I’ve been posting about the intimacy that comes from worshipping God in spirit. That brings us to another question. What does in the spirit mean? It’s a common enough expression throughout the Word of God, but do we really know what it means?
On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet…
This is the Apostle John describing what took place just as the Lord was about to show him the Revelation he recorded in the Scripture. He went out of way to let us know that he was not just eating breakfast or reading the newspaper. He was in the spirit.
It sounds like this is a special place. Of course, that’s only logical. Even in our natural lives intimacy with another person requires a special time and place. A man could not be intimate with his wife in the stands at a hockey game.
In the same way, intimacy with God requires a special time and place – that is being in the spirit.
For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.
In this section, Paul is talking about those who were trying to place Old Testament rules on Gentile believers. It’s about the overcoming church that he writes, “It is we who worship God in spirit.” We are the ones who boast only in Christ. True Christianity places no confidence in flesh.
The Scripture is clear that flesh and blood cannot worship at the level of the spirit. The Biblical picture always shows that in worship, our flesh must be prostrate and silent. That’s why we read things like, “I fell at His feet like a dead man.”
This means that my hands cannot worship God. Neither can my mouth, my feet or my entire body.
Worship can only be an act of my spirit. So, if I don’t understand how my spirit operates, then I really can’t understand true worship.
Let’s start with the basics. God created us all in His image. He is a three-part being – Father, Son, and Spirit. God created us with the same three parts. We have a body, a soul, and a spirit.
Our soul is who we are. It’s the seat of our mind, memories, personality, and emotions. My soul is the real me. When I want to talk to you, it’s not your body I want to talk to, but your soul – the person inside the body.
Your soul is housed in a thing called your flesh or your body. This is the part of your being that allows your soul to interact and communicate in the physical, natural realm. It’s the part of you that can taste, smell, touch, hear, and see.
Unfortunately, this is the part of your being that’s marred by sin. Because Adam chose the path of rebellion, the flesh now desires to be first place in your life. This is what causes most of our trouble.
The third part of our being is our spirit. This is the part of us that allows our soul to interact and communicate in the spiritual realm. This is the dimension where God, angels and demons usually dwell. It’s with your spirit that God desires to have fellowship with you on His level.
Question: Why is overcoming the flesh so important to the believer?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014