The previous series was about knowing the difference between your spirit and the Holy Spirit. It is in our spirit man that we know Him, that we sense Him, not our minds. Our minds 'perceive' what is happening in our spirit man, but Christ is in our spirit man, not our brains.
There is a need to share the qualities of our spirit man, which when we realize these things, it will help answer the question: Is it me, or is it God?
"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Jesus observed this when the disciples fell asleep as He was praying in the Garden before His arrest. Paul would later write that in our hearts we want to do what is right, but in our flesh we find we want to sin. The spirit man is eternal, and when recreated by the Holy Spirit, is awake 24/7 and always wants to do what is right. But for now, our spirit is housed in a body of the earth, and is 'weak'. Matthew 26:41, Romans 7:14-25
"And immediately when Jesus perceived in His spirit they reasoned these things in themselves..." Jesus lived and ministered as a Spirit-filled man, but what these men were thinking was something He perceived in His spirit. The Holy Spirit didn't speak to Him, He perceived it. Mark 2:8
This tells us our spirit man perceives things in other people. In the previous series I mentioned how a person growing up around alcoholics, once an adult, will be able to perceive in their spirits when they interact with a person who is an addict. This is because they know in their own spirit what that (evil) spirit feels like.
Each person's life story is unique, and each person's spirit will perceive different things at different times from different people. One may perceive lust because they experienced people with lust earlier in life. Another may perceive a person is a Christian or not far from the kingdom because of a witness in their spirit. The Holy Spirit is not speaking or giving revelation, making them wonder, but in their spirit they can sense that other person is either a Christian or at least godly in their life.
"My spirit has rejoiced in God my savior." Luke 1:47. Mary responded saying this when her (pregnant) cousin Elizabeth told her how the baby in her womb leapt for joy at the sound of Mary's voice. Mary's spirit rejoiced. Have you ever awakened and your spirit was full of joy, had an excited feeling, but your mind didn't know why? That is your spirit rejoicing in you, having received or knowing something your mind does not yet know.
Often we don't know why our spirit leaps and experiences such joy that it bubbles over into our soul, but we recognize it. The Holy Spirit in us isn't revealing what it is; it is just our spirit rejoicing in the Lord.
"And the child grew, and became strong in spirit..." Luke 1:80, of the boy John the Baptist. The Greek word 'strong' here is from 'kratos' and means 'exerted power', 'strength'. Do you know someone who is a 'strong spirit' or 'strong in spirit'? I think very often today we say a child is strong willed. John the Baptist was strong willed for God and refused to compromise. The text tells us he spent most of his time out in the wilderness alone with God until the start of his ministry.
This is a quality of the spirit man. Very often it is taken as rebellion and it can be, but steered in the right direction this person's spirit can be raised to be strong in righteousness. I have observed many strong-willed, strong in spirit people struggle with their walk with the Lord due to their sense of righteousness. When life happens and it is unfair, they struggle reconciling God and the injustices in life. The encouragement here is to turn to the Lord in spite of not understanding - remember John was called to prepare the way of Messiah, but he started baptizing people before he ever saw Jesus and pointed Him out os the Lamb of God. Until then, John was blindly doing what he knew to do in life without any questions answered, until one day Jesus came to him to be baptized.
"And the child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him." Luke 2:40
This is speaking of young Jesus before age 12, before he became separated from His parents who later found Him in the temple discussing theology with the elders of Israel. Luke 2:40 speaks of His childhood, that He was strong in spirit, wisdom, and grace.
This word 'became strong' is once again based on 'kratos' meaning exerted power, strength. Jesus was strong willed for righteousness, and grew in wisdom, which is how to channel that strong will - teach a strong in spirit young person wisdom. Wisdom is how to apply knowledge, so they need to be taught the reason the parent is saying no, or the reason for yes. This person needs to know as Jesus did, what is the reason behind the reason - that's one reason He was in the temple at age 12 talking with the teachers - He wanted to know the wisdom behind the knowledge. Parents - explain why you are saying and doing what you are doing to such a child. Explain the reason, the wisdom behind your commands, expectations, and encouragements. (and punishments).
These are only a few qualities of the spirit of man, but look at what I've shared thus far: The spirit of man is willing to do anything for God, to go anywhere, even to die for our faith. But the flesh it is housed in is weak. Inwardly we are bold lions ready to take on the world. Outwardly we are cowardly lions who roar loudly but not much else.
We can perceive in our spirit at times what others are thinking, their motives. Our spirit can rejoice, overflowing to our soul which pours out praise to God, while our minds cannot grasp why exactly our spirit rejoices. We can be strong in our spirit, setting our lives for righteousness, yet needing to couple that strong spirit with wisdom and grace....there is so much more! What do you perceive in your spirit? What do you know about yourself? More next week, until then, blessings,
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