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Marthe Robin: A life in the spirit

I believe that we can go much further living in the spirit than we do. We need to realize what it means to, instead of living as a human being having a temporary spiritual experience, live as a spiritual being having a temporary human experience.  Brother Yun is someone who understood this. …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

I believe that we can go much further living in the spirit than we do. We need to realize what it means to, instead of living as a human being having a temporary spiritual experience, live as a spiritual being having a temporary human experience.  Brother Yun is someone who understood this. So has Heidi Baker. Their stories and the fruit of their lives show the kind of power available to us if we’ll give everything in our lives to God.

The other day I read about someone who came as close to a life lived purely in the spirit as anyone I’ve ever heard about. Her name was Marthe Robin.*

Robin was born in 1902. She was a Catholic who lived in France. She experienced amazing things in the spirit, but it came at a great cost. From the age of 26 Robin could not eat or drink anything at all. At 28 she was completely paralyzed and bedridden.

For the next 51 years Robin’s only food was the Holy Eucharist which she took weekly. On more than one occasion both he and other visiting priests, saw the bread apparently leap from their hands and fly directly to her mouth.

After taking communion, Robin went immediately into ecstasy and then began her weekly re-living of Christ’s Passion and crucifixion. The stigmata and the scourging, the crowning with thorns appeared on her body. The whole crucifixion seemed to be re-enacted on this little countrywoman. 

From the moment of Christ’s death on the cross she too appeared dead. She remained this way until ‘called back’ to life on the Sunday.

Not only did she not eat, she didn’t sleep either. She was in constant prayer and intercession for the world. On the days when she was not reliving the Passion she would receive a stream of visitors. She had the gift of seeing into people’s souls and would very simply tell them what they most needed to hear.

News of her miraculous existence spread throughout the country. For much of her life people lined up to see her. The basic facts of her life are uncontested.  And even now as I recount this, I have to fight my natural Western tendency toward skepticism. Life in the spirit is so foreign to us, we struggle to understand how it works. We have been trained to be cynical and to debunk rather than believe. Yet the Bible tells us that “without faith, it’s impossible to please him.”
Marthe Keller lived a life in the spirit by submitting everything to God. We’re not all called to that level of suffering, but we are called to great intimacy with our Lord. We need to start believing that we can live that kind of life can be ours too.

*Taken from this web site

Comments (9)

  • Powerful and humblying at the same time. Do you believe that some are chosen or that we ALL truly can have this spirit filled life..i struggle with this question much. I have read several of Heidi Bakers books and I hunger for that type of relationship with God and the Holy Spirit but feel like i fall so short. I have seen the power of the Holy Spirit and felt His presence just difficult for me to understand this constant commwith Him, perhaps I dont hunger enough for Him or that the world comes in and distracts us.. Just thoughts running through my head. Thanks for sharing and for forcing to me draw in and continue to press in for His presence.

  • Personally, I think experiences like Marthe Robin’s are rare. Obviously she was an amazing source of life and help for those who sought her out, but I read this and say “no thanks!” I wouldn’t want all the weird stuff of enacting out the crucifixion etc that this lady experienced. She sounds like an exception to me, not the rule. Does life in the Spirit always have to mean weird stuff? Or can it be an ordinary life lived out with an extraordinary God inside of it? Listening to God for what He wants you to say to people? Doing the simple things of love and service?

    I love Brother Yun. I remember the awesome impact of hearing him speak through a translator at New Wine a few years back. But he always leaves me with the sense of not “how great is Brother Yun” but “how great is Brother Yun’s God.” He certainly lives in the realm and power of the supernatural and hasn’t been given the ordinary grind of an ordinary life. He’s a good man I bless God for.

    Yet I feel mixed when I think about these people. I’d love to know the power of God at work through my life as they do, but I don’t imagine it will be in the same kind of way. My life is so different to theirs. The place God has me living and being a Mum is so normal in comparison to the extremes these guys were called to. Sometimes they make me feel like there are supergrade Christians and then the rest of us. If I go down the track of thinking amazing people like Marthe are normal, it just leaves me wondering what that makes me?

    Like Kathy above, I’ll keep on running to Him, keep on seeking Him out and seeing what He wants to do and say in and through my life. I don’t think the Spirit filled life is going to look the same for everyone. Or is that just coming out of my feeling of inadequacy? Out of a sense of maybe missing it if I am not like one of these guys? Don’t know…….still chewing……..

  • Thanks Carol for you comments above because you expressed many of the same thoughts that come to my mind and spirit.
    amen and yes still chewing also..

  • Great blog Seth.A supernatural life, seeing unspoken things on a daily basis is what i believe being a christian is all about.We were born into a spiritual war that has been raging for thousands of years and unfortunatly many cannot even see the battle field nor the enemies tactics.Neither do they know how to fight in it.They dont understand the basis of how to raise the dead or heal the sick because they do not understand that sin entered the world bringing illness and death. God has given us the keys of the kingdom yet many do not understand how to find which key unlocks which prison.They do not understand that Jesus death was THE most powerful event ever to take place and just see it as a way to be forgiven.His blood is the most powerful force that can undo EVERYTHING Satan does and I would never go to battle without it.

    Satan wants to keep Christians at the cross, never letting them understand just who they are and what they are called to do, they continue to stumble around in the dark. The Cross of Jesus is just the beginning. When Im in conversation with the Lord on a daily basis He talks to me about today. He shows me what to pray for today or to go behind enemy lines in spiritual realms to set captives free. Talking about His death doesnt realy happen anymore. I know, and He knows why He died.There is so much more that follows.

    Ive also noticed in churches these days how very few songs are about the Father. Jesus died so we could have a deep relationship with the Father and I hear Him cry out whenever we keep singing back to the Cross…”please sing to my Father, its why I died!”

    Gods heart is for ALL to have a supernatural life with Him. That I do know for sure. The more you trust Him the more He will give it to you.

  • The most “impressive” miracles, if I can use such a carnal word for a spiritual subject, are those which edify others and set them free. The rest is a little weird, even superfluous. In this case I think the most powerful part of her life was being able to look into people’s souls and deliver the right words they desperately needed to hear. Wow!

  • Gabe, you can have that insight too. When you live by the spirit you will nolonger use your physical eyes as much. so when you meet people your spirit will connect with theirs. Its a bit like X-ray vision (removing the flesh that surrounds a spirit).The more you stop living and feeling in the flesh the more your spirit will come alive. Then you will see peoples hurts, longings, joys and even demons in people. The unseen is more real than what is seen and through Christs teaching “putting the flesh to death” you will know this for yourself. It is not a “gift” that God gives to single humans whom he chooses. Its for all mankind if they so wish to trust Him.

    The flesh will always divert you from the spirit because the flesh is sinful.The 2 are constantly waging war and Satan viels the unseen world by distracting you with what your natural eyes see.

    It says in 1 John that “those who walk in the light have fellowship”. This is real spirit to spirit relationships. Not fake smiles and “bless you brother”.It truly is about laying down your life for your brother because the friendships are so deep.

    You can have this, all of you can

  • I tend to agree with Gabe’s point on this. Who really cares if the bread leaped from hands of the hands the priests and flew directly to her mouth. Who really cares if she was apparently dead over the weekend and then came back to life on Monday? I mean it is incredible that those things happened but at the end of the day I don’t see Jesus doing miracles just for the sake of performing a miracle. Didn’t Jesus say that he was annointed to preach the gospel and bind up the broken hearted? That’s what I get out of this is that God used her through all of this to reach people…that’s the miracle…how many people in that condition could do that or ever think about wanting to do that? That’s the kind of overcoming power I want in my life, through all these things we are more than conquerers…What a horrible existence but through God this woman was a conquerer.

  • Actually the supernatural (“weird” as one reader put it)aspects of Marthe Robin’s experience are supremely relevant.Not eating ot drinking or sleeping for over 50 years are”signs” or “miracles” attesting to God’s presence within her. Do you remember Jesus saying, If you do not believe my words, then believe my works. And the Pharisee Nicodemus saying to Jesus:I know that you are from God. Anyone who performs the signs you perform mustbe from God.
    Just asJesus performed truly wondrous “signs” (lazarus;the son of the widow of Naim)while on this earth, so,too,He continues to perform them throuh his power in his Church (Guadalupe;Fatima;Marthe Robin).To what end?To draw souls to belief in Him. Thanks for allowing me to present a Roman Catholic interpretation of the meaning of Marthe Robin and her mystery.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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