Before getting in front of the guys at jail tonight I was in booking talking to the Chaplain. As I walked toward the door to head down the hall another minister, talking with the Chaplain said, “Gonna have fun tonight?” I responded, “I know I am, I don’t know about the others.” That’s how it is though isn’t it? We choose whether to have fun or not. In fact we choose lots of things in life. This actually tied into what I shared with them later about not being controlled by our emotions. Our spirit joined to the Holy Spirit is really the one in charge.
I shared a little bit about myself and how I came to be born again and turned to John 14. After sharing with them about Jesus’ promise to send the comforter we turned to Galatians 5. We read “Walk after the Spirit and you won’t fulfill the desire (lust) of the flesh.” From there we went to Hebrews 4:12 which has become one of my go to verses as of late.
So Jesus promised the Spirit, Paul told us to walk after the Spirit, and the author of Hebrews told us God can show us how to differentiate between the soul and spirit. You know it’s easy to tell someone you just need to walk after the Spirit. The problem occurs when they haven’t a clue what that means or how it looks in the real world. This is precisely what I wanted to talk with them about tonight.
It seems there are many, many Christians walking around in the flesh simply because no one has taken the time to teach them. I’m not saying I’m the expert here, but I have come to a few conclusions on the matter.
When the term flesh is used it means we are living in our soul/body realm as if we are independent of God. In other words, if we are walking in our souls, or flesh, we are being lead around by our emotional and intellectual inclinations as well as our bodily appetites. The best I can tell is since God created us humans to dwell in, His plan was to be the Lord of our lives and rule from our spirit, but when Adam sinned he, with the help of the enemy, turned mankind inside out. Man began to live life according to how he felt or thought and whatever dictates his body demanded, leaving the spirit out in the cold, as it were.
Apparently Adam’s disobedience caused our human spirit and God’s Spirit to part ways. Adam no longer had God to lead him because he had bitten into the deception that he could be “like God.” Rather than being like God he actually became little more than a glorified animal. Animals of course are lead around by their instincts. Adam found himself being lead around by his bodies’ need for sex and food. Of course this is not the life God intended for us, and thankfully He didn’t leave us to it, but instead he sent his Son to make us the whole human being we were always meant to be.
As I spoke with the guys in jail tonight I spent most of the time talking to them about the difference between soul and spirit. I put three plastic chairs in front of them one for each part: spirit, soul and body. After giving them a visual of what man looked like after sin, I showed them what we are like now that the Spirit of God has come back into his Temple.
The first example I grabbed the body/soul chairs and had them bumping up against each other saying, “Hey, I’m hungry, that doesn’t seem to add up, I don’t feel well, I want sex, I’m mad…” Showing that’s all you can expect in that realm. Without the Spirit of God there can be no real peace. Once the Spirit of God joins to your human spirit there is a resurrection. Your formerly dead spirit is enlivened. Now your spirit joined to His Spirit is in charge and the body/ soul has to take a back seat. They are no longer given free reign, and they have to submit themselves to God.
For the most part all of the guys really seemed to be listening. For my final illustration I sat one chair by itself and told them it was a pretty woman. Of course that takes a little bit of imagination, but they were following me. I told them the enemy will use our sexual desires to entice us into sin. Of course they all chuckled but knew I was telling the truth. On the other hand I said, “God is looking at the same situation saying “Look to me, look to me.” You see these types of situations are always an opportunity to sin or an opportunity for faith. It is up to us to decide. We either go with our flesh or with the Spirit. The beauty of the whole thing is we now actually can see these things for what they are whereas before we were simply living according to impulse and cravings which always meant sin.
Thank God for the gift of his Spirit!