Body, Soul, and Spirit
We are reprinting the third part of Page’s excellent series, "Body, Soul, and Spirit," in which Page passes on the invaluable truths she learned about the division between body, soul, and spirit.
This morning I find myself in the midst of the very dilemma that I have been talking (writing) about in the previous sections of this exegesis on body, soul and spirit. It is my desire to write a final segment of this study and give you a more detailed explanation that includes examples of how our understanding of the difference between soul and spirit enables us to live victorious lives as Christians. In other words, how does all that I have shared with you on the differences between soul and spirit (see July/Aug. 97 and Winter 98 in The Intercessor) work out in our everyday lives? All truth must be practical and workable on a day by day basis or it can hardly be called truth.
But as I sit here and attempt to put words into my laptop computer I am feeling intensely frustrated. I find myself unable to get into focus not only what I want to say but how best to say it. I have made several starts, but each has come to an abrupt end. I keep thinking that I cant possibly get my thoughts written down. I keep saying to myself that I am not a good writer, so Ill just quit and leave the writing to those who are good at it. From the nonspiritual way of viewing life, all of this is true. But is this how God views what I am experiencing? NO!
My difficulty has nothing to do with writing. My impediment is a result of my unbelief. I have allowed myself to become caught in the Satan trap of believing that I am my own operator and that I am responsible for getting the truth that I want to share organized and written down. In other words, I am believing I am just me, and I am not believing that I am in union with Christ. Each of these is a LIE and believing either is SIN on my part. (I will go into an explanation later as to why and how this is sin.)
Because I am spirit-operated and not self-operated it is the job of my spirit operator to get my thoughts organized and use me as the vessel through which to write them down. The problem is that my own unbelief has gotten me into the Satan trap called SIN. Consequently I have given Satan the opportunity to temporarily boss me on the soul-body level. (Remember that Satan can not reenter my spirit center where Christ linked Himself to me when I took Him to be my personal savior.) Hence Satan has temporarily gained control in this particular area of my life, and he (Mr. Sin) is blocking the Holy Spirit from getting His ideas expressed through me. To sum all this up, I am in the midst of a soul-spirit war which is made evident by the fact that my thoughts and feelings are one hundred per cent opposite to my desiresreally, Gods desires through me.
Now that I know what is wrong, I must take the appropriate steps to clean up my sin. For Christ to take His rightful position as my Spirit operator, I must be freed from Satan who has made an inroad into my life. The Bible is very clear as to what I must do for this to happen. I must confess to God my sin, that is, my wrong believing about myself; then I must turn from this sin of unbelief to believing rightly about myself. To spell it out for you, I must say to God that my believing that I am unable to get this writing done is a lie. I then take by faith what I know to be the truth: Christ, Who is one with me in spirit, is absolutely capable of organizing the truth He has made real to me and use me as His human agent to put it in writing. The following two scripture passages are very helpful to me when dealing with unbelief sin issues: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2), and Everything that does not come from faith is sin (Romans 14:23).
It sounds strange and harsh to call this kind of thing sin because we usually think of sin being some mean or unkind act (sins of commission) or something God puts on our heart to do that we dont do (sins of omission). Of course, these are sin, too; but it is the result of the subtle root sin of unbelief that we are discussing here. When Satan can get us to fall for his lie, we become the agents by whom he gets his evil deeds done; however, we think it is just us operating ourselves.
The sin problem began when Lucifer (Satans name before he fell), who was created by God and chosen by Him to be His light-bearer, became jealous of Gods power over him and used his God-given freedom to set his light and life against God. He chose to refuse to acknowledge Gods authority over him, and he defiantly declared himself to be equal with God. This choice of Satans changed for all time the operation of Gods entire creation. This defiant, disobedient choice was the very first sin ever committed in Gods glorious universe. This is THE ORIGINAL SIN, and as its consequence, Lucifer and his angels were cast out of Heaven.
All mankind has been infected by Satan with this same liethat we, too, are equal with God and that we can operate independently of Him. Satan began his sin infiltration into the human race when he convinced Eve that God had lied to her. He talked her into believing that what he, Satan, was telling her was the truth: You will not surely die, the serpent said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:4-5). Eve gave the fruit to Adam and he took it and ate it. Thus Adam, like all of us after him, learned the hard way that what God had said was true because contrary to what Satan had told him, he and Eve suffered the consequences that God had promised them. From the day that Adam fell, the entire human race has been infected by Adams sin: Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned (Rom. 5:12). So all sins are a product of people believing Satans original lie.
Sin never begins with a deed; consequently, our root problem is never our deeds. Deeds are merely the symptoms of a deeper hidden problem. But Satan has done an excellent job of tricking us and keeping us from getting to the root of the problem. Because of our infection of his deception we always concentrate on the symptom. This keeps our attention off the source of sin, which is believing Satans lie that I am just me and that I can and do operate independently of God. Of course this is ridiculous. How can anything that God made move out from under God and be its own boss. Even the angel of light (Lucifer) could not do that. God had created him, and the life that was in him was spirit (some form of Gods Spirit) expressing Himself through Lucifer. But Lucifer chose to believe the lie that he could be equal with God and operate himself.
Replace the Lie with Truth
So what does all this have to do with the place in which I find myself stuck? How does knowing the difference between soul and spirit get meaningful and helpful words into this computer? The process is very uncomplicated but not easy to do because it takes a giving up on our part and admitting that we are wrong. First, I simply stop saying all the negative things to myself that I have been saying, and I say instead, If I am Jesus Christ in my particular form and He is my operator, then what I am saying and believing about my inability to organize and transcribe my thoughts cannot be true. Why, you ask, is it not true? Because what I am thinking and believing may be the way things appear to my human senses, but they are merely appearances, and we are admonished in Scripture not to judge by appearances. I must look through appearances to what is true in the realm of spirit. This is how Jesus lived. He saw past the outer human need to His Father, the total supply, though invisible to the human eye, right in the midst of the negative circumstance.
Next, I begin to say by faith (none of it will be fact at this stage) what I know to be real in the realm of the Spirit. The truth is that Jesus Christ through me can write anything that He wants to write as long as He is the one in control of my life. As we discussed earlier, Christ regains His rightful place as Lord (Boss) of my life when I confess my sin of unbelief and then confess and stand in the truth.
The idea that I (meaning just me) is able to write at all is a lie because, as we have established, there in no independently operated I in the universe except God; it is sin on my part to believe and talk as if there is. The lie that we are independent is a very confusing and deadly point because it is unknown to most and misunderstood by many that are familiar with it and it is the origin of all sin behavior.
Practice in Replacement
Here is an example of what I am talking about. We say that we are shy or fearful or smart or ugly (use your own example). Lets pick shy and write it out. I am a shy person. I have all the traits that portray someone who is shy. I have always been this way. I have been told I was shy since I was a small child. All this is true on the body-soul level, and Satan has been free to live out shyness because my wrong believing about myself has given him the freedom to do so. But (and it is a big but), the truth is that I know that my operator is Jesus Christ and the shy label that I have put on myself is a lie. The truth is that Christ is not shy. He can be any way he wants to be at any given time. If He is quiet, that is His business, and I cant call myself shy because of His quietness. At the same time, I may be feeling shy; but that is just a soul feeling and it has no reality on the Spirit level. I differentiate between the two by saying, I am feeling shy, or afraid, lonely, or superior, or smarter, but these are all feelings and they are not who and what Jesus Christ, who is my operator, is. The feeling will probably continue but I focus my attention on Who I am in Spirit and I pay as little attention to my feelings as possible.
Now, lets apply the same spiritual reasoning to my situation: I am totally inadequate to get my thoughts organized and written down. In this statement I am believing and confessing that my problem is my inadequacy. Look at my sentence for a minute and, as you do, keep in mind that the key is who is doing the organizing and writing. Is it good old I or just me? It cant be, can it, because we have learned that there is no independent I or just me in the universe and when I confess and believe that it is I or just me I am in sinSatan has moved in on the flesh level and he is blocking Christ from getting this job done. Remember I get rid of Satan and subsequently his block of the Holy Spirit when I clean up my sin. Can you correct my sentence and make it a true one?
For my statement to be true, I must say, I can get this article written. Of course we know the secret that makes this statement true; it is Jesus Christ who is my Spirit operator that can and will do it through me. My responsibility is simply to trust Him to do it.
It is important to remember that it is okay for me to say, I feel like I cant get my thoughts organized and written down. Here I am expressing a soul feeling and not a spirit fact. As we have already established, Satan takes over when I move from expressing soul feelings and thoughts to stating Spirit facts.
Satan tried to use his same way of deception on Jesus. Do you remember His temptation experience in the wilderness? (John 4:1-11) Satan began his discourse with Jesus, not as we would expecttempting Him with food, (Jesus was hungry because he had fasted for forty days) or with power. He tempted Him with pride. Satan preceded all these specifics with his piercing statement, If you are who you say you are, you can turn these stones into bread or you can throw yourself off the temple and God will send angels to save you.
Jesus could have come back with, Of course I am who I say I am; I am the Christ, the Son of the living Godthe I meaning that He had what it took in and of Himself to do what Satan tempted Him to do, and go Satans self-for-self way. The truth, and He made it quite clear, is that He and His Father are One, and He does only what He sees His Father do (John 14:10). His strengths and His abilities are operated only in love for others just as are those of His Father. The words of the glorious hymn say it very clearly. Fix your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
I am now finished with this article, but the task of writing it never became easy. I sat at the computer, putting myself at the disposal of the Holy Spirit, and simply recorded thoughts as He brought them to my mind. No matter how impossible the task felt, I continually reminded myself of the truth Christ is perfectly capable of getting the writing done that He wants done. My responsibility is to remain faithful by making myself available to Him to use to get the job done.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 18 No 3
- The Best of Boone Celebrating 10 Years of Truth!
- A Tribute to Norman Grubb In His Own Words
- The Missing Truth
- 1993 Annual Business Meeting
- Zerubbabel Focus: Total Living Center
- A Look at a Book
- Body, Soul, and Spirit
- Tape Talk
- The Story of the Ten
- A Letter
- About Unconditional Love
- Thoughts on Abraham
- Christianitys Lost Chord The Definition of Ourselves as Both Disciples and Apostles
- Message from Norman
- Powerless over Alcohol and Life: Step 10
- Questions And Answers!