"Now he who joins the Lord is one spirit." 1 Corinthians 6:17
Even though we walk in a natural world we are surrounded by a heavenly presence. Paul tells us we all live and have our very existence in God and: "not far from each one of us is He inherent, for in Him we are living and moving and are" (Acts 17:26).
Our every breath is filled with the life giving spirit of God. Those on the road less travelled have come to a realization of this; we move in God, this life is where God is setting apart those who will rule as servants with Christ to the rest of humankind with and for Him in the oncoming eons. It is not that any of us are special, but the reason is special, to bring all creation to a knowledge of God. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 tells us; "Are you not aware that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world is being judged by you, are you unworthy of the least tribunals? Are you not aware that we shall be judging messengers, not to mention life's affairs?" This responsibility is one that is unknown to the majority who now believe in Christ, yet it will be the task at hand of all who believe now, in the future, to make right creations understanding of God, as that is what judge means: to make right.
This life is the gateway to the one that is to come. This is the life where our (the believer') relationship with the Lord begins, not in the next. Here we are being shown the truths concerning God, this is where we are working out our own salvation, but not without the heavenly presence of the spirit of God working in us as Paul tells us: "be carrying your own salvation into effect, for it is God Who is operating in you to will as well as to work for the sake of His delight" (Philippians 2:12-13).
It is not that any of us are more spiritual than the next person, most on this road aren't. In fact most are keenly aware of their flesh, their shortcomings and their failures, we would much rather be absent from this body and be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8) (1), yet here we walk flaws and all waiting our allotment. This is one reason why Christ gives His spirit to us who believe, so we have a piece of our allotment with us at all times.
So, now, with the spirit homing in us we don't spend all our time trying to fix that which can't be fixed in these mortal bodies. We are given the spirit so we will have the ability to look beyond these bodies we die in, beyond this time we live in, not to ignore any of these earthly ties - as this is where we on the narrow road begin our journey to knowing the Father and His Son - but to have the spirit of God in us open our minds to truth, as well as to a time when we all will be one in God. We don't look back, we look forward.
At Pentecost the spirit poured itself out on the Apostles in the upper room. Never in the history of humans had this occurred to this extent. Today many believe this is happening now, and at the same level, yet the fruit of the teaching bears this out to be false. These outpourings today are at best weak imitations and only the undiscerning flesh is satisfied with the show. The spirit now works in silence, within the believer, Paul tells us that God is unveiling His Son in us (Galatians 1:16) (2). Any manifestation now of the spirit is revealed by the truth from the Scriptures. Many will disagree, and that is fine, but I only ask that you look at what this so called outpouring of spirit many are claiming is happening, what it is revealing, and what it is satisfying.
Today it seems truth is not on the priority list, signs and wonders are what are sought after. But what seems to be unknown now are these signs and wonders take place within the believer, not from without. The human' only part in this is to be silent and listen as the spirit joins us in agreement with the Lord. We participate through prayer and through study, and it is the spirit that drives us deeper into the Scriptures seeking the truths waiting to be unveiled, that is why we are told we must worship God in spirit and in truth, it is only by the indwelling spirit will we realize truth. Time spent in the Scriptures is time spent with the spirit of truth, unveiling truth that is buried beneath the word of truth.
Religions thrive because most people do not understand the spirits position. They long for bygone days like the Day of Pentecost with the cloven tongues of fire dancing on their heads, waiting for the moving of the waters and signs and wonders, or whatever satisfies the soul and the eyes. Once we get past this, and come to realize the spirit is homing in us causing us to be one with the Lord the need for signs and wonders from without disappear, and a new creation begins to manifest itself from within and we become one in spirit with and in the Lord.
That there is a spirit world that exists with ours is not the stuff of science fiction, and although there are those "today" who have made bold and exaggerated claims of being transported to this spirit world (heaven and hell), with stories of seeing angels and demons, the fact remains there is a host of spirit beings that exist along with us.
Elisha and his servant while being hunted down by Ben-hadad were surrounded by the army of Ben-hadad' chariots in the village where they were staying. Elisha' attendant assumed all was lost, but Elisha saw beyond that of the flesh, and he said: "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see. And the LORD opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha."
As it was with Elisha' servant the spirit has to open our eyes to the presence of the Lord, whose presence we and the entire world live in, Jeremiah tells us:
"Do not I fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD" (Jeremiah 23:24).
Not until we come to that realization can we see what the servant of Elisha saw after Elisha prayed for his eyes to be opened. We may not see a heavenly host, and I don't think that was the reason for the servants eyes being open, what we will see is the truth that God is all around us, working His work in us, unveiling His Son in us.
God's spirit revives those who believe, it brings us into God awareness. Isaiah says:
"For this is what the high and exalted One says-- He who lives forever, whose Name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite" (Isaiah 57:15).
Paul, while in prison awaiting execution said: "Yet the Lord stood beside me, and He invigorates me" (2 Timothy 4:17). I don't know if the Lord actually stood beside Paul, or if His spirit presence was so great that Paul could say He was standing along side him. Whatever it was Paul says even while he awaited his execution he was invigorated. Christ was in Paul' presence, dwelling in him and in his world, which at that time happened to be a prison cell.
Van Morrison wrote the lyrics:
"When will I ever learn to live in God?
When will I ever learn?"
He gives me everything I need and more.
When will I ever learn?"
That we live in God is a truth that we all need to understand. Many people live their lives as if there is no God, or He is absent, and unaware of the things that are going on/in and around us and our lives. They get caught up/distracted by the latest news headlines and their lives are all of a sudden threatened by a world dictator that has yet to arise, or an economy that has yet to come, instead of living in God they live in fear.
The Psalmist David wrote:
"The earth is Yahweh's, with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1).
That God is the Owner of all should give us all an awareness of our living in Him, and with that awareness should come the peace of God which lives in us.
As those on the road less travelled draw closer to God in truth we find that "You (God) shall acquaint me (us) with the path of life; satisfying rejoicings are in Your presence; pleasantness is Your right hand; Permanent" (Psalms 16:11).
It is God's spirit in us that acquaints us with the path of life, the life that leads to truth in Him, a life that leads to vivification. Jesus said these words concerning this life: "I came that you may have life eonian, and have it more superabundantly" (John 10:10). Our flesh at present may not feel the superabundant life around us, but our spirit inside us does.
The flesh will never be one with the spirit: "The flesh is not benefiting anything. The declarations which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life" (John 6:63).
The flesh will always follow the latest trend, religious or secular, it has happened in the past, and it will happen in the future, especially those who are searching for something outside of God, and those who have taken their eyes off of Him, but "Happy are those preserving His testimonies; with their heart, they are seeking after Him" (Psalm 119:2), again as Paul said, He is: "unveiling His Son in me (us)."
It is only in His grace that satisfies, because it is by His grace that we live, and through His grace He teaches us how to live in Him, and His grace is what rescues us from these flesh bodies that go contraire to the spirit. Paul in Romans chapter seven asks: "What will rescue me out of this body of death? (he answers): Grace!"
Paul, like all of us, wrestled with his flesh as he was coming to be one in spirit with the Lord. He wrote about this struggle in Romans 7:15-21:
"For what I am effecting I know not, for not what I will, this I am putting into practice, but what I am hating, this I am doing. Now if what I am not willing, this I am doing, I am conceding that the law is ideal. Yet now it is no longer I who am effecting it, but Sin making its home in me. For I am aware that good is not making its home in me (that is, in my flesh), for to will is lying beside me, yet to be effecting the ideal is not. For it is not the good that I will that I am doing, but the evil that I am not willing, this I am putting into practice. Now if what I am not willing, this I am doing, it is no longer I who am effecting it, but Sin which is making its home in me. Consequently, I am finding the law that, at my willing to be doing the ideal, the evil is lying beside me."
Paul said that good was not making its home in him, that is in his flesh. But he knew that in his spirit he was coming to be one in Christ, he writes: "for we are the circumcision who are offering divine service in the spirit of God, and are glorying in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in flesh" (Philippians 3:3). Paul knew in his flesh there was no confidence, it will fail every time. Only the spirit can give us the strength to look beyond our flesh.
The spirit will make intercession for us (Romans 8:26) (3), the spirit will guide us into truth (John 16:13) (4), the spirit will vivify these mortal bodies (2 Corinthians 3:6) (5), the spirit will join us to the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17) (6), the spirit will unveil His Son in us (Galatians 1:16) (2).
As hard as we may want to try and succeed in this race by our flesh, we will always come in last place. Although at present we are in the flesh, with all our shortcomings we are able by His grace to walk in spirit (Romans 8:9-10) (7), to learn of Him, to know Him, as He reveals more of Himself to (in) us all who are on the road less travelled.
As believer' we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) (8), and that mind knows all things, but it does not reveal all things to us at once. That mind drives us deeper into His word so we can and will know all things "only" through Christ. Not only is our position in Christ, but our potential is in Him as well. With the spirit of Christ homing in us we have the potential to know all things spiritual (scriptural), although in this lifetime, and with these bodies of flesh the spirit will only take us so far, and at its pace: "Instruction is added to instruction, Instruction to instruction; Expectation to expectation, Expectation to expectation; A bit there, a bit there"(Isaiah 28:10).
Al Stahl would say: "We are to wait on the Lord, not idly, but with intensity. Not with impatience, but with an expectation."
The Psalmist wrote: "Cause me to tread in Your truth, and teach me" (Psalm 25:5). The only way this will come to pass is if we "Be still before Yahweh, and wait for Him" (Psalm 37:7) and we have this expectation: "I (we) am expectant for Yahweh: my soul is expectant, and I wait for His word" (Psalm 130:5). As with Habakkuk we have to be: "watching to see what He will speak, and what we shall reply concerning our correction...if it is dallying, tarry for it, for it will surely come, and it will not delay" (Habakkuk 2:1-3).
In His time He will open our minds and fill our hearts with the truths of Christ. Paul tells us we are to "Endeavor to present yourself to God qualified, an unashamed worker, correctly cutting the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). It is not something that comes out of thin air, or is easy, it something we have to work at, as we wait for the spirit of truth to reveal truth.
The spirit is willing to teach: "Yet to us God reveals them through His spirit, for the spirit is searching all, even the depths of God" (1 Corinthians 2:10).
The flesh desires relief, the soul needs comfort: "My soul longs and consumes for the courts of Yahweh; My heart and my flesh, they are appealing to the living God" (Psalms 84:2).
And we are to be patient with all three as His spirit joins with our spirit unveiling His Son in us.
To Be Continued
1. Yet we are encouraged, and are delighting rather to be away from home out of the body and to be at home with the Lord.
2. To unveil His Son in me that I may be evangelizing Him among the nations.
3. Now, similarly, the spirit also is aiding our infirmity, for what we should be praying for, to accord with what must be, we are not aware, but the spirit itself is pleading for us with inarticulate groanings.
4. Yet whenever that may be coming -- the spirit of truth -- it will be guiding you into all the truth, for it will not be speaking from itself, but whatsoever it should be hearing will it be speaking, and of what is coming will it be informing you.
5. Who also makes us competent dispensers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter is killing, yet the spirit is vivifying.
6. Now he who joins the Lord is one spirit.
7. Yet you are not in flesh, but in spirit, if so be that God's spirit is making its home in you. Now if anyone has not Christ's spirit, this one is not His. Now if Christ is in you, the body, indeed, is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is life because of righteousness.
8. For who knew the mind of the Lord? Who will be deducing from Him? Yet we have the mind of Christ.