Compiled by Richard Anthony
This remarkable woman spent the first 50 years of her life living peacefully with her father and sister above their watch shop in Haarlem, Holland. When World War II broke out, this devoutly Christ-like family began providing "hiding places" for persecuted Jews. Her great faith sustained her, then, through the several months in Nazi concentration camps, and the death of her father and sister. After her release, she spent the rest of her life traveling all over the world, captivating audiences with her inspiring story.
The following are just a few excerpts that I thought were worth remembering. I would recommend getting both of her books, as they will increase your faith in Christ.
Exerpts from her book "The Hiding Place"
Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.
To family, read one chapter a night and ask God's blessing on them through the night.
Color drained from the man's face. He took a step back from me. “Miss Ten Boom! I do hope you're not involved with this illegal concealment…it's just not safe! Think of your father!” I pulled the coverlet back from the baby's face. The man bent forward, his hand in spite of himself reaching for the tiny fist curled round the blanket. For a moment I saw compassion and fear struggle in his face. Then he straightened, “No. Definitely not. We could lose our lives for that Jewish child!” Unseen by either of us, father had appeared in the doorway. “Give the child to me, Corrie,” he said. Father held the baby close, his white beard brushing its cheek, looking into the little face with eyes as blue and innocent as the baby's…”You say we could lose our lives for this child. I would consider that the greatest honor that could come to my family.”
Answering child's questions:(From a ten year old child) “Father, what is sexsin?” He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor. “Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said. “It's too heavy,” I said. “Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.” And I was satisfied. More than satisfied – wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions. For now I was content to leave them in my father's keeping.
I burst into tears, “I need you!” I sobbed. “You can't die! You can't!” “Corrie,” he began gently. “When you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?” “Why, just before we get on the train.” “Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run out ahead of him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.”
Telling someone they are going to die:
“We will tell her together,” father decided, “though I will speak the necessary words. And perhaps she will take heart from all she has accomplished.” “My dear sister-in-law,” father began gently, “there is a joyous journey which each of God's children sooner or later sets out on. And some must go to their Father empty-handed, but you will run to Him with hands full!” Then mention all her accomplishments.
How long I lay on my bed sobbing for the one love of my life I do not know. I was afraid of what father would say. Afraid he would say, “There'll be someone else soon,” and that forever afterwards this untruth would lie between us. “Corrie,” he began instead, “do you know what hurts so very much? It's love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel. God loves Karel, even more than you do, and if you ask Him, He will give you His love for this man, a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy. Whenever we cannot love in the old human way, God can give us the perfect way.”
I did not know that he had put into my hands the secret that would open far darker rooms than this; places where there was not, on a human level, anything to love at all. My task just then was to give up my feeling for Karel without giving up the joy and wonder that had grown with it. And so, that very hour, I whispered a prayer, “Lord, I give to You the way I feel about Karel, my thoughts about our future, everything! Give me Your way of seeing Karel instead. Help me to love him that way. That much.”
There are no 'if's' in God's kingdom. His timing is perfect. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety. His will is our hiding place. Let us pray that we may always know it. “Lord Jesus, keep me in Your will. Don't let me go mad by poking about outside it.”
“You want your hiding place as high as possible. Gives you the best chance to reach it while the search is on below. This is where the false wall will go.” He drew a line on the floor thirty inches from the back wall. “That's as big as I dare, but it will take a cot mattress!” He and his workman were in and out of the house constantly. At each visit each man carried in something. Tools in a folded newspaper. A few bricks in a briefcase. “Wood!” He exclaimed when I ventured to wonder if a wooden wall would not be easier to build. “Wood sounds hollow. Hear it in a minute. No. Brick's the only thing for false walls.”
After the wall was up, the plasterer came, then the carpenter, finally the painter. The smell of fresh paint was everywhere, but surely nothing in this room was newly painted! All four walls had that streaky and grimy look that old rooms got in coal-burning places. The ancient molding ran unbroken around the ceiling, chipped and peeling here and there, obviously undisturbed for a hundred and fifty years. Old water stains streaked the back wall, a wall that even I who had lived a half a century in this room, could scarcely believe was not the original, but set back a precious two-and-a-half feet from the true wall of the building. Built-in book shelves ran along this false wall, old, sagging shelves whose blistered wood bore the same water stains as the wall behind them. Down in the far left-hand corner, beneath the bottom shelf, a sliding panel, two feet high and two wide, opened into the secret room.
Mr. Smit pulled this panel up . We crawled into the narrow room behind it. Once inside we could stand up, sit, or even stretch out one at a time on the single mattress. A concealed vent, cunningly let into the real wall, allowed air to enter from outside. “Keep a water jug there. Change the water once a week. Hardtack and vitamins keep indefinitely. Anytime there are “guests” in the house, all their possessions, except the clothes actually on their back, must be stored here. Move back into this room. Everything exactly as before.”
You must have an alarm system in your house and regular drills for your guests. Your secret room is no good to you if people can't get to it in time. Put a buzzer in every room with a door or a window on the street. Then hold practice drills until your people can disappear into that room without a trace in less than a minute. Install a buzzer near the top of the stairs, loud enough to be heard all over the house but not outside. Place buttons to sound the buzzer at every vantage point where trouble might first be spotted. Put other buttons behind a counter and workbench as well.
“Mealtimes. That's a favorite hour for a raid. Also the middle of the night. Watch wastebaskets and ashtrays. If the raid comes at night, they must not only take their sheets and blankets but get the mattress turned. That's their favorite trick, feeling for a warm spot on a bed.”
(Drill) I hastily rearranged the table and chairs to look like lunch for three in progress. “No, leave my place. Why shouldn't you have a guest for lunch? The lady and the little girl could have stayed too.” Incriminating evidence after drill: Two spoons and a piece of carrot on the stairs, pipe ashes in an “unoccupied” bedroom. Hats of people dangling from pegs on dining room wall. “If you have to hide, stop and think what you arrived with.” Work on “stalling techniques” which could be used if the Gestapo comes through the door. Delaying tactics.
Because the drills struck so close to the fear which haunted each of our guests, we tried to keep these times from becoming altogether serious. “Like a game!” we'd tell each other: “a race to beat our own record!”
“Can you recite the One Hundred and Sixty-sixth Psalm?” Of course, there is no Psalm 166, it stops at 150. “Shall I recite it for you? 'Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.'” “But that's Psalm 100!” Of course! Psalm 66 started with the identical words. He had asked for the One Hundred AND Sixty-sixth Psalm.
Speaking truth to Nazis:
“If you want converts, surely one normal person is worth all the half-wits in the world!” “May I tell you the truth Lieutenant Rahms? The truth, Sir, is that God's viewpoint is sometimes different from ours. So different that we could not even guess at it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things. In the scripture I learn that God values us not for our strength or our brains, but simply because He has made us. Who knows, in His eyes, a half-wit may be worth more than a watchmaker. Or a Lieutenant.
“I could not sleep last night,” the Lieutenant said, “thinking about that Book where you have read such different ideas. What else does it say there?” “It says,” I began slowly, “that a Light has come into this world, so that we need no longer walk in the dark. Is there darkness in your life, Lieutenant?” There was a very long silence. “There is great darkness. I cannot bear the work I do here. Bremen was bombed again last week. Each morning I ask myself if my family is still alive.” “There is One who has them always in his sight, Lieutenant Rahms. Jesus is the Light the scripture shows to me, the Light that can shine even in such darkness as yours.” “What can you know of darkness like mine…”
Praying for enemies who help us:
“Lord Jesus, we praise You for these moments together under the protection of this good man. How can we thank him? We have no power to do him any service. Lord, allow us to share this inheritance from our father with him as well. Take him too, and his family, into Your constant care.”
Praying for betrayers:
Am I not just as guilty as Jan? Didn't he and I stand together before an all-seeing God convicted of the same sin of murder? For I had murdered him in my heart and with my tongue. “Lord Jesus, I forgive Jan as I ray that you will forgive me. I have done him great damage. Bless him now, and his family.”
Praying for help in fixing something:
“Lord, You turn the wheels of the galaxies. You know what makes the planets spin. And You know what makes this watch run…” Through the years he took his stopped watches to “the One who set the atoms dancing,” or “who keeps the great currents circling through the sea.”
In a factory, someone yelled “thick clouds!” The code words were still being relayed when a guard stepped through the door. The guard was furious. After this we adopted the more neutral signal, “fifteen.” “I've assembled fifteen dials!”
Being jammed in a train car, in a tight-wedged crowd, instead of remaining upright where it seems certain that those in the middle would suffocate or be trampled to death, work out a system where, by half-sitting, half-lying with your legs wedged around one another like members of a bob sledding team, and get down on the floor of the car.
If people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love!
I am sorry for all Dutchmen now who do not know the power of God. For we will be beaten. But He will not.
If God has shown us bad times ahead, it's enough for me that He knows about them. That's why He sometimes shows us things, you know – to tell us that this too is in His hands.
“We've surrendered! I would have fought! I wouldn't ever have given up!” “That is good, my son. For Holland's battle has just begun.”
It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie's pain-blanched face.
He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.
Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggles to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.
As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.
If there is a nail in the wood, tug at it, and with the point gouge the hole wider, all around the train, so that whiffs of outside air will circle around everyone.
Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings, it's something we make inside ourselves.
Outside the dining room window a mirror faced the alley door so that we could see who was there before going down to open it.
We knew that in spite of daily mounting risks we had no choice but to move forward. This was evil's hour: we could not run away from it. Perhaps only when man's effort had done its best and failed, would God's power alone be free to work.
Exerpts from her book "Tramp for the Lord"
“Once I was a concert pianist and many of my pupils are now outstanding musicians. I had a beautiful home in Dresden that was destroyed by the bombs. I had to flee and was not able to take one thing with me.” Oh, no, you are wrong,” I said. “You took with you your most prized possession.” “And what is that?” she asked shocked. “Your music. For that which is in your heart can never be taken from you.” Then I told her of what I had learned in Ravensbruck…and that God's love still stands when all else has fallen. “In the concentration camp they took all we had, even made us stand naked for hours at a time without rest, but they could not take Jesus from my heart. Ask Jesus to come into your life. He will give you riches no man can take away from you.”
“Sometimes I get a headache from the heat of the halo that people put around my head. Would you like to know what Corrie Ten Boom is really like?” Then I told them what happened the evening before – how my own sleep had been more important in my eyes than the salvation of young people. “That was Corrie Ten Boom. What egotism! What selfishness! But the joy is that Corrie Ten Boom knew what to do with her sins. When I confessed them to the Father, Jesus Christ washed them in His blood. They are now cast into the deepest sea and a sign is put up that says, NO FISHING ALLOWED. Corrie Ten Boom is lazy, selfish, and filled with ego. But Jesus in Corrie Ten Boom is just the opposite of all these things.” Then I waited. Surely now that the congregation knew what kind of person I was, they would no longer want to hear me. Instead I sensed them all leaning forward, eager to hear what I might say. Instead of rejecting me, they accepted me. Instead of a beautiful church with prominent members and a popular world evangelist, we were all sinners who knew that Jesus died to lift us out of the vicious circle of ego into the light of His love. God has blessed the truth!
“Do you profess to be a bondservant of Christ?” “Yes I do. And what about you?” “I have been. But I am what you call a lost sheep.” “Hallelujah! Then you are just the one sheep for whom the shepherd left the ninety-nine to find.” We talked a long time in the lobby of the hotel. Finally I asked the man if he would be willing to come back to Jesus. “Oh, yes.” He said. “For I believe God kept you here just for this reason.”
I am not successful. I always give my testimony, but I am not able to persuade people to make a decision.” “Do you use the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God?” “I fear I am not adept at handling that Sword. Just at the critical moment I am never able to find a text that fits that situation.” Then I told him it is not me, but the Word of God coming through me, that won people to Christ.
You are too narrow. I am an expert on world religions. I have traveled to many countries and have had long discussions with the leaders of many religious groups. I have discussed the road of life through time and eternity with Muslims, Brahins, Shintoists, and many others. All of them know God, even though they do not believe in Jesus Christ. I am sorry to have to disagree with you, but you put too much emphasis on Jesus Christ and do not allow that other religions are just as good as Christianity.” Then I remembered something a friend had once told me. 'You are not called to convince anyone, you are simply called to be an open channel for the Spirit of God to flow through. You can never be anything else, even though you may think so at times. Follow the pathway of obedience, let the Word of God do its own work, and you will be used by God far beyond your own powers.' Therefore, I said to the woman, “Your argument is not with me, but with the scripture. It is not I who say these things, it is the Word of God. Jesus said that no man can come to the Father but by Him (John 14:6). If you wish to dispute someone, dispute Him.” Some time later, she said, “I am glad to see you. I have never been able to forget what you said when you quoted Jesus, 'No man cometh to the Father but by me.' I have tried to argue with that from every angle, but am unable to get away from the fact that Jesus said it. I can argue with you, but I am having a difficult time arguing with Him.” “How wonderful. Now you are listening to the voice of God. Keep listening. He has much more to say to you.”
“Tell me. Is it long ago that you found Jesus as your Saviour?” “I have never met him.” Are you willing to come to Him? He loves you. I have traveled in more than sixty countries and have never found anyone who said they were sorry they had given their hearts to Jesus. You will not be sorry either.” Then I opened up scripture and pointed out verses about salvation. “Shall we now talk with the Lord?” I prayed.
“I would love to ask Jesus to come into my heart, but I cannot. I am a Jew.” “You cannot ask Jesus into your heart because you are a Jew? Then you do not understand that with the Jew (Jesus) in your heart, you are a double Jew.” “Oh, then it is possible?” “On the divine side He was God's Son. On man's side He was a Jew. When you accept Him you do not become a Gentile. You become even more Jewish than before. You will be a completed Jew.”
Surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ must not be partial, but total. Only when we repent and turn away from our sins (using His power, of course) does He fill us with the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit makes us right with God and God's love in us makes us right with men. Through that we can forgive - even love - our enemies.
“Do you believe that God took away your lover to make you follow Him?” “Oh, no. God does not take away from us. He might ask us to turn our backs on something or someone we should not have. God never takes away, however; God gives. If I reach out and take someone for myself and the Lord steps in between, that does not mean God takes. Rather it means He is protecting us from someone we should not have because He has a far greater purpose for our lives. Marriage is not the answer to unhappiness. Happiness is only found in a balanced relationship with the Lord Jesus.”
God has a purpose in her sickness. Every other Christian in the city is watched by the secret police. But because she has been sick so long, no one ever looks in on her. They leave us alone and she is the only person in all the city who can type quietly, undetected by the police.
“Why did you…” “God directed me. All I could do was obey.”
Whenever visitors came Mother would spread her arms wide and welcome them. Then, at the dinner table, Father would always bless our visitors, thanking God that our house was privileged by their presence. It was always a special occasion for us all. I well remember the sister-in-law of a minister who spent the night with us. The next morning Tanta Anna went to her room and found her sheet twisted into a rope and lying across the bed. “What is this?” Tante Anna asked. The woman broke down in tears. “I must confess. Last night I wanted to commit suicide. I made my sheet into a rope and tied it around my neck to jump from the window. But I could not forget the prayer at the dinner table, as Mr. Ten Boom thanked God that I could come and share in this hospitality. God spared my life through that prayer.
Love thy enemy
Thomas was a tall black man who lived in a round hut together with his big family in the middle of Africa. He loved the Lord and loved people – an unbeatable combination.
Thomas's neighbor, who lived across the dirt street, hated God – hated men like Thomas who loved God. The hatred grew stronger and stronger until the man began sneaking over at night and setting fire to the straw roof on Thomas's hut, endangering his small children. Three nights in a row this happened and each time Thomas was able to rush out of his hut and put out the flames before they destroyed the roof and the walls. The fact that he never said an unkind word to his neighbor, made his neighbor hate him even more.
One night the neighbor sneaked across the street and set fire to Thomas's roof. This night, however, a strong wind came up and as Thomas rushed to beat out the fire, the sparks blew across the street and set the neighbor's house on fire. Thomas finished putting out the fire on his roof and then rushed across the street to put out the fire on his neighbor's roof. He was able to extinguish the flames, but in the process he badly burned his hands and arms.
Other neighbor's told the chief of the tribe what had happened. The chief was so furious that he sent his police to arrest the neighbor and throw him into prison.
That night Thomas came to the meeting where I was speaking (as he had done each night). I noticed his badly burned hands and asked him what had happened. Reluctantly he told me the story.
“It is good that this man is now in prison,” I said. “Now your children are no longer in danger and he cannot try again to put your house in flames.” “That is true,” he said. “But I am sorry for that man. He is an unusually gifted man and now he must live together with all those criminals in a horrible prison.” “Then let us pray for him,” I said.
Thomas dropped to his knees and holding up his burned and bandaged hands, he began to pray, “Lord, I claim thus neighbor of mine for You. Lord, give him his freedom and do the miracle that in the future he and I will become a team to bring the Gospel in our tribe. Amen.”
Never had I heard such a prayer. Two days later I was able to go to the prison. I spoke to the prisoners about God's joy and God's love. Among the group who listened intently was Thomas's neighbor. When I asked who would receive Jesus in his heart, that man was the first one to raise his hand.
After the meeting I told him how Thomas loved him, how he had burned his hands trying to put out the fire to save his house, and how he had prayed that they might become a team to spread the gospel. The man wept big tears and nodded his head saying, Yes, yes, that is how it shall be.”
The next day I told Thomas. He praised God and said, “You see, God has worked a miracle. We never can expect too much from Him.” He left, running off down the path, his face beaming with joy.
“Let me tell you a story,” I said. And then I told him of my experience when my former guard from the concentration camp asked me to forgive him. “That moment I felt great bitterness swelling in my heart,” I said. “I remembered the sufferings of my dying sister. But I knew that unforgiveness would do more harm to me than the guard's whip. So I cried out to the Lord, “Lord, thank you for Romans 5:5, "…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Thank you, Lord, that your love in me can do that which I cannot do. ..I could not do it. I was not able. Jesus in me was able to do it. You see, you never touch so much the of ocean of God's love as when you love your enemies.”
Forgiveness is the key which unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. The forgiveness of Jesus not only takes away our sin, it makes them as if they had never been.
“So you have hated also. What do you suggest I do about my hate?” “What I have to say is of no importance. Let me tell you what the Son of God had to say. 'For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses' (Matthew 6:14-15). If we forgive other people, our hearts are made fit to receive forgiveness. When we repent, God forgives us and cleanses us.” “That is easy to say, but my hatred is too deep to have it washed away.” “No deeper than mine. Yet, when I confessed it, not only did Jesus take it away, He filled me with love – even the ability to love my enemy.” “But there is something I must know. After you forgave your enemies, was it settled once and for all?” “Oh no. Just this month I had a sad experience with friends who behaved like enemies. They promised something but did not keep their promise. In fact, they took great advantage of me. However, I surrendered my bitterness to the Lord, and asked forgiveness and He took it away.” “Was the bitterness gone for good, then?” “No, just the next night, at four o'clock, I awoke and my heart was filled with bitterness again. I thought, How could my dear friend behave as she did? Again I brought it to the Lord. He filled my heart with His love. But the next night it came back again. I was so discouraged. Then I remembered Ephesians 6:10-20 where Paul describes the 'armour of God.' He said that even after you come to a standstill, still stand your ground. I was at a standstill, so I decided to stand my ground and the bitterness and resentment fell away before me. I, without the Lord Jesus, cannot be victorious. I need the Lord every moment. And I have learned that I am absolutely dependent on Him. Because of this He has made me rich.” “I am glad to hear that, for sometimes my old bitterness returns. Now I shall just stand my ground, claim the victory of Jesus over fear and resentment, and love even when I don't want to.” My friend had learned well the secret of victory. It comes through obedience.
The people in America seem to feel I should not hesitate to ask for money for my ministry, which supports other ministries such as Bible and book translations in many parts of the world. However, from the very beginning of my ministry I have felt it was wrong to ask for money – even to ask for travel expenses. I did not want to be paid for “services rendered.” I simply wanted to preach the Gospel and let the Lord provide for me.
I learned this lesson very early in my traveling ministry. I was in England and spoke, among other things, about the former concentration camp where I helped refugees in Germany. My host had asked me to do this, saying they know the American people would like to help support it. After the meeting a dignified, well-dressed lady came up and handed me a check for a rather large sum of money. “It was so very interesting to hear about your work,” she said. “What did you think about the other things I said?” I asked. “Did you find them important also?”
She gave me a quizzical look. I continued, “Of course it is a very good thing to give money for evangelistic work, but today I also spoke about conversion. God does not want a little bit of your money. He wants all of your heart. He wants to possess you completely. God will not let me take your check.” I handed it back to her.
As I was speaking I noticed a haughty, proud look come into her eyes. Very deliberately she pulled her fur cape around her neck. Then without answering at all, she arrogantly walked away.
When I got back to my room I looked sadly at the other checks which had been given me. Was God speaking to me? Was it wrong to speak of my own work while at the same time I urged people to be converted or to forgive their enemies? Was it wrong to listen to these Americans who were urging me to receive collections for my ministry? I dropped to my knees in prayer. God knew my needs.
The answer was very clear from the Lord. “From now on you must never again ask for money.” Great joy entered my heart and I prayed, “Heavenly Father, You know that I need more money than ever before. But from this day on I shall never ask for a penny. No guarantees before I come to speak. No travel expenses. Not even a place to stay. I will trust in You believing that you will never forsake me.”
That very day I received two letters. One was from a woman in Switzerland. “Corrie, God told me that from now on you must never again ask for money.” The other letter was from my sister in Holland. She wrote, “When I prayed for your work this morning God made it clear to me that you should not ask anybody for financial support. He will provide everything.”
I thought of the night in the concentration camp when my sister, Betsie, had talked with me about our plans for the future. “Corrie, we should never worry about money,” she said. “God is willing to supply our every need.”
God takes his prohibition of asking for money very seriously, just as He means it seriously when He says He will care for and protect us. However, if we seek to raise our own money then God will let us do it – by ourselves. Many times we will be able to raise great amounts of money by human persuasion or downright perseverance in asking. But we will miss the far greater blessing of letting Him supply all our needs according to His own riches. And God always has more for us than we would think of asking.
I would much rather be the trusting child of a rich Father, than a beggar at the door of worldly men. Yes, the Lord is not only my shepherd; He is my treasurer. He is very wealthy. Sometimes He tries my faith, but when I am obedient then the money always comes in just in time.
He searched me to see if I had hidden more books before be began his inquisition. I did not like his rough, crude manner and told him so. “I really feel as if I am in the hands of the Gestapo again,” I said. “No,” he said, abashed, “I am no Gestapo.” “You surely have the same manners,” I said bluntly.
Suddenly my attitude toward the officer changed. Instead of an enemy, I saw him as one of those for whom Christ died. I asked the officer, “Do you ever read the Bible?” “No, I am a Marxist,” he said stubbornly. “The Bible was written especially for Marxists,” I said. “It says that God so greatly loved the Marxists that he gave His only begotten Son so that any Marxist who believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Walking in the Light
We were interrupted by a man walking toward the hill. After we exchanged greetings, William said, “When I saw you sitting here together a question came to my mind, 'Do they walk in the light together?'” We answered almost simultaneously. “Oh, yes, we do walk in the light together. We are a team.”
Just at that moment a boy from the house called that there was a telephone message for me. I excused myself while Connie and William remained behind to talk. “I have something to confess to you,” Connie said to William. “And what is that?” he answered gently. “Your question gripped my heart. I must tell you that I do not really walk in the light with Tante Corrie.”
William's face broke into a wide grin and his eyes began to sparkle. “So, that is why God had me ask that strange question.” Connie was serious, “Tante Corrie is so much more mature than I,” she continued. “She has walked with Jesus for so many years. She has suffered much for Him in many ways. Thus when I see things in her life that are not right, I hesitate to speak them out to her.”
“Oh,” William said, startled. “That is not right. The Lord wants you to be very honest with Tante Corrie. That is one reason He has put you with her. Since she is walking in the light then when you also walk in the light, you will help shed light for her path as well as yours.”
That night, Connie said, “Tante Corrie, this is very difficult for me to say, but I now realize I must walk in the light.” One by one she began listing the things in my life which bothered her – the things I did which she did not believe glorified God. It was not easy for me to hear the things which I had done wrong – things which had caused a shadow to come in Connie's heart. But how wonderful it was that Connie was being completely honest with me. I apologized for the things she had listed and then thanked her for bringing them into the light. “Let us always walk in the light together, “I said seriously.
But it was still hard for Connie. She was much younger that I and felt she was still learning. Even though I wanted her to continue to correct me, she found it very difficult. The final breakthrough came after we left Africa and flew to Brazil.
Our luggage was overweight, so I re-packed my luggage. After I finished repacking my suitcase, I hurried next door into Connie's room and unpacked her suitcase also. A week later, Connie said, “I promised God I would walk in the light, and that means that I must get something settled with you. When you repacked my suitcase and decided what things to send to Holland and what to leave with me, I was not happy about it.”
How stupid and tactless I had been to rush in and interfere with Connie's life! I reached out and took her hand. “How thoughtless I have been, “I said. “Forgive me for not leaving it up to you.” “I do forgive you, “Connie said. Like myself, she had learned not to play lightly with sin, but to hear another's apology and then, instead of passing it off, to forgive it.
Now it was my time to walk in the light. “There is something hindering me,” I said. “Why did you not tell me immediately that you were disturbed? That way it could have been settled on the spot and you would not have had to carry this darkness for all these days. From now on let us both 'speak the truth in love' and never let the sun go down on our misunderstandings.”
One day a young Flemish girl, who had repented and received deliverance from lust and impurity, came to me. “Even though I have been delivered, “she said, “at night I still keep dreaming of my old way of life. I am afraid I will slip back into Satan's grasp.”
“Up in that church tower,” I said, nodding toward the belfry, “is a bell which is rung by pulling on a rope. But you know what? After the sexton lets go of the rope, the bell keeps on swinging. First ding, then dong. Slower and slower until there's a final dong and it stops. I believe the same thing is true of deliverance. When the demons are cast out in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, or when sin is confessed and renounced, then satan's hand is removed from the rope. But if we worry about our past bondage, satan will use this opportunity to keep the echoes ringing in our minds.”
A sweet light spread across the girl's face. “You mean even though I sometimes have temptations, that I am still free, that satan is no longer pulling the rope which controls my life?”
“The purity of your life is evidence of your deliverance, “I said. “You should not worry about the dings and the dongs, they are nothing but echoes.”
Demons seldom leave without leaving behind their vibrations – dings and dongs. It is as if they give the clapper one big swing on the way out, scaring us into thinking they are still their. They know that, even though they have to flee at the Name of Jesus, if we grow fearful over the remaining echoes, other demons can come in and take their place.
The bible promises that after we confess and denounce our sins, God cleanses us from them by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 8:12). However, we can do something God cannot do. We can remember our old sins. These are the dings and the dongs of our past life. When we hear them we need to remember that through Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary, satan can no longer pull the rope in our life. We may be tempted, we may even fall back occasionally, but we have been delivered from the bondage of sin. And even though the vibrations may still sound in our lives, they will grow less and less and eventually stop completely.
Once satan has been cast out of the house of your life, he cannot return as long as you walk in obedience. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. However, that does not prevent him (or his demons) from standing outside the house and shouting through the windows, saying, “We're still here!”
But, hallelujah, we know satan for who he is – the prince of liars. He is not still here – he has been cast out. So whenever you hear one of those old echoes in your life – one of those dings or dongs – you need to stop right then and say, “Thank you, Jesus. You have bought me with your blood and sin has no right to sound off like in my life.”
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