authority, condemnation, discerning the spirits, experience, fellowship, following Jesus, freedom, God's guidance, Jesus Christ, life, Michael Clark, overcoming the world, peace, the body of Christ, the Kingdom of God, thought life, walking after the flesh, walking by the spirit
If you read the following Scripture, your thoughts might be like mine. Jesus Christ promised us,
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Rev 3:21-22 KJV)
Usually, I was not so interested in this and similar Scriptures of the Book of Revelation as I thought our Lord spoke there about our eternal life AFTER leaving the earth. So to me, all His promises there appeared to be fulfilled in the future far ahead of us. Well, it was only lately as I started wondering that I might have been completely wrong… 🙄 As I described in my latest blog posts before this one, Jesus has begun to set me free daily from habitual internal ‘laws’, from family traditions, from rigid to-do lists and from some old thought patterns as well. Isn’t it quite humorous that He started this process on June 3rd, which was a Roman Catholic feast day in Germany, called “Corpus Christi”? 😉
To sum it all up, I can say that whatever the bondage was of which I have been set free, it has always been a similar process. At first, I was confronted with a situation, a person, an occurrence – whatever. I recalled how I normally reacted, or used to act, and that was most of the time predictable (at least by me). If I was not Spirit-led yet, you could easily assume how my reaction to someone’s action would look like. It was just now that I realized that by automatically following the demands of these internal ‘laws’ meant nothing but “to walk after the flesh”. Oh my!! 🙄 And walking after the flesh produces what? Yes, death. And condemnation. Do you also know this kind of false bad conscience that befalls you when you did not live up to your own expectations of what you think you should have done? 🙄
But God turns my life upside down, as it seems. He keeps challenging me 24/7. 😉 As I ponder on my normal reaction-to-be in any given situation, He says, “No.”… “Try this…” or “Try that, instead”… or “Do nothing.” – “Ignore it/him/her/them…” and so on. Just in case that sounds a bit confusing, I’ll give you an example now. And to make it even more vivid, I will try to post as many pics related to this experience on here, too.
Last Monday I discovered a new biking trail which was fun as I met many storks, my favorite flowers (lilies), and I also found a new route along the river Regnitz which was not lacking in variety, either. So far, so good. Two days later as I prayed about whether to go there by bike again or not, I felt the Lord telling me, “Yes. I have a surprise for you.” ‘Huh? That sounds great’, I thought, trying to make out the meaning of what He had said. No chance, as always. So, I was both curious and cautious on my way, always hoping SOMETHING would happen.
Still wondering what Jesus might have meant, I saw after a long time that this path I liked so much seemed to be closed off. There was a traffic sign that told me “All vehicles prohibited” (except for residents and suppliers). The sign did not say all in words, I merely discovered its meaning later on the net. It was this round white sign with a red edge; I guess you know it. As I was approaching the sign, I – as a former traffic sign legalist – asked the Lord what to do, whether to turn around and find another trail – or not. “No worries, everything okay”. He seemed to have said. Aha…? I started wondering again ….. 🙄
Slowly I passed the roadblock which left some space on both sides, most probably for walkers. Alas, this whole path had become a mess during the last two days. It had turned into a construction site of sorts. The meadows on the right and on the left were dug over and this lovely bunch of orange lilies at the bench did not seem to be that happy about this chaos, either. A few hundred meters in front of me I saw two big trucks driving back and forth under the freeway bridge. The biking trail, instead, was completely empty. Still praying and asking the Lord whether I should go on or turn round now, I simply felt His peace. So I went on.
Approaching the bridge, the two big trucks seemed to come closer to me quickly from the right side, too. Again I asked the Lord what to do. I felt Him telling me to go on, still. That was truly peculiar. I thought by myself, if I heard God wrongly, I would take the blame for trespassing that locked area. As I arrived at the bridge, the truck drivers on the right backed away and ignored me. Relieved I turned to the left in order to pass under the bridge soon. But suddenly another truck came out of nowhere from the left side and I saw immediately that there was not enough space for this truck and my bike simultaneously. So I got out of his way and waited alongside the path. Once again, it was so strange as I could see the driver’s face. And he did not look into my direction at all…
Although I felt a bit uneasy, or rather insecure, about what I was doing there, this third truck passed me by, and I was ignored again. Shaking my head, I left this locked area soon and took a short break under the freeway bridge, eating a cereal bar and drinking water as it was an extremely hot day. Standing under this same freeway bridge, yet far away from any people or construction noise, I felt a strong cooling wind funneling down which was a refreshing experience. 😊 While eating and drinking, I started to wonder about what God wanted to show me through this kind of leading. It did not really make sense to me yet. All of a sudden the writings on the wall under the bridge caught my attention. There was a lot of graffiti to read, some of the words were hardly distinguishable. However, one word was repetitive; I saw it at least five times. You can see it in the picture as well. It reads, “TILOS”.
Hmm… I checked my phone as I thought Tilos sounded like the name of a Greek island or so. That was true, but not helpful. I felt the Lord wanted to tell me something through this word. As I checked the Google translator, the Hungarian language offered a distinct translation of this very word. Tilos means prohibited, forbidden. Aha! What I just did seemed to have been forbidden, too. So that was a confirmation, wasn’t it? 🙄 I was waiting on the usual negative feelings emerging from inside me whenever I sensed that I did something wrong. But nothing happened. There was simply life and peace. And a soft voice that whispered into my ear, “There is now no condemnation for those who are IN Christ Jesus.”
Dear brothers and sisters, it was not so that I immediately leaped with joy afterwards as I was still wondering what that all might signify. I recalled that two days before I had seen a couple of people standing at the locks not that far from that bridge. I had also been riding there to the Europe Channel and I saw these guys taking pictures and videos of a cargo ship that was just leaving. As I took a short glance on the ship’s name, asking the Lord whether He wanted to tell me something, I was (positively) shocked! Abruptly I pulled over, took a picture with my cellphone camera, too, even while standing in front of these guys. Pretty impolite, Susanne, I thought. 😉 But they did not care, thank God! 😊 The name of the ship was “Morgenstern” in German which means “Morning Star” in English. And if Jesus Christ is not the morning star, then I do not know… 😊
“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Rev 2:26-29 KJV)
It was only later when I talked with Michael Clark about my strange experience with God as it got clear to me what the missing part was. In fact, the translation of Romans chapter 8, verse 1, has been transformed over time. Both my modern Luther translation and several English translations dropped the second part of this Scripture which is so important to really understand what God wants to tell us there. Michael pointed me to King James (KJ 2000 as far as I remember) which reads,
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom 8:1 KJ2000)
For Michael it got immediately clear that I had felt no condemnation because I had asked God about what to do and to lead me into whatever direction HE wanted me to go. I was so happy to finally see what God wanted to teach me here! 🙂 You see, dear brothers and sisters, we are no spiritual islands in the kingdom of God. We who are the Body of Christ should complement one another as He has put us together. This take is so different from this world’s view of proving who is better than the other or even the best of all, isn’t it? 🙄
All images © Susanne Schuberth 2021