We are going to continue our study of the three fold nature of man. Remember our confession, "I am a spirit, I have a soul and I live in a body." The soul is the gate between the spirit and the body. We are often taught the soul of man is the real man; and that the soul and spirit are the same thing. The truth is God is a spirit, and He contacts us by our spirit only. Say with me now, "I receive understanding and revelation about my spirit and soul in Jesus name."
The soul is the gate between your spirit and your body. Hebrews 4:12 says, 'For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.' This verse tells us that the soul and the spirit can be divided, so they can not be the same thing. Kenneth E. Hagin writes, "The voice of the spirit is the conscience, the voice of the soul is the intellect." The soul is our mental realm and consists of our mind, our will and our emotions. This is where our intellect, will and feeling reside. The truth is God is a spirit, and He contacts us by our spirit only. The Holy Spirit tells our spirit what to do, and then our spirit reveals that to our mind. Although God does not contact us through our souls, we still need our mind to read, understand and share God's Word with others.
You may have heard it said that many souls were saved last year; but scripturaly, we should say, many were born again last year. The new birth happens only in our spirit. The soul is not changed at all with the New Birth experience. For instance, many believe mentally that Jesus is the son of God, yet their spirit has not been born again. They still have the same fallen nature, and continue to live as sinners without God in this world. Ephesians 2:12 says, 'That at that time we were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.' But when you believe from the heart and confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, you receive the nature of God in your spirit. Then there is an inner change that can be seen on the outside. First John 3:14 says, 'We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loves not his brother abides in death.'
Remember our soul, or mental realm, does not change with being born again. God gives us the responsibility of renewing or changing our own souls. Romans 12:2 says, 'And be not conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God' We are going to have to choose to renew our minds. Our mind, a part of our soul, makes decisions based on our senses, environment, training and experiences. Now as a born again believers, 'we walk by faith and not by sight' (2 Corinthians 5:7). We can no longer be guided only by our physical senses and past experiences. We must learn to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our spirit. We renew our own mind through studying, mediating and obeying the word of God. Why do all that? So you will know what the will of God is about every situation and detail of your life. As you obey God's will, the blessings follow. The renewing of the mind is a life long process. You can enjoy more of the goodness of God, by how diligent you are in the renewing of your mind.
With a renewed mind to God's Word and a born again spirit, the body is under control. When a Christian's mind is un-renewed, the carnal or un-renewed mind along with the flesh, dominate that person's born again spirit. Romans 8:6 says, 'For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.' I do not know about you, but I am taking life and peace. I have heard it said like this, "You pursue your mind set!" Where ever you set your mind, is where you will go. If you think negative, you will speak negative, and then you will experience negative circumstances. But if you think God's Word, you will speak His Word, and you have what it says: life and peace. The sooner we get working on the renewing of our mind, the more life and peace we will enjoy!
Keep the soul gate open to God and closed to the enemy of our soul.
Have you heard of the three part nature of man? Do you know and understand what each part of you is? Are spirit and soul the same? What part of you is the real you? In these next few blogs, these questions will be answered from the Word of God. First Thessalonians 5:23 says, 'And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.' This verse makes it clear that there are three parts to every human being: spirit, soul and body. I am going to say it this way, "I am a spirit, I have a soul, and I live in a body." (See Kenneth E. Hagin's mini book, 'The Threefold Nature of Man.') By the time we are done, there will be changes in your personal relationship with God, in your study of the Bible, and in how you see the world. Warning! this may up-end your theology. Oh, well. What has theology done for you lately, anyway?
Proverbs 20:27 says, 'The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.' You are a spirit, your spirit is the real you. In John 4:24, Jesus says, "God is a spirit ...." We know from Genesis 1:26 that God made man in His own image and likeness. From birth we are spirit beings born of the Spirit of God. Hebrews 12:9 refers to God as, 'the Father of spirits.' Our spirit is like a hand in a glove. The glove represents the body and the hand the spirit. The glove cannot do anything without the hand empowering the glove to move. Likewise the body is lifeless without the spirit. In First Corinthians 9:27 it says, 'But I keep under my body, and bring IT into subjection...' Apostle Paul is talking about his spirit when he says, "I". But when his refers to the body, he says, "it." He is saying the real Apostle Paul is not a body, but a spirit man. Therefore the real you is an unseen spirit on the inside. You are more than just just flesh and blood, you are a spirit.
Just like the body and mind develop from childhood to adulthood, our spirits must also develop and mature. In the New Birth, when our spirit is born again, we arrive as spiritual babies. Our spirits must develop into spiritual maturity. We know, even naturally, that what we eat has a lot to do with our development. In John 6:63 Jesus says, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." The Word of God is the best food for our spiritual growth. A daily diet of the Word of God will feed our spirits. Exercise is also needed for proper spiritual development. We exercise our spirit by doing the word of God - by putting it into practice. Galatians 5:16 says, 'This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.' What we eat and how we exercise our spirits is critical to our spiritual development. To develop your spirit is simply to read, read, read the Word of God and to do, do, do the Word of God.
The recreated, or born again, spirit is the only part of us that makes contact with God. Our spirit is where we are going to be guided by the Holy Spirit in every area of life. Romans 8:14 says, 'For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.' The Holy Spirit will lead you through your spirit. The voice of your spirit is your conscience. Romans 8:16 says, 'The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:.' Down on the inside of you, in your spirit, there will be an 'unction' or leading from the Holy Spirit. First John 2:20 says, 'But you have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things.' This unction is like a green or red traffic light on the inside telling you to "stop" or "go". At times the Holy Spirit will speak specific words to you in your spirit that you can hear with your mind. The key is to stop and listen to your spirit. Listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit inside you. Remember the Holy Spirit's unctions will always lead you in line with the Word of God. Proverbs 4:23 says, 'Keep your heart (or spirit) with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.' Everything in life flows, from the inside out.
Make this confession often: "I am a spirit, I have a soul and I live in a body."
Have you ever said to anyone or had it said to you, "Turn the light on!" When the light was turned on you found what you were looking for. The word light is used in many ways. Today I want to use the word "light" to describe the Word of God. Psalm 119:105 says, 'Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.' There are answers to life's challenges when we look at them in the light of the Word of God. So join me today in getting rid of those shadows and seeing more clearly the way we should go.
I find it odd how those of us who are Christians, will go to great lengths to try solve our own problems. Despite our failed attempts, we continue to do the same things over and over, thinking next time it will work. We stub our toes, twist our ankles only to later fall on our faces. Then finally we turn to the Word of God as a last resort; when that should have been the first place we looked. Psalm 119:130 [amp.] says, 'The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.' Every time you open your Bible to read, you are receiving light and understanding from God. Yet we treat the Word as a 'ten minute devotional' in our daily routine - like brushing our teeth. This is like trying to find something in a dark room by turning the light on and off over and over. We have to keep the light on to really see. Psalm 119:133 says, 'Order my steps in thy word ...' Spend time in the Word until the Word speaks back to you. Then up from your spirit you will hear "Yes I can see that now." Praise the Lord! You have turned the light on. Now you know what to do, where to go and what to say.
When you have the "light" on, it shines in your spirit and causes the life of God (or zoe) to be activated in you. "Zoe" is the divine empowerment of God within us or the God-kind of life.* In John 6:63 Jesus says, '.... the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.' There is life in the Word of God. A chain reaction occurs when the light of the Word of God hits your spirit. When we receive the Word into our heart and mix it with faith, then revelation comes forth. God's revealed Word produces direction, wisdom and blessing immediately in our spirits. In John 10:10 Jesus says, '.... I am come that they might have life (zoe), and that they might have it more abundantly.' This abundant life is found in the light of the Word of God.
Now this verse about the light will "light" you up. First John 1:7 [amp.] says, 'But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations].' Walking in the light is simply walking in obedience to the revelations that we have received from the Word. We receive a two-fold benefit by walking in the light. First is fellowship with one another in a honorable, pure, and holy way. Second is a continual cleansing by the blood of Jesus that we may not even be aware of. Things begin to work for our good. We begin to have favor with others. Our negative attitude turns positive, and discord turns into peace - effortlessly. It's just like flipping on the light switch. Glory to God!
In First Peter 2:9 it says, 'But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should shew forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.'
Keep walking in the Light.
*(See Kenneth Hagin's book "Zoe: The God-Kind of Life)
Just like our vehicles need a 3,000 mile oil change, so the engine runs at its peak performance; our soul and spirit need a fresh refilling and cleansing from the Word of God on a regular basis. Each day the world tries to contaminate and break down our faith in God. The best place one can go to get this spiritual oil change, is to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. We know that 'God is Love' (1 John 4:8) and 'faith worketh by love' (Galations 5:6). To keep functioning at a high spiritual level, we need a constant renewing of the love of God. All you have to do is read it, meditate upon it and do it. So pull up to the station and let the word of God clean you out, fill you up with divine love, and keep your faith working at its peak performance. So let's get that spiritual oil change right now, Amen.
1 Cor.13:4 says, 'Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.' Endurance is needed during a span of time in which circumstances and/or people are irritating to our flesh. At times change for the better comes at a very slow rate. If you can identify with this, feel free to say Amen. Patience and kindness are high octane additives that keep your endurance running smoothly. Oh, and do not forget to avoid the bad driving habits of envy and jealousy. If your neighbor is driving the car you always wanted, then praise God and be happy for him. Sow your seed, stay thankful and believe you have received (Mark 11:23-24) and God will lead you to a car that is better than you could imagine - debt free. Then you will have a testimony for your neighbor of how good God is!
1 Cor.13:5 says, 'It [love] is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [ it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].' Natural love is always selfish and fickle, but divine love always wants to help the other guy succeed also. This is a lifestyle of forgiving and forgetting. When you choose not to forgive, bitterness and anger set in. Letting anger and unforgiveness fester can harden the heart and cause serious issues down the road of life. It may even cause you to get stuck on the side of the road. You may have to flush your radiator (mind and heart) out, with 1 Cor. 13: 5 several times a day.
1 Cor.13:6 says, 'It [love] does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.' This is a another high octane additive to our oil change. Negativism is a result of what we think and fellowship with. For example, you can overhear a conversion at the water cooler and walk away being mad at someone you do not even know. Now the "check engine" light comes on unexpectedly. The "check engine" light says "walk in love, you do not know all the details." Monitor the type of intake you allow yourself to be exposed to. Remember God is on the positive channel.
1 Cor.13:7 says, 'Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].' Bearing up under anything and everything that comes, takes faith. You will have to 'walk by faith and not by sight' (2 Corinthians 5:7). Meditating on God's promises will keep that red light of worry and fear from coming on in your mind. And it will keep the fluid level gauge always set at,
'Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ ...' ( 2 Corinthians 2:14).
1 Cor. 13:8 says, 'Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]....' Now this is the warranty that comes with every step of obedience. So do not put off this oil change; but read, speak and do the Word of God today. Romans 5:5 says, '... the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost ...'. Keep the love of God flowing and leave a mark in the earth for Christ.
Regular Maintenance - Better Results
Praise God for His Love!
Spring and summer is upon us and with it comes a list of things to do. In following the Lord, we also get a to-do list and a not-to-do list. Often with more emphasis on the 'not-to-do list'. This not only invites rebellion, but can lead to condemnation. These things short circuit the power of God in our lives, preventing us from doing the 'to-do list' successfully. Focus on doing the "do's," and you will not do the "don't's".
Let's look at I Thessalonians 5:15-22 [amplified version]. Here is a 'to do list' that will keep one far away from trouble and problems. Verse 15 says, 'See that none of you repays another with evil for evil, but always aim to show kindness and seek to do good to one another and to everybody.' Approach every one with the thought of blessing them, no matter what they did or said to you. For our heavenly father acts and thinks this way towards us. Jeremiah 29:11 says, 'For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.'
In verse 16 it says, 'Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always).' So lift up your hands and shout," Praise The Lord, God is so good to me!" This keeps you strong and unmovable in this life. Nehemiah 8:18 says, '... for the joy of the Lord is your strength.'
In verse 17 it says, 'Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly].' Stand in faith believing what the Word of God says in prayer, until the answer shows up. In Mark 11:23 Jesus says, "...and he shall have whatsoever he saith."
In verse 18 it says, 'Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [The Revealor and Mediator of that will].' We are not to be thankful for the negative and evil things. We are to be thankful for the promises and the goodness of God. If you are weak, say "I am strong in the Lord." If you are sick, say "By Christ's stripes I am healed." If you are in lack, say "God is providing abundantly for me."
In verses 19-20 it says, 'Do not quench (surpress or subdue) the [Holy] Spirit. Do not spurn the gifts and utterances of the prophets [do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhorting or warning].' Check everything you hear by the Word of God. Check your own heart to see if that word brings life and blessing or not. Stay teachable and humble. The best way to flow with the Spirit of God, is to be a doer of the Word of God (James 1:22).
In verse 21 it says, 'But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.' We are encouraged in Hebrews 10:23 says, 'Let us hold fast the profession of our hope without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised).' Hold fast to God's Word no matter what may come your way. John 8:32 Jesus says, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
In verse 22 it says, 'Abstain from evil [shrink from it and keep aloof from it] in whatever form or whatever kind, it may be.' You will be swimming up stream on this one. You may even find yourself standing alone. James 4:4 says, '..... know not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?' We must stay on God's side on all the issues of life in these last days. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, 'I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:'
What is the benefit if one consistently does this to-do list in their life. Look at I Thessalonians 5:23,24 it says, 'And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.' This to-do list will set you free, not stress you out.
Meditate Joshua 1:8