The Connection Between the Fear of God and Justification

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Garden in Weihenstephan (Upper Bavaria)

The following is an excerpt of a (not published) book I wrote about seven years ago. I just translated a text of my journal which should clarify that the experience of the fear of God and being justified by Him usually go hand in hand.

To separate awe from God from an everyday, natural fear is not easy. For it is real fear as other languages ​​also make clear:

Gottesfurcht (German)

crainte de Dieu (French)

timore di Dio (Italian)

temor de Dios (Spanish)

The fear of God is, above all, the fear of displeasing God by transgressing His commandments. I believe a further difference compared with other fears is that our natural anxieties cause narrowness inside our mind and make us think of running away from a frightening situation. “Cut and run!” the thief might think when suddenly confronted with the policeman. He, too, is, or at least should be frightened when he must face governmental authority. Nevertheless, it might happen that the thief, instead, goes over to attacking the authority figure when he realizes that his getaway route has been cut off.

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What Selflessness Is Like

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I just bumped into a blog where someone was praised to the skies for being able to do gymnastics at an advanced age. There is nothing wrong about such a laudation in itself since this and similar things are that which our fallen world can exclusively look at. Whatever is visible, audible, tangible, countable, measurable, yes, everything that is perceptible by our senses will be praised if it promises pleasure to people. As I skimmed through the comments section of this blog post, the longest response there caught my eye. The commenter, of course, was still older than the aforementioned person who would receive rave reviews, and he, outrageously, won this and that competition at an even higher age. Dear reader, it was almost impossible for me to finish reading their self-praise by which I felt greatly repelled. :-/ What about those people who cannot behave as they would want? What about those who are sick and cannot move their bodies any longer as they would love to? I doubt you will find any writing on the internet where these people are praised… BUT…

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Life in the Spirit

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This title might sound a bit simple to some, yet I was wondering whether it is always that easy for us to distinguish between our natural way of living and its spiritual counterpart which springs from Christ’s Life in us. Just lately I got aware of certain differences between my natural soul life’s powers and God’s supernatural powers we might receive through spiritual communion and fellowship with Him. Sometimes these two ways of living take turns within a few seconds and I am amazed at how different they really are! Even if our natural thinking, speaking, and doing is sophisticated, sooner or later we get exhausted if we remain on this level… UNLESS we can be sure of man’s approval and appreciation! If someone applauds, our soul receives new power and energy with which we can go on, even without God, and even without realizing that we left Him somehow behind.

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Not by Bread Alone

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Wallpaper

Have you ever felt enlivened although you did not eat anything that gave your weak body some strength back again? I have and I really wondered… Two days ago I had been struggling with another attack of summer cholera (no details here). 😛 After prayer with Michael Clark, nausea left rather quickly and in the evening I could even get out of bed again which seemed to be impossible to me before. Well, after a precious time I could spend with God in silent prayer on one of our balconies as the sun was setting, I felt much stronger and thought I could write another blog post if He inspired me to do so. But God’s leading, you know… 😉 No blog post, yet the urge to do something for God in order to help someone out of a tricky situation. It was not easy for me to obey here, but as soon as I had done so, though, I felt so ALIVE as if I had not been sick before at all. Quite the contrary! 😊 This experience reminded me of two parts in the NT as follows. As Jesus would have this very deep talk with the woman at the well, his disciples who brought some food could not understand what Jesus had eaten as they told Him,

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How to find out another ‘Christian’ spirit

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“For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” (Ps 95:7-8 ESV)

I have come to know several people who thought they were led by the Holy Spirit, who believed in Jesus as their Lord, and who prayed to God, their Father. Alas, the spirits they usually listen to are mostly the voices of their own soul’s desires, their own mind’s ideas, and their self’s pushing interests. Here the question arises whether it makes sense to try to correct someone who is absolutely convinced of being led by God? I am afraid it might be of little help to do so unless God tells us to open our mouths in His perfect time. But speaking up and telling them the truth might turn out a damaging experience if these people are too unstable to be confronted with their deception yet. Maybe, they are confused, maybe, they are mentally sick, maybe, they were led into error by the wrong people.

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Seeking Silence

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A week ago I got inspired to write my latest blog post Worth the Fight… Extending Inner Quietness, as I had read the newsletter of a German Bible TV program. Although I stopped watching TV of any kind more than eight years ago, I still get this newsletter and I saw that there are some people whom God gives pretty good thoughts. 😉 I decided to translate for you what would speak to me and to compare it with that which T. Austin Sparks had written about the same issue. At first it might seem to be a contradiction what both authors had to say. But Lord willing, this inconsistency might be dissolved. Please, feel free to share your own thoughts and concerns in a response below. I always appreciate and welcome genuine comments and sharing! So, first see Malaika Orth’s description about her own experiences with seeking silence. Malaika Orth is an editor at Bibel TV in Hamburg/Germany.

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Worth the Fight… Extending Inner Quietness

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Last week I felt a strong nudge to get closer to God and to let go of more and more, partly self-imposed, duties. As a woman, you might know how difficult it is to get rid of old habits and of letting go to care for others (more than they really need it) in order to meet EVERY expectation perfectly. I have also been used to care for my body daily and I sensed that my exhausting workouts tend to make my life more and more burdened. However, I could not get rid of swimming ‘the English Channel’, so to speak. 😉 I do know that I am no longer twenty or thirty and therefore I had begun to take at least one break during the day some years ago. Mostly after dinner I spend time in bed praying. Admittedly, sometimes I fall asleep because of exhaustion. 😉

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The Spirit of This Age

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“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Pt 2:11-12 KJV)
Photo by Susanne Schuberth

During the last few months I got more and more aware that this whole world is in enmity with God. Just yesterday I watched a female teacher walking in the street with about 20 boys and girls who were heading toward school again. Having taught children myself, I know how difficult it is today to make yourself heard (not only by kids). It seems that the (fallen) human mind is so busy with thinking about itself and how they can get their way with others that they hardly perceive the needs of other people, even of those close to them. It seems to me that most people do not know that our mind and heart naturally live in rebellion with God, with laws of any kind, and with authorities like parents, grandparents, teachers, and official institutions. Even if our old nature submits to authorities, do we always obey out of love for God and others or, rather, isn’t it the fear of punishment that makes us often do what was demanded?

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What a strange way to get inspired…

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Rosenheim/Inn 

April 30th, 2017

Basically, I wanted to go to bed early. However, before I checked the internet as I sometimes do and there I read in the news that someone had died today. Not knowing who this man would be, I felt nudged to read more about him. Wikipedia told me that he was a Swiss man who passed away at the age of only forty years in the exercise of his favorite occupation which had been rock climbing and mountaineering. As I checked out his website, I clicked on some beautiful pictures I really marveled at. Not completely sure which photo I liked the most, I eventually chose one of them for my blog and began to write on here. Only a few minutes later I returned to this man’s website in order to insert this and, perhaps, another picture into my blog article, as I wondered again. Good pictures, yes. Even very good pictures, taken by a professional, no doubt about this. But where was this very first amazement I had felt? This awe and wonder, this joy about I-do-not-know-what-it-is as John of the Cross once called it (am paraphrasing him here). They were completely gone! I was no longer interested in these pictures that seemed to be normal, even ‘dead’ to me now and I decided to delete what I had just written, all at once. Well, God’s leading, you know, is truly a strange thing at times…

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Endurance… despite it all

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Germany’s highest church: Wendelstein Church/Upper Bavaria
(Photo by Susanne Schuberth)

I recall that someone once told me that they would continue to write and publish when they were through with their trials and everything was clearer to them. Well, as much as I have been tempted to share this point of view, more and more it appears to me that there ist no end of trials in this life, or is it? Sometimes God keeps us covered by His both unseen and unfelt protection in a deeply dark condition where all good things seem to have come to their very end. The stage of testing where mere and naked faith in God puts us through may last for a few days, for some weeks, for several months or even for many, many years. The length of that period is dependent on what God has in mind regarding our personal spiritual growth. It was John of the Cross who realized that the deeper the night, the higher the glory and divine authority we will be able to share afterwards (whenever afterwards is experienced).

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