It’s so easy, isn’t it, to get what I call ‘soulish’. By that I mean allowing our souls (our mind, will and emotions) to rule our lives rather than the human spirit that God has given us. Sometimes we can be all intellectual – we’ve got the truth in our heads but it’s not life-giving. Or our worship can be full of feeling and quite emotional, but it’s not lifting us into the true presence of our Father. Or maybe we’re very decisive, but our decisions aren’t really based on what God is saying. Everything we do looks godly, yet it isn’t that fruitful.
One day God showed me a balloon being filled with helium. It was meant to carry people is a basket hung below it. At the moment it was still only partially inflated and the basket, instead of being underneath it was sitting on top. It was the wrong way up. As the balloon got bigger, the basket was still on top, and squashing it down. But there came a point when the balloon had got so big that it rolled over. The basket was now underneath and, a few moments later, the balloon lifted off.
When Paul came to Thessalonica, he was accused of turning the world upside down. Although people meant by this that he was causing disturbance wherever he went, the Greek word used really does mean to turn something upside down – just as the balloon in my picture was turned upside down. People were being filled with the Spirit and those whose lives had been ruled by the flesh – their bodies working together with mind, will and emotions – were now finding their human spirits coming alive and fulfilling their God-given role: to be the channel through which God would bring truth and direction. What had been kept down and crushed, was now, as it were, expanding and coming on top.
I find I often need to give myself a bit of a spiritual health-check. Am I keeping my mind in submission to what God is showing me in my spirit? Is my will subject to the will of my Father? Is my worship emotional or spiritual? Am I the right way up and ready for ‘take-off’?
Prayer: Father, please show me where I’m not allowing Your Holy Spirit to have His rightful authority over my thinking, my emotions and my decisions. As He fills me afresh today, may my spirit rise up within me. Help me to submit to Your Lordship over all I think and feel and do today. Amen.
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