In 2007 The Showdown published the song “Temptation come my way” which is a raw demonstration of Southern Metal at its best. I have never been much of a lyrics person; it is the music that catches me, but for some reason this song’s title has stuck with me.
I was reminded about the song this morning when reading one of Fred Pruitt’s writings. When the going gets tough, I always return to Fred. I don’t know of anyone who can explain the deep things of God better than him and his words always find resonance within me providing the wisdom, comfort, faith and redirection I need in that moment. Not an outer redirection, but an inner redirection and quickening of faith.
As I read two sentences were in particular highlighted of which the keywords were: “Increase” and “Stones to bread”.
What is the increase we so often find in the scriptures? In that moment I understood it as the increase of ourselves as we emerge out of a false consciousness about ourselves. And this can perhaps be best understood in the context of Jesus temptation in the desert where His sonship was questioned: “If you are the son of God turn these stones into bread”.
Having emptied Himself of His divinity Jesus was like one of us walking in weakness facing the same temptations and doubts we do. In the instant I read “turn stones into bread” it struck me that Jesus actually was tempted to enroll into some kind of behaviour modification program, which basically would have been a reversal of the faith in which He stood – a reversal to flesh walking instead of faith walking (walking in the Spirit).
Implicit in the increase is the discovery that I cannot turn stones into bread – only God can. And further, that I am not meant to, and even further, my sonship isn’t contingent on me, but is a fact because God has said it is so – that I am a son.
I could give any of you a very complex math problem and I would assert that the answer is one (one = oneness). Would you believe me based on who I am? Or wouldn’t you believe me before you had some kind of demonstration or experience? Which of these two are faith? You can answer that question for yourself based on Jesus’ temptation.
I could pose the math problem to my son, followed by “If you are not able to solve this math riddle you are not my son.” To him this would be rather ridiculous because he just know that he is my son and that his sonship isn’t dependent on whether or not he can solve complex math problems, but he trusts that I can do it. In this regard, he has a very mature consciousness which is not easily tossed to fro by the waves carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
But, assume there came someone along – a person who would sound extremely convincing as he tempts my son to prove his sonship by solving the math problem. My son would soon find out that it is far beyond his capabilities and he would fail repeatedly. Hopefully he at last would exclaim: “No good math thing dwells in me, only in my father.”
Coming out from that false consciousness of that we can turn stones into bread is an increase of who we are. Every increase is meant to take us closer to “the Father who dwells in me does the works” consciousness. Which is the truth but a truth veiled by this false consciousness of independence (that I can turn stones into bread).
However, the veil is torn apart so we are already there – we have that consciousness (even though the opposite might seem true) because it is God’s own consciousness with which we are one. The veil between the two consciousnesses are done away with. Hence, it is His faith that springs forth in us and which is the substance – the evidence of things hoped for. And this faith is contrary to any outer “evidences”, “experiences” etc which are not substance.
“The earth shook and the rocks were split apart” is an image of what takes place in us as we increasingly learn the truth. Yes, it hurts – it sometimes hurts bad to learn. Having our rocks of beliefs split apart involves pain and suffering. Jesus learned the obedience of faith through suffering – and so do we. The Scriptures say we go from faith to faith in glory – which is our increase.
We also face the same temptation to make things happen in regards to some strong desire we have. “If you were a son of God you could make this happen”. Resorting to the world’s way of doing things and judging things instead of remaining in faith is again walking in the flesh and will only result in frustration and defeat. But, by learning how to not do a thing we learn how to do it, that is, we do it by faith. It is all a part of the vital learning process we face here on earth – we go from competence to competence (increase).
Faith will always be: I am already there, God has done it, He does the works, the thing is done. Period!