Seeing Others In The Spirit (Having the Mind of Christ)
We will pick up where we left off, discussing how Adam, Eve and God communicated in the Spirit with one another. They were able to see beyond the flesh bodies and into their souls. They knew their thoughts, emotions, decisions and intents. This allowed them to have empathy or sympathy as well, for feeling what others feel helps you to experience some of what they are going through and makes it easier to be kind to them. When someone suffers with an emotion or an experience we have not had, it is harder to connect and empathize with them.
But when Eve and then Adam ate the forbidden fruit, their spirits died and their eyes were opened to the physical world – they lost their spiritual vision. Now, they were no longer connected to each other’s thoughts, emotions and intentions, they were cut off from one another, and immediately they turned on one another. Just as Jesus, Holy Spirit and Father are one, God and Adam and Eve originally were one, connected by the Spirit.
Jesus explained to His disciples that in the same way that He and the Father are one, when the Spirit came, that all of us would be one with Him and the Father as well.
John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 15:4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
John 17:11 Holy Father, protect them by the power of[b] your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one,Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.
26 I have made you[e] known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Jesus taught that becoming one with Him and the Father would start when the Spirit would be in believers, and His one prayer was that we would be one like Jesus, Father and Spirit are one. The Spirit would speak to believers what Jesus had previously said and continues to say. When we all hear the Spirit, despite our personal differences, we will be one body of believers who share the mind of Christ.
God prophesied in the book of Jeremiah that He was going to put things back like they were in the garden, where His people and He knew each other intimately again, and His people would know what He wanted and have the power to do it.
31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
Just like in the Garden of Eden, we will know God by the Spirit living within us and not wait for the Spirit to alight upon us on special occasions. No more separation from God. The indwelling Spirit will share with us what God thinks, feels and intends.
2 Cor 9:9 “What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[b]—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[c] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness,and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,16 for,
“Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?”[d]
But we have the mind of Christ.
How do we RETAIN the mind of Christ, stay connected to the Spirit so we can hear Him speak what Jesus wants to say to us? We must be filled.
Ephesians 5:15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.18Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
How are we filled with the Spirit? We speak to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I find it very interesting that we are not to speak to OURSELVES with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, or make music for ourselves, but to speak to one another. We cannot be filled with the Spirit if we are cut off from His body. We help each other remain in the Spirit by speaking the Word to one another, encouraging one another.
Facets of Spiritual Filling
When we use the word fill in English we normally think of something being placed into a container such as milk being poured to the brim of a glass, water being run into a bath tub, or gasoline being pumped into a gas tank. But none of those examples conveys precisely the meaning of to fill or be filled as does the Greek pleroo, a form of which is used in Ephesians 5:18 .
Pleroo has three shades of meaning that are helpful in illustrating the scriptural meaning of Spirit-filled. The first carries the idea of pressure. It is used to describe wind billowing the sails on a ship, providing the impetus to move the vessel across the water. In the spiritual realm, this concept depicts the Holy Spirit providing the thrust to move the believer down the pathway of obedience. A Spirit-filled Christian isn’t motivated by his own desires or will to progress. Instead, he allows the Holy Spirit to carry him in the proper directions. Another helpful example of this first meaning is a small stick floating in a stream. Most of us have tossed a stick into a creek and then run downstream to see the twig come floating by, propelled only by the force of the water. To be filled with the Spirit means to be carried along by the gracious pressure of the Holy Spirit.
(Note that the boat is not tied to the dock. You must be willing to let the Spirit move you in some direction. Also note that you can’t be steered in any direction unless you are moving. A rudder and a steering wheel don’t help when the vehicle is not moving.)
Pleroo can also convey the idea of permeation. The well-known pain reliever Alka Seltzer illustrates this principle quite effectively. When you drop one or two tablets into a glass of water, they instantly begin to fizzle and dissolve. Soon the tablets are transformed into clear bubbles throughout the glass, and the water is permeated with the distinct flavor of the Alka Seltzer. In a similar sense, God wants the Holy Spirit to permeate and flavor our lives so when we’re around others they will know for certain we possess the pervasive savor of the Spirit.
There is a third meaning of pleroo, actually the primary one in the New Testament, which conveys the sense of domination or total control. It is used by the Gospel writers to indicate that people were dominated by a certain emotion. “filled with fear”, “were filled with rage.” Most people are able to balance their emotions from day to day. But there are times when the emotional balance is tipped to one extreme or another. But in our spiritual lives we are commanded to yield to the total control of the Holy Spirit, so every emotion, thought, and act of the will is under His direction. That kind of complete spiritual control is for our benefit and totally in line with God’s will.
When we are not filled with Him, we fill ourselves with what we want in the flesh. As long as we are satisfied with something else of our own choosing, we will not be open to being filled with Him.
In the flesh, YOUR actions are the standard by which you judge everyone else.
In the Spirit, CHRIST’S actions are the standard by which you judge yourself.
In the flesh, you will keep your eyes on what everyone else is or is not doing and try to point out the splinter in their eye.
In the spirit, you will keep your eyes on God and work on getting the plank out of your own eye.
In the flesh, it is all about what you want.
In the spirit, it is all about what God wants.
Most of our relationship problems stem from one attitude expressed in one statement:
“Well, I wouldn’t do it that way!”
We would even be tempted to say, “But God wouldn’t do it that way!”
But the godly response to situations we don’t agree with, “God, have your way in all of our lives, reveal to all of us what we need to see and give us the grace to act upon it.”
Why? Because rarely do we really see exactly what God sees and know what God wants for everyone involved. They may be wrong – but so might we.
Jesus wants us to be one in the Spirit. The infilling of the Spirit is not for personal purposes, but for BODY purposes, so we will be one together, with the Lord’s purpose leading and guiding us.
John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd
Phil 2:1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit,if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
1 Samuel 18:1 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.
Leviticus 19:18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Matthew 19:17 If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” he inquired.
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”
Matthew 22: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Love is giving of yourself for the benefit of another with no expectation of return. It is emptying yourself out – so you can be filled with the Spirit.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.