God's Promises to the Hidden Man
XII. The Inevitability and Necessity of Failure in Believing God
When it comes to believing God, nobody likes failure. Nobody wants it. We all want a fail-safe way to believe God for the present manifestation of His glory and promises without getting hurt.
All of us are born at conversion with the secret in-bred desire to see God manifest His glory in this life. But on the way we encounter failure. "Holiness" people seek to avoid and prevent failure one way; "faith" people have a different way.
Holiness people have the easiest way. They simply deny that God ever intends to fulfil our faith in practical ways with any certainty. They quench their desire to believe for the miraculous.
Holiness people use failure as "proof” that God just doesn't act today like He once did. Therefore there is no need to believe God for specific things here-and-now. It is enough just to know God and worship Him, praying spiritual prayers for people. Anything specifically prayed for is left in vague enough language to leave God an "out" should He not come through ("...If it be Thy will, Lord...") This is safe. It protects us from having to experience failure.
Faith people use a harder way to avoid failure. They seek to circumvent failure through complex theologies, finding some principle, explanation, or "spiritual law" that will cover every possible situation. When they encounter failure, they always back off to find some explanation that will prevent it from ever happening again.
In the thinking of faith people, many things are forgivable touching living by faith, but failure is not forgivable. It leaves a permanent stigma on the one who fails. He is a marked man for life—or at least until he can demonstrate "success" at it later. Then his first failure becomes forgivable.
The pressure against failure concerning exercising faith is so great in the faith movement that the school of faith is a school of bondage. A "right" and "wrong" way to believe for anything has been devised, explained, codified.
All this speaks to one thing: Nobody wants to fail. We want “risk-free" faith, and we'll do anything to get it, and we won't do anything unless we are assured of it. The problem is that "risk-free" faith is a contradiction. There is no faith where there is no risk of failure. The truth is that failure is the number one hallmark of true faith.
Faith and failure are inseparable. If we are to believe God's promises at all, then failure is inevitable. Why?
You've already learned the answer in this letter. It is because God's promises to the new man are superimposed on the desires of the old man. When God speaks to us, we cannot distinguish our old and new personalities. We can only respond as one composite identity. Thus, to act in faith is to automatically invite the failure that inevitably comes when the old man responds to the new man's promise.
So we must get it straight. To believe God is to invite certain failure. Failure, not success, is the first rule of faith.
But failure is not only inevitable, it is absolutely necessary. We must fail. It is vital and indispensable that we fail. Why?
It's because God's word to the new man cannot be fulfilled until it "sheds" the old man. That shedding is accomplished by failure. It is the failure of the old man over God's promise that effects the separation enabling the new man to rise forth where he can receive the promise. If there is no failure, there is no separation of identity. If there is no separation of identity, there can be no fulfilment of promise to the new man.
So we see that failure is the indispensable key to fulfilment through separation of identities. The more bold the failure of the old man, the more sure the fulfilment to the mew man. If then we are to succeed at seeing God's word come to pass in this life, we must be willing to endure the painful process of identity change that begins with overcoming failure resulting from our initial mixed faith as an impure identity.
XIII. Dualism Reconciled
Now we see at last how the school of "holiness" and the school of "faith" are intertwined. They are not mutually exclusive but mutually inclusive. God's promises to us are for the here-and-now. This is faith. But they are obtained only by enduring the process of identity separation that begins with the failure of the natural man. This is holiness. True faith cannot be fulfilled outside the process of holiness. And true holiness cannot be developed except by our coming to God over His creationary promises.
"Holiness" that evades this challenge in the name of "loving God only" is not holiness, but self-protectionism. And "faith" that evades the process of purified identity to obtain the promises is not faith, but a metaphysical legal system bordering on witchcraft whose god is success. Aberrations in both holiness teaching and faith teaching are due to the unwillingness to accept failure as the first step in rightly relating to God through His creation by faith.
written from Pleasant Valley
Prince Edward Island, Canada
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page updated May 30, 2018