Misinterpretation of the spirit

We have spent recent time and energy examining the role of our spirit in relation to our soul and body, and we could spend another whole year unpacking everything. The spirit, ultimately, is a critical element of you and of me, and our recognition of it is entirely necessary as we explore the depths of communing with God.

I came across this quote from a secular source this morning and just had to share it. I believe this author does a good job explaining a distinction between our spirit and our soul/heart/psyche (the seat of our intellect, emotions and will).

“All true energy and beauty of the body, all sureness and boldness of the sword, but also all genuineness and ingenuity of the understanding, are grounded in the spirit, and they rise or fall only according to the current power or powerlessness of the spirit. Spirit is what sustains and rules, the first and last, not a merely indispensable third element.

…the whole phenomenon of literati and aesthetes is just a late consequence and mutation of the spirit falsified as intelligence. Mere ingenuity is the semblance of spirit and veils its absence.

As soon as this instrumental misinterpretation of the spirit sets in, the powers of spiritual happening shift to a sphere where they can be consciously cultivated and planned.”

The author may not realize it, but he is illustrating, from a different vantage point, the distinction between knowing God in spirit versus mind, worshiping in spirit versus mind, and so on.

Our mind is a critical element in knowing about God, but our spirit is the location where we know Him.

What are your thoughts on all this?

3 responses to “Misinterpretation of the spirit

  • Cameron

    You said “the distinction between knowing God in spirit versus mind, worshiping in spirit versus mind, and so on.”

    How do we know if we know God with our spirit or our mind? Are there symptomatically defined actions that come along with it (bearing fruit) or is it merely opening our lives to Jesus in the first place?

    Great post!

    • metamorpheus

      Hi Cameron,
      I have heard many people personally describe this process, and the Christian singer, Keith Green, describes it in ultra simplistic terms in his biography, “No Compromise.” After some time as a Christian, he had a major encounter with God, and rushed home to his wife, Melody, exclaiming, “Honey, I just got saved again! I got saved twice!!!”

      Of course, this doesn’t make any sense, theologically speaking. But he was expressing a new reality of his relationship with God. He had transitioned from simply knowing about God to knowing Him. He had made the switch from academic understanding and external experience to internal oneness. I realize this sounds pretty fuzzy still.

      I would describe oneness/abiding as a pattern of fluid connection with God. It is what Jesus spoke of in John 14-17. Oneness is being united in intent, direction and emotion.

      If knowing God in our mind involves study of Scripture, deliberate choosing of righteous behaviors, scheduling quiet times, etcetera, then knowing God with our spirit involves hearing His voice, and remaining in a constant state of conversation with Him, aware of His continual presence and desire to connect with us in every moment and setting.

      If worshiping Him with our mind (something I am quite experienced in) involves agreeing with certain theology in some songs and choosing to sing to God (as only one example out of a multitude), worshiping in spirit is when we are invited by Him to praise/thank/adore/revere/honor Him, and He provides the words, theme or inspiration, and we simply join Him where He is already moving. We choose to join Him regardless of whether it makes sense(intellect) or whether we feel like it(emotions). Our spirit sort of “drafts” off of the Spirit of God and we experience oneness with Him, despite the nature of our current situation.

      Was that helpful at all? It can be so hard to put these things into words sometimes…

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