God has given our spirit charge over our soul and body. The spirit commands the soul, which in turn, commands the body. At least, that’s how it is supposed to be. The trouble is, most of us live more within the natural realm, and so we spend more time feeding our soul and body, while neglecting the part of us that is supposed to reign above both of the lower entities.
And it is our spirit that communicates with the Spirit of God to bring about God’s kingdom on earth, including health to every part of us, since health is His will for us. But if the spirit isn’t in charge, because we have chosen to principally feed our soul and body, then God’s will for our lives can be hindered.
Recently, God told me that one reason why my spiritual progress has been hindered, and why I’ve left my meditative prayers feeling less than satisfied at times- is because I’ve been praying out of my soul, and not enough out of my spirit.
When you pray out of your soul, God seemed to tell me, the focus tends to be on your problems and in imploring Him for solutions to those problems. While God admonishes us to bring our burdens to Him, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), when the focus of our prayers becomes mostly upon our problems, rather than His answers, we will tend to pray out of desperation, rather than faith.
The soul is supposed to be in submission to the spirit, so when we pray out of our soul, we operate on the level of the natural world, rather than the supernatural. The problem with this is that attaining victory in the soul and in the natural realm doesn’t bring about the same peace and everlasting rewards as attaining victory in the spirit, and leaves us perpetually dissatisfied.
When we pray out of our spirit, the needs of our soul automatically become satisfied, because our awareness has shifted to God’s goodness, power, love and all of His attributes, rather than the things of the flesh. As the spirit is strengthened, it transfers to the soul and body all that it needs for life, joy and godliness. The focus becomes on who God is for us, rather than our needs. Yet, paradoxically, our needs become met, but not because we are begging Him to solve all of our problems, but because we know our problems will automatically be solved by living in Him and through Him.
It’s about a mindset, God seemed to tell me. When my prayers come from my soul, they are orphan-like prayers, in which I feel like I need to beg my Daddy for health, a new job, or whatever the need happens to be. When my prayers come from my Spirit, I’m simply praying what I know that He has already promised to give me, and so there is peace. I’m praying out of a spirit of Sonship and adoption, rather than a spirit of poverty.
Prayers from the spirit involve asking God for things, but they also involve thankfulness and gratitude, and an assumption that our prayers will be answered, if we have prayed according to God’s will. Spirit-filled prayers exalt the goodness of God; His love, mercy, kindness, justice, grace, and other attributes, and this is what feeds our spirit.
Prayers from the soul also involve petition, but with an uncertainty about God’s will or the outcome. The focus is on who we are rather than who He is for us, because our fragmented or fractured soul isn’t sure that God loves and accepts us. So when we pray this way, we’ll tend to ask God to bless our agenda, instead of trusting in His agenda for us.
My spirit has been anemic at times because I have been so busy feeding my soul and body with the things of the flesh, or the natural realm. There’s nothing wrong with this but…I’ve learned it only gets me so far because it bypasses my spirit and the most important aspect of my life, which is my relationship with God.
According to John G. Lake, a man that was used powerfully by God to supernaturally heal thousands of people, we can feed our spirit in several ways. First, by praying in faith and in alignment with God’s will; by thanking, worshipping and praising Him, by feeding on His Word- that is, Jesus Christ and the Bible- and by publicly proclaiming the kingdom of God to those around us. When our spirit is anemic or has suffered rejection, (especially in-utero), it cannot command our body or soul. The only way to heal and grow the spirit is through companionship with God, and by obeying His commands.
The tricky thing about it, I’ve discovered, is that my soul likes to complain, and indeed, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with crying out to God when we are in distress. It releases tension, which is a good thing, but I’ve found that when it becomes the focus of my relationship with Him, it causes me to lose sight of who He is, as I focus on the works of the devil in my life, rather than God’s work. When this happens, doubt and unbelief creep into my prayers. God helps us in our distresses, to be sure, but He also wants us to grow up in Him, and that means focusing upon His goodness and choosing to live in trust and belief that He will meet all of our needs.
When the soul has been in charge for so long, it also doesn’t quiet down and submit to the spirit so easily. It’s used to being heard and validated, and so, God showed me, it’s important to resist the soul’s urge to whine and complain and beg for help, and instead feed the spirit by feeding and focusing upon the goodness of God and Jesus Christ.
I have heard that the phrase, “Walking in the Spirit” is literally translated, “Stumbling in the Spirit” in the original Greek of the Bible. God knew that we wouldn’t just one day know how to live entirely out of our spirit, and that our walk would be more of a stumble! Fortunately, with His help, we can become more and more spirit-oriented, and as we pray out of our spirit, our soul and body are also healed, as we discover that it’s not all about having our problems solved, but having peace in the One who provides an answer to all of our problems.