Ole Henrik Skjelstad

I came to the end of myself in March 2003. I almost literally hit the wall, and was completely exhausted. Ever since I became a believer in 1992 I had done my very best to live what I perceived as the perfect Christian life.

I now entered a deep depression which also was fuelled by unresolved issues from the past. These days I so vividly remember how disappointed I was with myself, and I often doubted God’s love for me.

I had entered a dark tunnel, and as far as I could tell there wasn’t any light in either end. It became a one step at a time walk. Slowly but surely a dim light grew in the horizon. As I continued to walk upheld by God, the light grew in intensity.

When I a year later shook off the last remnants of darkness I had discovered God’s grace. It wasn’t up to me to perfect myself – that part was already accomplished by Someone else. A lesson in learning how to differentiate between soul and spirit ensued, and I am still enrolled in that class! It is actually vital for our spiritual health to know the difference between the absolutes of the Spirit and the ever changing seasons of the soul.

Rapidly my faith in Christ’s finished work grew. I clearly understood that I had died with Christ at the Cross and that I was dead to the law. I wasn’t under its dominion. In fact I never had been since the day I accepted Him, but back then I didn’t know that He had fulfilled the law in me.

While God was at it, He enrolled me in His ‘faith class’. It always comes back to faith…that’s how it began when I received Christ as my Saviour after having served my time in the New Age movement. The whole package is a faith walk trusting Someone who is both in time and outside time.

In my early twenties I became interested in zone therapy and acupuncture. Those healing disciplines worked as a door opener into a world of reincarnation, karma, chacras, guides and occultism. I remember that time as exciting. The new discoveries made me feel special and chosen. However, it was also a time of much anxiety, self-righteousness and confusion. I regarded Christians with contempt. Influenced by the books I read, I viewed Jesus as one of many enlightened persons, but He was just sent for a limited time with a limited outlook. We of our day had a much deeper understanding of the spiritual than what He had!

Anyhow, when God began calling…revealing one by one that the things I so firmly believed in were lies, I basically didn’t stand a chance. God can be very convincing. The last thing I threw in the garbage bin was reincarnation. I had a hard time leaving that concept, but God found a way convincing me otherwise.

To me it sounded very unfair that people only got one chance, one life, to make a decision for Jesus. The only logical answer was reincarnation, I thought. In July 1992 I attended a Christian summer camp. One of the sessions was held by a couple who had been deeply involved in Rudolf Steiner’s teachings, but who later in life had become Christians. They clearly pointed out why reincarnation was a fallacy.

Today, I honestly don’t remember what they said. I only know that it felt like a light bulb was lit in my inner being, and it thus became easy to also discard that idea. That evening when I finally was free from every remnant of occult thinking a darkness came over me. It was a darkness which I could feel and sense. My future wife, girlfriend at the time, couldn’t handle being in the same room as I, so she went for a drive. She prayed in the car. The darkness left me, and it hit me what I had felt was the devil raging since I was finally free from new age thinking, that is, occultism.

In those days I also had warm healing hands. At times my hands were so warm that my soon to be wife found them very uncomfortable to hold. It came to a point where it dawned upon me that the warm hands perhaps wasn’t a gift from a good spirit, as I had believed. One evening I said to God, if the warm hands aren’t a gift from You I don’t want them. The next day my hands were normal.

Having been so deeply involved in the occult has made it easy for me discern between what is false and what is truth when it comes to the spiritual. However, it created some problems for me when I first was introduced to union. Union, or to be one with Christ, reminded me too much about New Age thinking, so at first I rejected the idea. Fortunately, with the help of some good friends it became possible to pass that bump in the road.

In retrospect I clearly see that God had me where He wanted me that day that everything fell apart. The law had done its job and had led me to Christ. Now as my life – not someone I had to please. 

During the summer of 2009 the Spirit began taking me to new levels of revelation. I hadn’t merely died with Christ, but I was also resurrected with Him to live in an unbreakable union with Him. He applied two key verses in the scriptures to open my spiritual eyes:

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col 1:27)

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

To settle me in these truths God led me out of the organized church, and frankly that has been such a relief. Instead He introduced me to an amazing bunch of Americans who had learned union through Norman Grubb. Persons who had met Norman personally and whose lives had been deeply influenced by what had been revealed to him, and what was confirmed to him in the scriptures.

At the end of that summer (2009) I received an invitation to Louisville to join my new friends in their annual union camp where they celebrated their freedom in Christ and their union with Him. I have never encountered so much love before, and it was very liberating hearing many of them sharing their testimonies and insights.

Since then I have read almost every book by Norman, and I have been greatly blessed by the truths he shares.

Of course, these truths didn’t settle with me immediately. What is shown to us externally has to become ours somehow, that is, internalized. The Spirit sees to that – we just believe and He fulfills His word in us.

My settled position now is that I am joined one spirit with Him. One spirit equals one person. I cannot wrap my mind around that, but I strongly believe that is the truth. It is fascinating to notice how what we take in faith comes back and takes us, so after a while we just know that we know. An experience that is deeply personal, and is almost impossible to express in words.

It never ceases to amaze me how easy this faith life is. I just walk and trust it is Him walking as me. When I say easy, I mean that I finally can relax and just be me. There is nothing to prove, and I just do what I do. However, what we discover as we grow in our understanding of Him is that He lays not so easy burdens upon us. Sometimes it feels like I am carrying the world on my shoulders, and that is a privilege and a part of the package as well.

I am now reconciled with my past. There are no unresolved issues to settle. It has been Him all along, and I have given my past back to Him grateful for everything – all have been prerequisites for the life I am living now.

My greatest sorrow was most likely my father with whom I had a difficult relationship. He was both an alcoholic and an abuser of pills. I at times hated him. As a grown up I couldn’t help but feel an emptiness because he hadn’t been there for me. Bitterness is also a word I would use in this context. In addition, I had faced a lot of rejection and been through other things which had left me with a feeling of worthlessness. I have forgiven my father – he actually received Christ a few days before he died emancipated from cancer in the throat.

I have forgiven God because I felt He had failed me also. I wish there was a way of expressing what happened inside of me when I had forgiven God. Perhaps I can put it like this: Relief, trust, peace and love welled up in me in new ways.

The last person I have had to forgive is myself. I have held so many grudges against myself for things I have said and done during the years. If God has cancelled everything that was against me, it was perhaps time I did the same thing.