The lie Adam bit into in the beginning still rings in our ears. The serpent said, “You will surely not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” We have been deceived by this line of thinking for so long we simply cannot just believe God. This whole trip about “Good” and “Evil” was never God’s intention. That is entirely the wrong tree, and we have to stop thinking in those terms.
When Adam ate of that tree he died in his spirit. Of course he continued to live in the natural for quite a while longer, but in his spirit he no longer had a connection with God. This is why Jesus tells Nicodemus and us we must be born again. We must be born of the Spirit of God or we cannot see the kingdom. While we are dead in our spirits trying to do good and avoid evil God sees us as dead so he sends his son to save us. Jesus didn’t come here to make bad people good he came to make dead people live.
When Adam sinned in eating the forbidden fruit he became outwardly conscious. He started living from his body desires and cravings and his soulish thoughts and emotions. God’s intention all along is for our human spirit to be joined to his Holy Spirit. He is to call the shots from within us. In the fall our spirit became disconnected from him therefore we began to be led around by the outer parts of our being. We became ruled by our thoughts, emotions and body cravings. How we feel becomes the way we make decisions.
I’m convinced more everyday most Christians are being confused and defeated because they do not discern between their soul and spirit. Hebrews 4:12 says, “The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” So here we read it is the Word of God that shows us the difference between soul and spirit. We must learn to tell the difference between our spirit (Where we are joined to the Holy Spirit) and our soul (where we find our emotions and intellect).
When someone lives in their soul/body rather than their spirit they are never going to be settled. God wants us to know him and his ways. The problem on our side of things is that we have to go through a severe enough shaking before we find that solid ground. We have to become fully convinced we, in ourselves, are unable to accomplish what God expects of us. For most of us it isn’t until all the props are knocked out from under us that we will really see that God is God and we are not.
Once we are born again our spirit is reborn, or resurrected from the dead shall I say, and we are made whole in Christ. That doesn’t automatically fix us on our soul/body level though. This is why the Bible tells us we have to have our minds (soul) renewed. Even though our spirit has been resurrected our thoughts have to be retrained.
Let me sum this up with a quote from Watchman Nee. He said, “The fruit of the knowledge of good and evil uplifts the human soul and suppresses the spirit.” “Before regeneration the soul of man is in control of his spirit while his own “self” rules his soul and his passion governs his body. Soul has become the life of the body. At regeneration man receives God’s own life into his spirit and is born of God. As a consequence, the Holy Spirit now rules man’s spirit which in turn is equipped to regain control over the soul and, through the soul, to govern his body. Because the Holy Spirit becomes the life of man’s spirit, the latter becomes the life of man’s whole being. The spirit, soul and body are restored to God’s original intention in every born again person.”
Written by Louie
Walking in the Spirit isn’t based on emotions or intellect. While feelings and reason are a very real and important part of our make up they aren’t meant to be the shot-caller. Why is it so difficult to walk after the Spirit rather than our feelings or intellect? I think it’s because we have lived from them for so long it has become normal. I heard it said before that our feelings were never meant to be the engine rather they are the caboose. We have feelings and reason, but they are designed to follow the prompting of the Spirit, within our spirit, instead of the other way around.
It seems the fall of man brought with it a great upheaval in the way humans operate. God originally created man in his image and after his likeness, that means complete harmony in spirit, soul and body, but the fall shook the order of things up. Adam started being led around by his emotions and reason rather than his spirit. You may ask why? Well, it’s because the day he ate of the forbidden tree he died just as God promised him. Of course we see that he lived several hundred years in his body, but his spirit had been severed from the life of God’s Spirit. He no longer had the Spirit of God to be his leader, so he became soul and body conscious. He began to interpret everything in the world through his body and how he felt or saw things with only his natural senses.
It was going to take God, in the flesh–a man, to die in order to put his Spirit into us and start the re-imaging process. We lost our contact with God and the only way it is restored is by Jesus Christ, the exact representation of God, taking up residence within us, by way of the Holy Spirit.
Once the Holy Spirit joined to our human spirit lives within us, we start to undergo a transformation. The Spirit teaches us to say “No to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” He works within us and he reveals wonderful things to us along the way.
Walking after the Spirit is the only way we can say no to temptation. Like Paul said, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood.” The battle against temptation can only be won in the Spirit. Most of the time when we start to get pulled into something that leads to sin we try to fight it in the flesh, but this way will always end in defeat. We simply cannot fight fleshly stuff in the flesh. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” The victory over sin is always, and only, fought and won in the Spirit.
The book of James tells us “submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Notice the resisting the devil isn’t the first thing we do. No, actually when submitting unto God we are resisting the devil. This is spiritual warfare. When you are in the heat of battle, such as temptation, the only way to win is to turn to the Spirit. The only reason we are defeated is if we try to fight in the flesh realm. We think we can resist it and yet the resisting is the very thing that ends in our defeat. A great saying I heard along these lines is “what you fight, fights you!”
The way to fight in the Spirit sounds sort of foolish at first. Jesus gave us a hint though. He said, “agree with you adversary quickly, while you are on the way.” What did you say? Agree with my adversary? Yes! That is what I said. Let me explain a little further: Do you know anything about Judo? Judo is a martial art. One of the main methods used in judo is using your adversaries own weight against him. They utilize a lot of throws such as hip tosses and leg trips. When an assailant comes toward you, you move out of the way and let the forward movement of the attacker work for you rather than against you. If someone was to rare up at you, most of the time, the first thing you would want to do is rare back at them, but in judo it is the opposite. Rather than getting in a face-off you let the enemy defeat himself. Every time he comes at you, simply grab his arm, and use his own momentum against him. Our greatest battle comes when we get deceived into thinking it’s up to us to fight back. The truth is the battle is the Lord’s, and our job is to step out of the way.
Written by Louie