Summer Camp 1996: The Adults
The main focus of camp this year was an intensive review of the dynamics involving body, soul, and spirit. Misunderstanding the difference between soul and spirit becomes a major stumbling block for many people professing to know "Christ in me." We saw at camp vivid examples of disaster in people’s lives that originated in a choice to follow soul feelings instead of Spirit truth.
Norman gives a clear, concise overview of body, soul, and spirit in the first few chapters of Who Am I? God created us as spirits living inside a human body with soul feelings. A person’s body is simply a physical vehicle which God designed to contain a person while alive in the world. A body enables a person to have outward contact with another person. Soul is emotion (feeling) and reason (thought). Soul is where we say, "I feel…," or "I think…." There is no inherent value to soul. Feelings and thoughts are neither good nor bad, they just "are." Spirit is where our true person lies. Spirit is where we say "I know…," or "I believe…." More importantly, spirit is where we choose. The ability to choose is what makes us persons.
People get into trouble when they think "I feel this way, so this is truth to me." This often seems to arise when someone has a judgmental thought about another person, such as "I can’t believe she said that. I would never say that about another person." The thought itself is neither bad nor good; it is just a thought. What matters is what the person believes about the thought.
This is a matter of choice. If a person believes in "no independent self," then he really can’t say that anyone is any better than anyone else. At any point in time, a Christian is choosing to believe that Jesus Christ is running their life, or they are in unbelief and Satan is in control. Christ or Satan. No independent "she." No independent "I."
The choice to consider as true one’s feelings about a situation instead of believing "either Christ or Satan" is clearly unbelief. God puts negatives into our lives to give us an opportunity to say "yes" to His truth in these situations: that He is in control; that everything happens for a perfect reason; and that the situation is God’s perfect plan for us. Complaining about our circumstances may not seem to be a major "no" answer to God, yet this, in effect, is saying "no" to God’s truth and "yes" to Satan’s temptation.
The cumulative effect of choosing to live from soul feelings instead of spirit truth can result in dire consequences. A person can be left with a hardened heart, an inability to say "yes" to God even when his very life depends on it. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened by repeatedly choosing to disobey God even though he knew that he had sinned. He got to the point that he could not say "yes." The more Pharaoh said "no," the worse things became. The stakes kept going up, and he and his entire country paid a tremendous price for his choices.
Many of us have seen this principle lived out in others’ lives. Chronically choosing to live from our feelings and not God’s Spirit truth can rob us of the ability to choose God’s way when we desperately need to do so. We may not just miss an opportunity to see God’s grace in a situation, but may irreparably block our ability to live from a Spirit reality. We may end up with a hardened heart.
Summer camp continues to get bigger and better. Our numbers this year were well over 100 for the week. The young people’s program continues to grow in size and strength. The facilities at Blowing Rock Assembly Ground have been upgraded and were quite comfortable. The food was even good. We cleaned and painted the newly purchased house adjacent to the Alpen Acres. It is amazing how much work a group of people living from the same Spirit can do. The house will be a much-used asset in upcoming years.
Summer Camp ’96 blessed all who participated. Those who haven’t attended a meeting should make an effort for next year.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 12 No 4
- It All Depends On God
- Editor’s Note
- Fooled By Our Souls
- Moments with Meryl
- A Look at a Book
- Free At Last
- Who Will Me Deliver Me?
- Questions & Answers
- Faith Defies Difficulty
- The Mailbox
- Irish Conference Report
- One Requirement
- Tape Talk
- Summer Camp 1996: The Adults
- Summer Camp: The Youth
- See Ye First
- Excerpt from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Words to Live By…