with Jeremy Westcott –
All the flow of the life of God comes through us from the inside out. The choice is ours whether we surrender, and allow it to flow, or not.
Last time we looked at various prayers and declarations (you can read them by clicking here). I want to encourage you to use those declarations to unblock your conscience, reason, imagination, mind, and all the other gates; use them every day.
Spirit, soul and body
In this series on Preparing For Destiny, we are looking mainly at two areas: how to build up the spirit and how to restore and refine the soul. In today’s post we are looking mostly at building the spirit, but we need to have both things going on at the same time. It is no good trying to deal with the soul if the spirit is not strong enough to assume its rightful place. It is no good having a strong spirit if our soul is still battling to remain in control. We need to deal with both aspects together, so that we become spirit, soul and body (not body, soul and spirit).
If our spirit is really weak because it has never really been used, then it is going to find it difficult to rule. And if our soul is really strong because it has become accustomed to being in charge, it needs to submit. We have to learn how to build up our spirit and how to have our soul restored and refined so that everything is in its proper order in us.
When God created Adam, originally his spirit was in charge. His soul was not connected to the outside world but through his spirit and his relationship with God. He had no self-awareness apart from awareness of God, and God’s Spirit. God wants to restore us to that condition.
We looked before at a list of some things we can do to begin to build our spirit.
First of all we saw that we need to give God first place, first love, first priority.
Praying in tongues
The second area to focus on is praying and singing in tongues. This was probably the most important breakthrough for me in training my senses to engage the heavenly realms: learning to pray in tongues without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
People have taught it as if that verse just means we should pray regularly. That is not what it says. It says, ‘Pray without ceasing’. That means all the time. 24 hours a day, our soul can be directed by our spirit because our spirit is connected with God and praying without ceasing, and receiving a constant flow of revelation as it does so.
We begin by praying in tongues on the outside. We pray out loud in tongues, and we begin to train our spirit by praying in tongues and getting connected with God. And we can also pray in tongues on the inside. Most of us find it easy enough to pray inwardly in tongues when we are quiet and not doing anything else.
But we can train our spirit to pray in tongues on the inside whilst doing something else on the outside, and also to be praying in tongues on the outside whilst meditating on the Word on the inside. It takes practice to do those things, and we have to take the time to do spiritual exercises so that we learn.
We can try two exercises now.
We begin by praying on the inside, silently, in tongues for a minute or so.
Then, as we begin to flow in that and our spirit engages (and without stopping praying in tongues on the inside), we read aloud Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
It seems strange at first, but with practice it becomes easier!
Now we are going to pray in tongues on the outside, whilst meditating on this same scripture on the inside.
We begin again by praying in tongues, but this time out loud, for one minute.
Then, as we begin to flow in that once more and our spirit engages (and without stopping praying in tongues on the outside), we begin to meditate on the first verse of the psalm:
The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want
We read it over slowly several times, a word at a time, on the inside, and allow God to speak to us about what we are reading, all the while continuing to pray in tongues out loud.
If this is new to us, we can feel that it is a stretch for our spirit, just like physical exercise is for our body if we are not used to it. But if we do this for a few minutes every day, then with practice and perseverance our spirit will grow stronger.
The Night Watch
We are told to meditate in the Word day and night (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2). How can you meditate when you are asleep? You can train your spirit to be awake, while your body is asleep. It is called the ‘night watch’ in the Psalms. We can be awake in our spirit and engaging with God even as our body sleeps. Then we need to have our soul be awake too, so that we can remember all the things we are engaged with, and all the revelation we receive.
Training, practice, discipline, exercise
When I was on the 40-day fast a few years ago, God told me that He wanted me to start each day by praying out loud in tongues for an hour. And as I was doing that, my spirit began to get really stirred so that I started to learn how to pray on the tongues on the inside. So now I can be praying in tongues while I am speaking to someone, or listening to them, so that I am receiving a flow of revelation.
Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 14:1).
That means we need to desire them eagerly. They have to be really important to us. If building our spirit is not important to us, our spirit will remain as it was: weak and ineffective, subject to the whims of our soul.
As we have said before, if you want a strong physical body; if you want to be in good shape with plenty of muscle, you have to get regular exercise. You cannot do it any other way. Maybe you have seen those advertisements for devices you can strap on while watching the TV and they promise you will get a six-pack? Save your money. They don’t work. You have to train your physical body, and it is the same with your spirit. If we want a spirit that is like Jesus’ spirit, able to do all the things that He was able to do here on earth, we need to train our spirit, and go to spiritual gym. Praying and singing in tongues, and using other spiritual gifts, is spiritual gym. It builds our spirit up. The more we use our muscles, the stronger they become.
Paul writes, Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues (1 Cor 14:5) and, ‘I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all (1 Cor 14:18). The spiritual language that we have might be a language of men, it might be a language of angels; but it is a language we are given to communicate with God.
Building, edifying, strengthening
One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself (1 Cor 14:4), he builds himself up, strengthens himself. If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful (1 Cor 14:14). That is exactly how it is supposed to be with praying in tongues. We have to put our conscious mind in its rightful place, which is in subjection to our spirit. And sometimes we might wonder ‘what am I praying when I am praying in tongues?’ Actually we are not supposed to know, in our head, in our conscious mind. Our spirit will know, and we may get to know consciously if a flow of thought comes spontaneously to our mind from our spirit. But not the other way around.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit… (Jude 1:20).
So praying in the Holy Spirit, when our spirit and the Spirit of God are joined together as we pray in tongues, builds us up in our faith and it strengthens our spirit. And we need a strong spirit that is able to rule, able to be in charge.
So I pray in tongues while meditating, while reading the Bible, while doing everything I can possibly do. I pray in tongues while I am ministering to people, so that I get a flow of revelation. I pray in tongues when I am seeking God for revelation and direction. Because it is a flow of the thoughts of God that flow from the spirit. Praying in tongues keeps me connected to God who is on the inside of me.
He knows everything, so if I need to know something, where is that going to come from? It is going to come from the revelation that flows from His boundless knowledge. He is all-powerful, so I can be connected to His power, so that His power can flow through me to change things around me. He is also omnipresent, and since I am in Him, I can see things outside of my physical domain. I can see things in other parts of the world (or cosmos), I can see things that are going on in the heavenly realms. I can do that because He is everywhere. He is in all things, past, present and future, and I can be connected to Him. But I have to be flowing, and my spirit (rather than my soul) has to be strong, in charge, and ruling.
Rivers of living water
Tongues keeps the flow of the life of God coming.The more I pray in tongues, the more the Spirit is filling me, moving me, leading me. The rivers of living water flow from within me (as Jesus promised in John 7:38), because my spirit is open and allowing the Spirit of God to flow out through my life to touch people around me.
This is just how it happened for Jesus. We are here, as Christians, to be ‘little Christs’. That is what the word means. Anointed ones, just as He was anointed: we are anointed by the Holy Spirit to fulfil the purposes of God.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
(Isa 58:11 NLT).
The flow of life comes from within our spirit out through our lives. We need to build our spirit up. I would encourage you, pray in tongues as much as you can. Even if you are doing something else, because you do not need to engage the left side of your brain to pray in tongues. It is a right-brained activity. That is the same area of our brain where visions can be projected, from the inside out, from our spirit onto the screen of our imagination. Then we can see them, see the things of God, and have visitations with Him.
Praying in tongues is absolutely key to developing all of this. We need to practise it.
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