For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6, KJV)
Glory & Grace Daily devotional for yesterday discussed the critical topic of faith and how our understanding of the spirit and soul has complicated matters for us. Let me take this one step further. I hope many of you, after reading the devotional from yesterday are already making plans to study this subject for yourself, if you have not yet done so.
Let me restate the problem here. A classic charismatic teaching is that we are spirits that live in a body and have a soul. That means your body and soul are not you by this teaching. The “real you” is your spirit. By extension, the human spirit inside of us is taught to be a distinct operational entity. That means, as a believer, I should live with my spirit and not by my soul(emotions, thoughts and will ) since that is not the “real me”.
I applied this teaching to believing yesterday and discussed the confusion it has created. Let me use the example of the mind today. Can your human spirit think separate from what your soul is thinking in you? That is, the spirit in you has “a mind” and the soul has its own mind and therefore walking in the Spirit means rejecting the mind of the soul and choosing the mind of the spirit? Are there two minds in you, where the mind of the spirit is the real you and the mind of the soul is just a tool that the real you has? This is one doctrine we have to revisit as charismatics because its practical implications or hindrances to walking with the Spirit are serious.
Man is spirit and flesh, made of three parts(body, soul and spirit) and existing as a unity, not three. One of the main drivers of this mistake amongs us is what theologians have called the “intermediate state”, where the human spirit is indeed shown to be capable of independent existence without the body. This truth has been extended beyond its limits. Space will not allow me discuss the intermediate state here. Please listen to the series of teachings I did a couple of months ago on spirit, soul and body.
So what does the Bible mean by “to be spiritually mind”? In fact, in the Greek, it is the mind of the flesh and the mind of the Spirit. What is this mind of the Spirit? It is simply your mind under the influence of the Spirit, empowered to understanding spiritual things and invigorated to have the characteristics of the Spirit. It is not a separate mind inside of you along side your soulish mind. By the way, your soul is not something you have. It is you.
One of the immediate consequence of the charismatic error noted above is that walking in the Spirit then is, for the most part, a mysterious, difficult to understand, out of body out or of mind experience. Many believers think they need to get out of their minds or bodies to experience God. You do not need to have an out of body or out of mind experience to contact God. In fact, that is NOT what He wants. He wants you to experience Him here on the earth as you allow His Spirit to take control of your mind, emotions and will and to the degree possible your body. God became flesh and brought the experience of the divine nature in the flesh, that is, in your natural soul and body life here. If we were spirits, He would have raptured us to continue living with Him as spirits. However, we will not spend eternity as spirits otherwise we are no longer human but angels. The beauty of our humanity which is still preserved in Christ is that God has become one with us, and we will forever be humans with spirit, soul and body except that the Spirit of God will fully fill every part of us spirit, soul and body such that we will be walking manifestations of the Spirit!
Do not discard your mind and body. Rather, yield them to God. Isn’t that what the scripture has said? Learn to experience God here and do not wait to have some out of body or out of mind experience.
What is the spiritual mind? Similarly, what doe spiritual understanding mean in Col. 1:9?
APPLY THE WORD
Does God have control over your mind? If yes, then that you have the spiritual mind. If no, then your mind is carnal, fleshly or mere empty human mind. Do you know what God wants from you as you grow? He wants to so much fill your mind, emotions and will so that your entire soul expresses the characteristics of the Spirit. That means, when you think, it is as not you thinking but God thinking in you though it is still you! This is the mystery of Gal. 2:20!! This is what walking in the Spirit is! It is not trying to “live with your spirit” while your soul is wondering what is going on. Yield yourselves to the control of the Spirit!
Ask the Spirit to open your understanding to this truth. Pray again and ask Him to impart to you the Berean spirit to start diligently searching the scriptures to verify things you have been taught or have believed, whether you are charistimatic or not.