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

To start off with, the title I chose was part of a sentence from T. Austin-Sparks whose article I will be referring to further below. As for me, dear brothers and sisters, actually, it is getting more and more difficult to write a blog. Not that I do not have experiences with God I could share with you. I could. But either I do not have the time to write (for mainly private reasons) or I do not sense the Spirit’s ‘nudge’ to publish what He has shown me. Often times I think it could not help anyone if I described my struggles in the heavenlies. This continous warfare in the dark spiritual realm can be very exhausting, esp. when faith is lacking. Christ is always beside me, but do I fully trust Him? Alas, not yet.

Then again I may gain new spiritual (!) experiences, things I cannot even describe properly as they are completely new to me, too. For instance, have you ever you walked on air, without any visible fundament to tread on?  🙄 In the beginning it was a joy and even fun to walk or stand with Jesus to my right side way above the earth where no path, no mountain, no landscape beneath was needed. I take it that He should be the only fundament we need. He wants us to be completely dependent on Him so that He can release His power and spiritual blessings in and through us. Jesus said,

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 5:14-16 ESV)

What just came to my mind was the thought of how impossible it is for His light to shine through us as long as our mind is set on earthly concerns, on people, on our own ideas and plans – whatever. The horizontal focus won’t do. But if we rather want to be like a city on a hill, we need to have reached a higher elevation than this world could ever offer. Or in other words, as soon as our old self is silent and lets the Holy Spirit govern our whole life, God’s Light comes through immediately, even automatically, and without delay.

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 Jn 1:5 ESV)

I do not speak about (our) perfection here. Instead, it is a process of handing over more and more areas of our lives to Him Who can do the impossible. We might know that we can never set ourselves free from our (old) selves, ever. But He can.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (Jn 8:36 ESV)

If God leads, I might share more about my experiences with Him in the days ahead. But for now I just want to offer you another excerpt from one of T. Austin-Sparks’ books where he ‘painted’ the way for us… from the cross… to the throne… into His glory. Even now. TAS asked,

“What is the key to increase, world increase, of that which is of Christ? It is Christ being apprehended in His glory, in His Lordship, in His enthronement in the throne of Jehovah. It is along these lines: firstly that He is Lord and He is in His place, and then, as the result, that we are a people who have rest. If we go about with haggard faces and worried looks, as people who carry an awful burden of sorrow and trouble and bear it before the world, there will not be much increase, growth or spiritual expansion. When we can carry with us the testimony of a heart that has found rest on the ground that Jesus is Lord, the world watches. Here is a Christian going through deep trial. Things have all gone wrong for that life, for they are hard and difficult, and no one has greater reason to question the love, the power and the sovereignty of God. The world watches, and what do they see and hear? ‘Save, Lord, we perish!’? or: ‘It is all right! The Lord is on the throne, and things are not as they appear. We are coming out, and we are coming out triumphantly. This is not the end!’

“A quiet, restful assurance through stress and strain, trial, adversity and contradiction is how the kingdom increases. The rest of faith is a mighty power of testimony unto increase. When others know that we have, not only enough to get on with, but plenty: that we are not all the time having to go down to Egypt—the world—to find something to make up what is lacking in our Christianity, but we have enough: that we have not only as much as the world has, but a very great deal more: that we are completely independent of this world for our satisfaction and have a new source of complete satisfaction: then there is a testimony that counts. [Emphasis in bold letters added] I am afraid that so many of us have given the other impression—that to be a Christian is almost to lose everything, and we give that impression not only by our looks and ways and influence, but by what we do. We hunger after this and that and the other: we must have this, and we must have that, because the Lord has not filled everything. But when He is really in His place there is that moving into His wealth which will result in others wanting to know the secret.


“Christ cannot be Lord, with all the beneficent results thereof, until all other lordships are subdued under Him, and by that I mean the lordships within the kingdom of our own hearts. You can work that out, and see that is what is being applied in every letter of the New Testament. What is brought into view is the rightful place of Jesus as Lord; and then the Apostle gets down to this business and says, for example to the Corinthians: ‘You are spoiling your testimony.  You are not knowing spiritual wealth, and you know nothing about real rest. Everything is limited and marred because you are not a crucified people and your natural life is in the way of Jesus Christ. He cannot be Lord because you, in the strength of your natural life, are lord, and that has to come to the Cross, you Corinthians.’  ‘You Galatians, you are allowing an Old Testament, typical régime to come in again and dominate you; the law has returned and you have got on to another basis altogether. You have put Christ, Who has fulfilled all the law, out of His place, and you have fallen from grace and gone back to the law.’ Galatians 2:20, in its immediate sense, must be an actuality: “I have been crucified with Christ.”  You notice the connection. The immediate context is with regard to the law, the reign of the law. Paul is saying how he was under the law, how the law had dominion over him, how it brought him under bondage and limited his whole life. Then he says: ‘I got out of it by being crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ. The law was in the way; I was in the way in the sense of this legalism in my life.’ Any Christian who is bound by legalism is an obstruction to the Lord Jesus, and will limit the expression of His power.

“You find the same note in principle in every letter. Something of the old natural life is in the way, and it is limiting, spoiling, and causing everything to come into a state of contradiction; and whatever it is it must all come to the Cross. You and I, in all that we are by nature, have to come under the power of that Cross. The Cross has to get us out of the way in order that Christ may fill all things. That is the meaning here. I see that the altar, the great altar, was set up by Solomon, and a mighty, all-inclusive sacrifice to God’s satisfaction was offered in type, and then the king had his place and all these blessed results followed.

“Dear friends, we are in the way, we are our own plague and our own limitation. It is this natural life that is the real bane—but there is a mighty Cross.  It is still possible for us to say: “I have been crucified with Christ.” It is still possible to enter into the meaning of that and to know that fundamental breaking of self-life, self-strength, self-centredness, that real breaking of the very backbone of our natural life—even our religious natural life, our devoted natural life, or whatever it is that is the natural life—so that its strength is gone and there is room for the King and for Him to fill all things. In the practical outworking, we know, by a very little spiritual history, that not until that spiritual life, at some point or other, is dealt with, brought down and broken can we enter upon a life of spiritual rest, spiritual growth and spiritual wealth. The Cross governs it, for it is the Cross that leads to the Throne—from the altar to the Throne, and from the Throne to the glories of Christ.

“May the Lord Himself apply the word and speak through it, and may the result be that He gets His full place, His unquestioned place, and we come into all the blessings of Christ in His place.” (1)

(1) https://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/002022.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 pictures by Susanne Schuberth 2022