Posts Tagged ‘soul vs spirit’

Day Fifty-Six

The Descent into Error: On What Do You Lean?

“For though I am away from you in body, yet I am with you in spirit, delighted at the sight of your [standing shoulder to shoulder in such] orderly array and the firmness of the solid front and steadfastness of your faith in Christ [that leaning of the entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness].” Col 2:5 AMP

            Before every one of the saints of God there is a continual, daily choice to align with Christ. Sometimes it is even moment by moment, for there is a continual pull, a draw from the flesh (of our soul) to align with it.  It can be seen as the difference between following Christ, or following our soul and it’s leading.  It is the difference between having the Holy Spirit ruling as Umpire in our heart, or deciding things ourselves according to our own best skills.

While it may appear that your own reasoning follows the same relative heading as the leading of the Lord – you may trust that there are many instances where they will separate, and like the difference between true north and the magnetic north there exists an error of declination.  You, however, will likely not notice the increasing distance between the directional heading of these two (your soul’s leading vice that of the Holy Spirit), because the element of time is required to plot them out to their end course.

But understand this:  the enemy’s end game is to encourage and help you to lean on your own understanding and perception, rather than trusting the Lord and His!  If he can develop that default tendency in you for good things (to depend on the flesh for seeming good) it will not be long before he can solidify your leaning on the flesh (and your own understanding) for evil. It is there that he can bring you under judgment and condemnation – and it will stick because you have not trusted in the One Whom you should have trusted.

Matthew 24:10 reflects this situation as an end-times truth concerning the Body of Christ. “And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred.”

Once the body distrusts and deserts Jesus Christ, it is not long before they begin to behave with the very nature of the enemy: hatred and betrayal.  The beginning of that fall saints is to lean on the wrong thing.  It is a slow slide from leaning on ourselves and our own understanding to actual betrayal and hatred – but it is a descent nevertheless.

Now grasp this please!  The reason there is a problem with leaning on your own thinking and living according to that – is that Jesus Christ has given us a new life to be lived out even now – according to the Spirit.  When we make our default setting the continual, rational posture of dependence on our soul, then we in fact make our soul the chief force in our life.  We put our own understanding, our sense of duty, our own soul on the throne of our lives.  But we are called as believers to enthrone the resurrection life of Christ, to lift Him up as Lord of our lives.

Ultimately, my best thinking will never get me to the same place as obedience to the Spirit will, and this is the error of declination between living according to the soul or living according to the Spirit. Abraham’s best thinking would have never led him to offer Isaac as a living sacrifice.  Joseph’s best thinking would never have led him to forgive his brothers. But obedience did!  Jesus Christ Himself showed us the very core of difference between relying on His own understanding or leaning on the Father when He asked: if there be any other way Father let this cup pass from Me, but nevertheless Thy will, not mine be done. Even Jesus was leaning on the Spirit, obedient to the Father as He went to the Cross.  We are called to do the same!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Prov 3:5-6

The descent that one sees as we fail to lean on the Lord is equally true for a believer, for a nation, and even for the Body of Christ.  The only way to stem the slide of descent into ultimate hatred and betrayal, is to see where we are at, and turn and fully lean on the One on Whom we should trust and obey!




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