And by “place,” I really mean our minds and even our hearts, not necessarily whatever the Animals were talking about
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God- what is good and acceptable and perfect”
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. That is not the way you learned Christ! For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothes yourselves in the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth
I am accustomed to glossing over the idea of the spirit, even though it is the key to renewing the mind and reforming actions. Not that I didn’t believe in it, I thought it was just a technicality, a detail tangential to the real message about giving yourself wholly to God. But now it occurs to me- what is self? And what exactly is this spirit?
I just read another pamphlet by Watchman Nee which explains the relationship between the heart, soul, spirit and mind in great detail, as well as it described the unfortunate condition of the is unrenewed, worldly mind. I really wish I could share this pamphlet with you all, but once again I am restrained by copyright laws. I would like to go on a tirade about copyright laws right now, but I suppose that would be rather hypocritical of me since I am an aspiring novelist.
ANYWAY, back to the point. Do you see how unrenewed my mind is? I am the most scatter-brained person. I’m sure that the things I have been posting on here lately reflect that. Most of the time I think about food. When I am working, I think about relaxing, when I am relaxing, I think about working. My mind is full of all sorts of vain and foolish daydreams. My mind constantly puffs itself up. For that reason, I can hardly write anything good because the ego clouds my inspiration, and every time I do think I write something good, I am always sure to give myself a hearty pat on the back.
I can probably sustain thoughts that are exclusively about God for about a minute, whereas I can entertain anger and jealousy almost indefinitely if I so chose.
Even my heart is in the wrong place; it seeks after itself continually. It festers in its wounds and refuses to be healed. That is why my thoughts are often filled with discontent and bitterness.
And then, of course, mental illness adds a whole other confusing layer to the already jarring conundrum that is my mind.
I have described the state of my mind, but what about my spirit? I am only beginning to understand what my spirit is, let alone what it can do. This must be the reason why my spiritual life is lacking so. Why can’t I pray well? Why aren’t my prayers answered even if they are unselfish prayers? Why can’t I effectively speak about God? Why don’t I feel that the Holy Spirit is giving me words? Why do I constantly feel so self-conscious and not God-conscious? And why can’t I understand anyone!
The spirit, I suppose, is the part of us that is outside of the body. It is the part that will remain when all else perishes. It is the better half, the ideal essence of our being. So if it is true that this spirit will last forever while our body and our brains will perish… wouldn’t it be a good idea, then, to get to know this spirit?
But how is that accomplished? How will we relate to our spirit? How can we even meet it? The spirit doesn’t need food or coffee, so that’s not useful. I mean. Is a meet and greet icebreaker in order? Of course I am joking, but the confusion is real.
I don’t think it is useful to really strain yourself to get in touch with the spirit. Please don’t consult mediums.
I do think that you will feel your spirit eventually. You may even understand something profound and spiritual when you’re not trying. And that is because it is God who communicates through our spirit. But what do I know about the spirit? Maybe you shouldn’t listen to me, I’m just a silly girl
But even though it may be difficult to understand and know the spirit, I think it is very useful to know that it is there. It’s not just a technicality or some abstract thing that isn’t important, as I always thought. The spirit may not be material, but it is real, it is a source of comfort. You see, the spirit is somewhat independent. It is not the body, it is not even the mind really. Now, let me say why this is comforting. We may feel worthless at times because our actions and thoughts are evil. But there is a higher self outside the flesh. The higher self can receive information from God, or the Holy Spirit. And once our spirit fellowships with God, the rest of us will follow suit. So there is continually hope for the sinner. It doesn’t matter how perverse your thoughts are, but they can be washed clean through this flawless system that our Lord has created. Not that I really understand it, not that I am explaining it in the right way, but let us rejoice when we realize that there is an abundant and sublime life apart from this one. Or, as the song goes, “There’s a better life for you and me.”
Yet, I am sad to admit, that finding this life will mean abandoning the old self or the “old man” as some translations say. Abandoning old thoughts, old desires, old habits sounds like a lot of work. But it will be worth it in the end.
The fire is coming, friends. We can stubbornly stay where we’re at, which will be comfortable until the end, or we can evacuate. If we evacuate, the road may be long and perilous, but I think that once we see the glory of our new dwellings, we will hardly have remorse over what is lost.