Don’t just walk the smooth streets. Walk paths that no one has walked before, so that you can leave traces and not just dust.
(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
After many gray days lately, last week the sun came out for a short time again. Swimming under an almost clear blue sky in my favorite outdoor pool, I suddenly got aware of the fact that all human beings, even most animals and plants are drawn toward the visible light. These few sunrays made the water sparkle and glitter both on the surface and underneath. Due to the warm temperature inside (30° C, i.e., 86° F) the pool soon turned into a vapor bath. As the cold Eastern winds blew stronger, playing a funny game with these continually shaping clouds of steam, my heart was rejoicing over the ingenuity of our Creator. It was really an amazing spectacle! 🙂
Either we’re Christians or we jump on bandwagons.
In my experience, we either take a stand for Christ or we remain neutral toward whatever people might suggest to us. Imagine someone, let’s say a worldly person, approaches you by presenting a hair-raising conspiracy theory to you. Actually, that happened to me two times lately. One person was convinced that her child had become severely sick due to kerosene emission by aircraft… 🙄 Conclusion: this person finally found someone on the internet who not only sold grossly overpriced (and overdosed!) dietary supplement, but who also offered bloodcurdling nonsense to prove his theory. Since no doctor could help her in the past, as she said, yet this person on the net eventually could, she now seems to take everything this man utters at face value. Sigh.
awakened, being born again, darkness, discerning the spirits, encouragement, eternal life, exhortation, experience, experiencing eternal life, fellowship, Fellowship with God, God's love, Jesus Christ, light, Oneness, Paul Schuberth, Satan, sin, T.A. Sparks, the new self, the old self
This is not a new post. I put this article as a featured blog entry before all others on my home page since after rereading, I just found out that this writing expresses now, more than one year later, a lot of what I have been going through since then. As for publishing new and inspired blog posts, I will have to wait for Him to inspire me once again in the days ahead, whenever that may be. 😉
Lately I began to wonder when this seemingly endless process of dying to self finally would be over. To be completely honest with you, I had given up any hope of ever seeing His light again, just as the apostle Paul said here, “… we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” (2 Cor 1:8-9 ESV) Just now as I checked the context of these verses, I saw some encouragement I unintentionally had ignored before. Paul wrote there,
Actually, I was searching for something else on the net as I suddenly found an exposition on the glory of God by Alexander MacLaren. I could not stop reading although I can hardly relate to all these wonderful blessings he wrote about right now. Even while deeply suffering, I am still sitting here, knowing that which I read there is the truth. Dear brothers and sisters, have you ever heard someone preach or teach on the possibility of being glorified even during this life on earth? I am speaking spiritually here, of course! However, as far as I can see it, you often only find Christian writings about justification and/or sanctification. And you also hear that sanctification will not be finished unless we are in heaven after our physical death. Yet is that biblical truth too? Although the Bible speaks about the necessity to die once (Heb 9:27), we also have Jesus’ mysterious promise he confided to Martha whose brother Lazarus had died before,
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (Jn 11:25-26 ESV)
death, discerning the spirits, encouragement, eternal life, experience, Fellowship with God, freedom, God, Jesus Christ, new life, resurrection, spiritual power, T.A. Sparks, the new self, the old self
The following excerpts from T.A. Sparks make clear the difference between the natural man and the spiritual man who allows himself to be guided by God 24/7. We cannot reach this blissful state unless our old self has died completely since only then we are “transferred” or baptized into Christ (see Gal 3:27) and are enabled to enjoy a life of perfect obedience to Him. We may know that it is a process, a long process, until we utterly despair of our old Adam nature and leave it all up to Him. But once we have died to our old self, Christ’s resurrection power begins to flow into a renewed mind and into a completely new heart that was given by God also. And from that time on, REAL LIFE in the kingdom of God begins. What I meant by ‘real life’ is a spiritual life that no longer knows the sting of death. These who “loved not their lives even unto death,“ (Rev 12:11 ESV), or in other words, these believers who hated their old self life, are enabled to enjoy God in all circumstances instead, just as Jesus promised us here,
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (Jn 10:10 ESV)
Eventually, here is T.A. Sparks’ exposition on ‘Fellowship with God’ which I found to be very helpful for me. I hope it serves you too, dear reader. As a side note, I became aware of this article by TAS as I read another quote from him in this blog article by Becky Johnson yesterday. Thank you, Becky! 🙂
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Do we know how easy it is to confuse Satan’s lies with what God has been telling us? I do know how often that happened to me in the past and I am glad to have received continued access to the heart of God so that I immediately sense another spirit in whatever someone tells me. Without even thinking about it, I immediately feel a sort of uneasiness, even a strong feeling of disgust at times, depending on how evil the spirit was who talked to me through others.
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (Jn 8:42-47 ESV)
This morning as I awoke I had a haunting picture on my mind I could neither understand nor get rid of. In my mind I was looking at a very small, seemingly white fox that stood a few meters in front of me. He was so small that he could have been easily overlooked unless the contrast between his bright appearance and a huge dark hole, even abyss, behind him would not have caused me to look a bit longer at him. He seemed to be so innocent, so small and unimportant, even so full of light. Yet the light was cold and its brightness made me feel repelled in a sense I have known before, especially during the last few weeks as the Lord has been teaching me more and more about how demons disguise as creatures of light. As I asked God several times about an interpretation of this strange pic, I only heard one Scripture in my mind’s ear that reads,
“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.” (Sg 2:10 ESV)
Today my special thanks go to Michael who provided proper Scriptures and their exposition for me as I was searching for the Biblical confirmation of my recent experiences and to Tony who pointed out to me a great article by A.W. Tozer. At first I want to offer you a quote of that entry. If you’re interested to dip into the whole exposition on the difference between preaching the cross as it once was and still should be preached and the watered-down version that can be heard in many of today’s churches, just follow the link below.
God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life. That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die.
(A.W. Tozer, “The Old Cross and the New”, see http://www.ldolphin.org/oldcross.html)
At first, a special thanks to Anna Waldherr whose last comment on my latest post inspired me to deepen the issue of “sin” in a whole article. Those who read my blogs might know that I rarely focus on sin because many Christians rather need to hear about the grace and unconditional love of God in their lives. However, today you will read about something that has been bothering me lately. As wonderful as it is to speak and share about the love of God, there are times when we need to examine our lives as well.