The Prisoner of the Lord

paul-in-chains

The anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in Him. (1 John 2:27 NIV)

I often sit at my keyboard waiting for the unction to write something from the Lord on our blog. Each time He makes me wait and as time drags on I wonder if He is through with me. This morning I read two quotes back to back, one on the blog of a dear sister in Germany (http://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/on-receiving-more-of-the-holy-spirit/) and the other a quote from T. Austin-Sparks from a sister in New Zealand in my daily devotional, “Open Windows.” http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/openwindows/003437.html. I hope you don’t mind me quoting from them here.

Seeing the unction to write in terms of a beggar waiting at the door of the rich man’s house for a scrap of bread helped me a lot…

“That our watching and waiting may be of a proper kind, and be successful, we must turn entirely away from all created things, and appear in the presence of God, with a heart entirely empty, and hungering and thirsting after grace, so that we may boldly say, ‘Lord, here is my vessel, here I wait, here I continue lying on the brink of the waters; here, O my God! I expect the promised power from on high, with perfect resignation and in child-like confidence, that thou wilt, in due time, fulfill thy promise! Thou hast promised thy Holy Spirit to me; and thou wilt also perform. Do not look at my poverty and wretchedness, my nakedness and destitution; for it is for this very reason I need thy grace the most; on this very account I am worthy of compassion.’

It is thus that a soul, which is entirely turned away from the world, and directed to God, and which hungers and thirsts after God, waits in a right and proper manner, and therefore shall be filled with the blessings of salvation, and most assuredly made partaker of the Holy Spirit.
When the beggar, at the door, has said, ‘Give me a morsel of bread!’ he does not immediately go away, but waits; and if he is left to stand long, he repeats his request, again and again, until he has really received what he desires. And although he be refused, yet he continues to beg, and does not move until he be attended to. So ought we also to act. We must stand at the door of God’s grace, and wait, until we have received what we ask for. (Gerhard Tersteegen, Spiritual Crumbs from the Master’s Table, pp. 250, 251)

And this timely word from T. Austin-Sparks…

“Do you ask for the anointing of the Holy Spirit? Why do you ask for the anointing of the Holy Spirit? Is the anointing something that you crave? To what end? That you may be used, may have power, may have influence, may be able to do a lot of wonderful things? The first and preeminent thing the anointing means is that we can do nothing but what the anointing teaches and leads to do. The anointing takes everything out of our hands. The anointing takes charge of the reputation. The anointing takes charge of the very purpose of God. The anointing takes complete control of everything and all is from that moment in the hands of the Holy Spirit, and we must remember that if we are going to learn Christ, that learning Christ is by the Holy Spirit’s dealing with us, and that means that we have to go exactly the same way as Christ went in principle and in law… ‘The Son can do nothing out from Himself.’”

(How much is our own reputation worth? Are we willing to give it over to God for Him to deal with? For most Christians I have met, that is a bit too much. Most want to at least salvage that much from their own lives and they fight to save it “so they can be more useful for the Lord.” But even that has to go if we are to be yielded totally to God. Remember, even Jesus made Himself of no reputation when He came down to earth in the form of a lowly servant).

As we yield to God are we then “controlled” by the Holy Spirit? Demons possess people and take control, but the Spirit of the Lord leads. Paul wrote, “I Paul, the prisoner of the Jesus Christ…” To be yielded to the Holy Spirit is being controlled like prisoners are controlled, the guards open and close doors in their cell block from remote that either allows or denies them access to other areas (See Acts 16:6-9). They still have a modicum of freedom, but it is orchestrated freedom. Jesus said to Peter, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, When you were young, you dressed yourself, and walked where you would: but when you shall be old, you shall stretch forth your hands, and another shall dress you, and carry you where you would not.”(John 21:18 KJ2000). The more we pursue the Lord and the anointing of His Spirit, the less freedom we have to do things the way we used to, yet the more unction we experience as we yield to the will of our Father and part of that is the continuous working of the cross of Christ in our lives. It takes us from being “when you were young” and self-willed into “when you shall be old,” becoming yielded vessels of the Spirit.

So our sister in Germany I mentioned above has remarked often how she felt “empty headed.” She is an intelligent and educated woman, but as she has yielded to the working of God in her life He has taken control of that intelligence more and more and has been governing it with the mind of Christ. So, she has to wait on Him to give her what she is to write. This can be very unnerving at first for those of us who are used to depending on our own minds and abilities to get things done (I was the “go to guy” for my bosses in the world), but that is what the cross of the Lord in our lives does as we yield to the Spirit of God. Using our prison analogy above, sometimes He even puts us in a time of solitary confinement to break that self-seeking will in us! But the fruit of all His wonderful work in us is good. We have a promise…

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt [the world and its ways]: open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” (Psalms 81:10 KJ2000)

God bless each of you as you seek His will to be done in your lives and my fellow bloggers as you write.

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15 comments on “The Prisoner of the Lord

  1. Becky says:

    I knew based on the title of this post I needed to read it. I didn’t want to. But I did anyway. Based on where I currently am on this journey, this couldn’t have come at a better time. Thank you.

    Like

  2. Edward Carter says:

    “The more we pursue the Lord and the anointing of His Spirit, the less freedom we have to do things the way we used to, yet the more unction we experience as we yield to the will of our Father and part of that is the continuous working of the cross of Christ in our lives.” This is a very timely message Michael.. My wife and I look around and see and hear things that others are allowed to say or do, and are aware that we cannot say or do those things; for instance, complain about a policy or person at work. There is a company, Hebrew National, that produces Kosher hot dogs. Their slogan is “We are held to a Higher Standard ” We make a joke about the situations we see and are in, and laugh and proclaim that we are hot dogs, and are held to a higher standard.

    Proclaiming and “Speaking Christ” in Gal 2:20 and John 14:20 while continuing to awaken in the middle of the night feeling “separated” and not in One Spirit with the Lord, is an “interesting” feeling. When I can think clearly, my response to these situations is: Let it be done to me according to Your Word!

    I read your Blogs as they come but do not always respond. Please be encouraged that you are not sharing in vain….. Edward

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Dear Edward, I fixed that John verse address for you. Thanks for sharing your journey and stopping by to let me know that you have been reading what we write on here. Yes, others may, but we can not seems to be the case… I am glad that Father does want so much to change us into the image of His Son and THAT is His STANDARD in all things pertaining to His New Creation… ONE New Man IN Christ. Here is a link to an article along what you were saying by another brother that I think you might like “Others May, You Cannot.”
      http://www.awildernessvoice.com/OthersMay.html

      Like

  3. Pat orr says:

    I read Susanne’s blog earlier today. I admire both of you for your faithfulness to write. I am encouraged by what you write, my brother. However, I pray to go on and be changed by what I read – I am not encouraged in the changing part. I can so easily be caught up with myself, instead of caught up with the Holy Spirit. Grateful, Pat Orr

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Pat, Changing is not easy… that is why God has to do it. I finally had to get brutal with myself. I had to pray and give God total permission to do whatever it took to conform me into the image of Christ and SEE HIM AS HE IS. It has not been an easy road, but I can tell you that it has been worth it!

      “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as would be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” (Philippians 3:13-15 KJ2000)

      So you see, dear Pat, there is hope!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Pat, you wrote, “I am not encouraged in the changing part. I can so easily be caught up with myself, instead of caught up with the Holy Spirit.” Here is an excerpt from T. Austin-Sparks that I think might help shed some light on your situation…
      http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/openwindows/003438.html

      Bless you,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks so much for posting this entry, Michael. Very well written!! ⭐

    Your comparison with the way prisoners are controlled speaks for itself. And these two words “orchestrated freedom” somehow sprang out on me, together with the last Scripture you quoted above that hit home as well. Not knowing what further to comment on your article, the Lord reminded me of a longer comment I had already written about 8 months ago on another blog where I described my empty mind or empty head and the inspiration that follows – whenever. I hope that the following excerpt could clarify a bit what is going on inside me when I am waiting on the Lord’s direct guidance.

    Frankly speaking, it is anything but easy for my birdbrain to grasp why He ALWAYS leads me in another direction than expected.

    For instance, I awake in the morning and I feel nudged to pray for someone who pops up in my mind. Then there is a continual heartfelt connection through prayer between her or him and me which never vanishes again. I often think after such prayers that I should do something for them because I would love to do so. However, suddenly a kind of invisible wind (cf. Jn 3:8) blows through my mind and, here you are, empty-minded Susanne, not knowing what she could do, or write, or say. This is always the end of myself and the beginning of God’s work in me.
    Sometimes I have many ideas in my mind which overflows with creativity. Therefore, I could joyfully write countless comments on different sites, or emails, poems, songs etc.pp. But as soon as I sit down in front of the computer – all ideas have been blown away.
    And so it was yesterday.

    It was late at night and I wanted to write. Hell-bent on it, you can be sure.
    In such moments I often experience that God gives me the decisiveness to write long before He shows me what to do. Sitting there and browsing one blog after the other, I asked God more than once,
    “What may I do?”
    No replies.

    Finally, I gave up on it (yawning) and pondered on going to bed. I only decided to type on Google Search “Susanne Schuberth (Germany)” with inverted commas before leaving my computer. And…
    “Whoa there! What is that?”
    There was a blog of which I never heard before because it is rather new. I know all blogs on which I commented, yet this one – no. Nonetheless, there even seemed to be my name on the home page.
    Curiously I scrolled down and saw that the blogger had posted a permalink to Tullian Tchividjian’s blog post “What Binds Up Broken Relationships?” and to my comments there. “Aha!?”
    I was really surprised about it and I wanted to write at least a “Thank you” to Larry who blogs on GROUNDED (communityfellowshipchurchgrounded/blogspot/de). But alas, while all normal people would have no problems to write “Thank you” and a few words more, I had “serious” problems. And reading some of Larry’s articles, many ideas came to my mind.
    However, I felt God didn’t want me to write on one of them [Just for clarification: If He finally shows me what to do, I cannot help doing it and love whatever God nudges or urges me to do. And as soon as I have done it, I forget everything about it until He puts it in my mind again].
    To make my lengthy comment shorter, finally, I wrote on the linked article about C.H. Spurgeon’s conversion (January 6, 2014).

    (Excerpt from my comment taken from http://emmascrivener.net/2014/03/final-thoughts/)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, thanks so much for your part in confirming that my seemingly endless days that go by with no new inspiration is all part of how the Lord leads in our lives, waiting for us to be willing to be nothing, empty headed writers, so that HE can be our inspiration and our ALL. God has shown us that it is more important to be silent and wait upon Him to speak than to paint the internet with our intellects. May He continue to humble us and purify what we post in His name.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. kenneth dawson says:

    how excellent you and Sue are and im encouraged to keep pushing on no matter what the conditions–thanks and keep writing and I will keep eating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Kenneth, thanks for your encouragement. It is always wonderful when the Lord answers my prayers with a minimum of two witnesses like He did this morning with those quotes from T.Austin-Sparks and Gerhard Tersteegen, one from a sister in New Zealand and the other from one in Germany and here I am in northern Idaho! Go figure! This whole thing has been a real blessing and an answer from the Lord that He doesn’t need my “creative mind,” but rather yielded vessels that are not afraid to be nothing and empty for Christ.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pat orr says:

    Michael, thank you for the T.Austin-Sparks link. It was a good reminder of how we come to God, and how we live, move, and have our being in Jesus and not in ourselves. (My computer will not let me write in paragraphs or format as I should.) This morning I have been meditating on the scripture that the word of God is near you, even in your mouth. It is amazing where God puts His word. Loving and living in Him, Pat Orr

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you dear Michael for yielding and waiting on the Lord to give us this wisdom. We need people like you to teach us the ways of walking in the Spirit but also to confirm to some of us how the Spirit works in our lives as we yield to Him.

    Often we want an easy shortcut to hear from the Spirit but there is no other way that to quiet our souls and wait and call on the Lord to fill us with His revelation. That takes time and so is a costly price to pay.
    I am so excited when I read that what I have experienced others identify too as the working of the Spirit in us to purify and mature us, such as bringing us into confinement or to diminish our own works so we may rely on His Spirit totally and not on ourselves.

    The ways of the Lord are precious but often a painful, confusing process of fire we go through to bring us into His image. All glory to Him. Thank you for your depth in walking the walk and understanding the journey in Christ. Blessings Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Sharon, Wow! How does one reply to a comment like yours? “Lord, don’t let your hand get to far from your servant, for I know that as it was with Peter, the enemy is there to carry me off coarse the moment I presume that anything I have is of me. It is then that I become HIS mouthpiece and not yours. Amen.”

      Thank you, my sister. May the Spirit continue to expand our Father’s kingdom dominion in you each day. “We never give up. Our bodies are gradually dying, but we ourselves are being made stronger each day. These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 CEV)

      Liked by 2 people

  8. So true Michael. When I was first filled with the Spirit, I too had my intellect upon which I relied, taken away for a period of time.

    Liked by 1 person

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