I started this series last week about how to enter into the Father's presence –
I shared that Jesus said His Father is a Spirit, and that we are born again in our spirit man. Therefore it is in our spirit that the Father speaks to us; His (Holy) Spirit to our spirit - all things flow upward and outward from what He shares, reveals, speaks in our spirit. (John 4:24, 15:26-27, 16:13)
How to tell if it is in your spirit
I also shared last week how the 2 on the road to Emmaus commented after the Lord disappeared from their midst: "Didn't our hearts burn inside us while He talked with us...?" (Luke 24:32)
They were describing their spirit man 'burning'. Notice their minds noticed something happening down on the inside of them. The act of your mind noticing your spirit man like they did is something you've done countless times before.
Have you ever spoken something you shouldn't, and as soon as you did you felt grieved, bruised, down inside? That is your spirit man, which is born of the Spirit of Truth, telling you the truth - you sinned - and your mind noticed it.
Now think, where exactly did you sense that grievance? In terms of area of the body, it was in your chest area, or your gut/stomach area, yet it wasn't physical, it was in your spirit.
Paul said of sinners in Ephesians 4:17-19 of sexual sin in particular, 'who are past feeling, having turned themselves over to loose living and uncleanness...' In the Greek 'past feeling' is 'apalgeo', which means 'to cease to feel pain for' (an act of sin).
We get the English word 'apology' from it, and in this use another way to say this verse is that a person is "past apologizing for their sin". They are calloused and self-righteous in their justification of their sin:
They are past feeling that dirtiness, that unclean feeling, that grievance and remorse when they sin so they offer no apology...that sense of sin happens in the spirit man. The mind is merely 'picking up on' or noticing that sense of grievance, shame, dirtiness that their spirit man is feeling and reacting to.
Paul later said the same thing a different way: "Now the Spirit speaks specifically that in the latter times some will very slowly depart from the faith, seduced by spirits and teachings of demons...having their conscience seared with a hot iron." (I Timothy 4:1-2)
The word 'seared' is better translated 'branded'. Not surprisingly, it is the Greek word 'kausteriazo' and is where we get both 'caustic' and 'cauterize'. Caustic is something acidic, eating away at you.
It is the act of a hot iron burning the outside skin so that all the blood and juices are sealed inside. Paul paints a picture of this 'past feeling/no apology' made by a person repeating and repeating and repeating a sin, until they become seared over in their conscience, past feeling their spirit being grieved and unable to sense any shame or wrongness about their sin in their mind.
Happy thoughts now
In I John 3:19-21 the apostle John said "If our heart blames us, God is greater than our heart. If our heart doesn't blame us, we have peace before God."
The Greek word 'blame(s) us' is 'kataginosko', made up of 'kata', against, and 'ginosko', to know something. Literally then, "If our heart knows something against us, God is greater than our heart. If our heart doesn't know anything against us, we have peace before God."
When our heart has something against us, that is we sense in our spirit we have sinned, God is greater and all that is required is that acknowledgement in humility as we seek forgiveness and right standing again.
I shared these 'negative' things of the spirit man because all of us know the feeling of sin, and we know the act of our minds noticing our spirit when it feels grieved, shamed, dirty by that sin, and it is important to know the stages of 'desensitizing' that goes on.
Turn that attention to your spirit
It is that exact same act of the mind noticing what is going on in our spirit as it pertains to sin, that also allows us to sense His presence within. We look for His presence in our spirit, which is as simple as turning your attention inside, the same way you do when you misspeak and have that sudden grievance in your spirit that you notice. Start noticing His presence, His peace inside you.
Like I always tell people I've laid hands on for healing; look for the healing, not for what remains to be healed. In the same way, look for His presence, not the last bit of grievance, look for His peace down inside you, in your spirit.
My wife, Barb, had just set a very nice dinner on the table. She had worked on it all day long, slow cooking a beef roast surrounded by carrots and potatoes and onions and herbs and spices in our big black enameled roasting pan. The house was filled with the aroma of the feast we were about to eat.
All 3 boys were seated, and I on one end of the table and she on the other, when after prayer and as we started to portion out the boy's plates, she stopped: "I'm sorry, I just can't eat right now. I've had such a burden to pray all afternoon, and I've prayed as I've cooked, but I can't stand it any longer. I have to go to the bedroom and pray this out, someone's life is at stake."
And with that, she left as the boys and I pondered yet another one of mom's prayer burdens. About 45 minutes later and well after the meal she emerged from our bedroom refreshed and ready to eat. "I don't know who it was for, but it was for someone in Thailand and their life was at stake, so I had to pray it through until I got the victory. When that peace came on me I knew it was going to be OK for them." (This sort of thing has happened countless times in our over 34 years of marriage, as she is an intercessor like no one I've ever seen)
Physically speaking, Barb's body was in the kitchen preparing the meal, her mind (soul) was busy with what goes in at what time and how hot the oven should be and do we have clean dishes, sort of thing. In the midst of all that her mind, her soul, also noticed a burden in her spirit. A heaviness, a present urging to intercede not just in our native English, not just in tongues, but I heard deep groanings like someone in labor coming from our room.
Jesus stood near the now dead for 4 days body of His friend, Lazarus. Earlier in John 11 Jesus revealed He knew by the Spirit that Lazarus had died, but as people were trying to arrest Him in that area, He had to wait until released by the Father to go to his dead friend.
Once there, v33 says "...He groaned in his spirit and was troubled." And again in v38: "Jesus again groaning in Himself came to the grave."
If you read the story you see that emotionally speaking, Jesus was overcome with the death of his friend, but emotions didn't raise Lazarus from the dead. It was the intercession beyond words, the groaning in His spirit, that did so.
Romans 8:26-27 describes the deepest groaning of intercession as 'beyond words', which describes Barb's burden for a stranger in far off Thailand, and Jesus at Lazarus' grave.
Rivers from a river
Jesus said in John 7:38 for those who come to Him, out of their 'belly' will flow rivers of living water. The word 'belly' here is exactly that, and has 3 meanings based on context. The first use is that of the belly, the appetite. This same word is used as 'womb'. Clearly neither of those meanings fit the context. The 3rd meaning and use here is: "The hidden, innermost recesses of being". Out of our hidden and innermost recesses of being will flow rivers of living water. That's out of our spirit, in conjunction with the Holy Spirit.
Notice that in Revelation 22:1 there is a single river, the River of Life that flows from the throne of the Father. That river of the Holy Spirit enters our spirit and then flows out of us in tongues and groaning's, dividing into rivers, plural, flowing in intercession for many people and issues as the Father leads.
Recognizing what is happening in our spirit man is key - and I'll pick it up here next week...your homework is to think through those times you felt grieved, repent if you have an area you are seared over, and practice switching your attention back and forth from 'out there' the world around you, to 'in here' where the Father lives, to what your spirit is feeling and sensing.