My hope is that as we examine the qualities of our spirit man we can know in our minds if something is of God or of us. I've not seen a teaching on the spirit of man before except for the negative elements of the non-born again spirit. So here are more qualities of the human spirit that is born again, submitted for your consideration:
"And He turned and rebuked them, saying, You don't know what manner of spirit you are of." Luke 9:55.
This statement is related to our topic because there are many in our day just like the disciples. The context is Jesus was headed to Jerusalem quickly and some wanted Him to stay overnight with them, and offended that He declined their invitation. James and John asked if they should call down fire upon them like Elijah did, but Jesus said they don't know what spirit they are of, for He came to save people not destroy them.
We are still in the time of salvation, today is the day of salvation. We are not in the Old Testament times and how He dealt with opposition then. He allows people to suffer the consequences of their actions, but He isn't calling down fire upon those who oppose the Lord today.
But like James and John, the 'sons of thunder' as they were called, people can be stirred in their spirit and want to act. The key is knowing we are in NT times not OT times - so grace and patience is needed, not fire and brimstone. God is moving people towards salvation at this time, not fire for the opposition. We have to know the qualities of our spirit man, and know of 'what manner of spirit' we are, and walk with Him in these NT times.
"Behold my hands and my feet, that it really is me. Touch me and see for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see me have." Luke 24: 39 as the risen Lord appears to the disciples. Notice your spirit man does not have flesh and bones - but your glorified body will have flesh and bones. Your spirit man being in the image of God, fills the space within your body so your spirit has arms and legs, and indeed looks like you albeit perfect in appearance - the things of the world and aging have no effect on the spirit of man. Notice also Jesus didn't say 'flesh and blood' but 'flesh and bones'. His holy blood was once poured to pay for the sin of the world.
"...true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is looking for people like that to worship Him"...."God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4: 23-24.
The word 'worship' is 'proskuneo' and means 'to kiss towards'. The Father is looking for people who will express love towards Him, 'kiss Him' but only in spirit and truth. That means from their spirit, their deepest being, and with no ulterior motives. In Jesus' day as in ours, a kiss is an act of covenant. A kiss on the cheek in much of the world is a kiss of the covenant of friendship - that I will not dishonor our friendship, betray, use, abuse our relationship. That is why Judas' betrayal by kiss was mentioned in Matthew, Mark, and Luke - it was a horrific act and cruel of him. His kiss of covenant as he betrayed the Lord was an insult of such magnitude it gets lost on us today.
Your spirit is the inner most part, yet sadly, many Christians only worship from their soul. And more sadly, many worship only the Lord Jesus when He plainly said worship is first to the Father. Many are conflicted worshipping the Father because they hold on to inaccurate images of Him perhaps from the Old Testament, or perhaps from an angry earth-father or pastor. But we are to worship out of our spirit - we can pray and sing in our spirit to Him, we can and should pour out our hearts in transparent honesty to Him. Many who are more 'cerebral' find it difficult to 'get in touch' with their spirit man - but in privacy think through why you walk with the Lord, why you are thankful. And from that deep place start to worship Him...
"It is the spirit that makes alive, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life." John 6:63, Jesus talking, our focus should be on spiritual things, not our own flesh or the world's fleshly focus. Paul would later write of the Roman custom of braiding jewels in women's hair and wigs, saying it is better to adorn the inner man with godly things than outward shows of wealth. Our spirit man makes us alive, the eternal part of us, by comparison the flesh of this earth is nothing. Hunger for the Words that produce Life in us, that impact our spirit. One day in His courts is better than thousands elsewhere. Have that priority and truly love that Presence within more than anything else, and make your world revolve around that love and Presence.
"He groaned in the spirit" and "He was troubled in spirit" from John 11:33 and 13:21. The first was when He saw Mary crying over the death of her brother, Lazarus, and the second is when Jesus realized the time of His betrayal was upon Him. These show our spirit man can sense the weight of something spiritually. An event can affect our spirit as it does also our soul (emotions).
The death of a friend, the betrayal of a friend. Our mind can perceive that grievance, that weight, that heaviness in our spirit. At times the Father uses that as a signal we need to pray in the spirit and do spiritual battle for someone. At times it is to lift the burden of a friend, as when Jesus raised Lazarus, taking the burden off Mary and Martha (Lazarus and his income and estate would have been the source of their housing, food, and life).
"...his spirit was stirred in him when he saw the whole city given to idolatry." and "Paul was pressed in the spirit and testified..." and "...Paul purposed in the spirit to go...to Jerusalem." Also, "I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing what things will happen to me there..." Acts 17:16; 18:5; 19:21; 20:22
These verses show what many take for their own emotions, to be of their spirit. Paul was stirred, or provoked in his spirit about the idolatry. He perceived that in his soul. Together, spirit and soul were stirred and he acted. We might call that 'righteous indignation', a holy anger or provocation about something that is wrong - so much so it says Paul was 'pressed' in his spirit and testified. He first testified to the Jews living in the midst of such error, and then he went to Mars Hill to speak to the city leaders.
He was 'bound in the spirit' to make the trip to Jerusalem. There are times that deep inside we know that we know we must do 'that thing' and it must be now. It may be as minor as a project around the house the Lord urges you in your spirit to do in the morning that you had planned for the afternoon, but you obey without knowing why. Then unexpectedly that afternoon you are called out or a friend stops by, taking the whole afternoon. The Father put in your spirit to do the work earlier because He knew you afternoon would be filled.
It may be that you know that you know you must attend a funeral or wedding or other event - you are pressed in your spirit, bound in your spirit to attend. Paul didn't know what awaited him, but he knew he had to go on that trip...
Many people become provoked in their spirit and need to speak about an injustice. There is still a need for order and wisdom as demonstrated by Paul - first he went to the Jews, then the Gentiles. He had an order of sharing and with whom to share what he felt in his spirit. He didn't go nuclear in an outburst of wrath or preaching.
I'll close next week talking about some qualities of our spirit you may not have realized is of your spirit. And the series after this has to do with how the Holy Spirit and our spirit work together in us....until next week, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org