Are we too sure of ourselves?

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The following post is meant to provoke some thoughts in my readers. I could have added my own experiences as I usually do in order to illustrate the message below. However, I decided to copy and paste this exhortation by T. Austin Sparks without joining in.

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False Christ-Centeredness

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Some of you might wonder why I keep publishing about the dangers of clinging to the wrong spirits. However, I believe it is important to get rid of all negative influences that might be able to pull us away from a personal and intimate relationship with Christ risen. If we want to feed on Christ by seeking His presence daily, we should stay away from reading books, blogs, or the like that pollute our minds with an abundance of theological theories. Even though we might always find some truth in theological writings, a true Christian writer can solely be someone who knows God and is known by Him also. Actually, don’t we want to be introduced to all the truth instead of to some starters only? Dear reader, what this world thinks is recommendable is usually detestable in God’s eyes. The same applies to the religious world of Christianity where the average Christian has been raised to look up to charismatic high-profile figures. The book market is flooded with a diversity of Christian books that are not always helpful to lead us into the truth as it is revealed in Christ alone. Let me give you an example here the Lord has just made me aware of.

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Spirit-led vs. spirit-driven

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Although I have been posting articles about discerning the spirits for almost 27 months now, I have come to realize that it is often times not possible to explain the difference between these emotions that move our soul habitually and, by contrast, those tender ‘nudges’ or even stronger impressions of restraint in our hearts by which God leads our spirits. Actually, we can only recognize what we have come to know ourselves, right? So, I simply want to tell you today what God’s leading is NOT about.

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True Gratefulness and Real Strength

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Maybe you, like me, were inclined to believe that we are to express thankfulness toward God whenever something good, in our view, has happened to us. That is not wrong an attitude in itself, however, where is our gratitude when God allows bad things in our sight again (!), happen to us as well?  🤔

I have come to know several people over the years who usually express thankfulness as they discern a glass half-full and not half-empty. Nonetheless, it is not necessary to be a Christian to be able to do so. It is a matter of personality alone that decides whether we have to do with an optimist or with a pessimist. Indeed, it is nothing but innate thinking and behavior of our old nature that makes people appear as if they were Christians. Bold words, huh? 🙄 If you happen to read my blog more often, you might presume that I primarily point to the social gospel type of Christian here, people who work hard for the Lord in their own and other people’s view. However, they have never come to know Jesus on a personal and intimate level themselves. All they know about God was what they read and heard and saw other ‘Christians’ do. Our Lord will make it clear one day what the difference between those who were known and famous Christians in this world and those who were unknown nobodies, yet being known by God, will be.

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Disclosing Deeds of Darkness

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Photo by Sarah Schuberth

To be honest with you, although I was hell-bent on going to bed, quite some time after midnight I felt the strong ‘nudge’ from God to re-publish an older poem of mine, maybe, even two. I do know that this is not my poetry blog and most of my readers prefer reading blog articles instead. Nonetheless, I want to emphasize here, once again, the danger of cherishing any kind of fellowship or friendship, not only with worldly people (which should be clear), but also with those people who are used to meeting on a regular basis where one ought to hear from God. As I have often made clear before, a spirit being who has been birthed from above will, like God, not be predictable in their speaking, writing and doing. We are like the wind if we listen to God’s leading only. So, if we really want to have spiritual relationships first with God and then with one another, too, we do not only need to go away from the world and its pleasures, we should also say ‘Bye bye’ to any regular and obligatory gathering, whatever form it might take (attending church, home church meeting, connecting via internet etc.). The reason for doing so is that we cannot submit to God’s unpredictable leading and to predictable tradition (like preaching or listening to a sermon every Sunday and singing hymns in determined order) at the same time! Either we obey God and cannot be figured by anyone who does not yet have His Spirit, or we submit to another spirit that can be put in a box, a spirit that can be controlled by us. It might be easier and feel better to go on attending meetings with other Christians, but if God does not show up in such a gathering because His Spirit is quenched there, who are we really looking for? 🙄

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The Times We Live in or …Thoughts on Today’s Theology

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In recent weeks I got more and more aware of the fact that there has been an alarming trend in (public) Christianity to migrate from often times good beginnings as believers in God and Christ to one of three seemingly different camps of Christendom. Let me give you my observations for this assertion.

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When time stands still

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The other day I found a German saying on my Catholic kitchen calendar I did not throw away immediately because it prompted me several times to stop and read it again. Indeed, whenever I reread these words, I feel the confirmation of its truth at once.

“Sit back and do nothing. There is a time when silence heals.” (Gerhard Engelsberger)

Since I do not want to write another entry about the importance of (accepted) suffering for our transformation into the image of Christ, I want to simply tell you something about the prerequisites and the effects of withdrawing from this world’s hectic fussing and ramblings. Actually, it is not only necessary to find a quiet place (which is more difficult in a big city), we need to also nun ourselves from being occupied with everything that does NOT point us to God. Easier said than done, dear brothers and sisters! Whoever tried that before might know how difficult it is.  🙄

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What does a real saint look like? You might wonder… 😉

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Just reading Oswald Chambers’ devotional from tomorrow, I was truly hit by what he had to say. I need to admit that it does not happen very often that I appreciate his devotionals because I do not like his sometimes accusatory style of writing (preaching). I am paraphrasing him here a bit, “Do you think you have already arrived? Are you sure you belong to the Lord Jesus? You should not do this … you should not do that… you [seem to do it all wrong – the latter were my words].” This posture reminds me of preachers on the pulpit who seemingly dwell in another, higher spiritual region than their more or less attentive audience does. If we compare such accusations with how often the apostle Paul humbled himself before other, less mature Christians, we might know where and when we must be cautious about believing what we hear or read from other people. Nonetheless, I can tell you whenever Chambers goes over do including himself into what he has to say, I am happy! Lo and behold… below. 😊

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“I see!” – Receiving Supernatural Spiritual Sight

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If we long to have (more) spiritual sight and insights, we must be prepared that God will take us through many, many severe sufferings. Who wants this? Surely, our old nature hates suffering. And this is why God takes us through these things. He knows that our new spiritual nature that is opposed to the flesh will finally come out victoriously. Below I offer you an excerpt from T. Austin Sparks’ writings that deals with the topic I have just touched on. Sparks described here the cause of spiritual blindness that both springs from our old nature and Satan’s work in our soul.

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“Self, Stop Striving and Enter His Rest!”

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Star Trails August 2017 (Photo by Paul Schuberth)

This title seems to be a short formula which somehow sprang out on me as I had just re-read part of the excerpt of James A. Fowler’s writing “Spirit-union Allows for Soul-rest” (see link below). Thanks to Kenneth Dawson who would point to this website which was new to me until yesterday. I found a helpful description there of how we as modern Christian people today more and more fail to enter His rest due to our busy, hurried, and burdened lives.

The world of fallen humanity runs to and fro at a hectic pace, seeking “rest” on the weekends, in church services, and on vacations and holidays. The humanistic work ethic that drives men to succeed and be significant leaves little time for “rest” and quietude. When identity is determined by performance – who we are based on what we do – then contemporary society thinks those who take time to “rest” will be left on the side of the road as excess baggage or “nobodies.” “Rest” is regarded as but a utopian goal at the end of the rainbow of success. Thinking they can generate their own future of “rest” by their self-sufficient performance, fallen man runs on the treadmill that goes nowhere.

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