January 4, 2017
We Can't Get You Out Of Jail; But We'll Bring You Some Food
Steve Harmon, a fearless messenger from God on the healing power of Jesus. But it really pertains to my subject today, so I hope he doesn't mind if I borrow it.
I've been contemplating the annual self-imposed reflection that so many people adopt this time of year in an attempt to better their lives. It's almost always focused on eating better, exercising more, and improving the outer man. But what if more people's New Year's resolutions were centered on the health and condition of their spirits, rather than their physical bodies? But how many are even in touch with, or conscious of their spirits? We must come to terms that we are spirits living in physical bodies, and make the health of our spirits of primary importance.
As Christians, we seek guidance from God on how to live a righteous life; one pleasing to God, and one free of the bondage to sin. But I am concerned that we do not know that it is through our spirit that God enlightens us and leads us into His Light. After all, Scripture tells us, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14). And Proverbs 20:27 says, The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.
It has become increasingly clear to my husband and myself that we Christians cannot renew ourselves, nor deliver ourselves, no matter how hard we try. Too many of us suffer in our souls and flesh because our spirits do not truly know Jesus. Our physical man is no match for the schemes and plans of the Enemy to separate us from the healing balm of Christ that our spirits so desperately long for.
Just as we find our resolve weakening when it comes to keeping those New Year's resolutions, our physical man will never be strong enough to endure the attacks of the devil. Our flesh is weak; and the health of our mind and emotions are in direct relation to the state of our heart. The heart is where the Holy Spirit abides in us and interfaces with our spirit.
But if we rely on our physical efforts and think the Enemy will honor our professions of faith and our outward show of righteousness, then we are fooling ourselves. In keeping with our New Year's analogy, it would be like joining a gym, looking the part by wearing Nikes and Adidas, and talking about how many times we intend to go work out. But all that doesn't get us healthy and fit. And we won't be spiritually in shape, either, if we only act the part.
But God gave us spiritual armor, not physical armor, because that is where the battle is waged. What we do in this world is easily defeated by the Enemy who has the advantage because he uses spiritual weapons, with which we have no defense in this world. When our minds, and our emotions, and our free will are only being exercised in this world, we have left ourselves totally vulnerable in the spirit world. That can leave our physical bodies and our minds open to attack.
And that's where the afore-mentioned activities are like bringing food to the jail, but not securing release for the prisoner. Studying the Word is good -- but faith and knowledge without action won't stop the devil in the spiritual realm. Community with Believers will give us emotional support in our daily lives -- but it is only when our spirits partner with the Holy Spirit that Heaven's Power is released against satan's spiritual forces of darkness. And we can pray for each other that God will end the misery -- but God really wants us to reveal who we are to the spirits who are attacking us. We aren't simply humans who are relying on a rescue from our God; we have the spiritual power of our God residing in us, and He has given us the right to use it as His children, made in His image.
I know that Jesus tells us we will suffer for His Name, but He never told us it was necessary to suffer for our past sins or the sins perpetrated against us. When we allow the cosmic powers of darkness to discourage us and lie to us, or the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places to keep us from the freedom Jesus offers us, then there's not enough food (Bible studies, community, or prayers on our behalf) that will make our prison sentence (spiritual bondage) bearable.
1 Corinthians 6:17 "But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him."