Saturday, June 19, 2010

Soul vs Spirit

Our walk here is, and always will be, a "faith" walk, because there is an unseen realm that eludes our earthly senses. I used to cry over the verse that says "without faith it is impossible to please Him". I found faith so hard, yet I wanted so badly to please Him. Actually my soul (mind, will, and emotions) found faith hard, but my spirit was ready when I began to get those other three characters in line! Our soul never likes learning to walk by will cry, get angry, feel sorry for itself, and demand it's own way when allowed to run things.

Learning to live from our spirit and not our soul is key in this adventure of faith. We all have days where we fall back into soulish thinking and actions, seeing things through this earthly realm grid. But as believers, we are called to learn to use our spirit muscles and see things through a realm not of this earth......His realm! And just like when we go to the gym to work out any other muscle, it takes time, and sometimes seems a slow process. But, little by little, as we learn to live from our spirit and not our soul, we begin to notice a difference in our lives.

I know now that when I'm feeling hopeless, I am believing lies and living from my soul. I'm evaluating my reality from my mind(what I think), my will(what I decide) and my emotions(what I feel). I've had some real battles over this one, but I'm learning that when those kind of thoughts knock on the door, I am to make my soul subject to my spirit and choose to believe what the Father says and not what my circumstance is saying. He is the God of the impossible and we are called to dwell in that realm with Him. Francis Frangipane says that if there is an area of our life that does not glisten with hope, then we are believing a lie.

I had to get rid of a number of lies in my own life that were preventing me from living by faith. When truth is revealed to us through revelation, then the lies have to leave. That's why revelation is so important. Jesus said that "man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God". The revealed word or truth is our very life. It's what sustains us and gives us the ability to rise above our circumstances.

When Jesus was confronted by Satan in the wilderness and tempted, He overcame Him by reaching within His spirit and speaking forth the revelation that was given to Him by the Holy Spirit(the revealed word) and we are called to do the same. Satan sought to tempt Jesus in His soul, but Jesus overcame Him by the Spirit.  If in the middle of our own confrontations, we will stop and listen to our spirit that is inhabited by the Holy Spirit, and learn to refuse the clamoring voice of our soul, we will begin to experience such wonderful things as peace, joy, love, patience and all the rest of the fruit of the Spirit.

I've learned that responding to the Spirit requires using my "faith muscles" and isn't usually the easiest choice. It involves a rising up and a taking hold of His strength and presence. Responding to my soul usually feels good to my flesh and doesn't require anything of me. It involves a falling back and a letting go of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:5 & 6 says, "those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." We can quickly tell when our choices are producing life or death by the fruit that results.

I'm so glad that we have received the Spirit of sonship that allows us to cry, "Abba, Father". We can rejoice that the Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are His children. And it is in this place of our spirit, where the precious Spirit of God dwells, that we can find the strength that we need to overcome the obstacle of our own soul and other weapons used against us.

Paul's words in 2 Cor. 4:16-18 give us a valuable perspective and stance for the journey ahead:

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."

1 comment: