Between the internal and the external  

lowers-191777_640Exodus 32:16: The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.

At first, what God gave to Moses first as tablets of the Ten Commandments were purely the work of God. But the second one (after Moses broke the initial one when he saw the Israelites enmeshed in idolatry [Exodus 32-34]) was partly man and partly God. Moses cut the tablet himself and God wrote the words on it.

That corresponds to the two locations in the temple, which is the Holy of holies (the most holy place) (exclusively for God) and the holy place (thou sacred, regularly witness human activities), corresponding with man’s spirit and soul respectively.

In the soul of man, there is need for the active cooperation between man and God, but the spirit is all about God. It is born of God, but the soul needs constant renewal (Romans 12:2). The spirit is perfect while the soul needs to be worked on.

When John said that we have receive an unction from the Holy One (Jesus [Mark 1:24]), and we know all things, having no need for anyone to teach us, he was referring to our spirit (1John 2:20). Jesus said that he that is born of the flesh is flesh and he that is born of the spirit is spirit (John 3:1-8). The flesh there is the physical/soulish realm, while the spirit is the representation of heaven in us.

Also when Paul said that the kingdom of God is not in food and drink but it is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17), he was contrasting our soul with spirit. While for the sustenance of the soul in interaction with the world around, we need food as fuel and energy. Remember that when Isaac wanted to bless his first son Esau he told him to prepare for him delicious food which he eats, so that his soul will bless him before he dies (Genesis 27:4).

Natural food have something to do with the soul, while the spirit does not need such things, it is about connection with God, and made in the form of God who is Spirit and does not need food.

That is why fasting is advocated. When we suspend feeding the soul for a while, it allows the spirit to establish dominion in the inner space of man, so that we can judge the will of God (who is Spirit) more accurately.

With fasting, the soul leaves its own desires/needs to latch on to the desires of the Spirit as we are led from the inside out not the outside in.

Jesus said that when he leaves the disciples they would fast (Luke 5:33-35).

Why?

So that they can have access to the presence of Jesus in a spiritual sense after he left them physically. Then they stopped experiencing him primarily in their souls, and in fasting to seek him with their spirit. Paul said he has stopped perceiving Jesus according to the flesh but according to the spirit. And he said he fasts often (2Corinthians 11:27).

While Jesus was in the flesh the disciples could perceive him with their physical senses, but now there is need to perceive him with their spiritual senses, therefore fasting is to enhance your spiritual senses to engage with Jesus, who is now a life-giving Spirit (1Corinthians 14:45). With fasting our awareness of God is heightened, since we put our body (which is associated with the soul) under, so that we can soar in the spirit.

We will now examine some words of Jesus, as he expresses the difference between the physical life and the spiritual life.

  1. Jesus said: man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Luke 4:4).

This clearly shows the difference between the physical and the spiritual and in this life, not knowing the difference could get us into trouble. Paul recognised the difference, as mentioned earlier, saying: I put my body under control so that after preaching to others I will not be a castaway (1Corinthians 9:27).

He was not going to assume that whatever his body says is the correct thing, but will check it with the word. The word proceeds from the mouth of God, and is beyond what is spoken. God’s word is his life (John 1:1-5), his energy, coming into us, for us to live by it in a spiritual sense, as the seed contains life, and when planted it blossomed into new plant. The plant lives by the life given to it by the seed.

This is in line with that Peter wrote that we are born again of the incorruptible seed word of God (1Peter 1:23). That is the power word; and a seed has the potential to generate a forest.

  1. Jesus said: the kingdom is within you

The Holy of Holies is within us. And there is a difference between the outer man and the inner man. Paul again said that though the outward man perished, but the inward man is being renewed daily (2Corinthians 4:16).

Jesus said that we should pray to God: your kingdom come. That is equally about heaven coming to the earth as it is about what is within us in our calling and destiny to manifest for all to see. Paul said that the creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God- you and me (Romans 8:19). There are things locked up in your spirit (1Corinthians 2:9-16), purposes we are meant to fulfil. That is the kingdom within.

  1. Jesus said: do not be afraid of those who are kill the body but fear the one who can destroy body and soul in hell.

Everyone, everything else may reach your soul, or your body but not your spirit. Jesus said he keeps anyone that God gives to him and no one can take them away. Importantly, life is not to be lived with an overemphasis on the external, what people have to say, and ignoring the internal, what God has to say. It is wrong to overemphasis the present disregarding the future. Esau did this and the bible says he is a fornicator, all about the body (Hebrews 12:16).

God said about himself: I look at the heart not at the appearance (1Samuel 16:7). We should therefore make a lot of effort on our inside, i.e. set your eyes on things of heaven not on things on earth (Colossians 3:1-3).

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