The Fear of the Lord vs. Pride

Fear of God

“As I made my journey and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me. And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, `Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ And I answered, `Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, `I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.'” (Acts 22:6-8, RSV)

Susanne Schuberth has recently brought to my attention this subject of the fear of the Lord on her blog.(1) I knew that we who are His saints do not need to walk in paranoia of God because He is our Father who loves us. Yet, I also knew that there was something more to it that I had not yet fully apprehended in my life. I had already seen how He can take rather drastic action against me when I have been walking in my own pride while supposedly “serving Him” and garnering attention to myself with His gifts of the Spirit.

Power among men is a very seducing thing. As Lord Acton of England once said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Sad to say that this has become most evident in the hierarchy of today’s churches. When I started to be puffed up by His power in my life (exercising spiritual gifts), He showed me how I looked to Him and it was ugly! I cried out to Him to kill that ugly pride in me and take out of my life everything that was not a manifestation of His Son. I soon found out just what it means that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. He shut me down cold for 14 years with no gifts and no sense of His presence in my life whatsoever. He also took me to task in every area of my life that I once took pleasure in.

Since all this took place, God has kept me aware of my own propensity to fall, and as soon as any pride starts to raise its head, He lets me know about it. More recently He has been letting me feel His displeasure when I have not shown kindness and respect to those who walk in the humility of Christ. Sad to say, I spent a good part of my life clamoring after higher positions in the churches of men. What a folly. Like Proverbs says,

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. (Prov 16:18-19, RSV)

God hates pride! He hates pride in me and he hates pride in those who use their positions and titles to lord over the people of God. The opposite of pride is humility. In the face of rebellion from his own family members, we read in Numbers 12:3 that Moses was more humble than any man on the face of the earth. To come against humble Moses was to raise the ire of God who loved him. On the other side of the coin, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. The story of Dathan and Abiram trying in their pride to put themselves on equal standing with Moses before the people is a perfect example of this in action. It did not go well for them (see Numbers 16).

We might gather that Moses got special treatment because God appointed him to be leader of the Hebrew people. That was so as long as he stayed humble before God and remained their intercessor and priest as God called him to be. But as special as Moses was, when he rose up in his pride at the waters of Meribah and made himself equal with God and chastised the people saying, “Hear now, you rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?”(Numbers 20:10), God rebuked and resisted him and it was his pride that kept him out of the Promised Land (See Due. 32:51-52). It is not so much about our positions or titles among the saints of God whom He calls His anointed (see Psalm 105:12-15), for all of us who have His Spirit in us are his anointed (see 1 John 2:26-27). No, it is about pride and God will have nothing to do with it, but resists it while Satan uses our pride as his fertile ground to raise up all manner of evil. If Satan can get us to act in pride (even while speaking God’s words) he knows that God has to take us down for this was the very root of what took him down (see Isa. 14:12-16). “Take heed when you think you stand, least you should fall.”

Speaking lightly of these saints or making jokes about God’s humble and faithful anointed ones is only showing our own pride and sinfulness. I remember one pastor who berated Stephen, the first Christian martyr, for speaking out against the evil that the Jews had done down through their history and for killing the Christ (see Acts ch. 7), because this started a great persecution of the church. The man said, “If Stephen had just kept his mouth shut and waited on tables like he was supposed to, they would have got along just fine in Jerusalem without all that persecution.” The fact of the matter was that the Book of Acts says that Stephen was a man filled with the Holy Spirit, so much so that his face shown like that of an angel (this pastor had no such thing) and God used Stephen’s death to start the spread the gospel throughout the rest of the world. God will resist us in all such foolishness when we speak against His anointed. How much more will He resist us when we dare to speak this way of His Son? The Book of Jude and Second Peter even warn us against railing against demonic principalities! Who do we think we are?

So, more recently in my life God has been putting in me a fear of Him by warning me not to speaking out against or touch His humble saints in any harmful way. He is ready and quick to come to their defense. When I have blown it in my own pride with one of these, I have felt that heavy Rock of Offense settling on my heart and I have to go and apologize to them right away. Jesus said, “What you have done to THE LEAST OF THESE, my brethren, you have done unto me.” This seems to be another way that God has taught me to fear Him as well. For me there is nothing more fearful than a humble child of God, because God watches over them as they cast all their cares upon Him. It is better to have a millstone tied around our neck and to be cast into the depths of the sea than to offend one of His little ones. “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

Wherever God appeared to men in Bible times, the results were the same—an overwhelming sense of terror and dismay, a wrenching sensation of sinfulness and guilt. When God spoke, Abram stretched himself upon the ground to listen. When Moses saw the Lord in the burning bush, he hid his face in fear to look upon God. Isaiah’s vision of God wrung from him the cry, “Woe is me!” and the confession, “I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips.”

Daniel’s encounter with God was probably the most dreadful and wonderful of them all. The prophet lifted up his eyes and saw One whose “body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.” “I Daniel alone saw the vision,” he afterward wrote, “for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.” – A. W. Tozer (2)

Solomon wisely observed, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the [intimate] knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Prov 9:10, KJ2000). May we all humble ourselves before Him and gain this kind of wisdom and knowledge.

(1) https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2015/11/08/awe-struck-with-the-fear-of-god-leaves-no-room-for-diplomacy/ and https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/what-is-the-fear-of-god/

(2) https://www.cmalliance.org/devotions/tozer?id=1379

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40 comments on “The Fear of the Lord vs. Pride

  1. Michael!

    What a good blog. When I read your words I feel like I am going down memory lane. You are correct in your statement: “He showed me how I looked to Him and it was ugly! I cried out to Him to kill that ugly pride in me and take out of my life everything that was not a manifestation of His Son. I soon found out just what it means that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. He shut me down cold for 14 years with no gifts and no sense of His presence in my life whatsoever. He also took me to task in every area of my life that I once took pleasure in.”

    Yes it is an awful thing to fall into the Living God. And yet truly Michael this is the statement made from you that really attracted me to see and hear what you have to say.

    I was just telling someone the other day that it was a fearful thing to come into the Hands of the Lord. And exactly! Pride was at the root of it all. Not that I wanted to be so special in the flesh per say but I wanted to be within the upper ranks with God. I have felt both extremes. In any case, Pride is really the root of all evil. When I mentioned “It is a fearful thing to fall into the Hands of the Lord”, (just the other evening too:) it was like what??? What are you talking about?And in that instant I could see the great divide. What a lot of people fail to realize is that God is REAL!!!! You had it long than I for sure but then again I may have gone through many peaks and valleys before coming to the biggest fall in my life! And all I could think of later on was the short poem about Humpty Dumpty.

    Anyways, I am really happy to read a blog from you, or Susanne, and or Austin Sparks first thing in the morning before venturing off to do anything else on this computer or other activities.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Dear Stacey, It was good to hear from you about your journey with the Lord and that reading our blogs has been an encouragement to you. Yes, the fear of the Lord is not so common in the world today. And if the fear of “the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” no wonder this world has gone insane! What is especially alarming is how it is lacking in the churches. More often we find people swaggering around in their “religious pride” ordering God to do their wills and railing against principalities. What you said about wanting to be in the upper ranks with God was interesting. To do what Lucifer did, striving to “be like the most High and sit upon the mount of the congregation” is the root a many a sin in the churches of men and a very dangerous delusion. Yet, if we call out on Jesus to be our Advocate at the right hand of the Father we have ALL thing IN Him. The key is to abide IN HIM and not in ourselves, seeing Christ as our sufficiency in all things. Like Paul wrote, “I am crucified with Christ, yet I live. It is Christ who lives within me.”

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Tony says:

    Add to that the respect that we are to give earthly rulers for they are God’s servants as well. The word says not to speak evil of a ruler of your people yet Christians, myself included, do it frequently.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Michael says:

      Tony, I did not speak on this part of the scriptures because He has not got that one worked into me yet. I guess I still have many bad memories of the abuse of power I have seen in the U.S. government (I am a Vietnam War vet) and from pastors and the rest of the so-called five-fold in my lifetime. Thanks for your comment, my brother. I am reminded, though, how many times in the scriptures that humble men of God took worldly leaders to task. Again the key here is godly humility even Christ called Herod a fox and the leaders of the Jews a brood of vipers as did John the Baptist.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Tony says:

        It is a hard thing to keep ones mouth shut and give respect to a government that Has shut out God . It is a hard thing to realize that Pilate was given authority from above as stated by Jesus.

        Liked by 2 people

      • So true Michael. I myself was very ignorant to the ways of the world behind the scenes. And when I found out whether true or falso or indifferent, I was mortified!! Horrified!!!! Now to me during that time of discovery was a major shift in my life that went completely out of balance, I didn’t even know how to respond to it. After awhile “trying” through my own way and will to warn everyone, guess what happened? The Lord spoke to me in an audible voice. Gentle and soft and no lip reading required. And I knew it was Him. “Why do you speak about those things in which you do not understand?” And with downcast eyes I said, “Yes Lord. Why do I?” And it seemed at that moment, everything was stripped! I shut down. Couldn’t speak, so very very weak. Just like the father of John the Baptist who couldn’t speak.

        I can’t believe I am still alive after all that torment!! All knowledge was still in my head but so far into the knowledge base that I couldn’t recall or speak of it. LOL. And yes that was terrifying!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Thanks for sharing your story, Stacey. I think that if we saw just how much that goes on in the world is in the hands of God and saw how He uses all things to further His glorious plan of bringing forth many sons and daughters for HIS glory, we would not be getting so worked up about the things we see. The closer I draw to our Father and believe in Him and Jesus, the more I see that “Faith is the evidence of things not seen” and the easier it is to cast all my cares upon Him, knowing that He cares for me.
        God bless you, dear sister.

        Liked by 4 people

  3. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you for the rich blog. It is amazing to me that pride in me- when revealed- takes me by surprise. God knows that it is in me and it is His grace that reveals it to me, and His grace that leads me to repentance. Pride is so deceptive and deadly. Paul said, ” I die daily”. I pray to die daily and to die daily to pride, to also choose humility daily.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Pat. Yes, pride is insidious and takes on many forms. Religious pride is the worst. “I thank you God, that I am not this tax collector!” Yet it was he who went away justified in his prayers, not the Pharisee.

      That is a good prayer, Pat. Keep praying it and God will continue to work Christ deep within you. You are a blessing to me, dear sister! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  4. “The Book of Jude and Second Peter even warn us against railing against demonic principalities!”

    Yes! Not even the Angel Michael dared to rebuke the enemy, but rather said, may the Lord rebuke you. This is so critical and often forgotten in our modern culture of prayer warriors and Christian movies were we are all about exercising our own authority and power, “our own” being the key words there, because that can very quickly become pride.

    I’m laughing here, but it’s a bit like standing up to a bully. We can be very powerful when there are a bunch of big guys standing right behind us, but the moment they aren’t there, we are toast. We are small and weak and rather pathetic without the Lord standing right behind us. To forget that is disasterous.

    I’m actually coming from a different place, never touch the Lord’s humble saints, but I have been called to speak out a few times against His not so humble ones. The Lord is full of surprises and sometimes He takes what you think you know and turns it on it’s head.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Michael says:

    Thanks, Gabrielle. Yes, these who rail against principalities remind me of a little poodle dog we had when I was a kid. He was really “brave.” We would be out in the yard and big dog would be walking down the street and he would charge out and challenge the dog and as soon as that dog gave chase and came after him he would run back and hide behind us and of coarse mom or my grandma would shew the dog away. Well, one day he pulled that stunt and while he was antagonizing the big dog we all went inside the house. He made about three fast laps around the house with that dog on his tail until one of us opened the back door and let him in. He was not so brave after that. Yes, the Lord is full of surprises, especially when we act out of our pride “in His name.” Thanks for your comment.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Fred Thoren says:

    Thank you for this. I know I have had pride in my life. Specially after coming to Christ. Like thinking I was better then others for doing so. Boy has GOD had to show me how wrong I was, more than once. He has showed me many times how much I need him because when I tried to do things with out Jesus like Tuesday March 15th I ended up getting upset with a customer and going back into my old habits of throwing things. I threw my glasses and head set. Thanks to a comment you and a co worker said I was lead back to where I should be. I very much need Jesus because with out him I am a mess and make a lot of mistakes. I still want to give GOD a great big THANK YOU!!!! for leading me back to him self. I don’t say this enough so I will say it now. Praise be to GOD. Praise be to Jesus.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Michael says:

      Yes, Fred, apart from Jesus in us we can do nothing, so, naturally He should get all the glory for anything we do that is right. Surrendering our wills to Him is our only hope for our hearts are desperately wicked and deceitful above all things.

      Your story reminds me of a church wherein they decided to reward a member that was the most humble man in the congregation. So, they had a special reward ceremony one Sunday and called him up and presented a pin-on button in a velvet lined box with the word, “HUMBLE” on it. But the following Sunday, they had to take it away from him because he came to church proudly wearing it! 🙂 I think we have all been there and done that.

      Bless you, my brother, as you keep pressing God to change you. Thanks for your honesty.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fred Thoren says:

        Thank you for calling me honest. I know that before coming to Christ I was a big liar so I hope to never lie again as I have told some major lies. I regret the lies I told and I hope to never lie again.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. ❗ Attention, attention, Michael, blog bomb approaching (quite long) ❗

    Thank you very much, once again, for these pingbacks to my blog. I am glad to see that our posts fit together well. This is a great article, esp. due to these many biblical examples about encounters of normal human beings with God. It is truly not fun to fall into His hands, particularly when we have done wrong and not listened to His voice and guidance. As I wondered what my contribution to your article might be, I thought I paste an excerpt from my testimony where I described one of my most overwhelming encounters with the Son of God. This event was a big surprise for me since I had never felt such dismay AND security at the same time prior to that day. Sounds illogical somehow, I know, but read for yourself… 😉

    It was during the summer of 2009 when I went swimming with my family on the lakeside (Rothsee) at the weekend. The weather was too fine, that is, it was awfully hot, and after I had swum, I was relaxing in a deckchair in the shadow of a tree. My eyes were closed in order to shut out the light and I was praying or rather talking with Jesus. […] Well, lying in my chair I began to chuckle because of another joke Jesus had made. In such moments I was convinced that He was my best friend and brother who somehow met me at eye level. I enjoyed the view onto the lake, the sun and the shadow, the birds chirping, and the laughter of the children all around us.
    I was just looking at Jesus’ face in my spirit – still in a funny mood – when His facial expression stunningly changed. (It is anything but easy to describe what I saw at that moment, yet I try to do it, though.)

    Jesus did or said nothing special. The only thing that happened was that He was breathing out twice. Very deeply, visibly, and audibly. With His first breath, I began to tremble with fear like a tiny sparrow which was just falling out of its nest. It seemed to me as if an invisible fire would come out of Jesus’ mouth as well (at least I felt it burning not only in my heart but all over my body too). Suddenly everything I had been aware of before – including nature and all the people around me – was eclipsed completely. The only secure existence was CHRIST. Nothing else was of any interest any more.
    As Jesus breathed out for the second time, I fell into a state I had never experienced before. I “saw” that He is the real God who has the whole world in His strong hands, and that we are His though little but beloved creatures. Nature including human “flesh”, of which I had thought it would be awesome before, has turned into nothing but dust and ashes for me from then on. It will be destroyed as quickly as it was created. And He will make all things new (Rev 21:5)…

    I cannot explain what I really “saw”, but it was Christ’s majesty, His overwhelming power and authority over all things that made me wonder how I could have been fascinated by anything else but Him before. I believe that “awesome” in its original – not colloquial – sense refers to God alone and never to any human being.

    After that experience I was for several hours in a sort of trance. Although my body was still on earth, I almost didn’t feel it. On the one hand, there was paradoxically a kind of heavy load that weighed me down to the ground which caused me to move slowly like a snail because all my physical power was gone and it was extremely demanding to simply open my mouth in order to utter only a few words. Therefore, I kept a stony silence. But on the other hand, I can say that I had never felt more spiritually levitating and safe all around than in those awesome hours. Since God had rescued that little sparrow quasi “in flight” long before it could touch the ground.

    https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/my-testimony/

    Indeed, I felt so secure because I knew I was God’s child and that He was for me, not against me. Just a few weeks before my justification process had ended, so I did not feel threatened by my sinfulness before Him any longer; I simply felt deeply loved and cared for. Having been plunged into Romans 8:1 – IN Christ – I also felt no condemnation anymore. I guess that might be the difference between the Old Covenant and the New. If the Eternal God through Jesus Christ who bore all our sins is for us, who could ever be against us?

    Just now I was just reminded of the apostle whom Jesus loved as he had had an overwhelming encounter with the Living God, with Jesus Christ. Somehow I feel Jesus’ tenderness in those few words he said to John in order to put him at ease. John told us,

    “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” (Rev 1:17-18 ESV)

    Brothers and sisters, pride comes in and destroys communion with God when we take our eyes off from our beautiful Lord and behold ourselves. We then are tempted to compare us with one another, too, instead of looking at Him who created us. May He help us to stay single-eyed and focused on the Eternal God and His will for our lives.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Wow, Susanne! What a powerful testimony. Few of us have ever experienced such amazing closeness with Jesus and the Father as you have. I read your testimony before on your blog, but once again as I read it I found myself holding my breath. After reading this again I can see why created things, even human flesh, mean nothing to you, that is, they have no pull or attraction on your heart, though you can and do often enjoy God’s creation on your daily walks with Him.

      You are a joy to know, dear sister, and you have once again “put salt in my oats” and made me want to drink deeply of the One who has called me into His presence.

      “Jesus, please do what is needed to bring me to the place where all I want to see is your beautiful face and all the things of this world grow dim by comparison. Amen.”

      Thank you, Susanne. You are more than welcome to bomb this blog any time with stories of your wonderful experiences with Jesus and the Father. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      • Amen. I am going to pray this prayer for you, too, Michael.

        I knew you knew my testimony and it is amazing for me to read that you held your breath also, even only while reading. I cannot remember whether I dared to breathe or not, back then. 😉 Salt in your oats sounds good to me, not only because I like oat flakes and oat meal. Just kidding… XD

        Ha! You will wish you did not allow me to bomb your blog, my brother. Can’t you remember what happened as I did that for the first time? I dropped by and you told me to post everything the Lord told me to do. So, I commented on all your latest blog posts in December 2013 and it was waaaay too much… 😉

        It has been a joy to walk this path God led us since then together with you, Michael. ❤

        Susanne 🐱

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Susanne, thank you for praying for me. I KNOW that Father has so much for me as I grow into the depths of Christ and it is so good to have someone who has experience so much in the Spirit as my friend.

        Yes, I remember that enthusiastic spiritual lady sharing her stories and comments on my blog two years ago! I admit that at first you scared me. 😛 I hope you continue to comment and write on here whatever the Spirit puts on your heart, my friend.
        Mi casa es tu casa. 🙂

        I hope we have many more similar experiences together in the days ahead we can share as Father continues to draw us ever deeper into His heart. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am sorry that I scared you, Michael (wink wink). 😉

        Thanks for telling me in Spanish that your blog was my blog – same on EPL and SSP, that is, same is true on my blogs for you. I do believe we will grow deeper and deeper into His precious heart in the days ahead. ❤

        Muchas gracias por tu amable respuesta, mi hermano! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Susanne, as a point of clarity, maybe the word “scared” was too strong. What I meant was that I was not use to anyone being so open and honest when you started commenting on my blog articles, as you spoke of your own experiences with the Lord, both joyful and grievous. Your openness has continued to draw me out of my theoretical shell into speaking more from my heart as well. I will be forever grateful to you for the way God has used you in my life and put a hunger in me to see His face. ⭐ 🐻

        Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed, Michael, as I had begun to write on the internet in December 2011, I was really wondering about the reactions to my openness as for my personal experiences with the Lord. As I read on English speaking blogs that all believers were addressed as ‘saints’ (which is not usual in Germany, esp. not in Catholic circles where I came from 😉 ), I assumed all would have similar experiences I had. How astonished I was after some time when I found out that I could not find anyone who was able to relate to what I had experienced. That was very disappointing for me! 😦

        However, how happy I was as I dropped in here in November 2013. I “knew” God led me to you. 🙂 And, Michael, you had no “theoretical shell” since I felt His Spirit in your writings. ⭐ Maybe, you were only discouraged because God let you wait sooo long until you could experience Him once again.

        Your friend and sister,
        Susanne 🐱

        Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Dear Susanne,

      I took a trip “down memory lane” tonight. I went back and read our first conversation thread written on AWV blog on December 29th, 2013 here:
      https://awildernessvoice.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/what-is-the-new-covenant-and-are-we-living-in-it/

      You summed it up by writing,

      “Indeed, I started weeping as I was reading your reply here, Michael. It was God directly speaking to my heart, since you wrote about things you couldn’t know but God does. There is so much prophetic insight in your response to me. Thus I say, “Thank God… for you”

      I had written to you about the freedom that is ours in Christ and how He came to tear down all the walls that men had built between classifications of people that there might be a NEW Creation!

      You being a woman, had run up against this prejudice in the Catholic Church and to your dismay, and found this attitude to be entrenched in Protestantism as well. What a travesty that over half of the body of Christ should be ignored because of their sex! I wrote back to you that day saying,

      “Truly, as we abide IN Christ we are ALL a new creation in which there is no Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female. Christ in you is no less valuable to the whole body than he is in me or anyone else who abides IN His body. The old covenant was all about laws that bound people and separated them into classes. It was cast system. But Jesus came to break every yoke and let the oppressed go free and when He did, it sure made the religious establishment mad and they finally killed Him over it. They were loosing their grip on the people and said, “Behold how all have gone after Him.” “If we don’t stop Him… we will lose our place.” My experience in the religious system was also one of bondage and being held in a lower cast called, “laity.” Show me that one in the Bible! I can only imagine what it was like to be a “lay woman.”

      “…Sister, those who are in the kingdom of heaven stand on a sea of glass… a perfectly level playing field and we are all members of His body and one another and each of us is given enable-ments by the Spirit to profit the whole body and they are found IN Him as we abide IN Him. We rob ourselves when we do not make room for each member to share His life from within them. Thanks for sharing that Life with all of us.”

      Susanne, I still feel this way about you as a person and a true “saint” of God. I feel this way about any others who write on here by the power of the Spirit and abide IN Christ as well. I have been so blessed by your open and free spirit and have grown to value your insight and your willingness to speak into my life as He directs you. Susanne, you and I have been through much in the last 2 1/4 years together and often have rubbed up against one another and it has been painful, yet very revealing as God has used it to draw us closer to Him and further away from that “old man” nature that was still struggling and dying in us. Yet, isn’t this how the true church is supposed to operate… speaking the truth in love and building one another up in our holy faith? Peter wrote,

      “Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto sincere love of the brethren, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently.” (1Pet 1:22, KJ2000)

      In the last couple of months I have felt that we have turned a corner and come into a new freedom that God will use to shed even more light on what He wants to say and do through us as we abide together IN heavenly places IN Christ as HIS brother and sister. What wonderful days yet lie ahead of us? Only God knows.

      “And now I beseech you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto you, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.” (2John 1:5-6, KJ2000)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you very much for your kind reply, Michael. 🙂

        As far as I remember I posted my first reply to you here https://awildernessvoice.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/what-is-salvation/comment-page-1/#comment-920, even by posting a poem I had just written on your blog. That was kind of courageous, I thought back then, and perhaps not the nicest thing to do, but it seemed you liked it, though. 😉

        Indeed, the reply you pasted above truly touched my heart deeply at that time since I had become used to being ignored, whether it was due to the fact that I was a woman or, rather, that others did not dare to write that openly on blogs as I did. What you said about the “old man” nature above was another witness I needed and it reminded me of a very strange dream I had in the early morning yesterday. In fact, I awoke rather scared, wondering what that might have meant.

        I recall I would be in a house, sitting in a chair as I was looking out the window. Suddenly I got aware of an old man lying in his bed, sleeping. He was on the other side of the valley I found myself in, in his bedroom, in another house there. I could see that he was very old and that he was sleeping with his mouth open. Although he seemed to be quite far away at first, the picture was magnified all of a sudden, as if someone had zoomed it with a camera. Finally, I merely saw his head somehow from below with his mouth wide open. He only had four or five teeth left and I could see his soft palates flutter as he was breathing. Watching this for a certain time, I felt very uneasy and asked the Lord what that might mean. I asked Jesus, “Am I now to watch him die?” Honestly, I did not really want to do this. Soon afterwards I awoke and still felt very uneasy about that dream. I asked the Lord several times about an interpretation yesterday, but no response from Him. As I had my prayer break in the evening lying on my bed, I was reminded of that guy from my dream again and I heard these words in my mind, “The old man is dying.” Ha!! At that moment I understood. This had been a picture of the old self, lying in its last breaths of life. Realizing this, great joy flooded my heart and I thanked God for this first confirmation. 🙂

        Isn’t it strange how easily God’s speaking can be misunderstood? Actually, I felt threatened by the dream, but the message of what God wanted to tell me was all good news. It appears to me that my “old man” was sad about seeing himself dying. But the new creation, later, was as happy as can be. 😀

        Thank you very much for providing the second witness to confirm this dream’s message, my brother. You also wrote,

        “In the last couple of months I have felt that we have turned a corner and come into a new freedom that God will use to shed even more light on what He wants to say and do through us as we abide together IN heavenly places IN Christ as HIS brother and sister. What wonderful days yet lie ahead of us? Only God knows.”

        Amen to that, Michael! May He do whatever He wishes, with or without us. May we abide in His love and do His will whenever He nudges or even pushes us to do so.

        Let us trust Him and obey
        I have nothing more to say

        Susanne 🐱

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Susanne, you are welcome. Yes, that poem you wrote on my blog was the first thing you shared and yes, I did like it. I later found it after I put up my poetry blog and posted it on there as well.

        It is interesting about your dream of the old man dying far across that valley from you in light of what I wrote on here yesterday evening to you, “God has used it (our suffering and heartache) as He confronted us with our flesh and fears to draw us closer to Him and further away from that “old man” nature that was still struggling and dying in us.”

        As I read about your dream the first though that came to me was that you are now on the heavenly side of “the valley of the shadow of death” that David wrote about and were looking back at things that were. God showed me years ago that Psalm 23 was a timeline of not only my life, but the lives of those who press on toward their high calling IN Jesus Christ. Paul wrote that IN Christ Jesus we NOW SIT in heavenly places and in this psalm we sit at a table that is filled with His spiritual blessings while surrounded by our enemies. But it is there that He anoints our head with oil and our cup runs over and we finally come to realize that His goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives as we dwell in the house of our Lord forever.

        As you wrote, “Amen to that, Michael! May He do whatever He wishes, with or without us. May we abide in His love and do His will whenever He nudges or even pushes us to do so.” YES, SO BE IT!!! 🐻

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Lydia Brown says:

    I am that dog and God is the one having to open the back door to save me! Great blog and comments

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Ken Dawson says:

    Wow what a family we have here on these blog sites of Mike and Sue–A most important article and such great comments–All I can think to say is–let the Lord rule our lives and thank Him for His patience.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Ken. Yes, our Father has blessed us with His Son in the hearts of some great brothers and sisters. May he continue to enlighten us with all His love, wisdom and spiritual insight and especially keep us humble as He does. Amen.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. dimple says:

    Thanks, Michael. I understand more, now.
    I was one of those who ran ahead in intercession. I don’t remember if I spoke against dignities, but I agreed with those who did…until I was restrained by a baby in Christ who knew that scripture better than I.
    Blessings to you in this beautiful day.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thank you for another enlightening post, Michael. Susanne’s experience made me think of the difference between Catholic and Protestant liturgy. The approach the Catholic Church takes tends, I think, to reflect more of Christ’s majesty and divinity, than His humanity. Catholic churches are decorated in gold. They all have kneelers. Protestant churches tend to reflect more of Christ’s humanity. They are often bare of decoration. That is an oversimplification, of course. Have a blessed Easter! A. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Anna, I just was finishing my reply to Susanne’s comment you were referring to when you sent your comment to me about it. As you know, I was also raised Catholic and have been “around the Horn” in Protestantism. Jesus is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. The Word which was from the beginning with God became flesh and dwelt among us. So with this in mind your observation is valid, but it also shows how neither Catholicism or Protestantism is fully portraying who Christ IS.

      As a Catholic boy who went through parochial schooling the nuns taught us that God and Jesus were so holy that they were out of reach of us lowly “lay people” and that we should pray to Mary and the saints and they would pass our requests up the line. Then I got involved with the Protestants and they became too familiar with Jesus and often brought low holiness by ordering and commanding that He act according to the wishes of their flesh as well as presuming on the grace of God by abiding in their sin natures with no attempt to take up their crosses and follow His Son. Both are extremes that miss the truth that All things holy are ours as we deny ourselves and abide IN Christ as our Intercessor who stands at the right hand of the Father.

      Thank you for all the “likes” you gave my comments and article, dear Anna. I still hope to read your latest blog entries before I head off to bed tonight. 🙂

      God bless you always and I hope you have a nice Easter as well,
      Michael

      Liked by 3 people

  12. unicorncoat says:

    Hey Michael,
    I have an urgent prayer request I’m trying to ask others for help with. My boyfriend has a friend who is currently on death row and scheduled for execution for tomorrow evening. Asking for others to please be praying he will come to know Christ, believe in his heart and confess with his mouth, and truly know all Christ has done for us. Also that he will understand and have understanding.
    Prayers for his family and their salvation would also be appreciated.
    Thank you and God bless.
    Lindsey

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Just today I experienced how painful it felt in my heart as I offended one of His precious saints. You were so right, Michael, the Rock of Offense is really heavy, but oh, how much I needed to be humbled by God! Thanks a bunch for sharing your own experience in such a proper way, my dear brother!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Once again, Susanne, our Father has let you and I experience the same things, both joys and pains, as He continues to mature us IN His Son. Where once we were allowed to do things in the flesh with not the slightest clue that we offended Him or His precious saints, now He is fine-tuning us by letting us feel the pain of others and His great heart. Imagine, my dear sister, the pain and anguish that Jesus felt in His own heart as He took our sins upon Him on the cross.

      “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. ​But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isa 53:4-5, ESV2011)

      “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1Pet 5:10-11, ESV2011)

      My dear sister, thank you once again for your openness and for sharing your heart pains. It is a wonderful blessing to know you and to feel His and your heart as well. ⭐

      Liked by 1 person

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