Allan Halton, discerning the spirits, earth, encouragement, evil spirits, experience, following Jesus, God's guidance, Hannah Hurnard, heaven, hinds' feet, Jesus Christ, joy, Michael Clark, pain, pandemic, peace, prayer, Resisting the Devil, rest, Satan, spiritual power, suffering, T.A. Sparks, Taking our Thoughts Captive, the devil, the enemy, the heavenlies, thought life, unrest, visions, walking by the spirit
As a preliminary note before delving deeper into my latest experiences with God, “Hinds’ Feet on High Places” here bears no relation to Hannah Hurnard’s novel with the same title. Although I never read her book, I heard from a few readers of my blog how much they liked it as they shared part of its content with me in the past. I have just read the plot introduction of this book on Wikipedia and I realized that there might really be a lot of similarities between Hurnard’s description and my own experiences with God as to suffering and sorrow. However, I want to go a step further now and to rather focus on a positive prospect of our life with God than on the difficulties of endurance.
During the last week I stayed at home for three days. From Monday until Wednesday God showed me some visions, both in the morning and in the evening when I was alone while praying. As far as I could remember the details, I jotted them down in my calendar and I also shared them with Michael Clark during fellowship on the phone. It is not so that God always reveals what was meant by what we have seen, but sometimes He does, though.
It was only yesterday on Thursday in the morning that I found myself walking in the Spirit (in another vision, so to say) with Jesus along a well-trodden path that closely surrounded a high and steep mountain on our left. Jesus was on my right side as we kept walking this ocher-colored footpath. I did not focus on Jesus as I usually know I have to in order to not get side-tracked by the enemy. Instead, I looked up this high and slick mountain that was shaped like a huge brown cone. There was no rock, no tree, only a greasy soil texture which allowed no uphill climbs. Alas, I could not discern any way up nor down and no other path elsewhere, either, than this tedious one we were on.
Over time it began to dawn on me that we were walking on an endless circuit around this cone-shaped mountain. That was not only boring. I also felt more and more pressured to keep walking in this prison of sorts. My feelings turned from boredom over irritation to outright anger. After walking approximately one third of the whole ‘circle’ that surrounded the mountain, I really felt like a prisoner who wanted to break free! I turned to Jesus and beseeched Him, “Can we not go elsewhere??” To this He answered, “Yes, we can,” and soon I found myself with Him on a higher elevation on the other side of the mountain. Phew, much better there! Relaxing at Jesus’ left side, I looked down on the earth and on this whole mountain, its rounded off peak, and on the path that was thin like a thread, but somehow stuck to the mountain itself.
“What is this mountain?” I wondered. “This is the pandemic,” Jesus answered. “Oh…” I was surprised… 🙄 At that moment I saw many people who were walking on this path around the mountain. They were small like ants although I could discern the clothes they wore, the color of their hair and so on. They kept walking… and kept walking…and …you know the rest. At that moment it got as clear as crystal to me that we have to continually focus on Jesus if we do not want to remain part of the crowd which, being focused on the mountain and its path around it, never looked up to the heights.
A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Ps 121:1-8 ESV)
That was the solution, indeed! 🙂 But once again, back to the vision. As I was thinking about how this problem of the pandemic could be resolved, the Lord took me on another, even higher place where I looked down on far more than that one mountain. What I could not see any more, though, were the people below. Instead, I looked down on numerous mountains that emerged behind the first one as well as on its right and its left side. They all looked the same as they stood there arranged in a checkered manner. But alas, there was no room left between those countless mountains to ever perceive some light from the heights that were situated high above those mountains. That’s sad. 😦 It seems to me that all those brown mountains represented our earthly problems we struggle with every day since the color brown is the color of the earth or of the soil. Apart from the pandemic mountain, there is the mountain of climatic catastrophe, the mountain of wars, of poverty, of famine, of droughts, of flooding, of volcanic eruptions, of corrupt governments and so on and so on.
To cut a long story short(er), 😉 I want to share with you now the last picture I saw of this vision. Right after having seen those many brown mountains side by side, Jesus put my feet on a much higher elevation where I could merely discern those many peaks as light brown and round spots that were perfectly arranged on a sort of checkerboard (though as dots, not as squares). There was an obvious order in this pattern I could not perceive as long as I was walking with our Lord around this one mountain, focused on this one particular problem, so to speak. Yes, trying to solve our problems while we are staring on what causes us fear and worries in this world will never work out fine. We truly need God to put our feet on high(er) places where we find rest at His side and protection from the enemy who is generally lurking on earth and in the lower regions of the heavenlies that are closer to the earth.
It was amazing for me to see that only on earth there seems to be an awareness of fear, confusion and destruction. The higher the places God sets our feet on, the more we see a God-ordained order of everything, even of evil. The evil on earth appears to also serve God’s purposes as we read,
“Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?” (Amos 3:6 ESV)
I cannot say I understand WHY God allows evil and suffering, yet I saw that it must have come from Him; all these bad things we don’t understand do not happen randomly but are part of God’s eternal plan. Trying to bring this blog to a close, I copy and paste a part of an email I just got from Michael Clark where he himself pasted a paragraph of T. Austin Sparks’ daily devotional from today. I had not read this devotional yet, but I saw that it perfectly fits in here.
“After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” (Rev 4:1, ESV2011)
Open Windows, December 3…
He is working now in you and me. I sometimes think that we are two persons, one here and one in heaven. Naturally we are here, but there is something of ourselves “going up” all the time, when the Lord is getting in us something more of heaven. It is being stored up there. Is not that perhaps what the Lord meant, when He referred to Himself as “the Son of man, who is in heaven” (John 3:13), even while He is on earth? There is an aspect of us that is growing in heaven. Do not think of heaven as some remote planet. We are growing in that heavenly thought of things. Something of us is “going up.” Do you say your situation is too difficult to bring heaven in? Well, there are difficult situations. Daniel’s was a difficult situation – his three companions were in a difficult situation; but they brought heaven in. A grand phrase in the book of Daniel is – “the heavens do rule” (4:26). And they proved it. Headquarters is in heaven: not in Babylon, not in Rome, not in Jerusalem or anywhere else, but in heaven. The Lord help us to live up to and out from heaven.
Amen to T. Austin-Sparks’ prayer.
As an addendum, I thought I should share with you why I chose the title. Regardless of what I had been doing yesterday (big shopping, putting all my stuff away afterwards, talking, writing, cooking – whatever), I heard the Holy Spirit speaking inside me, “Hinds’ feet on high places…,” even a few times. So I was wondering whether I should dig into that book or not. But most of the time I was too busy to ponder on these five words and their implication. This morning when I was struggling with spiritual attacks, the Lord reminded me of “hinds’ feet on high places” once again and therefore I looked up the meaning. That which aroused my interest today was the experience that God had just helped me to resist an evil spirit. That spirit offered me one specific anxious thought I had been familiar with for decades. Yet for the first time I felt a certain strength to resist Satan’s “proposal” to follow that trodden path, i.e., I rejected jumping in my hamster wheel of negative thoughts and emotions. For some reason I had felt the courage to say to the enemy, “No, God told me to not be afraid about anything. Therefore, I reject those thoughts.” To my great surprise, only a few seconds afterwards those frightening feelings which had already started to bother me disappeared in the middle of nowhere and turned into joy and gratefulness to God instead. In closing (seriously!), 😉 I want to show you the verse I had looked up on the internet,
“He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.” (Ps 18:33 KJV)
All images © Susanne Schuberth 2020, Paul Schuberth 2021 (1st picture: quality is lower than usual b/c it was sent via WhatsApp)