Pride Promotes Strife
What is the true nature of the soul of man and how does it's construction hinder us from finding true love and great relationships?
We know from the scriptures that the soul is a distinct part of man. It represents our emotions, motives, intelligence, rationale, logic, culture, family upbringing, political bent, sensitivities, likes, dislikes, and our schooling and training.
The soul is a part of man's being, a part of our natural man. The soul can be referred to as the “flesh” which refers to our natural bent toward sin as is spoken of in Rom. 8:7, where we are instructed is at enmity with God and His Holy Spirit.
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be”.
See also Gal. 5:17:
“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”
So in our natural state, outside of the grace of God's power on the inside of us, we cannot please God or ourselves. God’s law is perfectly right and good. His Torah (teaching) works when followed and our soul naturally isn't inclined to do what is best for us and our future.
Our soul left to itself, without instruction, will ultimately destroy our way and bring us to Sheol. Without a Divine intrusion and the power that comes from the Holy Spirit we cannot put away the works of the flesh as mentioned in Gal. 5:17
What then are we to do to have a better life and better relationships in our home, neighborhood, and in our world?
All of us left to our natural state, post the fall in Eden, are quite frankly… a pile of screwed up emotions.
But you protest, you say, “I’m not a bad person” I haven't cheated anybody or murdered another man, or I don't lie, well, too much.
Even as these words of self-justification roll over your tongue you are lying to yourself and to God. The law of God calls even your slightly jealous thoughts as evil workings of the flesh.
In the book of James we discover the most succinct description of why we have a hard time with relationships in the world and in the Body of Christ.
Meditate with me on James 1:1-6
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
"God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble."
How can we then live in this world where every human is chock full of the works of the flesh?
The only way possible is through the grace that comes to us through the ministry and work of Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit.
Only by His power we are able to get rid of our natively sinful propensity to indulge our human pride expressed in self-reliance over the course of our walk with Him.
After we come to Christ and ask forgiveness of all our sin, the work of progressive holiness or sanctification happens as a matter of our yielding to His Grace and Power in our hearts. We must be confident that this work of overcoming the flesh and human pride will happen if you have truly repented and experienced what it means to be born again.
How can we miss the power of God to help us have the kind of relationships that should be the envy of the broken world around us?
Frankly, we can't do anything right outside of God's help. This help only comes through the cross of Jesus Christ and our willingness to die to our natural inclinations and put these dirty deeds on His work on a very ugly thing called a cross.
When we realize afresh that our soul attitudes drove Our Lord to the tree of His crucifixion we gain the right perspective on how He and Our Father in heaven view heart sins.
Trusting in man’s view on the mind or soul that sets forth a human assessment of how to manage human thought or psychic is a manifestation of pride. Our native human pride (spirit of death) seeks to connect to the spirit of this age and time so to connect with its framework of thinking and accepted practices on how to live, and quite naturally we are led to follow in this way.
Satan, the prince and power of the air, uses the weakness of our soul to follow the works of our human wisdom to entice us into sinful self-reliance.
By accepting the reality presented to us from the scriptures that our soul is imperfect we begin the process of coming clean from the power of our soul to keep us from experiencing great relationships.
Our Ego or self-esteem, as we might define it, is totally ruined by the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.
When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil breaking the only law of prohibition set before them in their state of perfection their souls died within them to the law of evil. Hard to accept but true nonetheless.
Today all of us are stuck in the mire of that once in for all fateful decision, we can only have just a slice of Adam's perfection before he ate that abominable fruit, we can see good to perform good but our tendency to evil continually ensnares us and most of the time entices us to follow the path of death. Here we discover the real work that we must undertake in order to crucify the flesh and gain victory over the native propensity of our soul to follow the way of death.
When we operate in our natural state, in the soul realm, we can act very often as sheep without a shepherd. Whether we admit to this reality or not we stand in need of a true shepherd who can guide us with our permanently messed up soul back to the tree of life.
“For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." I Pet.2:28
To that fountain opened for sin and uncleanness.
Ponce De Leon's ancient journey did not lead him to any real fountain of a real eternal life. If anything, he discovered the reality of the mirage of life ultimately connected to the power of darkness, and sadly, in the end ole Ponce found that place to be connected to the ancient lie of listening the voice of powers that operate in the realm of satan’s lies.
Life outside of Our Creator’s supreme authority over our soul is not worth living.
"I have been
crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ
lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the
Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
The “I” of “I am crucified” is the soul of Paul.
Paul, the renowned Pharisee, who had built up a great reputation as a Torah teacher and holiness advocate.
A Torah trained rabbi of great reputation, a student of Gamaliel, a hard working Jewish tent-maker. A man of real intellect. Artist by training. A scholar by virtue of diligent study. A keeper of the law. A very religious man.
We must move now to the implications of this truth and gain an understanding of how to apply this truth to our life today and to get a better handle on what the Spirit of the Lord is seeking to provoke in us today, in our culture, with its distinctive way of seducing us into the way of death using psychology and medicine to keep us bound to a spirit of death.
When we realize our soul cannot be trusted to guide us to eternal life we find the real beginning to life in Christ.
It is only through an anointed hearing of the gospel of the Cross of Jesus Christ that a person comes into a life-changing understanding (spiritually acquired) of how to break free from the power of death found in our soul and mind.
For the most intensely evil sinner and rebellious person who ever walked this earth this war within ranges the entire gambit of persons all the way to the most noble of men and women who bring beauty and government that bless our world. From the worst to the best of men each and every person in between we find that all of us have no power to free from the encumbrances found naively in our soul.
Nothing can reverse the curse of death on our soul. So when Paul reveals to us in the Gal. 2:20 passage is very important.
We must understand his audience was both Jew and Greek converts to the belief in the bodily resurrection of Yeshua. Both camps of humanity believed in His resurrection from the dead yet both came to this faith from totally different vantage points. One from a law basis in the Torah and the other from a secular greco roman perspective, yet for both groups, the answer lies in the same place, the cross of Yeshua and all that it meant for Him to obey His Father to walk with His Cross and what His example means to us today who are aligned with Him and His death.
The Galatian believers preached the gospel of His death and resurrection to their family, friends, and neighbors. They preached what Paul preached to them when he first arrived in Galatia. But they soon drifted away from the basic principles delivered to them from the mouth of the apostle Paul a few years earlier.
No less then the great apostle Peter was found among the number of those who sought to add to the original message of salvation. These Galatians were on the verge of losing their way when they succumbed to the pressure of the Judizing Jews who came into their assembly with a slightly different teaching that led many of the faithful to espouse a way of sanctification that differed from Paul’s original message that formed the assembly in Galatia.
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
In Galatia the power of the flesh/soul overcame the basic simplicity of soul crucifiction, this soul love was surrmounted by their love of their Hebrew roots and the religious pride that eventually drove them allow added elements to come into their message of LIfe. These little additions almost kept them out of heaven and hindered the foundational message of salvation found only in the cross of Yeshua.
So when men tamper with the message once for all delivered to the saints we think we are just trying to make it a little better but in the end our better religion can actually kill us and ruin our soul.
see this same tendency today when we limit the service of those who may have
been saved from a very dark place, a drug user, harlot, or someone with a
ton of tattoos from the music scene, we are tempted in a more civilized church in a certain neighborhood to put these kind aside in our public ministry.
We can also limit those who so not have the same training as those who had the privilege of a certain seminary training. We see even today in the Jewish roots community a divide in how we interpret the scriptures and who and how all the words of the sacred writings should be received.
Paul went after our proclivity to do this kind of thing very directly in his day, used the Word of God to strengthen the church and reestablish the truth.
To his very own sect of Pharisees Paul had to suffer a very real death to natural logic. Here the rabbi Paul had to let go of his intelligence in the ways of the Tanakh – the Rabbincal interpretation of the Torah, Poetry Books, Historical Books, and the Prophets and reproach the gospel to people who called themselves believers in Yeshua’s work on the cross.
The knowledge of history of man and Judaism. Of Moses and Aaron and the Levitical priesthood. Paul crucified these things in his heart way before he was raised up to be a spokesman for the only message that changes our soul problem. He stayed dead to these things by dying daily.
Paul was taught for 13 years by the Lord, he waited on God's call to do what he was told he would do the very first day he was converted. So when he felt most ready to tell the world what he saw lifted up before his eyes on the road to Damascus. But the wait was a daily cross within his soul that he learned to crucify.
His Master, Jesus Christ, had to take him aside and train him in the way of
soul crucifixion. Part of Yeshua's training was to spend 40 days without food and water in the
wilderness and then be tempted by Satan directly to break the commandments of
His Father, Yeshua learned obedience by the things that He suffered, so to his
Same training is available to all of those who are willing to go through this kind of process. We all learn this kind heart training at the feet of Our Master who made the way of eternal life possible to dying to His self-will. We must die today to self-will if we would live a powerful faith-filled life and overcome that pride that brings contention.
Because we are born into sin in a fleshy state, not one of us is capable of perfect heart obedience, so whether we like it or not we must fight ourselves without any relief until we are called up to meet the Lord in the air.
None of us can transport out of our mortal and flesh laden way to enter into perfect spiritual place consistently and constantly, yet we have to learn how to win against the flesh in-spite of our constant knowledge of this truth.
1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
We will not experience deliverance from soul death completely until we die physically and leave this planet and we are released permanently from this time and space continuam, but we are called to wage this struggle with the flesh and soul within continually until we get to go Home.
Our war with our soul / flesh ends and we can go on to the bliss of perfection.
But today, my dear friends, in order to have better relationships, we must die to our soulish pride which wars within us.
We must die to our plans.
We must die to our credentials.
We must die to preferences.
We must die to our intelligence.
We must die to our human strength.
Our desire to be our own boss.
And any and all other pull of the flesh on our soul realm.
We must be crucified to these things or we will die eternally.
The confession of our lips must be, “for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”
We ask that you forgive us, especially those of us who are members of Your Body, for our prideful self-indulgence. Our love of the world and our love of the things of this life. We have failed miserably at being our own bosses. We entreat you to have mercy on us and led into paths of righteousness for Your Name's sake.
Posted by Jonathan Keener. Posted In : Sanctification