authority, blogging, controlling spirits, darkness, discerning the spirits, disobedience, entering his rest, experience, following Jesus, God's guidance, Jesus Christ, joy, life, light of life, obedience, overcoming the world, peace, reasoning, self-control, suffering, the devil, the flaming darts of the evil one, thought life, walking by the spirit
None of us would expect a baby to test-drive a car, nor would anyone assume that children, on the whole, go to university, give guest lectures, and teach students lessons they really need to hear (exceptions confirm the rule). As much as this world admires geniuses, in spiritual life there is no shortcut to heaven. We have to go through every more or less painful lesson our Lord puts us through. However, we may know that every lesson learned and accepted makes us see more of Him in our lives.
No more theory here. Instead, I want to go on with sharing my recent spiritual experiences with you. If you read some of my latest blog articles, you might remember that God has begun to set me free from many ‘legalistic’ things. Whether inflexible internal obligations, i.e., measuring up to the expectations from neighbors, friends, or even loved ones were concerned or if He changed my thought-life, for me it has been a sort of rollercoaster as this process has developed so quickly. Actually, I have not been used to observing the Lord to set me free on a daily basis at such an accelerated speed before!
Gradually, I got a bit concerned. Following His lead on a moment-to-moment basis gave me peace and enabled me to taste His life in a more abundant way than before. Having entered His rest for real (!), sometimes I could hardly believe it myself! 🙄 In fact, I started to wonder where the ‘giants’, the Amalekites, Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites etc., that is, the enemies of the heavenly Israel were hiding. Reading the Book of Joshua, I saw that there were a lot of fights ahead of him. He was only successful as He closely listened to what God had commanded him. Therefore, Joshua had to ignore false advice from those who reacted according to their flesh, fearing the ‘giants’ they had seen in the land they should have taken by force. And giants CAN look terrifying… to an ant, don’t you think? 🙄
It was last Saturday when the first enemy started to attack me. Having enjoyed God’s peace and life for a pretty long period already, I felt an extreme dizziness in the afternoon and had to go and rest in bed before cooking dinner. My blood pressure was low, and my body felt like not really belonging to me anymore. I prayed and soon I fell half asleep. As my blood sugar got lower and lower also, I asked God to help me cook a quick dinner. And He did. But then something happened of which I did not know how to deal with it at first. If I had been ‘honest’ in my view, I would have reacted as I always did and had revealed it to everyone concerned. It was not a big thing, yet please, bear with me, I do not want to expose anyone here, so I will have to conceal it somehow. And that was exactly what Jesus told me to do. I asked Him whether to talk about it or not and He wanted me to keep it as a secret between Him and me. So far, so good…
However, Susanne decided to ignore His subtle voice and rather revealed ‘the truth’ by trying to be ‘honest’ in her own view. Dear brothers and sisters, I cannot tell you how extremely painful the attacks from the enemy felt as the devil immediately started to fire off his flaming darts on me. ☹ I went through many attacks from different sides (mainly through people) during about one and a half days that it felt like weeks to me. Thus I got all weak and shattered, starting to doubt the wonderful work God had begun in my life. Somehow it was clear to me that Satan was the author of these doubts. He was my accuser all the time, telling me what a nothingness I was, how unloving my behavior toward those controlling people around me had been. As I result, I finally reasoned that I had to fall down from heaven, so to say, crashing down onto the bottom due to my own faults. Well, as for revealing the ‘secret’ I should have shared with God only, I apologized where needed, in particular to our Lord whose guidance I had ignored, and then I waited on Him to save me from this miserable pit and to restore me to His Life.
What else could I have done? The suffering was so painful that I hope I have learned the lesson by now, knowing that even our Lord who was perfect “learned obedience through what he suffered.” (Heb 5:8 ESV) With God’s help I now try to be more cautious than before to not give room to the flesh. Indeed, the more light we have been given by God, the more obedience He can demand from us as we read,
“Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required …” (Lk 12:48 ESV)
Now I want to share with you how Jesus eventually set me free from those attacks as you might have seen something about this process in your email inbox, perhaps. On Sunday in the evening I checked out my own blog and somehow got into a strange comment thread of an old article of mine. As I read a few comments, I suddenly felt such a pain in my heart, remembering that this pain was caused by the same flaming darts of the evil one I had felt years back then as well. As I looked at the date… something posted in 2015… I pondered, ‘Well, at that time God had not taught me to resist evil spirits in commenters yet, so maybe, I should not change anything.’
However, I was so eager to get back to being led by the Spirit alone. Therefore I asked God what to do. This evening I was still a weak mess, sitting there in front of my computer, being attacked and accused by Satan almost continually. Jesus said, “Delete them.” Sometimes I did such things before, removing comments that had caused division as commenters, though not aware of it, had been driven by the wrong spirits. So I deleted two comments by this person and one of mine. Wow, I started to feel better at once! 😊 But then I kept browsing the comments section there and saw that this person had responded further below once again, though not to me. ‘Hmm… I cannot delete their comments also’, I thought. It did not seem to make much sense to allow one little comment from this person as they had shared their testimony of sorts further above. Not logical, right? So, Susanne went back to the trash folder of WordPress and moderated the former deleted comments again. If you have a follow-up on comments of my blog, you will have got a notification in your inbox about it. Please, pardon the inconvenience!
Dear reader, I can tell you after re-approving those comments I felt as bad as I did before again!! ☹ I had NOT followed His leading as closely as needed in this case, instead, I followed my own reasoning. Sigh. So I went back to asking the Lord what He wanted me to do. ”Delete ALL of them.” That was a clear command, indeed! As soon as I had obeyed, it was as if I had been catapulted from hell to heaven in a split second!! 😊 I found the peace, life, and joy with which I had become acquainted before this trial had interrupted God’s rest. It was as if His resurrection power had put me back into the place where He wanted me to be. I am still amazed at how swiftly that all happened. It was as if all darkness had been whisked off of me as if it had never existed! My mental power was back. All things God had taught me before had come alive again. Furthermore, this sense of authority and self-control, including the control of my own thought life, had returned as well. Although this specific lesson was a painful one, I am grateful for another revelation of how different the realms of Spirit and flesh turn out to be.
“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Rom 8:6 ESV)
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Rom 8:12-14 ESV)
All images © Susanne Schuberth 2021