The Word is My Life
Friday, December 14, 2018
My Words are life to those that find them . . . . Prov. 4:22

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February 2016 A Spiritual Response Accesses Heaven

From My Life’s Journey                                                                               February, 2016

Topic:  A Spiritual Response Accesses Heaven 

Greetings and blessings to you in 2016!  God has been dealing with me about responding to life spiritually on a consistent basis.  Let me share what I’m learning.  When we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us (John 14:16-17).  He is our comforter and guide (John 15:26).  You’ve heard me say that the Holy Spirit is like an internal GPS that helps us navigate this life.  His primary goal is to lead us along a path of transformation, conforming us into the image of Jesus.  Our job is to cooperate. 

As we cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit, we live a spiritual life instead of a natural or carnal one.  The life of Christ on the inside begins to show on the outside.  Colossians 1:27 says that Christ is in us, and He is the hope of glory.  Indeed, Jesus is our hope for glorious things to come – eternal, divine things. But there is a dilemma … 

Paul mentions a war that goes on within.  Instead of living and responding spiritually, Paul says, “I want to do what is good, but I don’t.  I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway” (Rom. 7:19).  Paul cries out that he wants to live and respond spiritually, but there is a war within that pulls him toward carnal and fleshly living and responding.  He then asks, “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God!  The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:24-25, NLT).  Yes, Jesus has come to free us from the death and destruction that occur when we do not live and respond to life spiritually. 

Rom. 8:1 (NKJV) goes on to say, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”  Yes, because of Christ, we can walk in communion with the Holy Spirit within, and when we do, there is life and peace: “Letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace” (Rom. 8:6b, NLT).  

I deeply believe that those who are able to shift from natural to spiritual responses in life begin to access a heavenly, divine strength to overcome.  For example, Moses initially had a natural response – “I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue”– when God gave him the assignment to deliver the children of Israel.  Eventually, he rose in the strength of the Lord and was able to tell Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: Let My people go” (Exodus 5:1a, NKJV).   After following him during his earthly ministry, Peter denied Jesus three times.  His flesh got the best of him, but when he learned to live and respond to God spiritually, he preached and 3000 souls were saved in one day (Acts 2:37-41).  Also, Paul (in his flesh) tortured Christians, but after he was knocked from his horse and was blinded by the light of Christ, Paul learned to live and respond to God spiritually and wrote two-thirds of the New Testament.  I truly believe that to fulfill our purpose in life, we must live and respond spirituallyconsistently. 

Let me give you a personal example.  Last year, I taught a doctoral class, and two students decided to critique how I taught the course.  When I gave one of the students feedback on an assignment, he asked, “Is this the formal way we are to do this or is this just your opinion?”  After taking a deep breath, I had to choose a natural or a spiritual response.  I chose a spiritual one.  What did that involve?  I share the answer below.  First, though, in my devotion time, God spoke to me and said, “You are called to teach this class.”  God first chose to tell me who I was.  Once I got a hold of who I was – a woman of God called to teach that course – a divine strength came upon me, and I taught that course.  I responded to the student in peace, gave him a gracious answer, and did my job in authority.  I think this happened to Moses also.  One day he grasped the fact that he was called to free the children of Israel.  It was the reason for which he was born.  Therefore, know that a spiritual life changes you first and then gives you power to do what needs to be done in the strength of the Lord.  

How did I respond spiritually? 

  • I first rejected my flesh.  I knew that responding out of offense would not work the purposes of God.  It would also probably get me a bad course evaluation.
  • Secondly, I turned my thoughts toward God and His wisdom.
  • Third, I opened my heart to God to receive from Him. 
  • Last, I asked God how to respond spiritually to this student, and He showed me how to respond in a way that showed His love, brought Him glory, and affirmed my authority as professor.  What area of your life needs a spiritual response? 

Ladies, heaven backed me up because I walked in spiritual maturity.  That’s the point of this letter.  Jesus died so we could mature in Him, or as Ephesians 4:15 says, “Grow up in Him.”  Responding to life spiritually transforms us.  We are transformed and mature when we set our minds and affections on things above (Col. 3:2) and respond God’s way in life challenges.  

         As was mentioned earlier, living a spiritual life is peace.  I heard a minister say that peace is not the absence of problems, but peace is having a spiritual response in the midst of life’s problems.  Where does this peace come from?  It comes from the Kingdom of God within you (Luke 17:21).  When you resolve to turn your mind and heart to God and respond to life spiritually, He reveals Himself and His ways – not just His hand – to you.  You will access the Kingdom of God (and heavenly realms) for a strength that is way beyond the natural.  Practice spiritual responses and experience the Kingdom of God invading your life.  It’s powerful!  

Ever onward, ever forward~

Iris Barrett, Ed.D.

“The Word is My Life” Training Ministry