Reflections of His Image A Visual Picture of the Problem: Part Twoby Nancy Missler
Last month we continued our series on Reflecting His Image by showing a series of charts on Solomon’s Temple as a model or floor plan of the architecture of man. Our motive was to visibly show what a “spiritual” Christian looks like when walking by the Spirit; and, what a “carnal” believer looks like when he chooses to follow the flesh. In review:
See CHART 4: The Spiritual View
We said the Holy of Holies of Solomon’s Temple represents a believer’s new spirit (pneuma); the Holy Place, his new heart (kardia); and the Porch or Golden Vestibule, his new willpower or volition (dianoia). All three of these areas were fashioned in gold, even the furniture.
The Inner Court of Solomon’s Temple represents the conscious part of a man’s soul-his natural thoughts, emotions and desires. The secret, hidden, wooden chambers around the main sanctuary represent the “hidden” part of his soul (cheder).
The Outer Court of Solomon’s Temple represents a believer’s body. When we speak of the “flesh,” we mean both the soul (both the hidden and the conscious parts) and the body. Both the Inner and Outer Court were made of bronze and wood, even the furniture.
See CHART 5: New Spirit and Heart
As a born-again believer, the Spirit that now dwells at the core of our being is not our old human spirit anymore, but a totally new spirit given to us at our new birth. That’s what being born again actually means. (1 Peter 1:23) It means God’s Spirit has united with our human spirit, which gives us a totally new Life source or Power source.
Our heart is the place where new Life is brought into existence by God’s Spirit. This new heart is now Jesus’ Life in us. In other words, God replaces our old heart life (our old, natural thoughts and emotions) with His brand-new heart life (His Agape Love, His wisdom and power).
So our old heart, which Scripture tells us is evil and incurable and unknowable from birth (see Jeremiah 17:9), is totally replaced by a brand-new heart when we are born again by God’s Spirit.
Consequently, the Life that is now in our hearts is totally pure, totally incorruptible, and completely holy because it’s Jesus’ Life and not our own. This is Christ in [us], the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27)
Therefore, as Christians, it’s not our hearts that need to be transformed anymore; that was done at our new birth. It’s our lives or our souls that are in such desperate need of transformation. The only life that now exists in our hearts, if we are born again, is God’s Life. Our job is simply to learn how to let it out.
Our willpower is the absolute key to our Christian walk because what we choose, moment by moment, determines whose life will be lived in our souls; either God’s from our new heart or our own from our soul.
The Greek word for willpower is dianoia, which means our will and then, the power to perform it.
Our willpower is what enables us to put forth God’s Life from our hearts into our lives. Look at CHART 5 and you’ll see that our willpower is like the passageway, the doorway or the gateway for God’s Life in our hearts to flow out into our lives.
Now, this passageway or doorway can be open so God’s Life can freely flow, or it can be closed and God’s Life quenched and blocked.
The thing that opens or shuts this passageway is our own moment-by-moment choice. God has given us the freedom to choose to follow what He has shown us and trust in His Power to perform it in our lives; allowing His Spirit to flow. This is known as a faith choice.
Or we can say, “I’m going to follow what I think, what I feel and what I want and trust in my own ability to perform it in my life; thus, quenching God’s Spirit. This is known as a fleshly choice.Our Soul
See CHART 6
Our souls are made up of our natural thoughts, emotions and desires. This is the self life we have so often referred to.
(Now, there is also a hidden part of our soul-those secret chambers-and we’ll talk more about them in next month’s article.)
But, for the sake of simplicity, think of our souls as the visible part of our lives-the outward expression of our lives. In other words, our souls are what others see, feel, and hear coming forth from us.
Our soul is like a neutral area that is either going to be filled with God’s Life from our hearts, through faith choices; or filled with self-life-our own thoughts, emotions, and desires, if we have chosen to follow the flesh. The outcome all depends upon what we choose moment by moment.
God’s will is that when people look at us, they might see Christ’s character, His Likeness and His glory reflected. (John 14:9b)
Let’s see what this looks like visually:
See CHART 7: Spirit-filled Soul, Glorifying God
Just as Solomon’s Temple was filled with God’s glory as the Shekinah came forth, so this is the Lord’s exact plan for our bodies also.
Again, 1 Corinthians 6:20 says...your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own...therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
The Lord wants us filled with His Spirit, which can then shine forth in everything we do and everything we say. (Ephesians 5:18)
Notice in Chart 7, that this temple looks like a flashlight. God’s Life is pouring forth from this person’s heart through his soul and body. God’s supernatural Love in his heart has become his love in his soul; God’s wisdom has become his wisdom; and God’s power, his own.
This is a picture of a “spiritual Christian” who has said, “Not my will, but Thine.” (Matthew 26:39)
And this is also what Luke 11:33 means when it says, “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a lampstand, that they who come in may see the light.”
This Christian is glorifying God because God’s Life is shown forth in all he does.
However, if God’s Life is quenched because of fleshly or emotional choices, our soul will not show forth His Life, but our own self-life; our own thoughts, emotions and desires. If this is the case, Chart 8 is what we might look like:
See CHART 8: God’s Spirit Quenched, Glorifying Self
The soul life coming forth from this Christian is not God’s Life as it should be, but his own self-life. He has quenched God’s Spirit and His Life at the choice point.
Consequently, this believer will not be able to reflect God’s image as he should. As a result, many will be stumbled by this person’s hypocrisy. This is a picture of a carnal Christian who has said, My will, not God’s.
This is what Luke 11:33 means when it says, “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel....” (2 Corinthians 11:18, 30)
To be continued next month: “Where does Self Life come from?”
This article has been excerpted in part from Nan’s new book, Reflections of His Image: God’s Purpose for Your Life.
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