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“Focus on me and you will see.”

This is what Jesus just said as I was sitting and praying in front of my computer in the office, wondering whether I should write a new blog or not. On the one hand, it is not new to me that God’s leading makes things come alive when He wants us to get going for Him. On the other hand, we might even feel repelled later to do exactly the same things that initially gave us peace and joy when God has decided to guide us on another path than before.

Just yesterday I explained to someone that for me it is not primarily about , “I want to do this” or “I want to do that” or “Some people tell me what I should say or do in their view and then I follow their advice.” I do not want to submit to any of these suggestions unless God was their author. One might wonder why not. The reason is not that I consider myself ‘better’ than anyone else, no way, but I know from my own sometimes painful experiences that if I resist God’s inner leading in order to please anyone else but Him, I will have to somehow push against an immovable wall in my own strength. I will lose all poise, I will be nervous, angry, even aggressive if I continue to do so. Going against the will of the Holy Spirit makes us lose His protection for a certain time until we repent and go back where we came from (back to Him, that is). But sometimes we do not even want to go against His will, yet we see that we are in bondage of our fleshly habits. We cannot do as we want to (compare Romans 7). Then we need to be set free by our Savior Jesus Christ.

“Schutz” (Germ.) means protection

I will give you an example here. Some time ago the Lord showed me a vivid but lifeless picture in my mind. Looking at several shacks that reminded of bamboo huts located in a stony desert area, I was wondering about their meaning. All of them were small, round buildings with an open front door. In fact, there was not even a door, merely an open entrance. You could see from the outside that there was one circular room inside which was rather dark. The only light came from the outside. So far, so good. And here comes the experience I have been going through until I saw that these huts, indeed, represented spiritual prison cells.

Let us just take a look at our thought life. We know that we as born-again Christians (should) have the mind of Christ (cf. 1 Cor 2:16). However, what IS the mind of Christ? Have you wondered about it? 🙄 I did. Often. And I started to see that my thought life, in contrast, mainly focuses on things that offer no real life at all. Whether there are distracting thoughts when I try to pray and focus on God, or if I cave in to my fearful thoughts regarding loved ones, as to the unknown future, as for negative or even positive happenings in the past, there is never any freedom or liberty, not even a change in these patterns.

“Libertas” (lat.) means liberty

Standing with Jesus on my right hand in front of these prison cells, He showed me how our natural thought life works. There is always one initial thought that pops up in our mind. Mostly, it seems to be an innocent thing. Perhaps we are reminded of someone or of a specific situation. Whatever it is, this thought is the entrance door to one of these prison cells. As we have been used to thinking along the same patterns for a lifetime, it seems impossible for us to let go and to not follow the next thought connected to the first, and then the third, the fourth et cetera unless our Lord helps us to stop this procedure. What I went through for many months was that I saw more and more clearly that I automatically followed different chains of fearful thoughts, of worrisome pondering, or even of hopeful but unfulfilled wishes by walking around in countless circles in such dusky shacks. Although I saw the ‘door’ was open and Jesus waiting outside, I could not really leave. But why? 🙄

How can it be that we endure this inner unrest on a permanent level if there is an open door to leave our prisons at any time? I was truly wondering why it did not work. There were times when I had left one of the cells for a short time to be with Christ on a hill slightly above them. At that time I truly wanted to walk away with Him from those shacks (as that was what He suggested). However, I could not! I had to realize that although my habitual thinking was detrimental to my spirit and soul, I followed the strong pull of those thought patterns simply because they were familiar to me like a well-trodden hiking trail. It was the fear of the unknown that hindered me to really trust God to lead me into an unknown future. That is sad, isn’t it? 😦 But the Lord gave us this comforting passage through the prophet Jeremiah,

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” (Jer 29:11-14 KJV)

“Carried away captive” – that spoke to me also because that is what our thought life apart from God’s leading does. The place God in the New Covenant wants to bring us into today is not a place on earth, it is a spiritual place where Christ rules above all principalities and powers (which also feed our thought life together with the flesh). Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ has accomplished everything for all of us. It is not our own doing, neither our good works for God, nor our striving to become better human beings. Instead, it is God’s grace that delivers us from our miserable condition and clothes us with His righteousness.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:4-10 KJV)  

May it be so for all of us. Amen.

Your sister,


Photos by Susanne Schuberth 2021 – 2023