with Jeremy Westcott -
Our soul gates are: conscience, reason, imagination, mind, emotions, choice and will.
Our conscience is the ears of our heart. It is our protector and our director, our guard, and our guide. Our conscience will keep us from wrong and direct us to good. Sadly, our conscience can be dulled or seared by repeated exposure to sin (Titus 1:15). We need our conscience cleansed, clear and sharp.
It is not that we reason and try to work it out with intellect: this is about being able to translate and interpret the words of God that are spoken to us, to understand and explain God’s word as He speaks to us.
The eyes of our heart. It is absolutely key that we develop our imagination. Our western culture and education system have trained us out of using (and valuing) our imagination. Our imagination was given to us by God so that we could see what He is doing. So that we could see visions, see dreams, see the heavenly realms, on the screen of our imagination. We need to learn how to use it again and train it so that it grows and develops.
Our mind, conscious and subconscious, is where the storage programs are. Here we find our memories, the word of God, and belief systems. It is like the hard drive of a computer. Everything is stored there. The subconscious mind, our heart, sits somewhere between our spirit and our conscious mind. Memories, beliefs, values, lies, truths, mindsets. Jesus called this ‘soil’ and it can have all kinds of seeds sown into it.
Our subconscious mind is affected by our DNA nature, from our parents, that sets up defence mechanisms and coping mechanisms, Our patterns of behaviour come from what we believe. Nurture has an effect too: we have had a whole lot of experiences of life during our upbringing and education which train us to operate in certain ways. Trauma too, the things that happen to us and cause us to make vows and decisions based o our experience. All those things also get connected with familiar spirits assigned to our life. They know us, and they lie to us, in order to get us to operate from a false belief system.
All those things on the inside of us manifest on the outside in the way we think. So things like our reactions, our attitudes, our responses, fear, worry: all come from the inside and manifest in our mind.
When revelation comes, from the word of God, from the Holy Spirit, things can start to change. Then we have an opportunity of surrendering to Him, and He can deal with familiar spirits who lie to us. Our behaviour patterns start to come from the revelation of the truth of God’s word, especially about who we are. Our mindsets are based on the truth of who God says we are. Our attitudes, suggestions, the ideas that flow from our into our minds, are flowing from the inside out.
But if we do not deal with all those things on the inside we will continually have triggers which set us off thinking in a particular way, and that is where the conflict takes place. We have to be willing to allow God to transform us from the inside out.
Our soul has emotions, where our responses and our feelings are, where we are moved, where we get those gut feelings. Emotions affect our esteem, our worth, whether we feel love, security, acceptance and value.
We have all had unmet needs. Maybe as a child, or in relationships, we did not receive all we should have received in the way of love, security, acceptance, encouragement and so on. Then we end up with low self-esteem, or disappointment in our life. Those can result in our feeling insecure, rejected, being dependent on other people, or in co-dependent relationships.
We try to get our needs met in these ways because we have not been in right relationship with God, and He is the only one who can properly meet those needs. We have looked to the world, and been hurt. We experience guilt and shame, and carry lots of unhealed hurts where people have let us down, and caused pain in our life. Since we have not learned to forgive and release them, this has set up anger, resentment, and bitterness, which are all emotional things.
Now those emotions can completely rule our lives – if we let them. We have to deal with them. They affect what goes on in our conscious mind and then they trigger responses all the time. Our behaviour does not just happen. Our behaviour derives from the things which are on the inside of us and God wants us to operate in forgiveness, and to be restored, changed and renewed so that the strongholds and all the hurt and pain in there get dealt with.
We also have a will. If we sin, through stubbornness or rebellion, our will is damaged and effectively becomes a barrier to what God wants to do. That sets up such things as unbelief, indecision, control, doubt and fear. As we deal with them, God wants to replace them with humility, confidence, boldness, courage, persistence, determination, perseverance, self-control (which is a fruit of the Spirit). All those things can happen if we allow God from the inside out to transform our life.
It is really important for us to understand what is going on inside us and how we operate. Some of us have been taught to peel back the layers to expose what is going on deeper down; that is OK as long as we don’t try to change ourselves from the outside in, because if we approach it from that direction it is a battle we will ultimately lose.
If we focus on the problem, the problem gets bigger. If we focus on the solution, the problem gets smaller. In Jesus, nothing is impossible. Nothing will prevent God from doing what He needs to do, if we surrender to Him.
The final gate is choice. In the end, it all comes down to one question. Once we have cleared out everything which would lead us away from surrendering to God and allowing our spirit to rule, we still have to make a conscious, daily choice. What will we choose to do?
Let us press in, and get to the place where all these gates are flowing with the life of God and transformed. At the moment most of them are not like that. We cannot change ourselves. We have to invite God to come into those gates and transform us.
It would be really dangerous if the glory of God started manifesting through us, through an unholy life; dangerous both for us and for the people around us. He will not allow His presence to be manifested out of us until there is a holy life for it to flow through.
But He does want to manifest His presence through us.