“But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.”
Galatians 5:16-18 AMPC
Our feelings are never permanent. They are subject to change. They fluctuate too often, and are therefore unreliable, in helping us to make life changing decisions.
This explains why God will never speak to those feelings in us. His plan is to always deal with us in our inner man, at the very center of the heart.
Spiritual perception comes to us from inside of our spirit man. The Holy Spirit living inside of us, guides our spirit man into identifying the truth, and separating it from a lie. And if a mind is renewed, that mind or soul finds it easier, to be take its cues from the spirit man, instead of having to rely on its feelings.
Most of the time when we hear people talk more about their feelings, they are actually telling us that, they do pay less attention to their spirit man. The spirit of man has the ability to see or perceive, just as the mind or soul has the same ability. In most cases what we often perceive, and do pay more attention to are the things perceived by the mind, which always manifests itself through our feelings.
We therefore do have to face the task, of separating the sensual feelings away from our spiritual perceptions of things, right from the inside of our spirit man. This is important because our spirit man that is born of God, does takes its cues always from the Holy Spirit, living on the inside of our belly. That is why the inner witness coming out of our spirit man, can always be trusted to lead us into making wise decisions, as we pray in tongues.
We need to understand that just as the spirit of a man has a voice, the soul or the mind does has a voice also. The flesh in man has its own voice as well, with which a man can be led into temptation. This is a complex situation that can easily be resolved, when we are resolved to begin paying attention to our spirit man, as we pray in the Spirit. We do hear so many voices speaking to us on a regular basis, concerning the problems and situations; that we do need to hear from God about. Our feelings are defective and unreliable to us, in making sound and wise decisions of life.
Just a few days ago, I needed a ride home from the doctor’s office. So I began to speak in tongues quietly. I had only spoken for less than ten seconds, when the words came out of my belly through my mouth – “Uber, Uber”. I knew immediately that my inner witness was leading me to contact Uber. When I contacted the Uber Company at that moment for a ride home, it was free and I rode home in a luxurious vehicle. The Holy Spirit led my spirit man on the inner witness, to lead me into getting a free ride home in a luxurious vehicle.
The Holy Spirit knows everything. He knows where we need to go to, in getting all that we need in life. We just need to commune more with Him on the inner man, instead of paying so much attention to our feelings.
In many instances I had personally observed believers in Christ Jesus, who will often base their perception of spiritual truth, on their personal feeling. This is wrong. Spiritual perception has nothing whatsoever to do with our feelings.
In most cases as such people are being confronted with, what the word of God says about those feelings, they often flank off towards something else. Some will begin to complain about, how difficult it is to live a victorious Christian lifestyle. But the truth is that living a victorious Christian life is not difficult, especially if the mind is renewed with the word of God. We do walk and live that victorious lifestyle by faith, rather than by our sensual feelings or desires (2 Corinthians 5:7). The faith lifestyle leads us into always walking in victory (1 John 5:4). Our feelings can never lead us in this way.
Feelings are never permanent, and often runs off the track, away from our spirit man. They are subject to change. Feelings are never therefore reliable in making wise, effective, and life changing decisions for a believer in Christ Jesus.
Our spiritual perception is the truth. It gives us the true state of spiritual things, within our spirit man as a witness on the innermost being. The spirit man on the inside of our belly, is more reliable than our sensual feelings in perceiving spiritual truth. The spiritual truth of God is always permanent and eternal.
We need to understand that everything we encounter in life, are known to God before they take place. Our feelings towards those things can never change, the pre determination and plans of God towards us concerning them. He wants us to go through them not by considering our feelings, but by faith in His promises to us concerning them.
The Bible says:
“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
Numbers 23:19 NIV
Anything God reveals to us on the inner man is the truth. God’s word and purposes for us, supersedes our feelings towards those purposes.
In many cases we may not feel good, about what the spirit man is revealing to us; but it is the truth of the issue that we do face. Once we are able to perceive the truth through the spirit man, then God expects us to do something about it. If we fail to act on the truth, that we are perceiving from our inner witness, we will have to pay the price for that disobedience.
King Saul once decided to follow the leading of his feeling, instead of God’s word to him. He was finally rebuked by God, and paid the price for his act of disobedience to God. He was told:
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king.””
I Samuel 15:23 NKJV
God views our acts of disobedience to the things, that we are spiritually perceiving, as sin against the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who strengthens our spirit man, into perceiving such spiritual truth. Any sin against the leading of the Holy Spirit, can be very costly to us (Matthew 12:31).
When our feelings overrides our spiritual perception on the inner man, our spiritual development becomes dull and slow. It then becomes more difficult for us to walk, in constant victory over the enemy due to this.
Paul explains to us:
“For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.”
I Corinthians 14:14-15 NKJV
If anyone is supposed to understand spiritual things, it has to be the believer who speaks in tongues. This is because we do know and understand the importance of, what we are perceiving in our spirit man as we pray. Sometimes our understanding of those things, in our spirit man may be blurred; but our spiritual perception of what it is becomes stronger, as we pray more and more in tongues concerning them. By praying in tongues we are actually praying in the spirit, but our understanding or feelings are unfruitful. Our understanding has to do with the state of our senses, or the mindset of our soul.
We need to remember that our mind is never saved, but it has to be renewed. And because it has to be renewed, it cannot be trusted with spiritual truth, while we are praying in the spirit. We cannot listen to our spirit in the inner man, if our sensual understanding is active and fruitful. This also is a spiritual truth. But we are able to put the works of our unsaved mind to death, by praying in the spirit or in tongues.
It is not possible to perceive spiritual things, with our mind or our feelings. Spiritual things are perceived in the spirit of man. Spiritual perception comes from the spirit man, in the form of an inner witness within us. Sensual feelings has nothing to do with our redeemed spirit man.
Both the mind and the feeling of man, has the ability to perceive also. But their perceptions are based on sensual feelings, and not based on the truth from the spirit inside of us. This type of perception comes from the unsaved mind and not from the redeemed spirit man. That is why we do pray in tongues, because we don’t want to be deceived by our feelings.
It is strange when a Spirit filled believer, talks about being led by feelings, in making spiritual decisions in life.
The Bible says:
“A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back.”
Proverbs 29:11 NKJV
A wise man looks inwardly, inside of his spirit man always. He does this to find out from his spirit man, if his feelings are of God or not. According to this scripture text, he holds those sensual feelings back, and will not reveal them.
But a fool will rather let his feelings overrule his spirit man. A fool expresses his feelings, without any recourse to his spirit man. And then he discovers later, that his sensual feelings has led him, into making the wrong decisions in life. And as he finally checks his spirit man later, while praying in the spirit. He begins to wonder why he never paid attention, to that inner witness within him, before making the decision that was made. He makes decisions that were against, what the spirit inside him was leading him into making.
In the midst of the triune man (spirit, soul and body), trying to listen to all these voices within himself. The spirit man still needs to learn, how to listen to God’s voice to him, which often comes from the Holy Spirit. God does not ever speak to our mind or flesh. He will never have anything to do with our feelings. He will never speak to our feelings, even though He knows our feelings and acknowledges them. When God deals with us, He speaks to us at the center of our lives – the heart or spirit inside of man.
But the enemy has his own voice also. In most cases he is tricky with his own voice. Sometimes he does speak by imitating the voice of our inner man. Satan is very smart about imitating the things of God (2 Corinthians 11:14). A believer who is not grounded in the word of God, may easily be tricked into accepting the lie of the enemy for truth.
The crowd of all these voices that we struggle with daily, requires that we must be able to isolate our spirit man from them. This will enable us to perceive the real voice, that is coming out of our inner man, which had been redeemed by the blood of Christ Jesus. Jesus practiced this all the time.
On one occasion He had just been informed of the death of His cousin, John the Baptist; who had been killed by Herod. John’s disciples had buried John’s dead body, but they went to Jesus after the burial to inform Him about the incident.
We need to note here the immediate reaction of Jesus. He did not cry or morn for the dead. He never sought help from man, to deal with his family loss.
Jesus turned inwardly within himself to obtain strength from the inner witness.
The Bible says:
“When Jesus heard about John, He left there privately in a boat and went to a secluded place. But when the crowds heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.”
MATTHEW 14:13 AMP
Jesus’ immediate reaction to a sad news, was to be alone in a secluded place. Why did He go to a secluded place? Jesus knew that He needed some time off, from ministering to the crowd. He needed to listen to the voice of His inner man. He acknowledged that the relationship between His ministry, and that of His cousin (John) had been severed by Herod.
Bad things do happen to good people also; but our reactions to those events, may impact our way forward in fulfilling the call of God over our lives. Our calling is more important before God, than the side shows of life. The Devil often pulls off the side shows, so as to distract us away from perceiving, the next move of God for us on the inner man.
Jesus realized this and His first reaction, was to move away from the side shows, that He knew the enemy wanted to create around this incident of His life. He knew that it would affect the crowd following Him, and their faith in God as well.
He knew it was time to take some time off, and listen to His inner witness on the inner man, about the sad event in His life. Jesus knew that a place of seclusion is a place where we set ourselves apart to listen to the inner voice within us.
God speaks very often to all of us through that inner voice, and in most cases the crowd around many of God’s people, are preventing them from listening and hearing that voice more clearly. Instead of listening to hear the leading of the inner voice, many often fall for the voices of the “Job comforters” around them when disasters strikes.
That moment of going into seclusion to listen for the inner voice was fruitful for Jesus, because as He came out of seclusion the scripture says:
“When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt [profound] compassion for them and healed their sick. When evening came, the disciples came to Him and said, “This is an isolated place and the hour is already late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!””
MATTHEW 14:14-16 AMP
Faith and Compassion (the love of God) moved Jesus to heal the sick. He was energized to put behind Him, the bad news about John, the Baptist and move on with His own calling from His Heavenly Father.
This is what happens when we take time off, from the challenges in ministry to get alone with God. We come out stronger than ever before, to face the challenges ahead of us.
We must not ever let the enemy push us to the edge of no return, where he often gets many to “burn out” and go out of ministry.
In many instances I have personally observed that people “burn out”, when they quit praying in the spirit or in tongues. The moment they stopped praying in this manner, they stopped perceiving the witness in their innermost being.
The call that God gave to us is more important, than all of those side shows. We all must preach the gospel, save the lost, heal the sick and set the captives free.
Learn from your inner voice in your place of seclusion, what you are to do next and just do it.
Jesus learnt from His inner man. It was from that position of strength, that He knew exactly what to do in feeding the thousands following Him. His disciples were confused about the situation, but Jesus was not confused, because His inner voice told Him exactly what to do.
When we learn to get into our private positions with the inner witness, faith and the love of God begins to transform us, just as Jesus was transformed and energized to move on with the call of God.
Jesus advised us:
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
Matthew 6:6 NKJV
Well our room is in our heart or our redeemed spirit man. Jesus was teaching us here, what He personally practiced in life and ministry. He was telling us to actually get rid everything that may be obstructing us from listening to the inner witness within us as we pray. God speaks to us, and speaks through us as we listen to the inner witness.
After getting rid of the crowd, Jesus then got rid of His disciples, because He needed to talk more directly with His Father in Heaven. He needed to talk with Him about, what the inner voice was leading Him into next, after the incident with John, the Baptist. The Bible says:
“After He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was there alone…
…And in the fourth watch of the night (3:00-6:00 a.m.) Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.”
MATTHEW 14:23, 25 AMP
The ability to share and fellowship with His Father on the inner man, empowered Jesus into the supernatural. We will also walk in the supernatural, from the closet of our prayer and intercession.
This was what happened with Jesus, and it can happen to you also, if only you begin to learn to listen to the inner voice within you. He will lead and guide you, to do only the things that are necessary to be done, so as to walk in constant victory in spiritual warfare. Begin today to listen to him, and listen for him.