Soul and Spirit man that we Are
UNDERSTANDING OUR SOUL (OUTER MAN) AND OUR SPIRIT (INNER MAN)
(A continuation from Body, Soul And Spirit hubs)
How do we actually know there is a difference?
A description or portrayal of our character = Characterisation (this can reflect attitudes, moral disposition, personal behaviour dependent upon environment, family, culture, country, ethnic relevance etc.) is merely one simple way of seeing what or who we are and how our man/person (humanness, male or female) relates to the world around us, which is defined by many different influences. Much like a ship on the ocean that would intersect with and be affected by sudden changes in the weather; storms, depending upon seasons of year and global position. What we encounter shapes us for who we are to become, and part of this inner action is developed by what we accept or reject as our mindset, firstly in our soul in our unredeemed man .
Our destiny, from where we set out is somewhat controlled, often times manipulated, (such as by strong outer influences) many times inherited, much of the time by culture, religion or non, until we could simply be strung along day after day in a mundane circle. (rat on a wheel or caught in a maze going from one end and back, driven by the thought of food and reward) or we are driven to perform for parental pleasure without the love action for personal development. Instead we are forced into a mold to either become what they foresee as important without regard for your person, feelings, likes or dislikes, or emotional disposition. Personality traits are interwoven into our soul and spirit, dependent upon innumerable factors. Consider if you have been an observer of reality shows, such as Survivor, The Apprentice, The Amazing Race, only to name a few of the more substantial programs, that shows the many behavior patterns of what really drives us, due to pressure by peers or circumstance.
Many regard the Christian God as this type of demanding parent, and he has been painted with this brush in wide strokes by men who did not know or understand his heart for us. Many view God as, "Mostly sad, rather than mostly glad, sad and angry all the time, but that is not who we see in Jesus." The person of Jesus the Christ, our only human and god man, shows a totally different picture than what was relayed to us by the religious world; those who were supposed to know and have understanding. The picture of him portrayed in real life shows us someone completely different than any could have imagined. (Please forget the picture Hollywood has so badly portrayed) Can we in our finite and human frailty compare ourselves to, relate, comprehend or envelope all that Christ exampled to us? He never asked anyone to become him. He encouraged instead a lifestyle of following after and to become like in mind, heart, spirit and to use all our strength possible with his help to reach a manner of Christ likeness. God becomes pleased with our every effort to follow after his representation of who we should become. There is no coercion in true love, when love in its perfected state is properly manifested by God who intentionally first initiated it for the benefit of mankind. Howbeit in our representation of God's intent is far removed from its original position. The reason for this boils down to the doctrines of men who have tried with finite mind to understand the Spirit of God, based unfortunately around conjecture because there have been few who have come to really KNOW him, they only know about him. All mankind have searched for enlightenment in one form, way, or another, thus we end up with a few thousand theological formations of religious thought.
Only a true creator who understands the enormity of mankind's differences, with all our intricate, complicated, sophisticated, and obscure personalities, could foresee the interjection of a love law that would be able to bind us all together, sustain all cultures across the globe and bring us into a position of individual children knit together by the action of faith and the result of an act of grace from a benevolent father. The Beatles said it, "All you need is love!" Even though they were grasping at a fallacy around a love and peace movement at the time.
The ship has set sail as we enter life through the birth canal, or we are rudely taken from the womb by caesarean section. Some are thrust prematurely into life, not quite fully developed as time would permit. Our ship is cast upon the waves and if the onslaught of factions within the confines of mother's womb, such as infection, which can come from a million different sources hasn't killed, infected, affected, or influenced our growth cycle along with a zillion other exterior destructive factors, such as hereditary influence passed along the DNA chain, lifestyle, eating, drinking, drugs etc, etc, and we arrive to take our first breath and be held externally for the first time or have for the past nine months undergone the language of negative vibes coming from the burdened carrier of unwanted motherhood; we find we have entered the new life journey. The next 24 hours to 100 years for every human on earth is critical, because no one can add a single second, moment, hour, day; we are all under grace.
As delicate at this moment as our little brain is, it has been functioning since the beginning of our journey and its outer and inner influences are plugged into the reality of who we are destined to become; at least partially.
We are from this very second bound for an eternal destiny; howbeit, completely different for each of us, but non-the-less true, regardless of religion or non affiliation and with the exception of a few religions, most will agree on this point.
We know automatically from the first encounter with another human being that we are different, far before seeing color, hearing language, or understanding ethnic, or cultural differences. By the time we have our own expression of like and dislike, coming to cognitively react to someone else, we recognise these differences. Whether or not we understand why we like or dislike another seems unimportant, we simply know and have made a decision in our mind. Our character is being developed; but what has influenced this cognitive process in our decision making?
The realm of soul and spirit.
The soul is the outer man (not the body) and spirit the inner. There are gender specifics obviously, in how our character emulates. Both male and female will undergo the influences of forces from inner and outer sources and will react, readjust, develop, feel the pressure of control, manipulation, stimulation, in positive and negative forms. We are most resilient in our adaptation to our environment, but not all are able to cope with the crushing pressures that life can throw at us and will concede to brokenness in one form or another. For some this brokenness can leave us with deep scars, wounds, depravity of mind and faculties. Abuse of substances to ease life's pain leads many down a path of no return, becoming forever crippled, devastated, lost in both mind and body or lead to a too often quickened death.
How much does our agreement with the elements around us affect the outcome of our spiritual destination?
Firstly we have to come to an understanding that there might be another level, plane, higher calling for our life than what we have come to accept. Many have turned this into a sci-fi adventure or a search for the ultimate nirvana, or separation from society by joining a cloister.
There are innumerable factors, surrounding the truth or what we have agreed is the truth for our personal life's goal. On every street corner and through every medium possible is someone or something resounding, " this is the truth". The media bombards us nonstop with their version of truth on their level. Secular humanists, animal activists, the green team, the tree huggers, and every religion wants it's day in court, to the point that the judicial law makers will come to a place of saying that, "What is truth in your own mind is all that is necessary." The problem with giving up a standard, precept and principle is that you lose sight completely of truth and Godly righteousness and accept a lower life standard where anything goes, and then the whole world becomes spiritually sick and diseased. (Need I say more?)
Our doctor tells us he has the truth of our condition, illness, disease and that this treatment, drug, stimulus, multitude of tests, prodding and pricking, will be the ultimate answer or will assist him in finding the answer. We take him at his word, he should know, right? Isn't that why he went to school, so he could diagnose the problem with accuracy. But the truth to your headache may be because you are stressed out and need to change the way you handle pressure; not in taking a medication to ease the pain and continue on down that road, and possibly adding to your pain with more pressure by taking a stronger dose or a combination of medications, but the real problem never truly is dealt with. Whatever happened to common sense, spiritual discernment, and getting the help from wise advisors?
People continually come to God for healing, but what might be the real source to their ailment?
Illness can be a consequence of sin, wrong living, lack of faith in God, allowing the pressures of life affect and control you; over indulgence with medications, over eating, or bad diet choice and not taking care of your health, smoking, not exercising, over exercising, extreme health consciousness, unhealthy work environment, peer pressure, bitterness of heart, unforgiveness, hatred, speaking badly of others, judgements, gossip, unwillingness to knowingly do something God has asked of you, selfishness, pride, uncaring for the needs of others, especially in the body of Christ, lack of giving with generosity, not tithing and many, many more reasons. God does not always choose to heal, if you are not willing to change and sometimes illness comes for spiritual reasons; not to harm but to get our attention, to show that our soul and spirit are sick.
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenceless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do. Heb. 4.12-13 Amp.
The above scripture captures what the word of God is capable in doing, both for and against us. Nothing is hidden. (I will investigate this further in my next hub)
In the soul realm, where all of our feelings, senses, emotion, stimulus comes from and where our heart measures and negotiates the path we find ourselves on, is also where we all go very wrong.
How's that? Because we don't know how much or see the powerful influence our soul man (outer man) affects our every moment of decision making. We are infected with clichés, ruled by faulty mindsets, superstition, meager scriptural enlightenment, strong will, personality traits, religiosity, attitude, faulty thinking, unwillingness to be teachable, cultural superiority, social status, educational snobbery, pride, and everything else that stops short of allowing the Spirit of God to work in our life. Our spirit man (inner) is left out of our personal conversations, our intimacy with God, and our intuitive nature is lacking, asleep, wounded, pushed down, never able to find release or freedom of expression mainly in part to do with unhealthy teaching, discipleship training, lack of Spiritual understanding, that has left us cold and hardened through a host of non-scriptural propaganda. And who is behind all of this meaningless dribble that keeps you slumbering, teetering on the edge, viewing life through smoke and mirrors, lies, deception and spiritual delusion? None other than that crafty old snake in the garden himself. He still uses the same words; "Did God really say that, or did he mean it that way, or why don't you decide for yourself, it's not hurting anyone, it's a white lie...", and so on.
John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Luke 3.16,17
Never the less God is in the business of bringing us to places for the crushing, beating, trampling, taking us down a few notches till he finds the place of submission from the outer man, and the release and stimulation of the inner spirit. (on the threshing floor, usually a flat area of stone, where the wheels of a heavy cart and the feet of the oxen crushed the grain, then the winnowing fork is used to toss everything into the air where the wind blows away the chaff, where it would be gathered and burned) Depending upon the calling he has in mind will determine the amount of times and or the depth to which he will go to reach our spirit and break our soul. But our will, and the freedom given (law of God) is up to us in how far, deep, unveiling, unravelling, uncovering, displaying, what is at the center of our heart, mind, attitudes, disposition, of who we are now and who God sees in his mind of who we really can be. But, we have the ability to stop, deflect, oppose, rule out, dismiss, run away from, every action God has in mind for the betterment of our spirit man. If we do not discern wisely what is going on around us we can miss God or blame our circumstance on a multitude of other things. We all say in our heart, "Please don't let what happened to Job, happen to us!" None of us could handle it, and too often we are as Job's so called friends and advisors, without love and discernment when others fall prey to God's devices, when he allows circumstance to assist in our breaking. (Job did not require breaking, because his heart was submissive.) The discipline of the Lord is from a position of the highest love.
We all love the first part of the above verse, speaking of Holy Spirit and fire, but to get to the place of becoming one who is on fire, we must all face the winnowing fork... Does God desire to kill us?
There were two thieves on either side of Jesus. He is in the center of all our spiritual decisions and we will make one of two choices.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1.2-4
Let the work of these things, "finish the work so that we might be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
God's desire is that our spirit man not be lacking of anything. Our spirit man is to assume a position of authority, but this only comes through the process of breaking off and away from the soul man and all the ungodly influence that comes through the soul.
There was a tree in the garden that was not producing any fruit and the master wanted it removed, but the gardener said, "Let me work with it a little more and see what transpires."
The gardener of our heart and spirit is Jesus. He along with Holy Spirit working on our side know how to get the best fruit into and out of our lives. Pruning, discipline, being subject to crushing, breaking and his winnowing fork are all for the betterment of our spirit. He is not interested in destroying our (soul), personality, but in the developing and continuous improvement of our character, that we, with all our intricate differences become more Christ like.
It is impossible to worship God without being in the spirit. Part of our reasonable service, from Rom.12:1, Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Our bodies being made up of body (heart, mind, reasoning), soul (personality, individuality, senses, emotion, eternal) and spirit (character, Christ likeness, eternal). The redeeming of our body, housing heart and soul is an ever ongoing process, but remember we will, to what degree we allow God's redemptive power to work. Our spirit is to be at the head or over our mind, soul and body. There is a God balance acquired when we continuously reach forward and upward towards this never ending higher standard of godliness and walking in the spirit.
The question was; "Is God trying to kill us?" The answer is yes and no. We are wanted Dead and Alive! He wills to see his will accomplished in the preserving of our "spirit", our new man of life and the dying of our sin nature or old soul man. "To live we must die, and what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul." We do not lose our spirit, since spirit and soul are eternal, but our spirit along with our soul enters an eternal destination. The only difference being what we chose.
"The red pill or the blue pill Neo?"
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