One of the changes that is taking place as our soul and spirit are reunited is in how we think about our relationship with God, and why He sent His Son to be the Messiah. Jesus wasn’t sent to earth just to die for our sins. He was sent to do a new thing — to give us Life, to make us sons. You can’t put new wine into an old wineskin. He had to start over. In order to do that, the old way of knowing God, the law, had to be completed, fulfilled, and date-stamped. We now live according to Grace, a new way of relating altogether. We are no longer sinners saved by grace, but saints, sons of the most High God, and joint heirs with the Son of God Himself.
We’ve often talked about learning to live as a spirit. Its a process. We’ve gotten so used to living out of our soul that we’ve lost the ability and instinct to live as anything other than a soul with a body. It will take an effort to create new habits and release old ones. To start, spend the next week thinking about what you ask God to do on your behalf. I suspect you will find that you ask for Him to guide you, take care of others, reveal Himself to you, grow in a gift, perhaps you’re in need of healing, etc. Go ahead and write these things down. Then, take some time and consider whether those requests are actually something you, as a spirit being, are to be involved in. For instance, you, as a spirit being, already know what decision to make. Your spirit has authority over your soul, and can stir up those gifts that reside within your soul. You, as a spirit, can heal your body. Of course, there are many things we rightfully ask God to do, but let’s learn to take on our God-given responsibility in those areas where we have the authority. In coming posts we’ll experiment with practical application.
Don’t judge how you are doing by how happy or sad you are. Emotions are fleeting, and they don’t always reveal or reflect the truth. God loves your emotions, they are His gift to you, but because they are part of your soul, they are still undergoing the process of reunion with your spirit. Until that reunion is complete, they are unreliable and manipulative. Be objective and realistic about your situation and your relationships, and make changes if necessary.
God wants us to know Him fully. We were created to be one with Him. Our spirit, our soul and our body function best when reunited as one, receiving His Life. Our soul’s transition is from self-reliance to reunion with our spirit. Just as our body’s natural state of locomotion is walking, not rolling, or crawling, our soul’s natural, normal state is to be in a moment by moment relationship with God through our spirit. We are returning to our original state of being, and are finding rest, contentment and authority.
One of my favorite teachers, Walter Beuttler, told this story that has made a huge impact on my life.
For a time early in his ministerial career, Walter was pastor at a small church, and there was an annoying woman that had been involved at that church forever. Before every service, she would tell Walter how to conduct the service, don’t forget this, make sure you do that, what songs to sing, all kinds of things. This happened every service for months on end, and Walter finally got fed up with it and asked God why He didn’t do something about her — if she had all the ideas on how to run the church, why didn’t He make her the pastor of the church? He was very frustrated and at the end of his rope, and admitted that she was really “getting my goat”. God’s answer was priceless, as usual.
“If you didn’t have a ‘goat’, she couldn’t get it.”
Walter realized, as do we, that God puts us into situations and circumstances to reveal trouble spots within us, whether it is a lie we’re believing, a wound that needs to be healed, or a character flaw that God is working to change.
Thankfully, we serve a loving and gracious God. Just as in Walter’s Goat example, if we let Him, God reveals our goats in private circumstances. He is not out to embarrass us or use public humiliation in order to get us to change.
Instead God Himself makes the change, and reveals our need for change according to His timing. He does not want us ignorant of what He is doing, for this is how we learn His Ways. Odds are good that if He is letting this problem come to the surface, He has already been working to correct it, and He wants our acceptance, cooperation and gratitude as He finishes His work.
This is also one way we can judge how we are doing. I’d bet that over time Walter could see his annoyance with this woman wane, probably giving way to tolerance, then gratitude and even appreciation.
If Walter had resisted this change, God may have had to resort to revealing Walter’s shortcomings on a wider, more public scale.
Let’s be sensitive and responsive to God’s working in our lives even in the smallest of things, before they become big. And let’s be grateful that He first deals with our Goats in Private when we let Him.
Lord, thank you for bringing to my attention the Goats that you’ve removed, things that used to irritate and frustrate me that no longer do. Thank you for your kindness in bringing those things to my attention in private, and even making those changes in private. Are there any other Goats you have removed that you’d like to bring to my attention at this time?
Lord, I give you permission to reveal and remove all of my Goats. I don’t want to be vulnerable in any area. Are there any other areas where I still have a Goat that you’d like to bring to my attention at this time?
Thank you Daddy!
If you are going to learn to live as an overcomer, you are going to engage in warfare of different kinds. Don’t take this too seriously, and don’t take it personally. It is what it is, an opportunity to learn how your weapons and armor work, and how to fight alongside your fellow warriors. Even better, these attacks may reveal your wounds and vulnerabilities, which is great, that’s how we get them healed. Don’t seek out your adversaries, but don’t cringe before them either. You have already overcome.