LADDER TOWARDS A LASTING RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

This is a humble attempt to show how our relationship towards God grows and is finally established. It is also meant to stimulate that kind of spiritual growth which remains to the end. For that purpose I use an image of a ladder with fifty steps. However, after having written something as important as this, there remains this sense that one should have said more or better here and there. But then, this is a mere attempt to cultivate the idea of truth concerning the gospel and how it is able to work in us. People often misplace truth and put it to move according to conveniences or misunderstand its ways. It just doesn't work the way modern preachers say it does.

I believe the climbing may stop anytime when a next step is feared, and the higher up we are in the ladder of holiness, the less possible any turn back will become. It shall mainly depend on the fitness of the spirit of man and whether it is close to God's Spirit; on its lightness and devotion to the Lord (and let's distinguish between devotion to the Lord and devotion to the good causes of the Lord); and on his awareness of truth and of the reality of God. One may fall from a ladder, may stop along the way or may go down without getting off the ladder. Spiritually, it works much the same way.

On this way, there are genuine athletes and there are spectators who applaud, yet do not run the race themselves. These shall never experience how it is to run without getting tired. However, those who run must get into their minds that they must finish the race at any cost. Perhaps, not only finish it, but finish it having a better freshness and lightness at the end than the one they had at the beginning. That is what the promise of God is: to be better and to feel better after every step of obedience. In this world it works the other way round: people are more tired after a step given. Heaviness is a bad companion indeed.

Many faithful people fear so much to lose their first love. However, if it grows, the second love shall be better and of a higher standard than the first. What is the fear all about? Maybe they should start fearing to lose their second love if it has grown. Deviated preachers and theologians have also gained a second love, the error to which they hold on with a strong grip. And they just don't give up on it! How they fear to move one single step away from what they believe truth is!

And we have the promise that those who expect to receive from God do not get tired at all and are renewed during every moment of obedience and expectancy. Expectancy is what waiting on the Lord is all about. Therefore, shall it be easier to end the race being fresher and lighter at the end. Expectancy ends up in receiving and receiving brings joy to an expectant soul. Then, that end shall be made a new beginning we cannot conceive in our minds. It cannot be imitated - it must be the real thing. Man can imitate only what he can imagine.

Every number up is a step higher. The promptness or the difficulty with which someone may step up and leave behind the comfort of the previous step shall depend much on the willingness to go forward and whether one's goal is just the next step or to reach the end of the race with high colours. And that willingness shall depend a lot on the reality of what man believes or does not believe. Pray that those who believe live according to realities found and those who disbelief do so because they reject realities and not mere Christian fiction. Let a tree be either bad or good and not stay in between bad and good. If someone lies to others, you won't trust that person at all. If you lie to yourself, can you trust what you do? You shall never be able to regard yourself as trustworthy at all, and, consequently, you shall stumble by not preferring to find the reality of God. God is real. If you inhale gas believing it is oxygen, shall you not die? Oxygen should be a reality to you when you believe it is there. You cannot believe lies. Is believing worth anything if you believe a lie? Let's take that into account as we walk on. Whatever it costs, we must reach heaven through realities along the way and believing the truth. Believing is not the same as believing the truth.

On our way home, we cannot start believing we can forget a previous stage or do away with a previous step. This ladder is the ladder of experience of genuine Eternal Life within us. A step given is added to a life experience and is not easily forgotten. "... And patience works out experience, and experience works out hope", Rom.5:4. These steps are accumulative and not disposable. Have that in mind for the sake of being able to help others and yourself in case you fall back. And, we know a ladder is held together by the joints which hold the sides together. By disposing one or more of them the ladder may become dangerous and unstable even if you do not go back on pasts steps. Experience holds the ladder of life together so you can climb on.

Now, let me give a word to all those who like to tempt the Lord by going down instead of going up. The most difficult part is giving the first step down. After that, one starts believing it is much easier to go down than up. And these people comfort themselves by telling their heart and others they have not abandoned the ladder at all. Such people change and challenge their minds quite easily through lies as they go down. Suddenly, heaven's doors (which are upstairs) close to hypocrites and wavering people and they miss the inner change they could or should have attained while it was available and possible to receive. And when they change their minds to start going up again, they find they can't because the strength which used to keep them along the way is gone from them. Like Samson, they find the Lord is not with them anymore when it is too late to go back on their behaviour. "This evil people, who refuse to hear My Words... I will smash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, says the Lord. I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, to keep them from their destruction", Jer.13:10,14.

I hope this writing shall find at least some people going up the way they ought. "And he who overcomes and keeps My works to the end, to him I will give power over the nations", Rev.2:26. And let's remember this: Whoever has a heart to finish all the works God entrusted into his hands has a heart to give up the old life. Whoever has a heart to carry on with his own works, thoughts and manners has a heart to give up on God's ways and works. Only occasion will provide a way for both to happen. Do not feel bad to give up on certain things you believe are not sinful. Peter gave up fishing and there is nothing wrong with trying to feed a family.

Let's hear from step one.

 

THE LADDER OF CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE

 

  1. We hear about the Lord (maybe in a different way) and start to love it;

  2. We start feeling bad because we are not good or as good as we thought we were; we discuss all kinds of doctrines easily, lie things away and believe we know all (an ancient habit to withstand or confront truth) and wish we were already saved. Discussions here are a refusal to enter the narrow door. Or we wish we were good so we did not have to confess and publicly admit sins. We cry and pray because we are not good enough. But, those tears are not tears of thankfulness or for salvation. Those tears say: "I wish I was not in need to be saved". "Oh! How I wish I was good and in no need to be pardoned and saved from filth and sin!" Then, it becomes worse. We see we cannot save ourselves because it is from ourselves we mostly need to be saved. We act like people who have been exposed and can't hide our sins anymore, anyhow and anywhere - at all. Light has revealed the transgressor in us and has traced him by highlighting his sins. We feel we have been found and we seem to hate it. We are on the edge of grieving God by the resentment of having been found, selected and exposed by Him. Bitterness is at hand. Salvation and a loving spirit are also close by. We cannot hide anymore. We cannot carry on lying to ourselves either. we are at a crossroad. Here we come to the valley of decision and need to decide between bitterness and salvation from ourselves. The narrow door is there and so is the wide gate. Salvation on one side and hatred and heaviness on the other. Now we need to decide whether we shall be saved from worldliness, self and sin, or not.

  3. We have no way out. We confess sins by name and one by one. We give back whatever we may have stolen; we bring up the past to those we have hurt and plead them for forgiveness; we try to be as righteous as it is possible for us to be at this stage; we abandon sin as we confess; as we confess to people and to God, we explain to everyone what we are doing and this kind of self-justification serves as a testimony because God is good. We say we are fixing our lives with God and need to put our lives fully in the light whatever it may cost us. As we confess the peace of God increases in us. If we leave one sin untouched or feel unsure about confessing it, we become unstable and step into the spirit of the world and emotion takes over at the cost of being wise, lacking on that inner peace and stability which is beyond understanding. Here God uses our emotions to mirror out what is spiritual, only because, at this stage, very few people can distinguish between Spirit and emotion. The Spirit inside and His ways are still unknown and strange to the young convert. Later, God shall cease to use emotion to mirror the things of the Spirit. However, this is more than expected and desired.  Unfortunately, it is much less than what we really need. Many stay at this point and do not move on due to the wonderful experience of this limited peace. They believe if they move on the experience of peace decreases. How foolish! What a crossroad this is! We are easily taken to and fro between emotion, experiences and plain, simple obedience and new found wisdom. And we all know that after emotion a hangover will taunt us with some doubt. We become overjoyed with very little even though it is a wonderful thing we started to taste. This is where many start preaching to others as if they have reached the end of their journey! Humans are looking for happiness and here they start believing that's it. Enough preaching to others! Let's preach to ourselves! Do not trust the false security preaching to others grants you. Rather move on. Let's calm down and make it possible to lodge the whole of heaven in us and feel at home with it! On earth as it is in heaven! Let's prepare for it.

  4. As we confess our sins by name we start loosing hope on an old life almost unaware and become easily weary of that old life, even if that kind of weariness can start now or later, simultaneously or progressively with other steps or not. A real, wise and steadfast hatred towards it shall be accomplished later on if we hold fast to eternal life within. Eternal Life has scarcely started. It is arriving and is trying to take hold of the whole of us. It must yet reign in us fully. And it shall help a lot if we take hold of it just as it is trying to take hold of us. Let's see how far we can be reigned and ruled. We have that slight notion that this is the kind of life meant for us all along. It feels familiar having it even though we have never experienced it before. It seems we know it from somewhere. The sound of it is familiar. Of course we know it from creation! That's what we have been lacking all the time! Because it is familiar we shall be tempted to be slack about it later on and to slow down because we forget there is a tempting devil who shall do all to slow us down. Anyway, now we become weary and heavy just by the remembrance of the old life, even if we do not understand why it happens that way. Suddenly, we see clearly it is what we are that tires us most and not labour. Truth starts to make sense to us and we start loving what cuts us deep in the heart and as it cuts deeper and deeper. The less we withstand it the less we feel its deep cutting and by cooperating we are fully healed. These cuts of truth are precise and accurate even when our mind sees something else and is, consequently, also aware of unrealities and lies. The eyes of self are set on what it is losing and not so much on what it is gaining through the loss it considers a high price. Have you ever wondered why new converts are often confused and perseverance is often preached to them at this point? They need to hear a lot about patience, perseverance, holding fast to truth, not losing their crown along with what needs to be said and done for them to carry on. People here need to be taught how to keep, it is, "teaching them to keep...", Mat.28:20. After having done the will of God, eternal, constant Life will be settled within forever and people will be spiritual virgins again, Heb.10:36.

  5. All seems confusing and we often don't know where to go or what to do, what to read and what to pray about. This happens because we mix our goals with God's and trade earth for heaven and heaven for earth easily. There is no time more confusing than when our goals or motives are being changed. God speaks and leads towards heaven, even when He uses earthly things to accomplish heavenly hopes and we misunderstand them for earthly hopes. We misinterpret God quite often. The remembrance of earth is still fresh in us. How dangerous this stage is! Only true wisdom easies it up a little. Faith is important as well, but only the kind which believes in truth only and easily. Sometimes there are disagreements and disarrangements in us because of, with or for God and this where a good "praying-fight" with God is able to change our views and expectations. We also feel the Bible is difficult to understand in certain aspects. But, it is not true. The Bible is easy to understand if we do not feign and look at it as the Book of God and absorb it using light and not our own understanding which we rather and easily are able to trust in an unconscious way. Sometimes, we try believing harder instead of trying to understand and instead of trying to take truth in as plain and as simple as it is. No force is able to substitute plain understanding of truth. Faith grows through insight and not through force, even though insight requires discipline. And lack of faith is a difficult problem to solve in unbelievers, because they try to solve it the wrong way. Stubbornness and force can never take the place of deep, enlightened insight.

  6. We start realizing God starts to take away instead of giving things to us. (From a previous living’s point of view it seems God is taking and not giving); He even takes us from certain things He considers important. We forget we are important to Him and not those things we do. "For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses himself, or is cast away?" Luc.9:25. The causes of God are important, but God is more. The same principle is applied to us by the Lord: we are more important to Him than the work we do.

  7. We are still climbing. We realize heaven may come down on us anytime since earth is dead and it never pleases God as we do now. Heaven makes sense to us now - finally! This means our eyes have turned to the direction we have been heading. The goal is good, it is changed. However, our ways need to change and the strange fire needs to be replaced by heavenly Fire. Have you ever seen people heading towards heaven having their eyes directed backwards or looking back? Now, as we see heaven for real, it means our eyes are directed towards where we are heading. But, why would so many people start believing (at this point) they have finished their race and have finally reached their goal? Why do people believe lies so easily? Are they looking for a way to cease from the way or to stop anytime or anywhere they want?

  8. The devil says God is dead and we just press on and still believe Him – many times without really knowing why we know He lives. We just know and that's the basics of real truth an unfeigned faith. However, the type of walk which is according to it needs to be settled, stabilized and to become natural, basic principles born from a genuine acknowledgment of truth (and not from stubbornness and own-mindedness).

  9. We love the Bible and the Bible starts loving us. Our best teacher is invisible now, real and effective as well. We want to hear from Him only all the time, so sweet are His teachings. However, should we forget that He wishes to hear more and better from us as well? Should we deprive Him of such a possibility to make Himself known to our souls and minds so we would slowly become aware of how and who He is for real? The fact is that if we have learned anything from Him till now, we surely have heard His voice already. We must only be able to distinguish it from other disputing voices.

  10. We start believing we have done nothing up to this point and all our existence seems useless – yet, we press on. It seems we are at a starting point again. However, this is only a revival of certain things to which we may have become too used to or too amazed about. They are revived into the right direction again. Whether we are amazed or just used to the things of the Lord, things need to be restarted because we are not facing it the way we should anymore. To be too used and flabby towards the Lord and His things is as sinful and as bad as to be amazed about them in some way, especially after the amazement of the first contact we may have experienced in Him. This is where we need to restart and to plead that the Lord becomes our usual companion and that His life becomes our own. It means that we shall see no difference between our life and the Lord's, between the way He would do things and ours. There is this responsibility of it all being lived the way a kingly life should be lived and there is this danger of becoming slack about it all because the smell of His presence is soft and loving. His demanding voice does not seem that demanding at all on account of His great love. But, it is demanding above what we can ever imagine.

  11. It feels we have done nothing so far. We press on anyway. It is here where we start mixing the right prayers with wrong ones, because the right prayers start becoming usual and the wrong kind of praying has been following us all along and has been a way which seemed right to us, even though all of this could be avoided easily. However, it led to an inner death and will lead to lasting death if we maintain the old habits of prayer and of praying (or what we believed prayer was) at the expenses of the right kind of praying. Shall we become fully aware and fully convinced that all prayers need to be of the kind that are saturated and impregnated with right motives and the proper power of persuasion through the Spirit? Shall we pray aright or not? Shall we have prayers in us which shall surely receive all answers, I mean, a "no" or a "yes"? Yes or no are both answers. The bad prayer is the one which gets neither of them. We need to have only those prayers in us which shall receive an answer from God so the promise of Jesus can be fulfilled. However, any kind of "no" means He is listening and leading; a "yes" means we must be careful and made responsible before receiving. Answers mean we have a relationship. Thank God! Every prayer needs to attain an answer or we are not living according to promise at all.

  12. We look back sometimes just to see whether we are wrong or right about this new way or even about things we have accepted as true, and whether this way has really taken us somewhere so far. These doubts emerge because we look back and because it isn't as over as we thought it would be at this stage. Had we know it is not over yet, we would not look back and neither would we be assaulted through doubts. Impatience emerges from doubts and doubts from impatience, I mean from the mixture of doubts with the willingness to try carrying on. The "somewhere" we are looking for is still ahead of us and not where we are. By looking back we prove we could rather be looking ahead; or prove that we have the capacity to look left or right to the wrong things as well. But the mercy of God uses it all for the sake of strengthening our new points of view anew and afresh. Everything that becomes new need to become ours and that's why it is often refreshed - it needs to become our usual, personal things.

  13. We enter a deeper relationship with God, but it was close to a defeat. It seems as if we had a fight with God again and we lost it - and, in fact, we lost our lives to Him. We do not know why God seems closer to us since we have just fought Him and we can't figure out why we feel we may have won by losing. Somehow, we know we are better off now than ever. The fight of losing our lives has started somewhere and the point of it is becoming clearer to us.

  14. Rivers of living water start flowing from us and we, sometimes, believe we can pray and achieve anything, possible or impossible. The possible things we try to reach through the Lord as well. We feel that surrendered but we are not as surrendered as it seems. However, we enter into a deeper and closer relationship with God. At least, it is a simpler relationship. It seemed we had been moving away from him on account of the religious ways we have conceived about God before. Because we moved away from those religious conceptions, we thought we were moving away from the Lord. However, by leaving religious ways behind we move all the nearer and all the closer to God. It is a blessed thought that it is God who is in charge and who commands us along the way. He is the one who is able to come nearer us and, also, to move away from us. He is God. It is not the way we feel which has the power to push God nearer or away from us. The sincerity of the fight in prayer has brought God closer to us and made us dearer than ever to Him and Him to us. An honest discussion between lovers often brings them closer and makes their relationship a sounder and a better one.

  15. We judge sin and sinful people easily or, at least, we are tempted to do so because we still love sin secretly and do not realize it. This kind of reality will confuse us later on because we shall come to a stage where sin tempts us while we, at that point, breed a secret hatred towards it. And sin must be hated in the whole. The only similarity between these two stages, however, is that both take place secretly, I mean, away from our awareness. The different types of outward or visible reactions to it are the only thing we can take accurate notes from and sure conclusions about. In the stage where we still have a secret love towards sin, we are assured we don't have it and believe we hate sin. That's why we judge it and are so temperamental about the issue. The secret love towards sin makes us judge sins we see in others because they resemble the ones we secretly love. And we wish to convince ourselves we don't. This explains this kind of judging. On the other stage we are sure we love sin because accusations make us believe lies. If the secret love for sin causes us to judge sin and people, however, the secret hatred towards it makes us judge us. Soon the love of Jesus shed in the heart will grant us the confidence we need to cease all these judgments. But now (in these two distinct stages) people know only how to be temperamental and drastic about sin, whether they accuse people or themselves, so they will not give in to confusion. In fact, they are opting between confusion and judging. We need, therefore, to learn how to make the best use of God's weapons because if we work we need to do so "through the strength God gives", 1 Pet.4:11. Using our strength tires us out because the way is hard and above human strength. By using God's strength we cannot be tired out at all because we use none of our resources and, consequently, can't be tired. Could you be tired if someone else worked hard? It doesn't mean you are passive through it all, though. It only means you do better and through God. Do you know what to do or how to use the weapons God is instructing your hands and mind with? Surrender makes people wise, strong, light and ready to jump to work together with the Lord. "A ready people to the Lord" is a surrendered, pure people.

  16. Our hearts burn literally and we do not know why – it just burns strangely. Sometimes we put our hand on our chests to try to feel if the warmth is also physical, Luc.24:32. Many go to the doctor believing they have some kind of bad heart disease. This happens because of obedience to the Lord. Obedience makes our heart burn for real, Lk.24:32.

  17. We are humbled down again, especially now that we expected this would be the time to be exalted. We think it strange, though, but carry on because we are surrendered. Had we not been surrendered it would be very hard to carry on.

  18. We realize there is some real love in us for the Lord as well as for people (any kind of people); and it gives us a push to love God as He is more than we imagine Him to be. It becomes important to us to know God as He is. To know Him as He really is becomes a goal for us. It shall drive out of us all suppositions we may still have and breed about God. As a consequence we start loving what is dear to Him. Sometimes we will still mix things, especially in the sphere of motives. It works like this: if we have the proper motives we are tempted to believe we haven't; and if we have the wrong motives, we are tempted to believe they are right. But, somehow we find out we can pray about the right things the right way, upgrading in reality day by the day. We are also surprised to receive real answers to most prayers. In practical life there are many temptations to do many things our way because the most important thing to learn at this stage is to do things God's way and through His power. Temptation opens the door for us to do the opposite of it very easily. If we know where the South is, we shall very easily make out where the North is. The door to do the opposite is wide open for us, especially when we don't use the time to complain about temptations instead. It is just a question of willingness and of starting to believe truth concerning the stupidity of sin and its vain bluffing. How wrong are people who believe they cannot escape temptation! What betrays us most when we are tempted are the memories of sin and not so much the power of it. Sin is powerless to a heart fully surrendered to the Lord and to His power. As soon as the old life ceases to be familiar and our minds are renewed to live the new way in a natural way, especially because Eternal Life within us starts to be real now, as soon as it happens, sin is rendered powerless and "unknown" to us. If, however, one tries to do by sticking to old habits, to the old strength, the old ways of doings things or the old motives, any of these is able to bring all demons and all sins back into our daily life and fellowship. All it takes is a choice between ways to do the right thing and not so much the choice between wrong and right. If we could, it would be much better for any of us to do the wrong thing the right way, than to do the right thing the wrong way. It is worse to use the wrong fire on the altar of God than to put there the wrong offering. That is what mostly determines whether we shall move on or backwards. The Life within should be as constant in us as it is forever. Eternal means both: constant (without ups and downs) and forever (with no end). The older the old life is, I mean, the further back the experience of sinning is, the easier it shall be for any of us. For those who give in to sin, they should know they not only do sin but renew the experience of sinning and make if fresher and revived in them. It will drive people to be occasionally compulsive in the things of the Lord whereas they should be constant, I mean, eternal. Compulsive people always have this problem to solve: they can't use God's strength and use their own. The experience of own works is also refreshed. Then frustration leads to impatience and impatience to further frustration. And it shall all together drive us to tears or even to despair. The only way to cool down and to stop erring is to stay quiet and remain silent expecting the salvation the Lord brings to those who rather wait on Him than try to do those things they believe are right to do their way. "For so says the Lord Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, In returning and rest you shall be saved; and in quietness and hope shall be your strength. And you were not willing", Is.30:15. Unless we rest, the temptations to do things the wrong way are many. But, two of these temptations shall be most used by the devil because he knows they are the ones through which people are likely to stumble more easily. They are: we try to do God's things our way; or try to have God do our things. Nothing shall work out through those ways. However, fleshly things work out through a fleshly way. And God cannot strengthen what is wrong to do. Also, the flesh cannot serve in the Temple of God. This stage is where many a person's love for God cools down and where the first love is often compromised. People are often dead because they do not deny their rights fully and, to do things our way is often considered by many as a right they need to fight for. All our rights need to be laid down to death. It is one thing to abandon the old life. It is another to abandon the ways, the motivation and the energy of that old life. The devil easily defeats us by tempting us to believe all is right as long as we do the right thing. But, God said, "On earth as things are done in heaven". The devil knows earth's ways are not approved by God and neither its rhythm is. To those who overcome this stage, all those who put down their rights faithfully along with any kind of fleshly ways we can assure they will never be unfruitful or bored in the knowledge of the Lord and in the way ahead. However, it is here where we part from all others who decide to serve God their way and to plead that God serves them their way. We say goodbye to them here because their ways separate clearly from ours. We lay down all for the sake of the Lord, including our rights, strength and complaints. Let' carry on with the few that are left over.

  19. As we start taking the initiative towards God because grace has reached us, it seems everything is just starting all over again. All seems so new to us - again. We realize that we had not loved God before at all - or so it seems. There was love in us, but, it was all mixed up with the desire to be loved. We thought the love of God meant that we would be loved and spoiled by Him. However, when the love of God is poured into us - when it is really shed - it means only one thing: we are now able to love as God does. God's love towards us makes channels out of us and not recipients. We are not the aim of that love. We are the distributors and the the vessels through which people will come to know God, His love and His Life. We are renewed so we will love and not so we will be loved. We are already loved and very much so. This is a point in our lives where the way seems to become narrower than we expected it would. It seems narrower only because we seem to hold on to being loved instead of loving and to being listened to instead of listening. Here is another important crossroad - another valley of important decisions. We cannot look to God having selfish purposes in our minds anymore. Selfishness cannot be love at all. The world taught us right through our life that we needed to be loving so we can be appreciated to gain something in return. In God's reign it does not work that way at all - it simply can't work that way! God showed His love towards us because He is love. However, His aim is to turn us into beings who are like Him. His aim is to we should love and not look to be loved, greedy and selfish. He became like us to make us like Him, just as Paul would be a Jew for a Jew and Greek for the Greeks.

  20. It is now that we also start praying for the right things the right way because we have laid selfishness down to death. The proper love and the new motives we have pledged ourselves to cause us to pray aright and in the proper spirit. We start praying in the Spirit because God won't let us down, especially at this stage. God tries to finish what He already started. This seems strange to us because we had been used to praying as the average Christian does. And because of it our prayers start making sense to us and to God. He also answers us on the spot. And because this new experience seems strange and unknown to us, initially things don't work out so well until we say, "Lord, if that is the way you want it, I will bow to your ways. Even though I act as if I am wrong, I will obey!" Fear to lose something causes us to talk to the Lord that way. However, in the measure that things start becoming as real to us as they are known, (because all we know about God needs to become manifest, clear and real to all of us), we start losing the fear that so easily binds us in many aspects of our lives. It seems we still think we know better and know how to do better than what God is causing us to do and think. And all the while God ignores our fears temporarily to be able to conquer the ground where ignorance and lack of trust in God's abilities still prevail. Until we are able to trust God and His ways exclusively and until we are fully surrendered to Him and to His care only, we won't be able to help the world around us. It just works that way. We need to become practical, visible, clear and unselfish examples of God's trustworthiness. The glory must be clearly directed to God even without us mentioning any word about it, so clearly must it be directed. The world won't find any help in us if we still feel congratulated and amazed about what God is doing through or to us. We cannot help the world the right way as long as we act or feel like the world does. If the way of the world was right, people in there would need no help whatsoever. All kinds of worldliness need to be exterminated in proper order and annihilated through light. All wars inside and outside the heart need to come to an victorious end. We need to reach the root of every thought and imagination which is not yet subjected to God to know why it isn't or why it can't. We cannot allow (as people usually and easily do) such sins to be considered minor or insignificant sins at all. Every bad deed started from a thought. Most of the things we need to exterminate are also things people usually appreciate quite a lot. However, we cannot be stimulated or encouraged by people's opinions, but by God's alone. It is here we become aware that we need to become real and, also, that we need to experience the Lord in a real way. We cannot afford to be mere believers anymore. We must experience Life and for that God needs to conquer the domain of our hearts fully for Him step by step. We are aware that He is doing just that. However, He always reminds us that we do not die and live for ourselves, but for Him. There should be no doubts about what He is doing in us and why. We are dying to this world and the sooner we consider ourselves really dead to it, the better. We are heading towards Golgotha. That's the door to heaven and to the Life of fullness. Let's make sure we know Jesus is not presently in favour of this earthly life. Until now we assumed the main enemy was Satan. However, God reveals we are the worst enemies of life in us. In fact, we have been enslaved to ourselves and Christ came to make us free of us. Let's pray to understand the fullness of the words of Paul, which say, "I live no more, but Christ lives in me" It. must become a calm, pondered and unresisted reality in us. If it is not, Life won't be real in us either. Let us also remember that every step ahead is accumulative and does not do away with any former ones.

  21. God becomes extremely important to us and we realize, again, we, perhaps, have never real Children of God at all. If we fall we tell God: “This is what happens when you leave me to myself”. We hate it to be on our own. We may have learned the main secret of holiness now: surrender. Surrender is now a demand from us towards ourselves and not a mere prayer anymore whose dependence ends when we leave our secret place of prayer. We desire to be like God inwardly and charge and impose upon ourselves all kinds of surrender. Some are fake and don't seem to work out at all. However, each day is new and we seem to be born again every day. Here is another trap: the desire to be happy beings. We need to desire Christ and not happiness. Most of the time if we fall back into sin, it is because of the 'absence' of temptation, which causes us to slack down and be at ease. We have been used (till now) to fight temptation and live alongside with it. We must learn a living where temptation is not fought off but rather ignored. We must learn to fight with life so we will become living beings. Fighting sin is not the same as struggling with holiness and fighting through life. The devil also knows that the absence of temptation (at this stage) makes us feel at loss and slack because we are not used to it. He intends to catch us by surprise. He knows how and when to tempt. But, the Lord who once overcame him, will overcome once more in us and through us. "So that we should not be overreached by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his devices". We know that the secret of victory is spotlessness resulting from walking in the light - not from strength or from violent trying.

  22. Here we also learn what it means to fight with God. We cannot destroy Life. We can fight with God. Wrestling with God does not change Him. It changes us. We usually become part of what we get involved with. If we fight sin, we will be part of it and will be more like it; if we deal with God and wrestle with Him, we become like Him. It just works that way. Before, we learned sin was indestructible and most pastors preached about the impossibility of overcoming sin in the whole. But, fighting with death can't bring the same results that fighting with Life does. And now we find ourselves, quite often, wrestling with Life. We just do it and seem not to know why we do so. It seems to be something so right to do! We can't explain why! And by wrestling with genuine Life turns us into a mirror of truth, especially when we are not aware of it. Was Moses aware that his face had been shining?

  23. Here is another thing that happens to us: learning to adopt a life where sin or temptation are never taken into our daily inner experience or inner life. The absence of sin and of temptation is strange to most people. Many can live only with it. And there are those who look for temptation because they simply think it strange to live without it. There are others, however, who never learned to live without complaining against trials and temptations. Such even believed complaining should be added to prayer or praying wouldn't be praying at all. Others have never become honest enough towards themselves and seem to misinterpret the former reasons for these temptations. There are others, also, who know how to react to life only by worrying. If they are found without worrying they fall asleep spiritually. Many seek to worry so they can do something about it and so they can become active. This is where we start to ask: "How will I ever be able to live in heaven where there is nothing to worry for and where there is nothing to be whining about?" We learn, now, how to live in freedom, it is, without having a rod threatening us all the time. Here, at this stage, it might be the first lesson of how to be faithful in freedom. The adaptation is hard for most people and this transition causes many to have mixed feelings of guilt at. For some, there is no time more confusing than when their motives, ways and expectations are being changed. "On earth as it is done in heaven!" Now we can learn about the biggest secrets of the gospel: living in freedom from self and sin where getting rid of all sin was only the beginning of true life. Most people consider getting rid of sin as the goal. However, it is where it all starts! We also don't do things for ourselves anymore, but only because those things are the right things to do. Now we are living in an arena where we used to fight all the time and the memories of those fights can still trap us into vain thinking and useless fighting. The same arena has to be used now for something else: true life. All fighting is left to the Lord Himself for a change. We are surrendered people and have surrendered hearts. We have handed our weapons over to Him and have nothing to fight with or fight for anymore. All is left to Him. To this is added the knowledge of how vain and empty sin really is. It offers nothing but death and inner tribulation and it is now seen as the mere illusion that it really is. Such unrealities and such vain things don't have the former power to attract us anymore. All of if is vain. "Vanity of vanities, says the preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity", Ecc.1:2. God has that power to attract us now. We are very much inclined to full surrender all the time. Now we are attracted by Life and not by death anymore. Our resources will be used to live forever. This is why we become aware that surrendering unconditionally is what will lead us further into greater victories. We have tasted Eternal Life and won't let go! As to the rest, God will take care of. Surrender is our first and only spiritual instinct at this stage. The fighting against sin taught us the way to be rather surrendered. Now Ps.123 starts making sense to us and we say assuredly, “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me”, Sal.138:8. We say that because we find ourselves fully surrendered and just know it shall indeed be so. Before, surrendering our weapons would always be a suspicious thought. To think of it would easily bring unbelief and fear into us. But, not anymore. All our weapons are transformed "into plowshares, and the spears into pruning-hooks", Is.2:4. No more war! We realize perfection comes through surrender instead of fighting against what we fear most. We are not our saviours - we are the saved ones instead.

  24. We understand now more than ever and with a clearer assurance that we need to take God's things as real. It is not only a question of values anymore. Love is real, God is real, the commandments are real and binding. The ways and the things of God are no longer mere representations or guide lines of goodness. They are for real. Through this perception the responsibility and the moral implications of it cause us to fear Him in a way we have never imagined before. And just to think it is all real causes us revere the Lord in an outstanding way. Truth has taken hold of our reverence and appreciation. Truths are not mere values anymore - they become the new way of experiencing life. We become solemn and our fear is sound and exists because it has faced realities. It is no more a selfish kind of fear - it is a facing of genuine things we only thought of as values we should stick by.

  25. Due to this simple and very important revelation and because of this amazing discovery which is able to change the whole course of our lives, each day is a new day. We do not accumulate worries or joys anymore - they are lived out and enjoyed in the day they belong. Things start being done the way they would have been done in heaven. His yoke is light indeed! We are still adapting ourselves to the reality of this amazing, changing truth. Everything seems eternal and beautiful. Now life makes more sense than ever. We are finally entering that spirit of a child which Jesus talked so much about. "Unless you become as children...". Now it makes sense! We thought we would be bored by giving up the previous life's worries and things! And why would we leave the previous life and take its worries and ways along with us? Why not abandon it in the whole? "For if these things are in you and abound, they make you to be neither idle nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ", 2Ped.1:8. It all starts to make sense now! Jesus is indeed Eternal Life, John 17:3! Even in a prison cell we would have many fresh news to share. We are able and willing to live one day at a time now. It feels it is the only way to live. And we realize we are not bored or trivial in the knowing of our Lord. Other things don't matter anymore. What matters is to know the Lord as He really is.

  26. At this point, even the commandments of God start appearing to us more like promises than demands. We desire what God commands us to do and especially the way it ought to be done. We also know profoundly that God works in us to do. That's mainly why His commandments are not heavy anymore, since they sound like promises to our hungry soul. He is able to fulfil in us! "Your testimonies also are my delight and my advisers", Ps.119:24. "I came to fulfil...", Mat.5:17.

  27. We start praying to achieve the things of God for God's sake and seem to loose sight of ourselves and even of our own goodness. We have already renounced own righteousness before, but now it becomes solemnly confirmed as the only way to reach out to God's righteousness and power. What Jesus is seems to be sufficient for us in all aspects. The fellowship with Him in all we do is our delight and only aim. We know we shall be like Him by fellowshipping and communing with Him. Simplicity and, most important, simplicity in Christ can no more be left out of us. It needs to become our only way of life until it seems we have never lived any other way at all. We live out truth by truth as children move from one toy to toy without giving a second thought on the reason they leave one to take the other. The Spirit Life starts to seem natural and simple already. We do not care to explain how or why it works that way because it simply works. We are much involved with Life itself, as before we had been involved with the sinfulness of our hearts. Memories of sin cause us to smile with the thankfulness of having been freed of it in such a marvellous way. Sin doesn't cause us to be afraid anymore, but rather to appreciate our Lord and His power even more. We ceased to compete with God to impress Him with our living. Surrender seems to be a greater solution than trying to be good. God "fights" with us and we with Him so we will become more and more like Him. And it works since we go from glory to glory. The measures and the ways of God are smooth and simple to us. Our aim is to be surrendered all the time. Before we fought to have things done the way we knew to do. Now we seek God's ways of accomplishing anything. And every day seems to pressure us to believe it is a new day indeed and that yesterday does not count anymore. The words, "This is the day that the Lord has made", make so much sense to us. We know what we are and what we become has greater value for Him than all the gold of the earth put together. With the goal clearly defined in our minds and hearts, we now find the way to reach out to it. And it is much more than a way. It is doing things here as they are done and carried out in heaven. The way is what causes us to achieve to goal we have clearly before us. We fight for our lives for God's sake and not for our sakes any longer. We know our lives are very important to Him. He died for us. We must become precious to Him. The love we gain causes us to understand in a better fullness what it means to love as we love ourselves. The vision gains a new dimension. Before this, we might have fought for salvation because we loved ourselves and feared to be lost. We fight towards the same salvation now, but for other motives: because God loves us greatly. We save ourselves thinking of God. Jesus is so familiar to us now that we seem to understand why He died and was resurrected. It makes sense to us that He died for the world and so do we die for it because of Him.

  28. We loose ourselves in God and we do not find it easy to stay away from Him. Holiness seems so easy at this stage and God says: “This is what happens when you leave yourself completely over to Me!” Now we are surrendered and feel like we are not. We just enjoy the fruit of being surrendered and now we can understand why we must judge by the fruit and not by the way we feel. In previous stages we felt we were surrendered and were not fully controlled by the Lord at all. Feeling is indeed treacherous and misleading. God's resources and dimension seem to us infinite and marvellous and we stand fast because we see Him and do not look into ourselves anymore. But, the disposition of the heart is to live His Life thoroughly out and not to measure up to God's greatness. We have no words to describe what we are experiencing at this stage by seeing the Lord Himself. Before we knew the Lord was great and now we experience how He is. It is different to experience Him as He is. We live of His reality now and nothing is able to compete with it. Holiness is such a delight and we seem to understand we should have never lived any other way but holy all the time. It feels we have lost precious time living any other way. Sin now seems so far away from our experience, even when the devil fills the air with temptations. Even the remembrances of sin in us ceased to exist. And the strangest part of it all is that we live where sin abounds. How great is this miracle that we should be able to live holy in sinful earth as if there is no sin to take into account as far as it concerns us! Now we know what it means that Jesus makes us indeed free. How wonderful it is! It doesn't matter where we live as long as we are found in Him. We also realize that the kind of heart we had was mainly responsible for our sinning and not the place where we were found and nor the people around. Other people's evil or holiness is not what makes us sin or be holy at all. The heart works according to what it is inclined to do, whether that inclination is towards sin or holiness. As we look to the world it seems so strange that people still live as they do. We can't understand sin anymore. That sort of living just doesn't make sense! And the most wonderful experience now is that we do not fear to look sin in the face! Sin does not scare us anymore. We live victoriously near God.  We realize just how firm is the Rock of Ages indeed. We realize there is only us and God. The former world, life of trials and separation from the world has contributed to teach us to live of God all the time. We feel we belong in Him. "Lord, I am yours and you are mine. I belong to you. How wonderful it is! Now you entrust yourself to me! I understand why you wouldn't entrust yourself to me before, John 2:24. It is wonderful to be yours and yours alone". And this is more or less what we feel like saying when we pray. He gives His Spirit in an abundant way. We know that the most precious treasure He has, is "the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him", Act.5:32. This means to those who have a heart in them which is found in a steady and permanent willingness to be obedient to Him anywhere and anyhow. This life becomes so real to us we seem to see nothing else but Him. We do not feel bored to do all things for the Lord anymore and by not taking ourselves into account. God takes care of us. 

  29. We now lay down at His feet very easily all things we know we must do for ourselves. We also know we will need them done through the Lord because we belong to Him. It seems so important to lay it all down at the feet of the Lord instead of rejecting it because it is done for us. Any resurrected life is cared for as well and the Lord does that through a new motivation to glorify Him all the time. At a certain point it would be a peaceless affair to do something for ourselves. But now, since it is the Lord who carries it out and we ceased to be selfish, we easily assume we must be taken care of for the sake of God as well. Selfishness lived in the heart and if the heart is changed there won't be anymore selfishness at all - not even when we are cared for. God cares for our lives. We are the temple of God and not our own anymore. This is enough reason to be taken care of.

  30. There is no difference between our things and the Lord's anymore. All belongs to Him, even what we possess. Our own salvation means a lot to the Lord and our motivation in getting saved is the Lord's. It is important to Him that we be fully saved from all things which are not heavenly and that we live according to heaven's rule and heaven's power all the time. We know that not living according to earth is good but short. It is not the same as living according to heaven. We pray for other people's families and children as we would pray for our own were they lost in sin. This is what salvation has brought into us. We have indeed changed from selfishness to love.

  31. Praying and receiving at this stage is very easy. As we receive those things we pray for, we do not get startled and admired about how easy it is now to receive and we are put before a choice: shall we keep it or shall we distribute the bread and the fish of answered prayers? We start having the mind of Christ already. All is new and shiny. Most things change because we pray. However, today's manna must be eaten today and food is to do God's will. God's will is the manna. We finally understand what Jesus meant by saying, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work", John 4:34. If we keep today's will to carry out tomorrow, it turns into a curse. At least it can't be done the next day. It will have a rotting smell by the next day. And we may postpone God's will for many reasons. We may be slack to do it right away; we may delay things because of fear to fail at that moment; we may think we are not prepared for it yet; or we simply forget to do it right away and achieve the same results. Not even a good reason should be able to make us negligent or slack about God's will in any way at all. Everything has its own timing and we may not postpone what God meant for today because it is the right time to do it.

  32. At this stage even the consciousness of being selfish has vanished away from us. Our deepest desire was to know Life as it is. It has been granted and we praise God for having fulfilled His promises. Now we know the kind of Life we only desired to have once upon a time. The dream has come true. Heaven is close by. And we are not startled about how easy many wonderful things happen around us. Did they not work out in an easy way, we would easily fear and be wondering if we, perhaps, have sinned somewhere. We are innocent and simple people. We are encouraged to do better through this exhortation of thankfulness felt in the air. Goodness is with Him so He may be feared. We feel exhorted to be better stewards and we will rather do things better now than more things. We distribute easily. We receive easily as well. We know that the pride which refuses to give is the same as the one which refuses to receive. Because that pride dies away, it becomes so natural and so easy to give just as it becomes to receive from the Lord or even from people.

  33.  We choose God again because we lose all once more. We have no more fish to distribute and it seems so strange to us. It shows we still expected to be exalted. But, we choose to stick to the Lord once more. We would live for Him anyhow. We love this Life. However, we feel another light exhortation in the air. We must live but not because we love this Life. It would mean we do it for ourselves. We must press on for Life's sake and not because we love it. Loving it must be a mere consequence of living it and not the cause or the source of motivation. We shouldn't sadden the Holy Spirit in such a foolish way. We realize the way of God is narrowed from both sides - it doesn't just get narrower. Fanaticism is conceived when the way is narrowed up only from one side or from our own perspective. At this point the devil knows the only target he can successfully aim at is the motivation of our hearts. As soon as we start disagreeing with God on that, we will also start disagreeing with our holy brothers. We not only disagree with each other when our motives are not God's, but seem to walk in different directions. When we are not the same as God in essence neither can we walk with holy people. The essence is what won't be in agreement when our motivation is not God's. "Can two walk together unless they are agreed?" Amos 3:3.

  34. Here starts again a long track of unanswered prayers and even so we do not loose either faith or hope and we don’t know why it happens both things happen as they do. It seems we don't lose hope or faith because of the new heart we gained as a blessing from the Lord. It remains close to the Lord under any circumstances and is strengthened and kept burning through a deep, invisible and unthinkable flame. It always has its pole of attraction, whatever happens. Nevertheless, we start thinking others believe we are hypocrites because the things of God seem not to work according to what we pray about. But, the fear of the world towards the way we live is already installed in them and these trials are meant to consolidate most of the things which are worked at the level of the heart. Did Jesus have anything on Him which attracted people to Him? Wasn't He Himself as a dry root in dry sand? But, we must be careful when God does not say either "no" or "yes". It could mean something and we must find out what it is. However, we find that we are not discouraged to near God, but rather encouraged to near Him the right way. Job did not cease to call upon God under his circumstances because he did not sin. Had he sinned his faith would sink down to the bottom of the sea of despair. He would shipwreck. And he did not keep calling on God because of his trials and sickness, but rather because God was not answering him in any way. We find out that we believe more and better with less with feeling. Faith is becoming sound and grounded. However, we seem to be unable to forget those things we pray about. If we could forget about them, it would mean we did not consider them as important for the Kingdom of God; or it would mean we were not praying warriors. "If I do not remember, let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth; if I do not prefer Jerusalem above my chief joy", Ps.137:6. "Do not cease to pray". It means, do not give up before God grants all the requests which mean a lot to Him and to His glory. Unanswered prayers just don't seem to bring unbelief into us, however. We find we believe more and better and that our deepest heart and faith is being reshaped. Hope needs to be sound and above suspicion as well, just as faith and love. Hope is to expect from God. And by expecting that way, we reject all means by which we are tempted to accept an easy way out or an alternative way of attaining to what we expect to receive from the Lord Himself. Didn't David refuse to kill Saul with his own hands? This love towards God's honouring works and towards His honour creates those conditions which faith needs to become unfeigned and spotlessly pure. We must press on to the point where all our prayers receive answers. And when those prayers receive answers on the spot, it surely means we pray for the right things at the right time and that we have a good perception of God's timing as well. We are "men who have understanding of the times, to know what we ought to do", 1 Cron.12:32. Answers to all prayers is the promise of Jesus and by it God is glorified. However, this is a point where we are tempted to believe we are hypocrites in the faith because of the roll of unanswered prayers. We feel like Job in front of his friends. Job would say something which wouldn't work out in practice - or so he thought. We also start to notice that faith in us is strong and that is why we talk. We realize even more that nothing but sin or a stained conscience is able to cause faith to shipwreck. Unanswered prayers can't do that - only sin in us can, 1Tim.1:19. Faith can't be born from miracles and signs and neither can it die in the absence of them. God needs to make this point clear to us and also needs to make this separation very clear in our minds. We are taught to pay attention to God and not to what He gives us. This is the main reason why most of the practical answers have been separated from fellowshipping with Him. However, most people who learn to live for God and out of God alone will soon see the sun come out and they shall die seeing miracles and greater works.

  35. Heaven floods down on us suddenly and unexpectedly and it does not surprise us at all at this point. We expected something like that to happen sooner or later. It happens because patience has ended its work (for now). This guarantees all future growth, especially because we have made it faithfully to the end of that heavy trial. It is hard to have God still when our only desire is Him. Hope has been confirmed and it strengthens perseverance even more. Now we feel even more it is good to persevere to the end. We are convinced of that. Heaven invades our hearts and souls. Our hearts burn as never before. It feels hot in our chests again. We know diamonds are formed through the pressure and the heat of earth. The same happens with faith and hope: it is shaped through the inner pressure and heat. However, if a doubting dart hits us, the fire of the heart goes down because God allows us to doubt only of such things which are not true. If things are real, God holds us responsible for doubting. He demands that we believe even without pressure. He will never allow us to doubt His invisible and visible realities. We do not fear contradicting thoughts which the devil launches against us, not even when they are launched through people around. We are assured from deep within and what people think of us are mosquitoes and not devouring lions. The man who hunts lions is not set back by mosquitoes and flies.

  36. We are put before a choice: to pray now to achieve the things of God, or to pray about those things to get more of God and to get closer to Him. Everything gives us an unique chance to near God about it. Even work becomes instrumental to establish our relationship with Him. Whenever we do not know what or when to do, we near God about it to get a quick answer from Him, whether in a practical way or as an immediate answer from His mouth. It is so easy to receive answers from the Lord, especially about truth, the right way to take and the right measures and power. However, every time the presence of the Lord seems to fade away, our heart cries out and we have intense birth pains. It feels like the end of the world for us. And isn't it the end of our world if God leaves us? Self is now seen as a bad person trying to rob us of God.

  37. We take enough time to ponder about our situation and to think about the whole of it. We know now we depend fully on him. Every time we get hold of Him with all we have is used by Him to get hold of us instead. He is the one getting hold of us through such wise and devised dealings. We just can't be afraid of losing ourselves to Him anymore. He knows what He is doing and we also know what He is doing with us.

  38. Again, God seems to have stepped up in the ladder and we must reach Him again. However, it seems He is a step higher than we are able to go. He makes Himself difficult again. It feels so strange, especially now that we have been so close to Him. We were enjoying the beauty of His presence and it seems He said it is enough enjoying and we need to move on. This beauty of holiness is far above anything we could have ever imagined. However, we need to step up again. Obeying is food even when it seems to be harder than we seem able to reach out to. We are challenged and the faith that has been purified a while ago is now put to work. We know that no one who complains will ever enter heaven. Complaining is disobeying and losing the opportunity to walk on. The murmuring heart is dying away. Now we sense God has something in mind which is far beyond the cleansing of sin: He wishes to clean our being itself. We don't find anything in us to feel guilty about anymore and even if we did, we would easily know how to get rid of it and to be thoroughly cleansed immediately. His wisdom is outstanding. There are many things now that seem useless and which have been very important to do at a time. Concerning those things we say, "And this we will do, if God permits", (Heb.6:3). We know instinctively that the basic doctrines of faith and some other doctrines we have left behind are not profitable to us anymore. They just don't seem to fit in our daily life any longer.

  39. The Lord reaches out very deep into us this time. He is giving the final blows to the remembrances of worldly means and fleshly ways. We feel we were in no need of this since we do not feel worldly at al anymore. However, we accept it from Him who knows best and bow to Him in humble acceptance. God is making sure the world won't be able to trouble us again and neither offer any kind of help to us to walk His ways. He just won't give up!

  40. We lose all to Him again and we go from glory to glory, it is, from death to death. It is not hard to take His yoke with gladness at all. At this point nothing that we do is sin because all is clean and pure. 

  41. Now that we start believing we are more than ready for heaven. But, we might not go now, at least not yet. We are ready for the works of God on earth: on earth as it is done in heaven. These "are the days of heaven upon the earth", Dt.11:21. We start to work for God and to free His people for Him. Life on earth has just started to make sense now for a change and to be the way it should always have been. Heaven came down to stay in us instead of us going up there.

  42. We are so familiar with Eternal Life in us that our remembrances go down the ladder and come up again. We recall all dangers we have gone through so many times and how close we had been to stumbling here and there. We see with a smile how God has kept us close to Him through toils and dangers. We experience such gladness and have no resentment in us because of the way we have come. All worked together for the best. It is at this point where we start living other people's problems as if they are our own. It all works through the Spirit of God. We understand now what it means to be a prophet: someone who experiences other people's things in a strange way. It drives us to our knees. We give birth to many solutions for our brothers and for people around and some through much travailing and through many birth pains. There is a special touch of the Spirit in our prayers and we know what and when to pray about something. We feel like bringing people to real solutions instead of giving them description of their problems. Every time we help someone we are only one step ahead of them and not two. It encourages people to give that step before we give another, while two could easily discourage them. We explain very little, except when it is necessary to explain. We walk and people walk. Our talking and teaching is aimed at doing and walking and not at explaining (as the average Christians do because they do not walk the way themselves). We walk up and down the ladder for others sakes, to give them a hand up sometimes. As we walk God blesses it all and we are blessed by practical solutions along the way - each at its proper time. We are so patient that we are not even aware of it, so involved are we in walking and helping out our brothers. And all is aimed at being clean with God so they can always depend on God's strength, care and power. We are able to rejoice as our brothers rejoice because it is part of us to walk that way with them. We love them as we love ourselves. Whatever happens to them, happens to us. But, their problems and victories do no affect our own way because we are clean and kept alive by God all the time. We are dead for all things and alive for the Lord. We are not negligent because we are fully involved with God's will for everyone around. We don't even think of doing because we do before we think of doing. All our thinking is fully directed on how to do and how to accomplish things God wants for all around us. Any car can be steered only when it is already running. We walk slowly with the weak and run with the strong. It means strong people can slow down, but weaker people cannot run faster. We reach them and it is not they reaching us. We are like Jacob dealing with his flock and children: "My lord knows that the boys are tender, and the flocks and herds with me are suckling. And if the men should overdrive them one day, all the flock will die", Gen.33:13.

  43. Even if we look backwards, we are not looking back, for all is forgotten, forsaken and erased from taste, memory and guilt. We can better help others by remembering all that is past. The flock of God needs the wise, neutral thinking of our way up to now. We are extremely honest, transparent and sincere and can't feel any guilt about anything in our past. That past only assists wisdom which we are now able to use correctly now and for the glory of God. Looking back this way is kind of looking forward. It was not sin to Abraham to look at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as it would be for Loth. Abraham looked and he did not turn into a salt pillar as Loth's wife did. Our hearts are spotless and clean. We are naturally inclined to choose God and God's timing and wise dealings anytime, anyhow and anywhere. This is heaven: to be able to do things down here on sinful earth the way they are done in heaven and that all the time.

  44. We started realizing death has no hold on us anymore. Our heart is quiet facing danger and we could smile at a coffin. We know any kind of coffin will be emptied after we entered it. We also feel if we would enter our coffin we close it ourselves. We would not be entering a coffin, but heaven and we rejoice in God easily, even when facing death. Heaven is just one small step away even if it might still take some years for us to die. Nevertheless, we are not hasty to die for we have a big share of heaven down here already. It makes us humble and filled with simplicity.

  45. We pray no more: we whisper and God answers even before we are able to utter a word. Our pleadings are like thunder in heaven's throne, Is.65:23,24. We have moved so close to Christ we sense Him everywhere we go. 

  46. We are so sensitive to God’s will that we are God's will itself. It seems we are always "a ready people to the Lord" and we are too early at places where God would want us to be. the full perception of His will is amazing. And we are not hasting things at all. We just know what to do, even when we miss when to do or even how. We seem to be ahead of God in anticipation and fear to run ahead of Him somehow because before we used to be behind the spiritual schedule all the time. God is so real to us!

  47. His faintest touch always feels like a great commandment to us! And we know that nothing is able to detain a servant of God who is fully surrendered to Him all the time. We are so sure (now) that we will indeed be able to fulfil to the end all God wants from us. We share in His wisdom, love and endurance in all simplicity. We are also sure we won't fail God in whatever He wishes us to become.

  48. Even at an old age, we seem to have been born yesterday. We are natural, young and eternal beings now, no end, no beginning in our minds, and we are more childlike than ever. This is the sort of Life the world cannot give us. We do not get tired even through sleepless nights and, when we pray, it seems we enter heaven and come back again with parts of it following us down here. Soon, maybe in the next ten years or even later, we might be moving in heaven as God is able to move within us now. No haste in us any longer, no fear to go on and we will never delay anything, nor hasten it, for we are God's will and we instinctively think of heaven which is God's will. God's will is what heaven is. We delight in it wholeheartedly. We delight in the Lord and all these heavenly desires are prompted and fully approved by God Himself. This is what we have denied the flesh for along with the world and sin.

  49. God moves around in us as if we were heaven itself. He is so free to move and do in us that He feels at home in us. How glorious is it that He finds no obstacles in us!

  50. My advice to you: never stop to enjoy any step you have given, however beautiful it may be. That way your senses and mind will be inclined to miss the next one. Heaven is inside us and won't end. In other words, there is no need to enjoy any kind of moments on the way. If we are faithful to God, the whole of it will become an endless moment itself and it doesn't matter where we are or what stage we pass. Jesus is our moment and not a step we give. The world, by being used to losing, is the one who stops to enjoys moments. Not us. Amen.

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José Mateus
zemateus@msn.com