being born again, darkness, discerning the spirits, dreams, entering his rest, entering the Kingdom of God, evil spirits, experience, following Jesus, God's guidance, grace, prayer, Salt and Light, Satan, spirit and life, T.A. Sparks, the devil, the heavenlies, The Holy Spirit, the promised land, the whole armour of God, walking by the spirit
During the last weeks and months I published several articles on walking in the spirit. The connection between walking by the spirit and living in the spirit seems to be quite simple. Paul in his letter to the Galatians put it this way,
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal 5:25 KJV)
This verse makes it clear that we can only walk in the (Holy) Spirit if we have received God’s own life in us before. Or in other words, the natural man cannot walk in the spirit since he neither has any inclination to do so, nor does he have the capacity to sense God’s voice or leading yet. In fact, it is difficult to describe what life in the spirit is all about. If I was able to take pictures or to even make a video of how it looks like, then it would be easier to talk about it. But let us just imagine we go on a journey to an unknown country. To begin with, we do not know what to expect, nor do we have any securities, neither do we possess the proper currency to pay for anything we might need there. The only thing we can rely on is that our guide leads us there by His grace alone. Therefore, we need to trust Him and His provision, no matter what might be in store for us in this adventurous land.
It is the heavenlies I am talking about here since the spiritual country we should be walking in cannot be found on the earth at all. This land can only be found in our own spirit as soon as we have been born again from above. The heavenlies, alas, are both populated by good and by evil spirits. So if we want to walk closely with our Lord here, we need to brace ourselves that we are confronted with spiritual warfare now. It might even happen every day that demonic spirits attack us, trying to pull us down to their destructive level. For this very reason, it is the whole armour of God we need here, something about the Lord will be teaching us as to how to put it on in every particular case.
If we walk in the light with Him who is the light, we can somehow perceive every danger even before anything bad might happen. But maybe we are not always that aware of all perils possible. There are days when we are tired or sick, perhaps, we had a lot of stress, or we were facing problems that seemingly knew no solution, you name it. Actually, there is only one method that helps us out here. I know as soon as I have mentioned it, our normal reaction to this suggestion will be, “On no, sigh. How boring is that!” I know it myself as I have been struggling to keep doing IT on a daily basis for many, many years now. Often times I am bored to death when I am trying hard to hear or to even feel something as I am searching for God’s presence while praying. But unfortunately He seems to withdraw sometimes. However, then there are those other times when I simply turn to Him in my spirit and – whoosh – there He is!
As I have said before, life in the spirit cannot be planned by us. If our old nature hinders us to go on, then we come to a standstill until our problems have been surrendered to God and His sovereign will. As innocent and unimportant we might rate prayer in comparison to doing something for God with our natural five senses involved, something that can be perceived by others also, prayer is indeed the only means to get ascendancy to the throne of God and to really reign with Him in the heavenlies RIGHT NOW. I had felt the truth of what I just wrote beforehand as I lately read the confirmation in several articles by T. Austin Sparks. Sighing again, as I need to admit that I was not that thrilled to find out that there is no other means to get closer and closer to God than a consistent prayer life – against all odds. However, it seems to me that our enemy’s efforts are mostly about destroying our prayer life and thus the intimate relationship God wants to have with us through Jesus Christ is being hindered as well.
Referring to this spiritual warfare I mentioned above once again, I want to point you to an article by T. Austin Sparks where he expounds on the how and why the enemy attacks our prayer life more than anything else. It appears that the devil knows exactly where the danger lies. It is not in our doing, but rather in our being IN HIM through prayer that works ascendancy and victory over the dark realm. Below I offer you an excerpt from this article by TAS.
“The battleground of this warfare is prayer. What I mean is this: that this battle is won on the ground of prayer, these forces are dealt with and defeated on the ground of prayer, and, that being so, the chief objective of the enemy is the prayer-life of the believer. That is the focal point of all the enemy’s attention and strategy.
“Now if we said no more than that, that is the supreme thing for our grasping and for our recognition. We have said the most important thing that can be said in this connection. The focal point of all the enemy’s attention and strategy is the prayer-life of the believer. If he can destroy that by any means he has gained the day, defeated the saints and frustrated the ends of God. The enemy fights prayer persistently, energetically, violently and cunningly, and he fights the prayer-life of the believer. He fights it in various ways. First of all, he fights it along preventive lines, in the direction of prevention, and there has to be a tremendous battle and conflict to get prayer – not only to pray, but to have prayer, get prayer – and there is nothing in all the range of his wit, his cunning, his craftiness, his ingenuity and his resourcefulness that the enemy will not employ to prevent real spiritual prayer.” (1)
To cut a long story short, our prayer life decides whether we share in God’s spiritual life as we live with Him who is THE LIFE in His Spirit, just as this connection through prayer enables us to hear God’s voice much better and more clearly so that we can follow His leading much easier as well. I also dare say that following His leading is tantamount to walking in the spirit.
All images © Susanne and Sarah Schuberth 2021