BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS: living by the spirit

“The Spirit gives life the flesh counts for nothing.” (John 6:63)

To the average person, it is very difficult to understand that we are first spiritual beings; we just happen to live in a body. Celestial beings live in the spirit world, but when a spiritual being takes an earthly form it takes residence in a body. Therefore, spiritual matters naturally take precedence over the flesh. Whatever God does on earth is a replica of what already exists in heaven.

This fundamental truth in grounded in Scripture; for when God created Adam from the earth, he became a living being only after He breathed His spirit through his nostrils. Until God infused His Spirit into the clay, Adam was inert and lifeless.

In our day, very few human beings are aware of this spiritual dimension of their being. Many or the vast majority operate in the flesh and do not perceive anything about the spiritual beings that God made us to be. Of course, what this means is that we are not fully what we were created to be. We neither can perceive nor hear when our spirit man speaks to us. We go about our businesses insensitive of our surroundings.

The reason can be attributed to the fact that our sinful nature has closed all the avenues of communication, dismantling any spiritual antenna that is intrinsically linked to our being. Thus, the roles have been inverted. What should have been normal, the frequent communication with the Father is defunct, non-functional.

Like fish out of water, we are constantly gasping for breath. The Bible states that we must revive our spiritual beings, resuscitate them. We need to revert to our original nature, that is, LIVE BY THE SPIRIT. It should not be anything unusual; it would be living the way God created us to live.

When God gave authority over His creation, He instructed “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. (Genesis 1:28a) God gave dominion to His creation. We must operate from a position of authority and strength not of weakness, defeat, frustration and hopelessness.

Unfortunately, in our day, the Scriptures which God made available to humanity to be our guide are grossly neglected. Humanity has instituted its own comparative standards of living not inscribed in the Book. We “gratify the desires of the flesh” brushing aside the essential.

You see “the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with one another so that you do not do what you want.” (Galatians 5:16-18) Whenever the flesh has taken over, one or more of these negative habits becomes prevalent and in this way the spirit being that is in us is silenced.

The apostle Paul outlines the acts of the sinful nature when he observed that they are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits and rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” (Galatians 5:19-21) He concludes; “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:21)

The Bible stipulates that God is a Spirit and those that worship must worship Him in spirit and in truth. There are no two ways. We cannot presume to have a foot here and a foot there and still be spiritual. Joshua took a radical stand on this. “But if serving the Lord seems desirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River and Egypt or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSEHOLD, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.” (Joshua 24: 15)  In essence, Joshua was telling his people to choose God.

The apostle Paul wraps up his teaching by spelling out what the spirit brings out in us when we link up with Him; when we follow His bidding. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) These are different manifestations of just one fruit when we decide to move with the Spirit.

The passage emphasises that there can be no law against these attributes. No one will take you to court for reaching out to them in love, joy or patience.

“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)

Any person who does not operate in the spirit is dead. Our Lord Jesus stated categorically that; “The words that I (Jesus) have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe. ” (John 6:63b)

To live life to the fullest, awake the spirit man in you. These are the last days.

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