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Posted By Nan

There are many answers to that. 

From a Christian perspective, demonic or satanic activities of evil are associated with the spirit world. That is the primary application of the spirit world to Christians. 

There is a lot of lip service paid to the Holy Spirit, but little connection to the actual spiritual realm. There is recognition of the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit and biblical references to God being spirit and needing to worship and spirit and truth. But there is little recognition beyond that of the spirit world.

We are taught this way

Fear of the spirit world mostly stems from the satanic connection to the spirit world. This is something we are taught as children, both from our culture and from Christian doctrine.

Nobody believes in the spirit realm

Throughout history, there have been religious groups within Judeo-Christian faith who have not believed in the spirt world.

For example, the Sadducees did not believe in a spirit realm.

With the reformation, the new Protestant branches of Christianity showed little interest in the spirit world and some groups even rejected the spirit realm.

I’m being watched

As I researched this topic I came across an intriguing example of the existence of the spirt realm. I read of many studies of the ability of animals and people to know they are being watched or thought about. This might not seem spiritual, but it was theorised by Einstein that everything gives off energy and we can sense that energy. That energy can now be measured and has been proven to exist. 

Those who study paranormal activity report being able to measure energy discharges in areas where people spirit encounters. 

It takes energy to create and be alive

When the Holy Spirit created everything He would have used energy to do that. It makes sense from a Christian perspective to accept that the energy can still be felt. After all, our bodies function by the movement of energy around them. Nerve impulses for example are electrical. 

The mystery of life if that we have something that makes us alive. Some energy that departs when we die. Is that energy a manifestation of the spirit realm?

Is this energy that we can sense? 

When you feel God or hear Him speak, is it not an energy that you feel? I think it is. When I am interceding on someone’s behalf and lay hands on them I can certainly feel the energy moving down my arms into the person. When I first encountered God I could feel the energy. When I feel the anointing of the Spirit I can feel the energy.

There are ways we can observe that energy. One is the ability we have to pass our energy over distances so that others can feel it.

One example is that of observing wild animals. People watching in a hide have observed that the animals become uncomfortable when being watched, even though they cannot see anyone watching them. They sense the attention being paid to them.

In another example, I read of a physics professor who asked his students to select someone from the large lecture hall and concentrate on that person. He asked them to say the person’s name to themselves as well. The person who had been targeted became very uncomfortable and looked around, reporting they thought someone was calling them.

These are examples of a power that we can’t explain unless we accept that this is part of the spirit realm. That there is another way energy moves and we can sense that. 

It has been observed how we can transmit our thoughts across distances. After all, this is how God knows what we are thinking and how He communicates with us. 

Can’t I just ignore it?

Rather than reject these things we cannot see we need to accept such things exist and familiarise ourselves with them. 

If we don’t accept the spiritual realm and become familiar with it, how can we discern when God is contacting us? 

Unfamiliarity with the spirt realm makes us vulnerable to satan’s tactics and we can be deceived. We can unwittingly become involved in spiritual practices that are not of God.

After all, there is a deep curiosity about spiritual and mystical things and many will pursue them.

The third heaven

In the Bible there are references to the “third heaven” (2 Corinthians 12v2). The third heaven is said to be the realm of energy that permeates the universe. It is here that God dwells.

We would do well to familiarise ourselves with the “third heaven”. To be open to God’s teaching and to not react with fear when God gives us glimpses of the place where energy dwells.

I will speak more about this in a future blog.

You may be aware that I have been missing the Wednesday blogs lately. The amount of research that is required to write these blogs makes it difficult for me to write two a week. As I work, I have more time on a Saturday to write a blog than on a work day. So, for the time being, I will not be writing a blog on Wednesdays.

 
Posted By Nan

 

What I have noticed over the years is that people in western society have lost their sense of the spiritual. 

People in churches love to do the “spiritual warfare” and claim this spirit realm but then totally deny it. They accept a small portion of the spiritual realm and ignore the rest.

Others just downright deny the spiritual realm. Everything is analytical and evidence based. The trouble with that is God is spirit and must be worshipped in spirit. If we deny the spirit how do we accept God?

Maybe we do what my father did. He decided Christianity was a good framework to live your life by.

Yet there is a spiritual realm. It is spoken about in the bible – Ephesians 6:12, Romans 8:38-39, John 4:24 and Colossians 1:16 and more speak of the spirit realm. 

Have you met God?

People are indoctrinated into the Western Church including the insistence that they go to “church”. They find that empty because very rarely are they introduced to God. 

So many pastors/ministers/preachers don’t introduce God because they don’t want to offend. 

In the past I have preached God and been removed from the preaching roster. People don’t want God to come along and ruin their nice little social club. 

Faith in God is not empty.

So people reject faith. They see it as empty and the way it is taught, it is. The trouble is they have never met God. If they had met God they would know faith in God through Jesus is not empty. 

Into the vacuum…

Then people seek other religions and cherry pick the things about them that suit their need. They put Buddha statues in their yards when they have no belief in Buddhism. Anything goes. They think some eastern art and a Buddha will give them peace. 

They put symbols in their yards/homes that are considered ones that give meaning and they cling to them. 

It is okay to use those symbols if you actually have a connection with them and are not using them as idols. 

For example. I believe in all creation still carrying the energy of the Holy Spirit. I know that the best way to rest with God and feel complete in Him is to ground myself with bare feet on the earth and be in nature. I practice mindfulness meditation. Practised it years before I knew about it in prayer with God. I continue to be present and mindful as God intended us to be. 

I believe in balance. The Bible speaks about moderation (Proverbs 25:16 is one example). In my yard I have a collection of rocks representing the balance God gives. It reminds me to seek God and the balance He gives. Other people put such a thing in their yard because they hope it will give them some magical power of balance. But without God there is no balance so the object is just an empty idol.

God is not found in your bucket list

I recently read about a mountain climber who wrote about rejecting the western Christianity of his childhood but finding the spirituality of God in the stillness and focus of climbing mountains. He found the connection to all creation in the purity of the mountaintop. 

He laments the attitude of modern day climbers who are ticking off their bucket list in their pursuit of collecting spirituality rather than pausing and finding it. Of pursuing what spirituality they yearn without understanding that God is what they are seeking and He can be found anywhere.

People are searching for experiences believing they will bring them what they want, but they are searching for true connection with God. Only if you seek God will you find Him. 

Only if you seek God in spirit and truth will He be found.

 
Posted By Nan

Isaiah 41:8-10

“But you, Israel, are my servant.
    You’re Jacob, my first choice,
    descendants of my good friend Abraham.
I pulled you in from all over the world,
    called you in from every dark corner of the earth,
Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side.
    I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’
Don’t panic. I’m with you.
    There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
    I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.”

Many years ago I moved with my husband and baby to a new area. I did not know anyone then. I had been told all my life that no one wanted me, not even my own family. I had been told that I had no friends and no one would every like me. 

In this new area I set about making friends. I tried everything I could think of and nothing seemed to work. I cried and begged God for friends. I believed I was defective.

The truth was I was getting to know people and in time would make good friends. I wasn’t seeing the truth about all the friends I had known in my life and the friends I was making. 

Early on I went to a Bible Study group. One of the people running it lived down the road. Wonderful, a neighbour I could share my faith with. Her closest friend seemed to be the only other person at that Bible Study. Occasionally other people would come to the study but it was mostly just the three of us.

I clung to this study and my new friends. I brushed aside the disquieting things that were happening. I had little concept of my rights as a child of God. I had been abused all my life. Other people could do what they wanted to me and I had no right to complain. All the bad things that happened to me were signs of my defectiveness, not of anyone else’s guilt as the perpetrator. I didn’t believe I deserved better and my new friends were very quick to tell me I was getting better than I deserved.

At this time we had many deep prayer times. Strange things started happening during those times. I was getting visions, some wonderful and some disturbing. The other women were getting nothing.

One vision I had was of my grandfather in Heaven. I had been praying for a long time to God to know if he was there and God answered my prayer.

Another vision I had was of satan walking around our praying group. That was disturbing. It was followed up by visions of satan standing over the house of my new Christian neighbour. Another time he was clinging to her back.

These were all brushed off by the other women. They actually told me at that time that God’s plan for me was to be someone in the background praying for others. It would never be God’s plan for me to have a voice and share any knowledge of God. That couldn’t have been more wrong!

At one stage my Christian neighbour asked for prayer but wouldn’t say what it was she needed prayer for. This was the time when I had a vision of satan on her back. She asked for prayer but what God was asking her to do she was not prepared to do. I learned later she was doing and saying terrible things about me. But more on that later.

At that time I was also dreaming some strange dreams. The one God reminded me of a few weeks ago was one where there was a terrible evil attacking our house. It was threatening me and my family (we had grown in numbers by then). In my dream Jesus took the evil and threw it in the coals of our slow combustion stove. It kept trying to escape and jump out of the fire but Jesus held it in the flames and told me He would never let it out.

It was only later that I learned that this supposed Christian neighbour was spreading malicious lies about me and the other supposed Christian women I knew were believing spreading them. I can still feel the betrayal at what she did to me. This is something that God is calling me to heal. Maybe I will write another blog on that topic another time.

It is almost 30 years since this incident with Jesus holding the evil in the fire and I wondered why I had remembered it. 

I was putting together a vision board of my journey for this coming year and laminated the pictures together. One section, which was thicker, did not laminate well and the sheets were gaping. I had to staple the open section shut. As I looked at that section, Jesus told me the staples were like Him holding the evil in the fire. Some things we put in place and they stay. Other things we have to actively hold in place. And when that is necessary He is always there to do that. He told me that He had been doing this all my life. Holding the evil in the fire. The staples in the sheet were my visual reminder of that.

I had been praying for some time about the fact that God never seemed to help me and protect me from the abuse I suffered as a child. This was brought to the front of my mind by some work I have been doing addressing the trauma from the sexual abuse I suffered as a child. 

It never ceases to amaze me how God answers my prayers at the most extraordinary times. I had given us hope of ever getting an answer for that question. I had been asking it for years and never received an answer. 

But here was the answer. Jesus holding the evil in the fire and reminding me that He had been doing that since I was conceived. Jesus telling me He would always hold the evil in the fire.

When Jesus promised to hold me steady and keep a firm grip on me (Isaiah 41 v 10) this included holding the evil in the fire.

My prayer for you is that you may know that Jesus is holding the evil in the fire for you too.

 
Posted By Nan

I have had a break for a few weeks over Christmas and New Year as I focused on the gift of Jesus that God has given us.

For much of my life I have been uncomfortable with the Western Churches and their doctrine around Jesus. This was no doubt encouraged by the union of the Methodist, Congregational and (some) Presbyterian churches to form the Uniting Church of Australia during my childhood. 

It was definitely not helped in the days before this by my father being asked to be an Elder in our Church. He told the Minister that he didn’t believe in God and the Minister said that was fine. It horrifies me that this was considered okay. 

Additionally, I heard the conversations of my parents, the griping about various Ministers and the politicking. And I saw the sexual offenders, heard the mutterings about their activities and saw them continue unsanctioned in their roles.

Yet there were also wonderful moments of faith. As an elder my father was asked to collect a retired Minister and His wife and bring them to the church to run a service. I sat in the church, a small child, with this wonderful man sharing his faith in God. I felt so filled with and surrounded by the Holy Spirit. This was long before I accepted Jesus as my saviour. I guess my wise Father in Heaven was teaching me back then, so I was ready to hear His call and follow later in my teens.

Mostly I remember the frightened child with nowhere safe to go to get away from the abuse at home and the bullying at school. The frightened child who felt she was so defective and tried so hard to be her parents’ definition of good. The child who felt nothing ever went right for her. This child found safety in the water, in the bush, walking barefoot on the ground, hugging a tree, being at one with God’s creation. This child felt the energy of evil and good, of those who could offer comfort and those who were only going to harm. She felt the energy of her dead grandmother and feared retribution because her efforts to resuscitate her grandmother failed and she thought she had killed her. There was no adult caring enough to reassure her she had done everything she could.

I remember the young adult who could enter a building or an area and feel the energy of that area and be frightened when she felt evil. If she asked others about this awareness they looked at her as though she was defective. So she learned to suppress this and deny such awareness existed.

Now I am 60 and I guess I am grown up now. At the end of my 30s God sent our little family of 6 to Europe, away from the succession of Churches we had joined and that had caused us great harm, away from the safety of Bible Study and Prayer Groups. We went into the wilderness. We worshipped at 3 different international churches over the next 8 years. The first had lovely services but no fellowship. I went to a Bible Study run by the Minister’s wife and she spent the entire time gossiping. There was no mention of God, no prayers, no Bible reading. 

Then we moved to a new area and went to an international church at the local international school. We quickly discovered this was a church that was run for expediency. It was a true Sunday Social Club and Networking event. Those who wanted to be someone went there. There were some Bible Studies and Prayer Groups, but they quickly descended into gossip and jostling for power. The Minister showed little faith or interest in God. He was about rising through the ranks of his church hierarchy back in the UK. Disillusioned, we left that church and found another one. It was worse. This was in The Hague and was full of diplomats and high flyers and plenty of wannabes. 

I felt so starved of fellowship. The only thing that kept me going was the theology subjects I was studying at the time. There I found God. And there I felt able to be held and supported by God’s great love.

Moving back to Australia we moved to a new state and set about finding a church. We tried 2 different churches. One was full of retirees with little interest in meeting the needs of our 4 children. Instead the new Minister was busy trying to establish a Sunday School for the children younger than our youngest. When I suggested they should try to meet the needs of our children and those of the student Minister he looked at me as though I was speaking a foreign language. 

So we left and went to the second church. This had a large youth congregation. But it was extremely cliquey. Try a small community on the outskirts of a small city with limited numbers of newcomers. Everyone grew up together and no one was interested in us or our children. We gave up going to coffee after the service. It was hard to talk to backs and trying to get involved in activities was equally disheartening. Our children persevered with Sunday School and Youth Group and were dispirited at the lack of interest from the other children who excluded them. 

We watched with horror as our children drew away from faith in God. Their only examples of faith, other than us, were these unchristian people who stood in the service and raised their hands in pious faith and excluded everyone else outside the service.

So we prayed and held a family discussion and prayed some more. And we made the decision to leave the established church and teach our children ourselves. They have a tentative faith now, but they hate churches and the way supposed “Christian” people behave. 

I have deep faith in God and also hate the way supposed “Christian” people behave. 

Since leaving the established church God has opened my awareness to the spiritual awareness I had as a child. The awareness I rejected as a young woman. He has challenged me on so much of what I was taught in the doctrine of the Western Church. He has sent across my path people of different faith. I have met and listened to Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Moslems, Bahai, Messianic Jews, my own Celtic spirituality and a diverse number of Indigenous Australians with their spiritual understanding. I have been challenged to read the writing of many early Christians, of many more recent writers who have studied the world’s religions and returned to the early roots of Christian faith. In these writers I have found the God I have known since childhood. The God that so many people are seeking. But they cannot find Him because the Western Churches do not know that God. For those of us who know God that way there is nowhere to worship Him with others. There is only our personal relationship with God.

I had in mind another blog to write today. But God directed me here first. I will be writing the other blog and many others as well. Much of what I write will have as its foundation Isaiah 41. 

This year, God is directing me to find Him in the ways the ancestors knew Him. In the way Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, John the Baptist even a human Jesus found God. It is so much the human way to try to put God in an easy to manage box. The Jews of Jesus’ time did it. The Western Churches have done it. It is time to step outside that box and get to know the God like Aslan in “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”. He is good but He is not safe. 

True faith in God is not safe. It is about uncertainty, trust, faith and the courage to step out into nothingness no matter the consequences. I look forward to you joining me on this journey of getting to know God.

 

 

 
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Nan
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