discerning the spirits, encouragement, experience, God's love, intimacy, life, light, love, Michael Clark, sanctification, the dark night of the soul, the dark night of the spirit, the Kingdom of God, the new self, the old self
After a pretty long and dry period without much inspiration, here is another joint article by Michael Clark and me.
Satan is a liar. And he is very good at that. He tells us to worry about tomorrow because God would not care or provide. Therefore, we fear the future although we might know there are Scriptures which promise the opposite of what the devil keeps whispering into our ears. If we are tempted to sin, our enemy embellishes the act of sinning and plays the consequences down by offering us only good feelings that should make us fall asleep spiritually. And what is worst, Satan tries to convince us that God could NEVER give us what he, Satan, offers. Instead, he presents God as a someone who would take everything from us which would, if we listened to the devil, make our life worthwhile (I am mainly referring to sin here). Although we might spell out the appropriate Bible verses to the angel of light, he will only laugh at us, knowing that our natural heart is terribly wicked and inclined to commit every sin imaginable if the right conditions were presented to us.
Satan is a liar. I, Susanne, repeat it because I know that God only takes away what we have offered up to Him beforehand so that He can finally give us something far better than we might have expected… EVER! Basically, whether someone cheats or lies, commits burglary, adultery or atrocities, the reason for acting as our own little gods has always been distrust and suspicion toward the Eternal God. Just as Satan tempted Eve in the Garden with distrust towards God by saying, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Gen 3:1 ESV) We truly need a personal revelation from God and His immanent goodness so that we begin to see that Satan was never creative when he introduced sin in the Garden of Eden. Instead, he merely imitated what he saw in heaven from which he fell because he no longer wanted to submit to God. We might agree on this that an imitation usually, even if close to its original, is not better than the source. However, God’s love cannot be imitated. His love can solely be ridiculed if taken for granted and as ‘known’ by human beings on a natural level of perception. Even if someone has had experiences of feeling loved by God, this is only the beginning of getting to know God. Yet the Kingdom of God provides mysteries that this natural life we are all used to cannot, can NEVER provide. We have mere hints of these things when we have come to ‘know’ God’s love on a very personal and intimate level, just as the apostle Paul did in certain Scriptures too.
“But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” (1 Cor 2:7-10 ESV)
“…nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him…” God’s love for us and with us is beyond anything we could have imagined as we open our hearts in love for Him. This is part of the secret wisdom of God and what He has for us if we let go of the things of this world and cling to Him with all our hearts. The next Bible verse comes closer to the point as we read here,
“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” (1 Cor 6:13 ESV)
I know that I, Susanne, alluded in a few older posts to these things before, but having gone through a painful and very dark night of the spirit, God had blacked out all these wonderful experiences with His love and eternal life on earth to me for a pretty long time. Today it more and more dawns on me that bearing the cross in order to die to our old self and to the law of sin and death NEVER were God’s last words. These things need to be endured, yes, but afterwards we are raised to a spiritual newness of life we have not known before. Every gospel preaching that simply refers to the redemption of our spirits and souls misses the point. We do not need to wait “until next life after death” if, by God’s grace, He pours out His Spirit into our whole being and fills us from head to toe with His light, love, and life. In fact, our body may delight in the eternal God too as the last Scripture above says, Our body is meant for the Lord, and the Lord is meant for the body! Now I decided to close and cloak myself in secrecy regarding God’s mysterious love to every one of us and to leave the last part of this entry and its Scriptural confirmation to Michael.
We read above that our bodies are meant for the Lord, not each other unless God is in that relationship. Actually, what God has sanctified let no man call unclean (cf. Acts 11:9). In the following verses there are more hints as to the body part in sanctification. The apostle Paul wrote,
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1Thess 5:23-24, ESV2011)
Paul’s definition of sanctification almost gets to the bottom of what can be openly said regarding God’s intimate love to His children IN Christ, for it is written,
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. (1Thess 4:3-6, ESV2011)