controlling spirits, destruction, discerning the spirits, entering his rest, eternal life, experience, following Jesus, God's guidance, Jesus Christ, life, Resisting the Devil, spiritual power, the hard way, The Kingdom of Heaven, the narrow gate
Instead of writing another long-winded article in which I decribe my latest experiences with God, I am going to offer you a link to an older entry, see further below (*), which I just reread and edited a bit. As I described lengthily in my last blog, Jesus has started to set me free from all bondage that kept me from closely following His lead on a moment-by-moment basis. With ‘bondage’ I mean old habits, human tradition, and obligations of all kinds. You can hardly imagine how often I find another seemingly good work I have been used to, of which I now see that that has not been God’s will for me at all.
Just a short example… The door bell rings, should I go and open the door? 🙄 You might be inclined to think just as I have thought, “What a question is this? Of course, I open the door, that’s what door bells are for, right?” Not so this morning…
In the same way Jesus taught me to resist an unnerving phone caller (a family member) lately by not answering the phone at all (!), I heard the door bell and felt an internal, “No.” No explanation why, simply a strong desire to RESIST. I assumed it was a new neighbor and I felt they were looking for fellowship (drinking a cup of coffee or else) which is something normal people do, don’t they? 🙄 It is not so that God always explains His leading immediately. Yet He gives us first His will and then the power to follow Him closely (see Phil 2:13) if we allow Him to guide us. And of course, we can only resist strong and controlling spirits in other people when we have submitted to God before (cf. Js 4:7). So, what I saw today was that we also, like Jesus, might turn out a rock of offense to other people when we try to keep in step with the Holy Spirit. We won’t be understood, sometimes we will be hated, and some people (esp. Christians) might even call us ‘unchristian’ as to our words and behavior. However, the other side of walking with God is THIS:
The more Jesus Christ sets us free from complying with other people’s demands (or even commands), the sooner we are able to enter His Rest. It has not happened that often yet, but three times lately I was allowed to experience such an extraordinary quietness of heart for many hours where I felt that I had no requests any more. No questions, no words disturbing this condition. Feeling God’s presence in such a deep and silent way, I have discovered a closeness to Jesus Christ which surpasses my “normal” understanding by far. In fact, my heart started to tremble when I wrote that our Lord has begun to become more real to me than any other human being… 🙄 That is, indeed, what I always hoped for! That has been the reason for my relentless quest for more of God! And that has been the motivation why I once started this blog and chose its title, “Entering the Promised Land – by Walking in the Spirit.” Beneath you can find the link to the older blog post I announced right at the outset; it includes two further examples on how God’s peaceful leading can be discerned from the devil’s manipulations and his controlling minions.
9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Heb 4:9-13 ESV)
Striving to enter His rest is really hard work; it costs us everything we might have appreciated more than God on this earth before. Everything. Even, it costs our former life! But whoever loses his life for Jesus’ sake, he will find it! (cf. Mt 10:39) This promise still stands, just like the promise of entering His Rest (Heb 4:1). Eventually, having entered God’s Rest through the narrow gate means at the same time that we have entered eternal life which is described as “know[ing] you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” according to John, chapter 17, verse 3. Therefore, might God help us
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Mt 7:13-14 ESV)
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. (Mt 11:12 ESV)
All images © Susanne Schuberth 2021