It has become very apparent to me whilst engaging with those who are following this series that there is a general confusion in distinguishing between the spirit and the soul. And as a result, instead of walking in the spirit, they remain in a soulish realm.
I was also surprised when I realised that some think the spirit and the soul are the same things, and as a result, they use the words interchangeably. This confusion between what the soul and spirit are has resulted in most Christians being spiritually deaf. So as we look at the voice of the spirit today and the practical elements of walking in love (i.e. walking in the spirit) it is important that we distinguish between the spirit and the soul.
In the book of 1 Thessalonians 5:23 the bible says “May the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” It is apparent from this text that a whole person is divided into three parts. What is also apparent is the fact that Paul distinguishes between the spirit and the soul. Otherwise, Paul could have said spirit and body or soul and body, but he distinguishes between spirit and soul, resulting in three distinct parts in which a person is divided instead of just two.
The word of God has an ability to separate between the spirit and the soul. You can look at Hebrews 4:12. If the Word of God makes it a point to separate the spirit and the soul then it means it is important for us to know how to distinguish between the two. To know what God is saying you need to be able to distinguish between the two otherwise you will never know what is coming from your soul and what is coming from your spirit. This is an area that a lot of people struggle with. “Are these just my thoughts, or is this God saying something to me?”
When God created Adam from the dust of the ground, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. This can be found in Genesis 2:7. The breath of life became the spirit of the man when it came into contact with the body the soul was also produced. Hence man became a living soul. The bible talks of only two elements initially, the spirit (the breath of life) and the body. But when the spirit touched the body a soul was produced. Make sense?
Before I retire that point, we must also not confuse the Holy Spirit with our spirit. The apostle clears this potential confusion out in the book of Romans 8:16 when He says “The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” Your human spirit is sensitive to God because it came to God and is sensitive to Him. It is that element of your being that can fellowship with God, can understand Him, and worship Him. Your soul would be the realm of your emotions, memories and thoughts. They also have their importance, but in that soulish realm you cannot reach the spiritual realm and you will not hear the voice of God.
Your spirit can rejoice, grieve, anticipate, love, decide, and discern. When these emotions are sensed in the spirit, they are quite distinct from those felt in the soul or those expressed by the body. Luke 1:46 says “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my saviour” This is the type of joy that stems from the spirit, not the soul. It comes from your innermost part called your conscience and is capable of experiencing emotions that have nothing to do with your soul. The senses of your soul are usually caused by external things like events or people. But the senses of your spirit are activated by the Holy Spirit.
This is the reason why a Christian is able to have “peace that surpasses all understanding” in the midst of chaos, it is because the peace does not stem from the soul. It stems from your spirit. And if you start paying attention to the source of your emotions or feelings, you will start learning to distinguish whether they come from the inner man or the outer man. When you can do this you will hear from God.
The things of the spirit will be foolish to the carnal man, but the spirit is very sensitive to the things of the spirit. So things that God says to you, that your soul might easily dismiss as meaningless and foolish, your spirit has the ability to apprehend them.
Let me conclude Day 4 by this question for the sake of conciseness “How do you fine-tune your spirit to be able to perceive spiritual things then?” And then tomorrow we will continue from here regarding the outstanding points of discussion.
The answer to how to fine-tune your perception of spiritual things, including hearing the voice of God, is this “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple” Psalm 119:130. Hearing more of the word of God makes you sensitive to spiritual things and it fine-tunes your “God-frequency” In practical terms, this means listening to a lot of teachings on the Word of God, reading, and studying a lot of the Word. And for those who desire to prophesy, it entails listening to others prophesying and sharing the spoken word of God.
I have personally listened to someone prophesy almost every day of my life since I was 12 years old. It has made a huge difference in my ability to hear God and communicate His mind to others. By doing these you will sharpen your hearing and be more sensitive to the spirit. I am not saying this is the only way to go about it, but this is what has worked for me.
We will continue from here on Day 5. Love and light to you. Shalom!