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 (Manna 43: Holy Spirit)
Cast All Your Care Upon Him
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CAST ALL YOUR CARE UPON HIM

Jason Hsu — Baldwin Park, California, USA

            Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:6-8)

Apostle Peter encourages us to cast all our care upon God because He cares for us.

In our everyday lives, we often forget that our lives are upheld and sustained because of the Lord’s care. If the Lord were to take away His hand from the universe, even for a moment, the universe itself could not stand (Heb 1:3).

However, sometimes our eyes are blinded to this care and we need God to remind us that it is He who upholds all things in this universe—not just the sun, moon, and stars—but us, too (Ps 63:8).

I will share two spiritual experiences that reveal important lessons the Lord has taught me. Both experiences have been the result of the weakness of the flesh; yet, they have also been a testament to the greatness of God’s grace.

In these last days before Christ returns, we must be even more watchful, for Satan knows His time is near. So we must humble ourselves. Be sober, be vigilant, so that we may overcome to the end of days.

My hope is that my experiences can serve to warn and encourage, but, most of all, impress upon you the vast extent of God’s care for us. God’s care and providence go far beyond our limited human understanding; His love is unimaginable.

SPIRITUAL PERSECUTION

I will first share an old spiritual experience that taught me the importance of how our thinking impacts the successful completion of our journey to God’s kingdom.

Many years ago, shortly after I believed in Christ, I would do my utmost to continue in my daily spiritual pursuit of God. I would pray hours, not minutes, every day. I would read the Bible by books and not chapters.

I was young back then, but I did my utmost to transform my life radically for the Lord. But then I came to a low point in my faith.

During that time, I faced persecution from my own family and friends about my faith and spiritual pursuit.

The persecution I faced was not the type where I was threatened with bodily injury or death; rather, it was an emotional and spiritual persecution, which can be the most difficult type to overcome.

It is difficult to constantly hear things like, “Why do you pray so much?” “What’s wrong with you?” “You’re strange!” “You’re no fun to be around anymore. Bye.” Soon, you begin to feel as if your life took a seriously wrong turn, even though your heart knows that that is not the truth.

The Bottomless Pit

Faced with this situation as a young believer, I became very depressed one night. As I sat on the edge of the bed, ready to go to sleep, I thought to myself, “Wow! It’s hard to be a Christian.” I was ready to give up.

Then I had another thought: “Maybe hell is not that bad. How bad could it be?” Just as I thought this, I let myself fall back onto my bed, but instead of hitting my pillow I fell in!

Was I transported to another dimension physically? Probably not. Spiritually, however, I felt as if I was falling into a deep hole. I share my experience with you to let you know that you don’t want to be where I was at that moment.

For some reason or other, I had a good idea where I was. I was in the bottomless pit as recorded in the book of Revelation.[1]

What does it feel like to fall down a bottomless pit?

It is hard to describe the feeling—the complete loneliness, darkness, and confusion you feel—as you descend into a dark and bottomless abyss. I can only imagine that it’s what the prophet Jonah experienced as he was cast off the ship and down into the raging sea (Jon 1:15; 2:3).

Even worse is to descend down into the darkness knowing full well there is no bottom to end your plight.

As I was freefalling down this dark pit, I felt like I was spinning out of control. I also felt cold and evil spirits—demons—running through and around my body. When the evil spirits went through me, I sensed their pain and heard their silent cries.

These cold spirits continued to fly around and encircle my body as I spiraled downwards. Finally, I sensed an extremely deep darkness in that pit. Such darkness cannot be compared to any earthly darkness. It was a deep spiritual darkness that smothers you to the point where you feel as if you are suffocating.

As I was falling, I remembered a testimony from a brother in Africa who saw a vision of the judgment day during his prayer. In his prayer, the brother saw himself waiting in a line of thousands of people. Everybody was waiting for their turn before the judgment throne of God.

As he got closer to the throne, the brother saw the Lord Jesus sitting on His throne with eyes like flames of fire (Rev 1:14).

Surrounding the throne was a multitude of angels. Then the brother observed that when a person was found worthy of God’s salvation, all the angels would sing loudly, and the person was warmly welcomed into God’s kingdom.

But if the angels did not sing, then the person was escorted by two angels, one at each arm, to a large pit. The brother saw these damned souls kicking and screaming as they were escorted to the bottomless pit and forcefully thrown in.

As I was reflecting on this brother’s testimony and comparing it to my own situation in the abyss, I realized that I wasn’t going to get out of that pit without God’s help. So I began to softly say “Hallelujah” and repent for my wrong thinking.

I told God at that time, “I don’t want this. Lord, save me.” Suddenly, I felt as if God’s hand took my spirit and lifted me back to the present world. I was so thankful to be back in my room that I kept praising God.

From that time on, I realized that I could never ever give up on my spiritual life—no matter how difficult the circumstance.

LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES

The second spiritual experience I received came with a dream and a vision, as a result of looking for love in all the wrong places.

We often search for love on our own terms and outside the Lord’s blessing. Yet, Song of Solomon 2:7 teaches us not to stir up or awaken love until it pleases. Many brothers and sisters in the church are looking for love, and it often seems difficult, if not impossible, to find.

Love is a blessing and gift from God; yet, love is not something we should rush to awaken before its proper time. Without God’s blessing, no one will find their true love.

Love is also God’s highest calling. To find a kindred spirit with whom to share God’s highest calling is a beautiful and honorable thing in His sight. But as we look for such a person, we are often faced with difficult decisions and situations among the numerous other hurdles we may encounter.

Fleshly desires are among the toughest obstacles we meet as we explore relationships with the opposite sex. Lustful thoughts and acts, however, do not produce the righteousness of God or help us establish a true loving relationship.

Instead, acts of lust deteriorate the love relationship between a man and a woman that God intended to be a source of blessing and joy between a husband and wife.

The Path of Indulging the Flesh

Some time ago, while unvigilant in my own exploration of love, I fell into the trap of lust. Because I was unwatchful in my spiritual cultivation, I was unable to resist the temptations of the flesh. James 1:13, 14 says:

            Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

The lustful desires of our flesh, even if not fornication or adultery, are not desires God wants us to indulge upon.

Jesus warned us even to take care of how we think about the opposite sex when we look, saying, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt 5:28).

If we must be wary of even our thoughts, how much more our actions, which proceed from our thoughts?

Unbelievers cannot understand the spiritual ramifications of their thoughts or acts of lust. To them, lust is a natural inclination that should be indulged upon like a hungry man at an all-you-can-eat buffet (cf. Mt 4:2ff).

Why would you deny food to a hungry man or woman? But Romans 8:6 warns us, “[T]o be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

As I sinned against the Lord through the desires of my flesh, I knew with “head knowledge” that what I was doing was wrong; I even knew that my faith was weak at that time and that I should be more careful.

Yet, I tested God for my own personal reasons. Because of the confidence I had in the flesh (Phil 3:3), I was so confident that I had things under control that I hadn’t realized I had already fallen into sin.

Learning the Difficult Lessons

Through life’s experience and mistakes, I have learned difficult but important lessons from the Lord.

Sometimes, God’s teachings are difficult to swallow, and some of God’s prophesies are difficult to speak (Rev 10:9-11). But God’s word and truth must always be taken, eaten, and revealed—even in times of darkness.

With love, God brings us out of the darkness and teaches us the difficult lessons—lessons that we may not want to learn or lessons that we think we already know.

1 Corinthians 10:12, 13 teaches:

            Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

I read these verses many times in the past, but sometimes only life’s lessons can teach you the meaning.

To bear our sins is a heavy burden. Only God knows the way of escape from temptation. After I sinned against God, I thought to myself, “Why doesn’t God punish me?” I was waiting and praying for a sign from God to show me clearly the direction I should take.

As odd as it sounds, I was actually eagerly awaiting God’s judgment upon me. I almost wanted God to take away my Holy Spirit or do something so that I could “wake up” from my spiritual slumber. But the sign from God never came…until one night.

THE “BLACK CARD” DREAM

Like any sleep, spiritual slumber brings a temporary comfort to the flesh. And on the night God’s sign finally came, I was sleeping soundly.

I had an unusual dream that night, and I do not often have dreams. In my dream, I saw myself in a room with my father. I had in my possession a black card, but I hid the card in a Bible I was carrying.

Somehow I knew that the black card possessed a great and evil power, so I hid the card to keep it from affecting others. I also knew that I wanted to—and had to—destroy the card. What I didn’t realize, until later, was how much my dream sounded like a movie plot.

I did not want anybody to see or take the black card, mostly because I wanted to destroy it. So I hid it. For some reason, I understood whoever possessed that card would become the ultimate evil—the anti-Christ. So I felt such an urgency to keep the card, but at the same time, I wanted to destroy it.

Sitting in the room with my father, my father began asking me for my Bible. I remember thinking how odd it was that my father was asking me for the Bible. For those who know my father, he would never read the Bible.

But I started to give my father an excuse because I did not want to give him the Bible. I knew that my father, an unbeliever, did not really want the Bible. What my father really wanted was the black card hidden in my Bible.

Afterward, I saw myself riding in a new car with my sister and her friend, who was boasting about his new car. As we stopped the car and chatted, I began to sense that my sister and her friend were being drawn to the black card that was inside my Bible.

I rushed to get out of the car because I did not want to be trapped in the backseat of the car. As we all got out, I was already wary of both my sister and her friend.

Suddenly the two of them lunged at me for my Bible. Afraid for both my life and theirs, I fled away. I knew I had to get out of there.

VISION OF THE SPIRITUAL WAR

Instantly, I saw a vision of many angels flying before me. There were so many angels that I could not count them all. The angels were gathered on two sides and heading towards one another at great speed and force.

I have never seen such a thing before, but I knew that one group of angels represented the good and the other side the evil.

As the angels sped towards each other, they clashed with such great force that a powerful shockwave ensued. I then saw the beginnings of a fierce spiritual war being waged. I knew that this war was the same type of spiritual war described in Revelation 12:7, 8.

There was a difference however: in Revelation 12:7, 8, the archangel Michael and his angels prevailed, but, in my vision, the evil angels were winning. At that moment, my heart was shaken awake.

I came to full consciousness in the dark room. I realized this was no longer a vision but real life. Immediately, I felt an evil presence fast approaching from my right side. Satan was coming and approaching fast.

I was in a panic at that time because I knew I did not have much time. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that scared before in my life.

I quickly got up on my knees and started to pray in the Spirit. As I was praying, I began to feel some claws grasp my throat. And a very sharp nail from one of the claws was pressing right into my Adam’s apple.

The claw was trying to pierce through me as if to kill me, but something was holding it back. At the same time, I was trying to say, “Hallelujah.” But I could barely speak with the claws around my throat and that nail pressing upon my Adam’s apple with a great force behind it.

I felt the great power within the hand of that nail. But I continued to marvel about why the nail could not pierce through me.

GOD’S SAVING HAND AND MESSAGE

As the sharp nail was forcefully pressing and pressing into my neck, I continued to wonder why the nail could not go through. I finally realized that God was protecting me. But I had felt so far from God in those days that I then began wondering why God would still love and protect me.

Suddenly, I felt God’s strong presence come upon me, and I began to pray in the fullness of the Spirit. God impressed upon me two important messages during that prayer, which I share with you now.

First, God impressed upon me that we cannot survive or even stand without His grace and loving protection. I knew that truth before, but I did not really understand it. But during that prayer, God opened up the eyes of my heart anew, and I understood that truth crystal clear. It was God’s grace that kept me alive and upheld me throughout my sin and weakness.

We know many truths with “head knowledge,” but until God reveals them to our hearts and in the spirit, we often cannot fully understand His truths.

The truth that God alone can uphold and protect us against evil is not new or revolutionary; rather, it is a petition found even in the Lord’s prayer: “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Mt 6:13).

The second message God delivered to me was this: “You must testify about your experience for Me—for the sake of other brothers and sisters.” As many thoughts began to race through my mind, I asked God, “Do I have to?” God did not have to answer with a loud thundering voice, for He had already placed the answer in my heart.

But I delayed sharing it and, perhaps, tried to forget it. For this sin, I must again repent to the Lord and apologize to the people whom God loves. Though I tried to forget, God would not let me forget.

So I told God that I would write it out, which I have now done. And so I share this message with you.

            For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mt 10:26-28; cf. Eccl 12:14)

After my experience, I briefly wondered about why the Lord was so insistent upon my testimony.

I understood two things: (1) God wanted to teach me a humility I had forgotten and that there is no such thing as selfish pride in His kingdom; and (2) God revealed to me that there are other brothers and sisters in the same sin or worse.

I encourage those brothers and sisters to take my experience to heart and quickly turn back to the Lord and His way.

I end as I began, with this encouragement: cast your care upon the Lord for He cares for you. All of us, at times, will face the difficulties of life’s pressures. All of us will meet with the anxieties of life’s decisions. But let us meet them with the Lord. It is not that He doesn’t care; it’s that we haven’t realized how much He does.

Through His care, God will deliver us into His kingdom.

I pray that the Lord will use my witness as He intends. May all the glory and honor be to the King of glory, who alone is worthy of our honor and praise. Amen.

            Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He will sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Ps 55:22)

Abstract:

A brother recounts two experiences in His life where God woke him up from going down the wrong path. The Lord showed him the darkness of losing God and warned him, through a vision and a dream, to turn from his wrongdoings.

Teaser:

I was spiritually spiraling to the bottom and God didn’t seem to care. I even wished that I could experience some kind of punishment from Him to wake me up, but I didn’t realize it would come in a dream.



[1] Rev 9:1, 2; cf. Lk ; Rom 10:7; Rev 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3

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Publisher: True Jesus Church
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