Friday, June 22, 2012

INNER CHRISTIAN LIFE

                                 Spiritual Path to Perfection and Immortality in Christ
                                         
                  An extraction from the book INNER LIFE” Written by Mordecai and Catherine Uka Dike...

There’s an inner and external Christian life, the inner life is the way to attain true holiness and immortality in God. When Paul the apostle was writing to encourage Christians living in Corinthians in the 1st century, he said,

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Corinthians4:16-18)

This scripture absolutely explains what inner life in Christ represents. Inner life entails daily cleansing, purification of our inward man through the internal truth; the heavenly realities perceived through our inner sight or the eyes of the spirit. Inner life is the inward witnessing of the Holy Spirit (Romans8:16). If you’re living an inner Christian life, or living by the Spirit you’ll discover that there are internal laws of God which can be hidden from a non spiritual person, because those laws aren’t written plainly in the bible. The law is only a shadow of the good things that are to come, not the realities themselves (Hebrews10:1-5). The law being the shadow of truth signifies that the written law has internal meaning and the internal meanings of the letter are more spiritual and influential than the written codes; for example, the written law says Thou shalt not commit adultery –(Exodus20:14). Now, a non-spiritual or a religious person can declare that he’s keeping this commandment perfectly based on the fact that he/she isn’t having physical sex outside of marriage, but the truth is that adultery is beyond that! Having sex outside of marriage is just one external aspect of adultery. Here’s an example, If a married man makes love to his wife and uses the face of his ex- lover or another woman, or a married women makes love with her husband and internally focuses in her mind on her ex or another person she was attracted to, that’s an advanced level of adultery. Jesus also said that anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew5:28). This type of sin was pointed out by King David as secret sin…

Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. (Psalm19:12)

The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians3:6). One can keep all of the written laws just like the Pharisees, but internally the person still won’t be free from sin and guilt….

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Matthew23:25-28)

This scripture is deeper than what most assume, you can maintain all that’s written in the bible and still not be clean before God, which is why you can’t judge who is a true Christian based on facial expressions or physical acts of kindness or doing good works, only God will judge the intent of our heart. Here’s another example…

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God! (Exodus20:4-5).

This particular commandment for example, to a non- spiritual person can mean only mere idol worshiping; bowing down before a physical statue of something or someone, but in reality it goes far beyond bowing down to the image of Virgin Mary or the statue of Buddha, the uppermost idol resides in the human mind…

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart (Ezekiel14:1-4).

The word of God is supposed to occupy the center of our hearts, but when we allow other things to take the place of God in our minds, that fixation then becomes our idol; it can be your family, children, friends, job, education, fashion etc. That’s why Paul the apostle teaches that the weapons of our warfare aren’t carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2Cor10:4-5). Anything occupying the center of our hearts instead of God is an idol! The word idol or image can also signify a soulish picture of a thing that we create in our heart through imagination, for example; some single men who’re looking for a wife have a painted picture in their mind of the kind of woman they desire; they pray, fast, and dream focusing on that picture in their carnal mind without even asking God to give them the type of woman they need, that’s idolatry! Anything we do without putting God first is idolatry. You see how one can say, “I’m keeping the law; I’m not an idol worshiper” simply because the person isn’t physically bowing down to any physical image but in his heart he has his own idol that’s bigger and more powerful than the shrine of Murtis in India!

Keeping of the Internal Laws

The internal law can only be obeyed through the help of the Holy Spirit. There are many sins that aren’t plainly recorded in the book of law; what the original Hebrew Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible), recorded in Torah (Genesis –Deuteronomy) is only 613 commandments (mitzvoth) including the Ten Commandments” called “Aseret ha-D'vareem” in Hebrew meaning the ten Things or ten utterances. It’s only by the Spirit that one can discern what sin is when it’s not written openly in the scriptures, and that’s why every Christian must walk in the spirit; without the Holy Spirit no one can obey the eternal un- written laws of God.

Inner Life as a Life Faith

Inner life can also be defined as a life of faith; For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith (Romans1:17). We are urged to imitate those who through faith and patience inherited what has been promised (Hebrews6:12). In reading the book of Hebrews 11, I discovered that one powerful spiritual quality in the lives of those men and woman of God in the days of old who earned a good reputation was faith. Through faith, they all stood out in the crowd and brought praise and glory to God (Hebrews11). We all need faith, for without faith it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews11:6). Whatsoever doesn’t proceed from faith is sin (Romans8:23). Now, it’s important for us to grasp that faith isn’t just to believe in something and then claim it, faith is prophetic; it’s a spiritual reality revealed by God to man which man has to bring into physical manifestation through sacrifice and patience. Faith sees beyond the realm of mortality into immortality. For instance, God revealed to Simeon that he wouldn’t see death until he saw the Messiah (Jesus Christ).  Based on that revelation, Simeon lived until Christ was born; now that’s faith (Luke2:25-26). Faith isn’t blind! “We walk by faith, not by sight” means focusing on what the eyes of the heart have seen regardless of what is physically happening around us. Jesus assures us that if we have faith as a grain of a mustard seed we can move mountains (Matthew17:20). This saying doesn’t suggest that if we have a little faith we can literally move a mountain; to understand what the Lord is saying, we may have to consider the parable of the mustard seed….

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.(Matthew13:31-32)

A mustard seed is among the smallest of all seeds, but being small doesn’t discourage it from becoming a massive tree; the mustard seed spiritually visualized that God created it with the potential to become a big tree, and seeing that vision with the possibility of becoming great, the mustard seed gradually with patience and sacrifice pursued it until it became a big tree. This parable explains how we should spiritually grow in Christ; first is to receive the vision from God, not our own imagination;  second is to strongly believe the vision and then pursue it with all your might, and have a willing heart to pay ANY PRICE to accomplish the vision! That’s what it means to have faith like a grain of mustard seed. It’s evident that the only kind of faith believer’s today practice is the faith to claim material possessions, “name it and claim it”. It’s only through the eyes of the spirit that one can perceive the heavenly realities; our physical eyes can only see things within this mortal sphere. Eye hasn’t seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, and the deep things of God.  For what man knows the things of a man accept the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:9-14).

Spiritual Blindness

One can have the ability to see clearly with his physical eyes, but still be blind, Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees “blind leaders of the blind” (Matthew 15:14, 23; Luke 6:39, 41) because these people were excellent bible teachers and preachers who could see clearly with their physical eyes, but couldn’t perceive things with their spiritual sight. The spiritual sight is more important than natural; you can live without the physical eyes and still enter into the kingdom of heaven (Mathew18:9) but it’s impossible to live without the internal sight and enter into the kingdom of Heaven. The apostles and prophets of old who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice and gained what was promised, who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies (Hebrew11:33-34) were all spiritual men with a divine insight and not theologians. They lived their lives based on what their internal eyes perceived not by any religious organizational church doctrine. For instance, Enoch spiritually perceived immortality and pursued it with great sacrifice until he was translated without experiencing a physical death (Genesis5:24, Hebrews11:5). Abraham and Sarah throughout their lifetime pursued a spiritual city they perceived with their internal eyes, the city hath foundations, and it’s builder and maker is God (Hebrew11:10). When you study the writing of Paul in 2 Corinthians: 5, you’ll understand the city that Abraham and his wife were hoping to reach during their lifetime was to achieve immortality of the total man. When Christ was physically here on earth, He didn’t do anything on His own; He brought down into physical manifestation only what He saw the Father do in the heavenly realm…

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.(John5:19)

To achieve total conformity to the image of Christ we must walk by faith! We must be prophetic; we must make use of our inner eyes. We Christians must pray and ask God to sharpen our spiritual eyes and ears. This isn’t the time to depend on another person to tell you what the Lord is saying. We must see and hear directly from God ourselves! It’s important that you know that you too can operate in the prophetic frequency. Many bible teachers have tried to differentiate the gift of prophecy from the office of the Prophet and the prophetic people. All believers must be prophetic, and it’s of our benefit to know that God wants every believer to grow spiritually to a point where we can possess every gift of Christ and function perfectly in the five fold ministerial office including the prophetic (Joel2:28). Prophesying in simple terms means revealing the accurate mind of God. God desires every believer to know and speak His mind. Our hearts must be to attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ, and grow to that point to where we can say like Jesus Christ;

the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does (John5:19).

We must be aware that no one can attain a greater height in Christ without a revelation, this is why every child of God must be prophetic, it takes a prophetic spirit to overcome Satan and his agents!

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death (Revelation 12:11).

We should understand that the word of their testimony doesn’t mean giving testimonies in Christian assemblies about new cars, improved jobs and large houses the Lord has provided. The word of our testimony represents the prophetic Spirit of Christ…

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation19:10).

Satan always introduces destructive lies in the appearance of truth; a prophetic spirit will know the mind of God and remain in His divine will. In this end time, the people of God must rise up and walk in the apostolic and prophetic spirit of God to defeat the gates of hell, which represents sin and death.

Operating in the Apostolic and Prophetic Spirit

Walking in the apostolic and prophetic spirit has nothing to do with answering religious titles! Instead, apostolic and prophetic represents spiritual wisdom and understanding, or divine enablement to see and power for actualization. When a prophet through divine understanding hears and sees accurately what God desires to accomplish on earth he’ll announce it, and then an apostle through spiritual wisdom will draw out the eternal pattern of how God’s plan and purpose announced by the prophets can be fulfilled on earth. Apostles are foundation layers or pathfinders; they have the ability to bring non-existence into existence. The children of Issachar were of the prophetic lineage…

And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment (1Chronicles12:32).

The Children of Judah were the apostolic type…

The children of Judah that bare shield and spear were six thousand and eight hundred, ready armed to the war (1Chronicles12:24).

Those who are going to stand out for God in this perverse and crooked generation must operate in the apostolic and prophetic dimension. Functioning in the apostolic and prophetic dimension means that there’ll be no gap between your revelation and manifestation; you accomplish whatever God reveals to you at the same moment you receive it. People become religious when they operate only in the gift of wisdom without understanding, or understanding without wisdom!

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding (Proverb4:7).

If people have understanding of the word of God, without the wisdom “power” for fulfillment they’ll all end up forming religious organizations with no pure spiritual life, and that’s exactly what’s wrong with the present day structural church;

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2Timothy3:5).

Christians these days have a little understanding of the bible, but lost the beauty of moral force and that’s why the light isn’t shinning through the structural churches. It’s also dangerous to labor with power without accurate understanding…

Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Matthew7:21-23).

Apostles and prophets walk hand in hand…

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit (Ephesians3:5).

Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her (Rev, 18:20).

The old time men of God walked in the apostolic and prophetic realm, but didn’t consider it a title instead, dimensions of the eternal spirit of God. Christians desiring to stand out for God must completely forget about answering religious titles and seek for the eternal wisdom and understanding to accomplish God plans and purposes on earth (Ephesians1:15-18). Some believers see the gifts as titles instead of seeing them as distinctive qualities of Christ. God doesn’t want to make us apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelists or teachers and then stop there. The gifts are given to help us become fully matured sons of God (1John3:1-3).  Instead of wearing the names of the gifts as titles, we as believers should press harder to be identified as sons of God through the total manifestation of the character of Jesus Christ; we need to stand tall spiritually as Jesus Christ our Lord.

 Sharpening our Inner Eyes

Nothing will change in our lives until we change the way we see things. We can’t change the way see things unless we begin to view things using our internal sight, which are the eyes of our heart. Our inner eyes can be sharpened through fasting, prayer, studying and daily meditation. Oftentimes, we need to separate ourselves from everyone and every activity to spend time alone with God. It’s good to pray with a group of true Christians, but it ‘s more important to spend time alone with the Spirit. During the time that Jesus was physically here on earth, He spent most of his time alone praying and meditating in quiet private places…

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. (Mark1:35) And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God (luke6:12).

It was during the course of quite time, prayer and spiritual meditation that Isaac discerned his wife when he saw her coming far off….

And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. (Genesis24:63-64)

It’s obvious that we Christians have abandoned the life of private prayer, fasting and meditation for the eastern religions; we now see meditation as something belonging to the Hindu, Jain, Buddha, Silk, Hare Krishna and other Indian sects. But we’re commanded to meditate on God’s word day and night;

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Joshua1:8).

Christian meditation is different from “trans and yoga” kinds of meditations. The words that we’re to meditate daily are the eternal revelations of God revealed to our spirit man by the Holy Spirit, or the rhema word received from the written word of God. Inward illumination and rhema can be received when the peace of God is still in our hearts; when your mind isn’t occupied with the troubles of this life, but holding unto the promises of God. When it comes to prayer, there’s no other way to learn prayer than to pray. To develop a life of meditation, you can start by not talking too much! Know when to talk and when not to talk, and when you talk make sure that you’re only saying something that’ll make a positive impact in the life of the person or people listening to you.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians4:29).

Avoid gossiping completely; always mind your own business! To discipline your tongue, eyes and ears is vital to develop your inner eyes. What you watch and listen to will determine what fills your heart and it’s from the abundance of the heart that your mouth speaks (Mathew12:34). You can’t watch dirty movies, listen to filthy music and foolish discussions, and expect to see spiritually the holy things of heaven and speak life-giving words. When you filter what you see, hear and say daily, the eyes of your heart will begin to sharpen. You should know that there’s no other way to live for God than to walk in the spirit; living by what our spirit accurately perceives about God and the inward witness of the Holy Spirit.


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