God’s way by trusting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. When we make this choice, the Holy Spirit enters us and joins Himself to us. He is now our new boss. But all of this is not clear to us at the time, and we remain in the illusion of our being independent. As wonderful as our salvation is to us, we find in time that our love for God grows cool and we are not able to live as we know God requires us to live.
Our problem arises from the same old Satan lie. Even when we become children of God, we continue to fall for it, and when we do, Satan is free to boss us from without on the flesh (soul/body) level.
The way out is simple. All we have to do is to recognize the truth. And the truth is that we experienced a revolution when we accepted Christ. Without realizing it, we had an over-throw of inner government. Our right boss, Jesus Christ, threw out our wrong boss, Satan. He took over at our spirit center, and He is there now to live His life through us.
Now how does all this boil down to an answer that can help you in the unhappy mess in which you find your-self? When situations arise between you and Dan or you and your children that you start to think are unfair or hurtful to you–in other words when something comes up that begins to make you feel angry–you need to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN! Take a second and look and listen to what you are saying to yourself. I think that you are probably self-talking (thinking) that you are just Laura and that you have to make some defense for yourself. Here is the much-discussed lie that you are a "just you." As I have already said, the minute Satan can get you off the truth (that you are in union with the spirit of Christ and therefore you don’t need defending because He doesn’t) and on to his lie, he has the freedom to temporarily misuse you as your outer boss. You can be sure that he will use you to do his prideful, self-for-self stuff through. When these thoughts begin to come into your mind you need to simply replace them with the truth. Correct your self-talk by saying that you are perfectly all right because there is another there (Christ) who loves Dan and your children perfectly and He can and will do that through you as you trust Him to do it.
Give my love to Dan and your children. Let me know if you need any further clarification of anything that I have written.
Much love to you,
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 26 No 2
- Who Will Deliver Me?
- Our Commission
- Editor’s Note
- Total Living Center: A Vision
- Further Soul/Spirit Clarification
- Zerubbabel Press: Republishing Norman Grubb’s Books
- Our Cutting Edge
- Christianity’s Lost Chord
- A Vision for Zerubbabel
- Zerubbabel Youth Ministries: Teaching the Total Truth
- The Christ Life…In Everyday Living
- Nevertheless I live, yet not I…
- Words to Live By…