Skin Deep


Thought life and emotions are not the deeper part of faith. In a mind centered world, the conscious realm is everything, but the deeper part of faith actually happens at a subconscious level. John 6:44 lets us know that it is the Father who draws us to Himself. Most people who come to Christ believe that they have made a “decision” for Christ. They see their part in that decision, but have little or no awareness of God’s part.

If we never become aware of that work of God, which happens mostly at a subconscious level, our walk with God will stay at a surface level. How do we “see” the impact of the invisible spirit realm?

The first thing is to acknowledge that it is even there. Everything we do cuts through all three parts of our being: our spirit, soul, and body. If bitterness comes into our being, our spiritual “presence” changes and offenses rule. The soul level is the place of conscious awareness. Our thoughts go dark, our emotions are flooded with negative energy, and we visualize choices according to what we are seeing and feeling. At the body level, there is a flood of adrenalin and hundreds of other changes too numerous to detail. All of this happens in literally milliseconds.

Most people focus only on the skin deep conscious realm of thoughts and emotions. There is a deeper place of the spirit. When a person comes to the altar and releases bitterness and gets a touch from God, what happens? Does he have to make a conscious effort to change his thoughts? Does he have to force his emotions to go in a new direction?

When the spirit is radically touched, the thoughts and emotions are along for the ride. That happens when bitterness enters at the spirit level. There is an instant change at all three levels. No one has to force his thoughts or emotions to go dark when bitterness enters. It just happens. When the presence of God touches our spirit, we don’t have to work to change thoughts and emotions to a better place. It just happens.

A Better Way

Because we live so much in a world dominated by the mind or emotions, we do become slaves to them. But there is a deeper and better way. It is God’s Spirit touching our spirit. That is not something we can force. We approach God with humility. We ask. We wait. We turn our focus from thoughts and emotions to the place of spiritual presence. We make room for God at the spiritual level.

Our Christian culture is not used to waiting. Many Christians haven't even considered turning their focus toward what is happening at the spirit level.

As a culture, we prefer to make decisions and “do something for Jesus.” Certainly there are times when disciplining our thoughts or our emotions is the key to victory. But the deeper key on a consistent basis is to be attentive to God’s work in our spirit. What is happening at the spirit level is generally more dominant than what is happening in our thought and emotional world.

Are you communing with God? Can you see and sense the impact the Holy Spirit is having on your spirit? Are you giving Him thanks for His work in that part of your being? Or are you living mostly skin deep? Open the deeper places of your heart to Him today!

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