Do I Have His Thoughts or My Opinion?
September 18, 2016
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #510.
(Carole) Well, there’s just so many aspects of the definition of the flesh being worked out and experienced through life, and Romans 8 says that the “flesh is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit.” And I can just picture so many instances in my own life that are not the same. I mean, that is worked out in a multitude of different facets. It comes out of us in a multitude of different facets and a multitude of different ways. And it’s something that is worked out every day in some way. But it’s worked out primarily by choice, isn’t it?
(Martha) Umhmm. It is a choice.
(Carole) And what Martha delivered in this message was… That was part of the hope that it is I do have the choice, and I can make just like Paul did when he said, “I determine to know nothing but Christ and Christ alone.” (paraphrased) And I know for me just in the last week or so one of the aspects of being in the flesh and the death that that flesh brings is to limit the Holy Spirit by my own opinion of myself. And it was a huge, huge blow and piercing reality that I very well could have missed my whole destiny by, I’m going to say simply – it’s not simple – by simply worshipping my own opinion of myself and my place in this Body over what the Holy Spirit says about me, His opinion, His call, His view, and limiting, not just limiting but killing that by my own pitiful, scrawny opinion of myself.
(Martha) Actually what God did was to reveal to Carole a much bigger purpose than she would have ever dreamed for herself and how… It was really shocking a little bit to hear it, wasn’t it, Carole?
(Martha) Carole is one who underestimates herself a lot. Carole’s one of the most capable women I’ve ever known, and she always… You always think a little bit less of you than that. Is that ok?
(Martha) And God knows, God has big plans for her, glorious. “I know the plans I have for you, to prosper you, not to harm you, to give you hope and a future…” and He kind of revealed it. There was a whole lot of little structures that kind of tinkled and went down and broke. Didn’t they, Carole?
(Martha) What He has for all of us is just so staggering, always beyond our imagination, beyond what we can think. We think we know who we are. “I’ll tell you who I am. I know…” No, we don’t! We don’t have a clue.
(Carole) And we think, honestly Martha, and you go into this. Because we think we think we know…
(Carole) …we think that’s ok. I’m ashamed to say that…
(Martha) We think it’s the truth.
(Carole) We think it’s the truth and we think it’s ok to think that.
(Martha) Umhmm. Yeah. We do it to each other. It’s having little labels and little limitations that, you know. My limitations are nothing to Him. The limitations are real, but I can’t be defined by that because He doesn’t, He doesn’t… He goes way past our limitations, and He doesn’t… Your capability is a capability to hear and to obey with passion and whatever other capabilities He’s going to require He’ll have to give. I think it’s awesome what we’ve been through.
(Jennifer) Well, and going along with that with soul vs. spirit, you realize, I mean first of all, this is such a huge – this is all of life. And you said it’s kind of daunting. You were talking in the middle and you were like every conversation, every, you know, every phone call, every situation that you have that is in any way interacting with someone else, either you are in the flesh or you’re in the spirit. So either you’re a purveyor, you know, of the flesh and of death, or you’re a living vessel for Jesus Christ, you know, the Spirit. And to look at that very closely is, it’s horrifying in its scope, I think. And I think that is why, you know, that was something you addressed at the beginning, and that has what has always been so heavy about that topic. And so, it’s so easy to take this huge responsibility on your shoulders, you know, because it is, it’s not nothing. It’s not a piddling little thing. It is matters of life and death. It is, you know, who am I carrying and what am I carrying to people? Is it a blessing or a curse? Is it life or death? Is it God or Satan? It’s, you know, it’s so big. But it’s that very thing when He breaks through in one aspect, whatever it is, and brings life where formerly we’ve been operating in the flesh. And there are times you could be operating in the flesh, and you’re going to be held accountable for it. So, on some level you know it. But as you were saying, Carole, there are certain things that have to be undone in us to the extent that to do them, you know, “His ways are not my ways.” So to move from my ways into His ways in the perfect training, in the perfect confrontation, however the Holy Spirit does it to break us completely free of these strongholds that we’re in, it can sometimes feel wrong to do it His way. I don’t know if that makes any sense. Carole, when you were saying it didn’t feel unnatural to you at all. It felt even right for you to hold these lesser opinions of yourself. It felt true; lesser and limited. But I’m no stranger to that, and there’s a place in that where that feels like you’re being realistic. That feels like you’re being honest. That feels like you’re being unsparing, that you’re not flattering yourself, that you’re not puffing yourself up, that you’re seeing yourself as you really are in all reality.
(Jennifer) Does that make any sense? Ok, so it’s that kind of, that’s what, you know, feels right. So to come out at the other end of it, and there are times when Martha or John or even you, Carole, have come to me and have said something that I know wasn’t flattery. You’re not flatterers. I know it was an encouragement from the Lord. And it felt wrong for me to experience joy at that, because I had so convinced myself that any sort of joy on that end of the spectrum had to be pride, had to be arrogance, had to be… See, when I’m keeping myself, when I’m determined, it’s my ways. And so, to have my ways upended and to be moved into His ways or to put it another way, to take me out of the flesh and put me in the spirit, there is a disconcerting, a discombobulence that can happen, that it can literally feel wrong.
(Martha) It’s too good to be true.
(Jennifer) Exactly. It’s too good to be true, so somewhere I’m cutting the corner. If I’m not doing it the hard way, if I’m not weeping and moaning and rubbing ash into my hair the whole way, then it must not be real. And I think the part of this message I found so hopeful is that it’s another battering ram against that presumption in my thinking, that presumption that says, “Now, now, don’t throw me out, because, you know, there’s some truth here. There’s some reality here, you know. There’s a lot things that you’re not. Remember that. There’s a lot that there…” But that’s not how God deals with me, and that’s not how you would deal with a child. Would you deal with a child, and the first thing you say to them in the morning is, “Well, you’re awfully short. You’re incredibly short. You don’t enunciate. In fact, half of what you say is gibberish, but come have your cereal.” You know. “We’ll see what we can do with the rest of the day, you short, gibbon monkey, who can’t enunciate.” You don’t talk to children that way. You don’t, you know what I mean? We don’t do that, and yet I can talk to myself that way, and somehow, you know, like that’s…. It’s not God. It is absolutely the flesh. It is absolutely soulish.