, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yesterday in the evening I found myself mulling over problems other Christians close to me have been struggling with. Although I knew that the solution for our unsolvable problems could always only be found in the spiritual realm, I finally had to realize that the only thing I could do was to keep praying for their deliverance. And I have prayed for it already, even for a long time, for many, many years and decades. As I was just standing in front of the mirror in our bathroom, still thinking about this problem of the fear of death, this sting which exclusively in Christ and His victory is overcome (cf. 1 Cor 15:54-57), I heard the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart distinctively,

“God is good.”

‘Oh…’  🙄 I was surprised since I had not even asked a question regarding God and His goodness. Nonetheless, I knew God had spoken to me, though not by delivering those people from their fears right now, but by somehow telling me that He had heard my prayers. It appears to me that it is part of His plan to save all people for whom we earnestly pray. However, His timing must be accepted which, for our old impatient nature, is a difficult thing to do, isn’t it?  🙄 We want to see immediate success. Our adamic nature was born into this world which is still driven by this mentality of “Press the button and all will work out fine.” But waiting on the Lord is something else…

“For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling, and you said, “No! We will flee upon horses”; therefore you shall flee away; and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”; therefore your pursuers shall be swift.” (Is 30:15-16 ESV)

In these verses that were brought up by Michael Clark during fellowship on the phone yesterday, the contrast between the realm where God is Lord and this world where our soul is driven by demonic forces has been exposed. It seems we have been given the choice to run and fix something or someone else when God has not answered our prayers regarding these things in our timing yet. In such cases we decided to “flee upon horses”. But on the other hand God offered us even here rest for our souls, just like Jesus did by asking us to come to Him (see Mt 11:28-29). If we draw near to Him, not to anyone else and their advice first, then we will be delivered from whatever might cause us pain.

This morning as I started to read T. Austin-Sparks’ daily devotional, I did not get that far with delving into what he was talking about. What I got, instead, was only the first part I pasted below.

All the believers were one in heart and soul. (Acts 4:32 ISV)

The Lord must have a company in the earth who, in every respect, are a heavenly people. Their spiritual resources of life, power, wisdom, knowledge, and purpose must be heavenly and by mediation of the Holy Spirit alone. Their means and methods must be Divinely supplied and dictated. Their energy must be directly Divine energy; which means that they must have been separated from their own.” (1)

I tried to read further, yet there was a certain fear in my heart that came to the surface while reading. This fear was caused by my observation that the closer I got to the Lord during the last almost half year, the more trials, pains, and afflictions popped up out of nowhere. Of course, I went through many painful trials before, too. Nevertheless, it got obvious to me that the number of afflictions has clearly increased. Every day there are new challenges while Susanne has continually been longing for a time of rest from struggling, fighting, and praying until there was victory in sight. As a matter of fact, I could write a lengthy blog post almost every day about such trials if I had the time and His leading to do so. When I had stopped reading TAS, I told the Lord that I feared all that persistent suffering (physical, mental, and spiritual). Indeed, I could not get rid of that thought when I, once again, heard the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart like yesterday. He suddenly said with a very tender voice,

“You never need to be scared. There is a solution for everything.”

‘Oh…’  🙄 Again, I was surprised at how this message affected me. God says something and His words strike a chord in us that only He knows about. I felt comforted at once and there were hope, confidence, and faith which had not been there before. God reminded me afterwards of the following verses below.

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of ALL their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them ALL.” (Ps 34:17-19 ESV – emphasis in caps added)

Dear brothers and sisters, God delivers us out of ALL our troubles! Not by always changing our circumstances first, but by pulling us closer to Himself. Christ alone has been given all authority in heaven and on earth and He is sitting on a throne high above all principalities. If we draw near to Him in prayer, in all our weakness and helplessness, we will sooner or later find ourselves seated with Him there in the heavenlies. This is our ‘overcomer position’ Christ has won for all of us through His cross, His resurrection, and His ascendancy to the Throne. The more we listen to His divine advice and leading, the more we share in the power of His resurrection, too. Indeed, it is IN CHRIST that we have already overcome the world and all that suffering related to it. Jesus pointed to this truth when He told us,

“I have said these things to you, that IN ME you may have peace. IN THE WORLD you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33 ESV – emphasis in caps added)

It was also today when the Holy Spirit asked me to share all my recurring thoughts, feelings, and all my mental reruns with Him as soon as they kept bothering me. I tried that about three times in a row and I was amazed at the effect. At first I shared with Him an offense by a worldly woman, a woman whom I most probably will meet tomorrow again. That was a mental rerun caused by a profound offense, a thought I could not get rid of. As soon as I opened up toward God, I saw that particular insult together with similar offenses of the past lined up on a chronological chain of sorts. All of those were related, yet there was only one root cause. Then I heard God say, “I am going to heal this right now.” Although I still had some doubts about this deliverance, I found out soon that all those former thoughts about such and similar offenses were no longer interesting to me. And so I keep sharing whatever bothers me with Him today. with our God for Whom everything is possible (see Mt 19:26).

In closing, I offer you a longer except by T. Austin-Sparks from another article in which he also wrote about the unity of faith which keeps us as brethren together in His love.

“No, we shall not go wrong in being governed by the Spirit; but even there many good Christians may not be able to understand. Are you prepared for that? It is not conformity to a system of teaching or truths that is needed, but to be able to take account of the movement of the Spirit of God that will not make us independent, a law to ourselves, the Lord will attend to that. But oh, it is more important than anything else in these days that the Lord should have a people who know the Spirit, who hear His voice and follow Him; and all who do that will move in the same direction, will flow together. The reason for so much division and conflict is the fact that the Spirit is not Lord. Other things are Lord, Christian interests are Lord, interpretations are Lord, mental appraisements are Lord, all sorts of things have taken Lordship. Where the Spirit is Lord, we shall speak and think the same thing; there will be no mere individualism.

“Let us listen to what the Spirit says. Let us ask the Lord to make very sure in us that we are not being moved in our lives, in the course that we are taking, by what is religiously natural, but that we are really children of the Spirit and know the Spirit and are in conformity to God’s thought for this present dispensation, true children of Abraham according to the Spirit.” (2)

I want to repeat these important statements by TAS.

The reason for so much division and conflict is the fact that the Spirit is not Lord. Other things are Lord, Christian interests are Lord, interpretations are Lord, mental appraisements are Lord, all sorts of things have taken Lordship. Where the Spirit is Lord, we shall speak and think the same thing; there will be no mere individualism.

AMEN to that.

(1) https://www.austin-sparks.net/english/openwindows/003452.html

(2) https://www.austin-sparks.net/english/000428.html

“In keeping with T. Austin-Sparks’ wishes that what was freely received should be freely given and not sold for profit, and that his messages be reproduced word for word, we ask if you choose to share these messages with others, to please respect his wishes and offer them freely – free of any changes, free of any charge (except necessary distribution costs) and with this statment included.”

All images by Paul Schuberth 2016, Susanne Schuberth 2019/2021