Now before I go on, I want everyone to understand that these situations DO NOT mean that a Christian is not saved! But it does point to the very real possibility that their bodies and souls and spirits may be in torment, and guess what? That is not how God designed us to be! He wants us to draw waters of joy from the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3). It is never His desire or will that we be in pain, whether physical or spiritual! If at this point, anyone remains unmoved in their theological position, I would just ask them to consider the following: Do you believe the Bible when it says Jesus cast out demons? If the answer is yes, my next question is, "Do you think that when Jesus ascended to Heaven, that the demons said, 'Well, we might as well leave, too' "? If their answer is no, then my final inquiry is, "Then, do you think our Savior would leave us here for the last 2,000 years subject to these demons, without any way to fight back?" That train of thought almost always gives a Christian pause, and they will give Spiritual Warfare and Deliverance at least a modicum of consideration.
In the past, I have always assured them their spirits were immune to any kind of defilement because, yes, our hearts were owned by the Holy Spirit. But God has been showing me that there is more to this spirit part of the equation. I am still holding onto the position that a true, born-again Christian cannot be possessed by a demon, but I believe God is showing me that our body, soul, AND spirit can be tormented, corrupted, and yes, even defiled by Satan's workers in the spirit realm.
Now, before everyone goes screaming from the room, I want to be clear AGAIN that this does not mean that salvation has been lost. Let me say that in another way ... The Holy Spirit resides in us and will never leave us as He continually bears with us while we remain in our sinful ways. That's just where we are in the redemptive timeline of our journey. We continue to be cleansed by the Living Water of Christ [in us] as we continue to live in this foul world which inevitably soils us.
Ephesians 4:30 tells us that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and therefore, some Christians take this to mean that our spirits cannot be defiled in our present state. But I like the way the Passion Translation gives us God's Truth: The Holy Spirit of God has sealed you in Jesus Christ until you experience your full salvation. So never grieve the Spirit of God or take for granted his holy influence in your life. God is Holy and cannot, Himself, be invested in our sin. But in His wisdom and love for us, He first has Christ bear our sin on the Cross, and then deposits the Holy Spirit in us to continue bearing with us until the day we are fully redeemed and saved at Christ's reappearance. It is that second sentence that we need to fully digest ... So never grieve the Spirit of God or take for granted his holy influence in your life. If we have been sealed [and therefore unable to be defiled], how is it possible to grieve the Holy Spirit after being sealed?
I say all this because it is becoming clearer and clearer to me that we Christians can be defiled (contaminated; polluted; poisoned) in our daily lives as Satan attempts to steal, kill, and destroy parts of our bodies, ours souls and our spirits. Any part of us can become broken, even when the Holy Spirit resides in us. That is why Jesus sent Him; to counsel us, comfort us, advocate for us, intercede for us, and strengthen us -- to come alongside us and help us in those times we are being tormented by the Enemy. As I stated in my previous blog, Jesus longs to occupy the throne of our heart, having complete dominion over it, sharing it with no one else. And He places the Holy Spirit in the "Holy of Holies" portion of our heart, where we cannot be defiled. BUT, if Jesus does not own our whole heart, it becomes a battleground. The heart is the place where the Holy Spirit and our spirit commune in this earthly realm. If any part of our heart is not fully surrendered to Jesus, our spirit can be influenced in wrong ways.
I do not think it is too difficult for Christians to understand that our hearts can be broken and shattered, as well as our bodies. But how many of us recognize that our spirits can be broken, too? I believe Psalm 51 shows the extent to which we can be broken in body, soul, and spirit. It is the cry of David to the Lord after his adulterous affair with Bathsheba. I urge you to take the time to click on the link I have provided and read it. David asks for his soul and body to be restored: Make me hear joy and gladness and be satisfied; Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Then he pleads for his spirit: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right and steadfast spirit within me... Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit... My [only] sacrifice [acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; A broken and contrite heart [broken with sorrow for sin, thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.
Hopefully, I have made the case that the condition of our heart affects the health of our spirit. There is a connection between our heart and spirit as exemplified in Ezekiel 36:26, And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you; and in Psalm 34:18, The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. If the heart is broken or defiled, it crushes the human spirit. The only sacrifice that is acceptable to God is a broken spirit and a contrite heart, with the desire to be renewed and restored to a right standing with Him through surrender to Christ. That is our righteousness.
So, I just want to leave you with this thought.... Do not doubt your salvation if you find your soul, body, or spirit shattered. It is not a question of your faith in the work of the Cross. I am just sharing what the Lord is showing me... the Holy Spirit residing in my heart is the guarantee of my salvation. But remember, our salvation is a progressive journey. I don't think I have ever heard it expressed better than on the website called Mainsail Ministries: The Holy Spirit is a permanent resident within us until Jesus comes again. We are sealed as if inserted into a Holy-Spirit-envelope that is addressed to Jesus. When He comes again to finish the work of redemption, we will no longer need this sealing. Why not? Because we will have Jesus Himself…again.
Why do we think that Jesus and the Holy Spirit continue to intercede for us, if it is not because we are transitioning into the image of Christ in our ongoing journey to reach the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness]. Until then, we are going to stumble and fall prey to the tactics of the Enemy to steal, kill and destroy our bodies, souls, and spirits. I believe that the Body of Christ needs to come into a fuller relationship with their human spirits. We tend to live out of our body and soul, while ignoring the spirit part of us, which is how Jesus and Holy Spirit commune with us! How can we ever expect to be free from the torments of the Enemy if our spirits are not encountering and experiencing Jesus from a clean heart? This redemptive journey is not an easy one from the flesh/soul standpoint; but if we can get in touch with our spirits the road is easier as we learn to walk in the path Jesus modeled; spirit to Spirit.
1 Peter 5:8-9 Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour. Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith. For you know that your believing brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing the same kinds of troubles you endure.