circumcision of the heart, darkness, dying to self, experience, Fellowship of His Sufferings, following Jesus, God's love, joy, Morning Star, pain, Sickness, suffering, T.A. Sparks, the dark night of the soul, the mind of Christ
This will be a rather short blog post since I am not doing that well at the moment. Before sharing with you what I have learned lately, inspired by an exchange with a sister, I offer you two quotes from Francis of Sales who said,
“The indifferent heart is like a ball of wax in God’s hands, ready to accept all the impressions of his eternal good pleasure. It does not place its love in the things God wills, but in the will of God who wills them.”
“A truly loving heart loves God’s good pleasure, not only in consolations, but also in afflictions….”
authority, desires, discerning the spirits, dying to self, exhortation, experience, following Jesus, God's guidance, heart, joy, obedience, passions, peace, Satan, T.A. Sparks, The Anointing, the old self
Let’s say, we find ourselves in a situation of which we are not sure how we got there and how we might come out of it (alive), either. I am not necessarily speaking of big things here. Just take an everyday situation. For instance, you meet someone who asks you to do something for them and you spontaneously offer your help. How can we discern here whether our reaction was led by the Holy Spirit or not? Are we always to help everyone or are we to say no to them, too? And if so, when? If we meet ten persons who need our help and we only have time for two or three, we will know that we ought to listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, right?
anxiety, church, depression, dreams, experience, family, fears, fellowship, freedom, interpretation, John of the Cross, joy, Michael Clark, my journal, prayer, suicide, the dark night of the spirit, visions
Well, seven years ago, as I was still all alone in my walk with Daddy and Jesus, I was plagued by several fears. At that time, it was not that clear to me what the root of these fears was. As I know today, it was the fear of death, not of my own death since I had a wonderful NDE (near death experience) in 1998, but of losing my loved ones (parents, daughter, husband… you get the picture). After having already lost our only son through a miscarriage in 2009, these fears kept coming back much stronger than before, again and again. I have been pretty anxious all my life, however, during the Dark Night of the Spirit (see John of the Cross’ same-titled book) that began in 2010, it got worse and worse, i.e., God began to open the deep recesses of my heart so that I could both see AND feel these fears – extremely!!!
Last Thursday in the afternoon as I was hurrying to another appointment with the dentist, I briefly checked the station clock which told me that I had two or three minutes, still. I was a bit late and kept hastening toward the subway which runs below the rail tracks. The dentist’s office was on the other side of the station so that I was able to arrive on time. Nonetheless, having had toothaches for about a half year now (on and off, but more on than off), I also kept asking the Lord about my future decisions regarding the dentist and these problems with my teeth. It was not the first time that I had raised these questions, but as you might know, God sometimes gives you no answers and then again He might tell you something out of the blue which you do not really understand.
authority, discerning the spirits, dreams, experience, fear of the Lord, feeling, God's guidance, God's love, God's voice, inspiration, Jesus Christ, joy, Martin Luther, Michael Clark, pain, prayer, rest, resurrection, spiritual power, suffering, visions
Well, basically, I had a day full of back pains and toothaches, but at the end of that day I dare say, “It was a pretty good day, though…” Originally I wanted to go to bed earlier than usual and I told my family about it one hour ago. As I thought about what to do in the following half hour before going to bed, I would ask God if He had any ideas or what HE wanted to do. At first I reflected on reading a bit… or on making a Sudoku puzzle… or not… however, I began with tidying up our flat as Jesus answered my question. “I want to spend time with you!” Wow! That came across pretty forcefully, even passionately. I immediately knew our Lord had spoken and my heart began to flutter in joyful anticipation.
Just for clarification, having chosen this particular title, I did not want to suggest that God’s love would not provide a wide range of wonderful feelings, both for our soul and body, that are intrinsic features of an abundant life in Christ (cf. Jn 10:10). Rather, my intention was to point to the fact that our walk with God is often characterized by a lack of good feelings when we find ourselves in another trial where we suffer according to His will. We might also call our walk with Him in these times a mere walk of faith. It is in these times where we learn to trust in what we cannot see (yet) and in what we cannot understand (yet).
Ha! While writing I just had an interesting experience with God I want to share with you.
(Picture taken from https://florentflora.files.wordpress.com/2012/02)
Actually, the Bible gave us some good advice as to how we could stay in God’s peace continually. But oh, on our own we might find it pretty difficult to follow what Paul told the Philippians as he said,
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Phil 4:6-9 KJV)
It seems to me that ‘Positive Thinkers’, esp. of the Christian kind, took part of these verses and gave them a completely new meaning they originally did not have. Just giving you a few examples in the form of quotes here.
A.W. Tozer, being born again, death, dying to self, experience, following Jesus, joy, killing sin, love, pain, resurrection, spiritual power, suffering, T.A. Sparks, The Holy Spirit, the new self, the old self
In this article I want to make clear that death and resurrection are two very different things. Regarding Jesus’ death on the cross and His supernatural resurrection, and what that should imply for us today, you will find a longer excerpt taken from one of T. Austin Sparks’ sermons following my deliberations on dying to self.
I do not know as yet what this blog post will turn out like and I need to admit it is a pretty hard one for me. So I prayed to the Lord that He might help me by adding His wisdom and thoughts on what He has been teaching me during the last few weeks.