Monday, January 17, 2011

Living in the Spirit

"The people around me seem to have heads on straight."

Is this a familiar thought to you?

Let me assure you, these boys and girls around you that seem to have a head on straight, are probably living in the flesh.

My life up until recently, I've spent being uncomfortable with the Spirit, but I would like to take this year, 2011, to begin a learning process - to be open to the Spirit. Do not live in your circumstances. Live in the Spirit. Have a soul but do not live in it. Your soul is made up of three things: your will, your mind, and your emotion. These three things are extremely powerful entities. When you went and saw Passion of the Christ, did you cry? I did. I'm not sure if my soul was crying or if my Spirit was crying. All I know is that my tears were shock-tears. I saw Jim Caviezel being beaten to death and - because I am faint of heart - I cried. When you read Chuck Palahniuk, you may experience his writing the same way I experienced Survivor and Fight Club, it makes you want to barf. It is great writing, but it's all shock-value. He is manipulating your emotions - the same way everything else worldly does - to feel something that might be there, but your flesh is relating to it in a way your Spirit does not. All Palahniuk does is make you feel like crap.

Would you not agree that focusing on your sin causes more sin? I want to move forward. I want to shed old skin. If I look at God and cut me out of the picture, well then I'm not a part of the picture.

I didn't understand the difference between Spirit and soul until last night - a sermon preached at my 2nd home church, Grace Center, spoke wonders to my empty Christian life I have spent twenty-two years hating.

I can't help but understand the difference between Spirit and soul in the most concise simplicity: Spirit is Him and soul is man. If you live from the soul, you are driving your car. Sit in the back seat and let God set fire under you.

You are thinking too hard - and might I add, way too hard - about experiencing the Holy Spirit that you never ever experience it.

How do you let the alabaster jar fall and break and the perfume pour out? In other words, how do you and I stop trying to let God's Spirit move in us and through us, rather than just letting it move in us and through us? Well, to be honest, I don't know the answer to that question, but this passage in Romans dampers a lot of questions I have.


Romans 7:14-25

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[b] a slave to the law of sin.


The best way to mature in the Spirit is just to wait. But that is the hardest thing to do, because - What are you to do but do nothing?

Just pray. And let God unfold you and do for you what you cannot do.

Oh. And another thing. Don't strive toward God. It never works because you're restless. Just walk in Him. Why kill yourself trying to attain His Spirit when it's already in you? I am all for being desperate for the Spirit and I will be desperate for the Spirit for as long as I live. But I also don't want to live life trying to jump from one "camp high" to the next. Let's live life with a calm heart rate.

Mark Allen won the Ironman Triathlon 6 years in a row. How did he do it? He used a heart rate monitor to keep his heart rate below 155 beats per minute - a heart rate most runners would have after an 8:15 mile. But Mark trained his heart to beat less than 155 beats per minute for 5:30 miles - 26 of them. He is breathing normally, blood pumping normally, and not having immediately exerted himself, sprinting the last leg of the triathlon. He has swam 2.5 miles. He has biked 112 miles. And now ending with 26.2 miles.


Audrey said...

I agree with what you're saying, too.
Though for me, it's not necessarily not doing what I want to do, or doing what I don't want to do.
It's more not being able to control the sinful nature inside of me (the nature that comes from the fall that keeps me leaning toward unhappiness or fear or anxiety instead of God's joy, peace and resting)

But the resting...I need.

lizaloo said...

I love that you posted this because I feel like this has been on my mind a lot too. My mom keeps telling me to live in the Spirit, but I've never fully understood what that means. I always find myself anxious or unable to sit still because when I'm still I feel lazy. I think this is a good idea... not strive to find the Spirit, but instead let it blaze in you. Ugh... if only it was a simple task.

Also, blogger makes me type weird words to post comments on your blog.

Anonymous said...


This is awesome! I wish I had known what you now know when I was 22. It would have saved me a lot of trouble. Trying to operate in the flesh only leads to frustration! I find when I allow myself to come as a child and just believe that what God says is true then I have peace in any circumstance. If I try to figure things out in my head, I have no peace.

I cried too when I watched The Passion of Christ, but it came from my spirit. I felt what Jesus endured for me. He loves us so much that He gave His life for us. That makes me want that much more to be led by His Sprit. When I do, it is Holy ease. I am in the right place at the right time doing what He has called me to do. It is an exciting journey when we abide in Him! The joy of the Lord is my strength.

Love you,

Anonymous said...


I read it again and found more. I love your analogy of the man who trained to keep his heart rate at a resting rate. That is so cool. We don't strive to walk in the Spirit any more than we strive to sit in a chair. We have faith that the chair will hold our weight. We just need faith that the Spirit is in us and with us at all times to guide us into all truth, to counsel us and to comfort us.


GMAN said...

You know reading over this post, and Liz's last blog post, I'm quite relieved. Going to a school where these thoughts, values and beliefs are often mocked or mindlessly hated has left me in, I suppose, a slightly insecure place? Maybe "uncomfortable" is the word I'm really looking for.

The point is I'm glad there are still people I know who think about these things, dig in to them and do that digging because they value them so highly-- Or rather, you value something higher.

Thanks for giving me something to think about.

max said...

Amen, brother.