Yesterday and last night and for a while Luke and I have been talking about having "opened spipritual eyes" and seeing things the way God sees it, and how interesting it would be to walk around the world as Jesus did, to look at disease the way Jesus did, to look at lack and two fish the way Jesus did, to not let the pundits, health nuts, etc of this world affect us, to be truly people with the mind of Christ.
Then yesterday morning i read a little book by Witness Lee and Watchman Nee about "christ in you, the hope of glory" and it's weird. I always knew that "God with us," "treasure in earthen vessels and all that" but when they wrote that, I realized that although God is up in heaven and we are seated in Christ in heavenly places ...it was...wow. He talked about how often that phrase "Call upon the name of the Lord" is used, and that when Christ is in us we are calling to him inside us not just to him up in heaven because we are his temple. And it reminded me of a thing that happened to me in 1981.
I and luke were living in a town near here and this friend of luke's brother came to visit the city --and by God's grace-- luke bumped into the guy in the Marvel office. The guy had no money
(something about CA bnaks versus NY banks) and it was total grace that luke found him and invited him to live with us. The guy's pretty famous now in hollywood circles (I'll just call him Mike M) but then he was this annoying little california prick with artistic pretentions desperately trying to show his artiness as if his life depeneded on it. And we totally hated each other
He was a total pretentious asshole and there ws no talking to him. Anyways, one day he said something and i said to myelf -- because i had been reading "For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow was enough" -- "I'm going upstairs to tell that guy all about himself to his face." That's a line from the book.
So I'm on the stairs and suddenly, I hear a voice. A VOICE. CLEAR. GENTLE. OTHERWORLDLY. VERY STRONG. This wasn't the still small voice one hears normally. It was a very strong voice, as if someone was shouting. It came from inside my stomach and I heard it with my spirit as a loud clear voice. All that stuff Jesus said about rivers of water flowing from deep inside his belly ...well it is all true. The voice said, "Carole, when will you learn how to deal with people who don't know themselves?"
It was a rebuke. Yes, God had rebuked me. My mouth fell open. I don't think it was demonic because I've had demonic encounters before. This rebuke was a question and God often rebukes with a question? He never accuses. I was so shamed, so startled, I walked downstairs.
Now, I do't know why God had his hand on that guy. To protect him from debt and being in NYC without money? To protect him from my anger? (I would like to think God was protecting me from Mike because although Mike was scrawny but he was so weird in his vampire outfits that maybe he would've killed me.) But I think Mike was frail and God wanted to protect him and to stop me at that time.
That rebuke has stayed with me. Because it was so weird and so supernatural and because that seems to have been one of my issues in life, dealing with people who don't know themselves. So when I read this thing by Witness Lee/Watchman Nee about when we pray I got to thinking about what I heard back in the day at an Order of St Luke chapter on healing
about simply standing aside and knowing God was within and just saying "Thank you Jesus," while you laid hands on someone without doing anything else. Just standing aside so to speak and letting the spirit do whatever He wanted to do because "the Second Adam became a Life-Giving Spirit" and because "the spirit which brought Christ from the dead lives in us and is able to bring life to our bodies." So it is all about keeping your heart and mind on Jesus while calling on him and trusting him to do the work from within.
Witness and Watchman said that the people who Paul set out to kill were those wo "called upon the name of the lord" and they just used so many quotes about calling up on the name of the Lord. And thinking of Jesus inside us. So i was praying last night and yesterday becuase they said that when we are in trouble, we are to basically know that Christ is not merely above but within. IT might take looking at our chest and speaking to God inside our chest but we must say "Thank you Lord." And "Yes, Amen." And "Hallelujah" to Christ within. (I know some folks are gonna confuse this kinda thing with the New Agey Christ consciousness thing but it isn't. The true Christ within us is there because of our accepting his shed blood for our sins.)
Anyway, Christ is in us. Because "Amen" is Jesus' name, because Jesus is yes to all the promises of God, and Jesus is the living word of God within us. And "hallelujah" because we are praising God and God inhabits our praises.
Witness and Watchman said that whenever we are tempted or afraid or in need we must just calm oursleves and say "Thank you Lord Jesus." because by calling on the name of Jesus who lives within our flesh, his own dear temple, he will hear and help us. So I've been trying to do that, to really see Jesus as with us, with all his knowlege, and power. I know that when we speak in tongues we are bringing out the store of wisdom from within. But to really really feel that He is here within -- wow, it was a wonderful revelation to me. So I'm going to use that to pray for Gabe and to be on the diet. The weird thing is: it is one thing to pray to Jesus up there and another to say to him inside one's stomach, the body of one's temple.
Hard, too, to have sexual fantasies. Cause it's like --ohg my gosh I am quenching his spirit now in order to sin. I am willfully closing the door to him and turning him off. So am thinking It is so very hard to think the wrong things when Jesus is so near.
And yesterday as I talked to a despairing friend on FB I told him, "Hope is a discipline." And i meant it. Because I get into these despairing modes where i say "Look how fat I am.
Look at how painful this body is" But then I think, "the Bible tells us to hope in a living God who does the impossible. We have to discipline ourselves to hope."
It's hard this discipline, but I feel that when I get to heaven God will say to me that I have a strong mind, and a strong spirit.
Hope builds character (or whatever it is hope builds in that list in Peter's epistle.) I have had to challenge myself to christian hope everyday. So it's like a second muscle now. And God has said, that as long as you have hope, hope doesn't disappoint. It's not just a mental thing. It is a power, and when one realizes that God is within and so near...and all one has to do is to call on Him within.
I keep thinking that God has told me so much, because he knows the end from the beginning. There was the time I saw Jesus in the dream and he had a sash thingey across his shoulders. Forgot the word for it, but princes and beauty queens wear it. And on it was written "the great amen." He revealed that to me. And when he said so much about how i would go through hell before getting to heaven and all those dreams about being in a pit, then me imagining a crucifix but nothing happened, then me saying "I believe in God" and began reciting the Apostles Creed in the dream and suddenly his hand pulled me up. I cannot help but hope because i feel he has told me personally from the beginning that i would succeed after a long haul of hoping and growing in Him.