Ever since God revealed to me what it means to be a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17), I am finding it easier every day to dismiss the enemy and his accusations, because I know they are lies. I am not under his dominion, I am a new creation – completely new, something that didn’t exist before – so I recognize the lie that says I am really just the same.
Even so, I still have to walk out my faith, but now it is like a never-ending garden laid before me. My Father leads me into joys and riches that I could never have imagined – and I know they are mine. I’m supposed to be here because I am a son of God. The key is learning to walk by the Spirit.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do (Gal 5:16)
Previously, I had no real understanding of what it meant to walk by the Spirit, in fact, although I knew and experienced God in many ways, I felt a bit like a gopher living underground, making my dirt tunnels as nice as possible, and occasionally getting to stick my head above ground, into His glorious light. I knew I should be able to live there, but didn’t really know how.
A few months ago, I was listening to Ian Clayton talking about dividing soul and spirit.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit … (Heb 4:12)
He observed that for most of us, we perceive ourselves as a body and soul which has a spirit, and we really have little understanding of who our spirit is and how it works, other than knowing that it is our spirit that has been made alive and is with God (Eph 2:6 – seated in heavenly places). The truth is that we are a spirit first, which has a soul, and lives in a body. We started as spirit, we are now on earth and live in a body, and we will eventually shed our body and return as spirit to be with Him for all eternity.
He also said that we can apply Hebrews 4:12, and pray that the Word of God would divide (separate) our spirit from our souls, so that we can reorder ourselves and begin to live out of our spirit. When we can do this, we will have victory over the flesh, since it will not be the dominating force in our lives.
I have been praying this for about 3 months, and I am becoming more aware of my spirit, and what it feels like, as opposed to my soul, which I am very familiar with. I think that when we are in that place where we feel the Holy Spirit speaking to us or surrounding us with His presence and joy and love, that is when we are most aware of our spirit. It’s even more pronounced in a group, when we are all sharing what God is doing, and we know the Spirit of God is present in our midst. There’s nothing like it, and this is true unity in the Spirit, as created by the Spirit.
Yesterday morning, I woke up at about 3am, and my mind was racing with an issue I was dealing with at work. As much as I wanted to sleep, my mind was going back and forth, trying to figure things out. I so desperately wanted to sleep, but couldn’t shut down my mind. I was praying and asking God to give me rest and stop the thought train, but it still kept on going.
After an hour of this, I started to read Ephesians, which is mostly about who we are in Christ. As I was working through chapter 2, I suddenly became aware of the presence of the Lord, and that my mind was no longer racing. I was in that place of awareness of God, and it was night and day from what I had just been experiencing in my mind.
Then God gave me a picture of my mind on top, deep in thought and worry, with my spirit trapped under it – stuck to it, and unable to get out. I saw that as I started reading, it calmed down, and suddenly, the picture flipped and my spirit was on top, and was unstuck from my soul – it was floating above it. I then realized that the Word of God had actually separated my spirit from my soul, and had placed it on top. Because I had experienced both sides of the coin in such intensity over a relatively short period of time, I could see the difference. It was a flood of revelation as pieces fell into place – yet another key to learning to walk by the Spirit.