THE HOLY SPIRIT
It is quite evident that men are generally more conscious of the outer or outermost person, and they hardly recognize or understand their inner spirit at all.
Watchman Nee, the author of The Release of the Spirit has correctly identified the Bible reference of man’s inner spirit or the inner man (person); he calls man’s soul (psyche) the outer man (person) and for the body he uses the term, the outermost man:
“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.” Ephesians 3: 16
We may be able to mouth the word, “Not my will but Thine be done,” but how often do we really allow the Lord to take over when things happy.” The person who loves his life will lose it, while the person who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. “ John 12:25
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit...” Hebrews 4:12
The answer one gets from many people including ministers and priests: “I thought the soul and the spirit were the same.”
Yet how could they be the same? Paul, by the Spirit of God, said they can be divided by the Word of God. If you can divide them, they cannot be the same.
You can skim along on the surface of the Bible and find a little gold here and there—and you can even find a nugget of gold occasionally. But if you really want to strike it rich, you have to dig down deep into the Word of God.
With my body I contact the physical realm. (That goes without argument.) With my spirit I contact the spiritual realm.
That left only one other part of me that made contact with any other realm. I knew then that it had to be with my soul that I contacted the intellectual or soul realm (which includes the emotions and the intellect). “With my soul I contact the intellectual realm: For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.” Corinthians 14:14
As a result of receiving the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “He that believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38 Another translation reads, “out of the inner spirit shall flow rivers of living water.”
You can learn to pray in other tongues — full of vowels and mixed heavenly languages. While you are praying with the Holy Spirit in other tongues, guidance comes up from inside you. Your body is not active, your mind (your soul) is not active, but your inner spirit is active, and it is through your inner spirit that God is going to guide you.
The Holy Spirit who resides in your inner spirit gives it the utterance and you speak it out. Your inner spirit is active when you are praying in tongues.
Sometimes you are able to interpret what you are praying in tongues, and through the interpretation you receive light and guidance. “For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.” 1 Corinthians 14:13. So people who have the gift of interpreting tongues will tell you what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.
One reason the church as a whole has failed so miserably is that it has done so much of just one kind of praying—praying with the understanding, or mental praying.
SHEDDING THE OUTER MAN
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18: 3
To allow the inner life to come forth, it is imperative that the outward life be shed. Our self seems to permeate every part of our being, which robs God of glory.
Many have a feeling that they are better than others; they think that their eloquence surpasses that of others; they believe that their quickness of action and exactness of judgment are superior, and so forth.
Do you not see what God is doing in this endless round of difficulties? The Lord wants to get our attention: He allows us to crash into a wall and hit the dust with many years of sufferings, trials, hindrances: this is the hand of God, daily seeking to carry on His work of breaking us. Everyone of us is in need of this discipline from the Lord. It is all for our highest good.
God says that He loves you too much to leave you where you are in your comfort zone: “For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.” Hebrews 12:6
Strong-willed people are convinced their feelings, ways and judgments are always right. Consider how Paul received this grace: “Do not trust in flesh” Philippians 3:3
Why is it that after many years some are still unchanged?
- First, many who live in darkness are oppressed by evil spirits and they cannot see the hand of God.
- Second, another great hindrance to the work of breaking the outer person is self-love.There is really only one giant obstacle in our search: it’s our comfort zone: “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14
Thus the outward person is not a helper but a disturber.
The Divine Mercy and Love of God
There is a lot of talk about breaking obstacles as if it was hard work. Actually it is the Holy Spirit who does the shedding for you upon your invitation and acceptance. There is nothing to be afraid. There is no pain involved — only peace and joy. It is in the inner spirit of man where we find love, as opposed to self-love in the outer man.
“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and of death”. Romans 8:2 But why is this law of the Spirit of life ineffectual in certain people? In His word, God has explained our problem: “The righteous requirement of the law should be fulfilled in us who walk . . . according to Spirit“. Romans 8:4 We must be upright and moral: ‘You have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth.” I Peter 1:22
After one accepts the Lord as his Savior, as the outward person controlled the inward before, so now his inward person should hold absolute sway over the outward. Eventually we must confess: “It is the Spirit which quickens.” John 6:63
We must submit to what the Holy Spirit orders. Such submission brings blessing to us. We do not pray: “Lord, I beseech Thee to be my Savior.” We simply say: “Lord, I receive Thee as my Savior.” Instantly, one becomes new! It is all about acceptance. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
What are the Holy Spirit Gifts of Salvation?
- When the outward person is shed, the inward person enjoys peace before God. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest… For My yoke is easy, and My burden light.” Matthew 11: 30
- We do not know our own heart. Only those who are in the light know their own heart. No one else does. When God’s word comes, we “see”. When God opens our eyes that we may know the intent of our heart and the deepest thought within us in the measure that He Himself knows us, this is revelation. What the Lord does is to pierce into our inner person with a penetrating light. It may happen while we are listening to a message, or praying by ourselves, or meeting with others, or even walking alone.
- Those of us who have received the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, may most spontaneously contact the inner spirit in others by our own inner spirit. Whenever one speaks in our presence, we can “size him up”, evaluate what kind of person he is, what attitude he is taking, what sort of Christian he is, and what his needs are. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul (psyche)and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.
- Once the outward person is shed, utterance is no longer a problem. One can then think of appropriate words to express his inner feeling. Through release, the inner burden is lightened. This is the way to minister God’s word to the church.
- It may be almost impossible to really understand parts of the Bible. The Holy Spirit changes all that: the Word of God is installed on our heart:“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. “Jeremiah 31:33 Your reading becomes a treasure hunt of faith and revelation, where the Holy Spirit guides you: one’s inner spirit is released with the Holy Spirit.
- When the inner spirit is released, such trivialities as clothing, eating or drinking can escape the careful hand of the Holy Spirit. He will not neglect one area in your life. “…but of you even the hairs of the head are all numbered”. Matthews 10: 30 Hence we may be sure that all our circumstances are ordered by God. Nothing is accidental.
- Once proud or vain persons have been truly enlightened, they cannot so much as make an attempt to be proud or conceited anymore. The effect of that enlightenment will have its mark upon them all their days.
- The problem of strength is solved, which is a problem of the outward person. The Lord says, “Be strong.” In the Lord you also say, “Be strong.“ And you find you are strong. None can block your way. “I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.” Philippians 4:13
- There are those who have been given a gift of interpretation of tongues. The gift of tongues allows those in fellowship of the Holy Spirit to discern what is God’s will.
- We can then pray and act with one accord with all the gifts.
- When the inner spirit is released, it supplies the needs of the world. No work is more important or thorough than this, and nothing can take its place. The Lord is not so much concerned with your teachings or sermons as He is with the impression you give and the divine appointments he plans for you each day.
You are Me and I am you, and we are One
When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we connect with our inner spirit and we receive God’s Spirit too. We often say that the Holy Spirit dwells in our inner spirit. The Holy Spirit and our inner spirit are joined into one, “but he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit.” 1 Corinthians 6:17
We must accept the Spirit of God as part of ourselves. God is with us always, because we are One.
Allow yourself to be spread like paint in a paint can, as being the flow of Creation. The universe out there becomes our creation, which is a playground for us to play. We must think of “being in the now” as being spontaneously available to God in our moment to moment experiences.
God’s plan was for us to live in glory. God created earth, so He could have a relationship with us. We must become more tuned in as to what it is that we are seeking.