Some of you mothers and fathers will understand how happy I am when my daughter calls me to ask what I think, or even better, to ask me to pray for her when she has a need. We’ve been close throughout her life, but of course there were years where she most definitely did not want to know what I thought. I remember myself at that age. Thinking that surely I was hiding my inward eye-rolling as I listened to and ignored my mother’s words at the same time. (I had yet to learn that I am one of those people who simply cannot hide how she feels and that I would successfully pass this trait on to my daughter.) When she calls (or texts), there is no matter too small or too unimportant or even too vague to be able to completely describe for which I will not immediately approach the throne of our Father on her behalf, and be honored to do so.
Last week something was troubling her but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She had wrestled with this disturbance for several days with no real understanding. So when I received her early morning text asking me to pray, I responded to reminded her that God’s ways are peace and love, that He gives wisdom liberally when we ask, and that He would reveal to her what the root of the problem was and let her know if it required any other action besides casting her cares. And I prayed for exactly that. She called later the same day to share with me what God had revealed to her. Problem solved. Peace restored. And a mother’s heart blessed.
She has learned to be sensitive to her spirit. (She was listening!!) This is the foundation of what it means to be made in His likeness, to house the very presence of God within, and the only way we can learn to yield our body and soul to His Spirit. This is the filter through which every thought, emotion, and experience should go so that we can discern what is pleasing to Him. This is the way we take every thought captive to obey Christ and live as conquerors in this life.
We are spirit. We have a soul (mind, will, emotions). We live in a physical body.
Our spirits have been made new. We are new creations, old things passed away, all things become new. We have been made alive in Him, the righteousness of God, holy, blameless, and forgiven. We have been given immeasurable love, unsurpassed peace, inexpressible joy, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, and unbroken fellowship with God Almighty Who has chosen to overtake us and make us like Him. Without this understanding, without truly believing this is who we are rather than just singing the praise songs and quoting the verses, we live frustrated Christian lives, constantly battling the turmoil in our souls, unable to determine which thoughts and emotions are from Him and which are our own.
So how do we tell what is from Him and what is from our own flesh or the influence of the devil?
“For 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.” Hebrews 4:12
There is a line that divides the soul and spirit. The only way to discern the difference is through His word. Studying what scripture says and allowing Him to speak to us through the written Word. Spending time developing our fellowship with Him so that we are sensitive to when He speaks. Agreeing with Him that He has given us everything we need pertaining to life and godliness and is our ever-present Help in times of trouble. Believing that we have truly been made new and taking that as our identity rather than basing who we are on how we look or act or feel.
Have you ever struggled with a task to the point of frustration only to discover that you had simply been doing it backwards? We’ve been trying to make ourselves into what we ought to be by attending church and reading our bibles and not doing this or that, focused on what we do rather than who we are. That’s backwards. We must first learn who we are in order to get what we do to line up right! We must discover where the line is drawn between soul and spirit and learn to live from our spirits, outward changes coming from inward power. Learning to live our lives from the inside out.**
**Inside Out is a new study available to your organization, church, or bible study group in a conference, workshop or retreat format. A five-week study option is also available to those in the greater Houston, Tx area. Testimonials and more information will be coming soon on the speaking and events tabs on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com
“The dividing line” was written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com