Not that I was hell-bent on publishing another blog post. However, since I was housebound until craftsmen had done their work in our flat, I decided to read a bit on the internet which I had not done often lately. Still, it seems to me a pretty boring matter to get back on the internet after having experienced LIFE, real LIFE that is a gift from God, divine LIFE that cannot be conferred on anybody, esp. not in such an artificial place as the internet is. Presenting truths to people whom we most probably will never ever come to know personally in this life time has become a frustrating experience over the last months (years?) to me. Having said this, you might wonder why I keep writing, though.
Honestly, I don’t know. I do not even claim to be Spirit-led right now while jotting down these lines. All I want is to tell you that God is indeed faithful! Not that I always trust Him, still. Not that I have been perfected in any area of spiritual things yet. Not that I have reached the goal of drawing all my inner life off Christ, either. No. But what I have come to realize more and more is that God ALWAYS keeps His promises. We might have to endure long times of waiting on Him, we might doubt Him very often, we might suffer, be anxious, full of sorrow or worries. BUT GOD… Our real life, eternal life here on earth in the sense of John 17:3 begins when God takes away the sting of death. We read,
And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (Jn 17:3 ESV)
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 54-57 ESV)
The sting of death is not only the fear of death. Instead, it can be found in everything we experience. Whether it is a wonderful or a very bad situation we find ourselves in, we can be sure that we cannot hang on to it. Observing life and situations passing me by lately, I have strongly felt the pain of not being able to ‘save’ the good things somehow and, on the other hand, I felt relief as I could eventually let go of some pain that kept tormenting me. Nonetheless, even in the latter case, I found myself in bondage of time and space, in bondage of the situation that affected me. However, eternal life is sooo different from our normal life! IN Christ we may sense that everything we have experienced and will experience in the days ahead is no longer ‘dead’. We are not bound by keeping in check what cannot be controlled by us. Even, we will no longer be in fear of letting go of loved ones as they leave us. We might still cry and long to be with them. BUT there is SOMETHING that God might bestow on us, a special comfort no human being could ever offer, the comfort of His peace that goes beyond our tears, beyond our restricted time, and beyond the need to touch someone physically.
There is SOMETHING spiritual that pulls our spirits into the eternal kingdom of Christ and joins our hearts with those whom we love, even when they are far away. Being inside Him, life is always eternal and not complicated at all. We share the joy of God, the simple joy of a child of God that trusts Him without any reservation.
It is only our captivity in Egypt (the rule of the flesh) or our continued wandering through the wilderness without arriving in the Promised Land that might keep us from living IN Christ right now. Faith is key here. With God-given faith we will be born into the kingdom of God, into the Promised Land where our souls are revived by the Spirit of God Who NEVER changes. Our circumstances might change, though. They might turn into situations we would have never chosen on our own. But living IN HIM, these outward things do not matter to our inward being any longer because then our LIFE, which is Christ, flows like a river inside us and one day even out of us, too (see Jn 7:38). We know that the kingdom of God cannot be observed on the outside (cf. Lk 17:21). And so it is with Christ and Christianity. What we can see, hear and observe on the outside is Christianity, what we perceive on the inside with our enlightened eyes of the heart, instead, is Christ and His eternal kingdom.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Cor 4:16-18 ESV)
Christianity is a religion where people talk a lot, whether it is the preacher, the teacher, the theologian, or the Christian blogger… 😉 Yet we should remember that “the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” (1 Cor 4:20 ESV)
May it be so for all of us. Amen.
All images © 2017, 2018 Susanne Schuberth