Contributor: Leye Olayiwola
What an awesome year it has been so far. Thank God for another anticipated awesome experience in His presence. We kicked off this year's bible study discussing in details, the great Shepherd. His word promises in Isaiah 58: 11a "The Lord will guide you continually". That's awesome, isn't it? Assured of the Great Shepherd's guidance all through the year and beyond. Today, we shall take our study further by looking at how the Lord has designed us to be guided. Do you know that both our body and spirit are very relevant and of great value to our God given assignment here on earth? This and many more will be covered in our topic, Man - An Eternal Spirit.
1. The Lamp of the Lord.
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God."[Romans 8:14]
"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,"[Romans 8:16]
"The spirit of man [that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God] is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts."[Proverbs 20:27]
We will examine these three (3) scriptures collectively and make some spiritual deductions accordingly.
The NASB version of Proverbs 20:27 reads that "The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord....". This means God will enlighten (shed light upon; instruct; impart knowledge to) us. In order words, He will guide us. However, because we live in a sensual world, we are quick to seek guidance by other means, especially our physical senses. This, as you would agree with me, mostly get us into trouble. Nowhere does the Bible say God will guide us through our physical senses or mental senses. God will guide us through our spirits. In order to have a full grasp of this truth, we require a good understanding of our nature as spirit beings.
2. Man: An Eternal Spirit.
"God said, Let Us [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness,.... So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them."[Genesis 1:26,27]
We have to understand that man is a spirit being, that he has a soul, and that he lives in the body [1 Thess. 5:23].
"God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worshipHim in spirit and in truth (reality)." [John 4:24]
If man is made in God's image, after His likeness, it therefore follow that man must of necessity be a spirit. That is why when the physical body of man is dead and in the grave, the spirit lives on. That part of man is eternal as Spirits can never die. That why saints don't die. They sleep. Stephen (one of the disciples) was recorded in Acts 7:60 as " And when he had said this, he fell asleep [in death]"Paul was talking in Phillipians 1:23,24, :
"For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you."
Who is going to depart? Paul was not talking about his body. His body was not going to depart. He was talking about the inward man, the spirit man, who lives inside the body. Some false cults teach that when a man dies, he does so like a dog. This is absolutely false. Man is more than a body, he is a spirit! He has a soul and abides in a body! Some also believe in reincarnation. This is unscriptural and unbiblical. Stay and believe on what the word of God teaches. Paul preached the same truths and taught the same facts to all the churches.
"but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." [2 Cor.4:16]
There is an inward man, and there is an inward man. The outward man is not the real you. This is only the house in which you live. The inward man is the real you and never grows older (i.e. corrupted). It is renewed day by day. This is the spirit man. It is this inward man that gets born again (See the account of Nicodemus in John 3: 1-6), the reason why the Bible encourages us to renew our minds. Man's spirit receives eternal life - the very life of God, and the nature of God. It is man's spirit that is made a new creature in Christ.
What Is Our spirit?
Keep in mind our text in Romans 8:14. Verse 16 gives insight into how the Spirit of God leads us - Through bearing witness with our spirit. In other words, the Spirit of God bears witness with the spirit of man. Paul calls man's spirit "the inward man." while Peter calls man's spirit "the hidden man of the heart" [1 Peter 3:4]
In many places when the Bible speaks of the heart, it is speaking of the spirit, which is the real man. In the New Testament, wherever the word heart is used, substitute the word spirit and you will get a clearer picture of what the Bible is talking about.
"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]
This is talking about the inward man and not the outward man. You do not get a new body or any bodily change after the new birth. God does not do anything with the outward man, you have to find out what God wants you to do with the outward man from the Bible and then do it. God makes the man on the inside a new man in Christ, a new creature - a new creation.
3. Be Spirit- Conscious
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." [1 Thess.5:23]
Paul begins with the inside, the innermost part of man, the heart of being, which is his spirit, and comes outside. Most people misquote this verse by reversing the order, why? Because, most of the time, they are body-conscious than spirit-conscious. i.e. the natural mean more to them than spiritual things. We can be sometimes more mental-conscious too because we live in the mental realm.
If we are going to be led by the Spirit of God, we must become more spirit-conscious or we'll miss out on the whole thing. Remember, God's Spirit leads us through our spirits.
As an aside, let's consider the importance of the body. Why did Jesus had to show Thomas His Body in John 20:26-27? Why did He ask him to touch him? What will you do if you hear a movement in you house without seeing anybody?
You see, our body is what makes us authentic dwellers here on the earth. That is why God puts us here, to have dominion. That is why He desires for us to pray so we can invoke mysterious changes here on earth. God is a Spirit and since He does not have a Body, He has entrusted the Power to make changes to us as authentic dwellers (thanks to our Body). You will make great progress with your prayer life if you walk in the consciousness of this.
Realise and walk in the consciousness of the truth that you are a spirit being and that you became a new creature created by God in Christ Jesus. This will help you grow spiritually.
*Teaching is culled from "How You Can Be Led By The Spirit of God" by Kenneth E Hagin.