Living a Life That Shakes the Spirit World

IMGIf we truly want to make a difference as a Christian in this life we need to teach ourselves to operate in the Spirit. As often happens for me (praise God) another piece of the puzzle recently fell into place while meditating on God's Word.

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1 Corinthians 1:27 (KJV)

As so often is the case with this Living Word of God there are multiple layers of truth to be discerned here. First consider this, it is us who in fact are the foolish and weak things spoken of here. Verses like Acts 4:13 demonstrate this quite literally. Secondly, it is when we put into practice the things God's Word tells us to do, that make no natural sense, that things really start to happen.

And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Acts 5:41 (KJV)

What is 'operating in the Spirit' and how do we do it? As always with spiritual principles the answer is simple, yet profound. Yes, we are operating in the Spirit when we fast and pray, but those are just the basics. Operating in the Spirit means operating in the exact opposite of the flesh. It means turning the other cheek when our flesh wants to lash out. It means praying for our enemies when our flesh wants to punch them in the nose. It means rejoicing when we are shamed and persecuted for Christ's sake, when our flesh wants to go somewhere and lick our wounds in defeat and self pity. It is when we confound our natural instincts, when we rebel against what our flesh wants to do, defying all earthly logic and sense that we have real victory in the Spirit. When we do this we cause demons to tremble with fear and shake the very gates of Hell!

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

Even these things are just the beginning of the battle. Each of us has areas of our lives that need improving, but none of us are exactly the same. Some may have a problem with lust, others with greed or selfishness. God deals with each of us as individuals, we may think one area of our lives needs improving when He puts His finger on another.

For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1 Corinthians 11:31 (KJV)

To operate in the Spirit we need to destroy the works of the flesh in our own lives by allowing God to show us the areas that are displeasing to Him. If we are not proactive in judging ourselves we probably won't like it when God has to step in. This is a never ending process as long as we inhabit these mortal bodies.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:8-9 (KJV)

The person you should be most concerned about is the one that claims they have attained complete victory over their flesh. One place to look is pride, or perhaps they have reached a plateau where they are comfortable with their sin level and unwilling to apply the light of Truth to themselves anymore and progress. If Paul referred to himself as a "wretched man" (Romans 7:24), do you dare to say you are more righteous than he was? And if he had to struggle to keep his flesh under subjection for his salvation's sake (1 Corinthians 9:27) do you think you won't answer to God for neglecting your own salvation?

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Matthew 5:27-28 (KJV)

First we must start with the symptoms, then the cause. As an example we can cease from fornication, but it will always be a problem until we deal with that lust in our hearts that drives us into it. If God is really starting to affect change in our lives in this area the Devil will try to hold onto us by telling us to exchange fornication or adultery for sins like masturbation and watching pornography. He doesn't want to lose your business, so he will tell you that your sin is secret and nobody will know.

Once we have seemingly progressed past the 'bigger sins' other things that are displeasing to the Lord will come to our minds via the Holy Spirit. Things like the music we listen to, the things we say to others that convict our spirit, the things we watch on television or watching it at all.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
1 Corinthians 7:4-5 (KJV)

The truth is if it stirs up our flesh in any way it is subject to being exploited by Satan, even the most basic and necessary of desires and needs. What is a more basic need than food? Yet we are commanded to fast often. Even the marriage bed, though it be undefiled we are encouraged to abstain for a period of time from indulging purely for our spiritual good.

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