Long ago the Psalmist announced the pilgrimage of the soul.
There is a journey of the soul that traverses the inner reaches of God where His Spirit and ours merge. As we yield our notions and surrender our wills to Divine dominance, we discover a realm within that can know God intimately; that can recognize His voice and is familiar with His ways. It is the realm of the spirit. Here, the language changes from mental calculations, from logic and reasoning, to that which makes no sense to the natural man in us. Here, faith and reason no longer co-habitate. Here, logic must yield to the insanity of faith that moves toward a ghostly figure in a storm. But it is here, alone, that the spirit bursts forth like a fountain from the deep and enchants us with the possibility that man can become one with God this side of death.
The journey inward loops through the caverns of the soul with obediences and relinquishments on its way to the deeper regions of the spirit.
"The word of God is sharp and powerful and good for separating soul and spirit and for discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
The soul and the spirit are not the same, and in the deeper reaches of our journey with Christ He is about bringing us into a life of the spirit.
The soul houses our emotional base, our personality and will. It is the place in us that registers the impact of events in our lives and our perceptions of them. Scar tissue from painful encounters lodges in the soul and forms the script that governs our approach to others and to life. The soul navigates with logic and reason and is anchored by emotions. It is the region in man that knows there is a god; that responds to creation, no matter how primitive the tribe, with a belief in a Creator. It is here that religious observance and ritual are most often developed. The Pharisees operated from the soul. Many Christians relate to God from their soulish realm only. Religious battles and denominational bickering are almost always generated from the soul.
It is the soul which is in need of possession by the spirit.
The spirit of man lies beyond the regions of the soul. It is the deep of us that holds our truest self. It is the relic of Eden in man...that place in us which alone remains compatible with God. God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth, Christ declares in John 4. Our spirit is the only place in man compatible with the nature of God. It remains the target of heaven in us: the Holy Spirit infusing Himself into our eternal spirit to make it holy and secure it eternally. "Out of the innermost being of them that believe shall flow rivers of living water; this He spoke of the Spirit..." John 7:39. Paul speaks of the Holy Spirit of God "knowing the deep things of God" and compares this to the spirit of man which "knows the deep things" of the man. Our spirit is that deep place in us, and once the Holy Spirit - the deep - of God is planted there upon our faith acceptance of Christ, His target is the possession of the soul (Luke 19:21). It is in this journey of possession that we find our broken places. The soul's response to brokenness determines whether or not the Spirit will be bound or released in us to move out into the soul and fill its caverns with His Holiness.
Life in the Spirit
"If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit" Galatians 5
"Pray always for all saints in the Spirit" Ephesians 6
Living inwardly is the key to our life in the Spirit. Sinking down into the inner reaches of God in us means we leave our surface life. We leave the knee-jerk responses we give to external events and look for the deeper meanings and deeper issues at play on the surface. We seek a deeper antennae of the heart that filters much of the surface noise, and we seek to live beneath the turbulence that swirls there. Where the Spirit of the Lord resides in us is the peace Christ promised in John 14. As we train ourselves toward living inwardly we may better experience this peace and we may better hear the quiet voice of God as He seeks to guide our paths, give us discernment, quiet our souls and plant His heart and ways more fully in us.
For those who go to this place and learn to walk and live there, their lives carry a fragrance others do not. As we learn to pray in this deeper mode, we better sense God's heart and will. We may even enter into a holy presence that overwhelms us with its love and peace. There is a prayer life in the spirit that is almost a wordless place of contrition and praise...a place that transcends our soulish smallness to brush us with heaven's expanse. As we pray in this spirit realm, our daily lives are transformed...our weary souls are restored and the Spirit possesses more of our conscious world.
The Interior Life offerings look at the possibilities of oneness with Christ...of an inner communion in the spirit that brings to His follower a transforming experience of His Spirit deep within. These studies address the requirements for entering into that interior realm of love and peace.