QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
By Norman Grubb
Union Life Vol 1 #3
Q I have always tended to be overweight. It is not a gland or health problem; I know it is accentuated by frustration and times of pressure in my life. If self-effort and personal discipline is not the answer, what is? If you want to change a bad habit, whether it is over-eating, or laziness, or smoking, or nail-biting, what should a person do?
A How does one change a bad habit? Don't try. But much more radical than that, change your whole negative outlook on yourself. Instead of seeing yourself as a poor, weak human with some distressing habits (over-eating, smoking, or what not), see and delight God sees and delights in you - as His precious possession, as His dwelling place, as His holy temple.
You should admit to yourself and to Him that there are certain things you like and to which you are partial. Admit that you are tempted to feel guilty about doing those things, and that it might be better if you were rid of them. But also honestly admit that a main reason for wanting to be rid of them is because they hurt your own self-esteem or reputation in the eyes of others.
Then tell the Lord that since you like them, you will go on with them; it's no good trying to stop doing them, and you are not going to bother about it, But being His, if He wants you to stop them, then take the position of faith that He will do it in His own way and in His own time. Meantime you are free, refusing the guilt or condemnation of others. You continue to “love God and do as you like!" And God does have His ways of doing things!
Q Can you know God without knowing Christ
A No. You can only come to God through the Son; redemption is through Christ alone. However, even in those cases where Christ has never been manifested in the world, the Bible says He was available in the Spirit before He ever came in the flesh. Speaking of the children of Israel, I Corinthians 10:4 says, "they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ." And in Hebrews 11:26 it says that Moses "counted the reproach of Christ greater than the riches in Egypt." 1 Peter 1:10,11 says that the Spirit of Christ was in the prophets of old – before Christ ever actually came in history. Christ is the Eternal Person, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). In God's sight He has always been the slain Christ.
Q Explain the term 'fixed inner consciousness'. Doesn't this have to be experienced on the soul (mind and emotion) level? Is this an experience common only to union-lifers, or was this the basic experience of many deeper-life exponents?
A Fixed inner consciousness is a condition of spirit, not of soul (reason or emotion). Consciousness is knowing something. "Knowing" in Bible terms means "being mixed with the thing we know. (That is why the word "know" is used when speaking of sexual intercourse in Genesis 4:1, etc.)
Such "knowing- is possible for the human spirit on a human or temporal level. Thus, a competent professional man "knows" his profession and can operate at ease in it. He has a "fixed inner consciousness" of his profession.
But the true knowing (fixed inner consciousness) is a Holy Spirit's knowing, in the same way in which the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - know each other in a fixed consciousness. We, the redeemed, enter into this in seed form when "the Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God."
Then when we come into an inner knowing of our union with Him, ("He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit”), confirmed by His inner knowing in us, we come to a more mature form of eternal fixed consciousness, in time we learn to discern between soul and spirit, and no longer confuse emotional disturbances or rational questionings for the stillness of the fixed spirit-knowing (which is really "being-). For "we know' that "we know" that "we know" - which was John's final emphasis in his great first epistle (1 Jn. 5:18-20).
From there we move on to inner knowings in the outer confrontations of life. As we see through to Him in all things, we enter into those knowings of faith that He is certainly doing this or that against all outer appearances. We "call the things that be not as though they are" (Rom.4.17). This is the "father" form of fixed inner consciousness.
Such "knowing," which is the inner fixed fact of our spirit-being, is called by Jesus, "eternal life" (see John 17:3) This is on another dimension than rational thinking; and is (whether in seed or full- growth form) the realized fact in everyone born of the Spirit.