Christlikeness is one of the destinations of our journey. It is our promised inheritance, but defining it quantitatively and qualitatively is not easy for us. We haven’t walked with Him the way His disciples and friends did. Some of the stories we have been given give us clues.
We are spirit, soul and body. This is not only three parts of our existence, but also three realms that we are meant to function in. We are more than animals who function in the physical and more than angels who function in the spiritual. God took the dust of the ground (our bodies, the physical realm) and breathed into us (our spirits, the spiritual realm) and Adam became a living soul (our souls, the realm of consciousness).
Previously, I believed this to be true but materialism and rationalism limited my understanding and pursuit of the spirit and soul realms. Only my mind really mattered in the soul realm and I wouldn’t be able to function in the spirit realm until I was fully present in it after I died and went to heaven. I didn’t understand who I am as a son of God and I made death the door to the spirit realm. For the last three and a half years I have repented of these limitations and sought growth in all three areas. As I pursue intimacy with Father, He is transforming me. He is helping me exchange old mindsets for a new relationship and renewing my mind to see possibility rather than limitation.
Jesus is the model. When we read the gospels, we should be identifying with Jesus and learning how to do what He was doing. As the eternal Son, He set aside His divine nature to become flesh. He showed us how to function as a mature son who was a master of all three realms and then promised that if we believed we would do greater works. For a long time I thought He was operating out of His divinity when He did the supernatural, but how can we become like Him if He was using this unfair advantage? If we can become like Him and do even greater works, then He must have only used His humanity with Father and Holy Spirit flowing through Him.
Jesus demonstrated maturity of the spirit realm by allowing angels to minister to Him and knowing what evil spirits were doing. He told Nicodemus that He was also in heaven while they were speaking. He told Peter that He interceded in a heavenly court case where Satan sought access into Peter’s life. He spent time with Father so that He only did what He saw Father doing and only said what Father was saying.
Obviously, Jesus’ spiritual senses were fully functioning. He could fully participate in their spiritual realms. Why can’t we? Our belief system. Seeing is believing. We only believe the things we can see, hear, taste, touch and smell in the physical realm. This is where rationalism and materialism come in. Anyone who claims to have more than that is either gifted or lying. Our brains sift billions of bits of information down to a few thousand every second based on what we believe is important. We only sense the things we want to. This leads to our confirmation bias.
Learning to function in the spirit realm takes faith, effort, persistence and patience. I have been working on this for over three and a half years and only now feel like I am getting impressions of what God is saying to me. I don’t perceive spiritual sight yet, but I believe I will. Every day I choose to go to through Jesus the door and walk with Father and develop my relationship with Him. By faith, I am trying to learn to function from where I am seated with Christ in heavenly places learning to see things from His perspective and seek to bring heaven to earth.
The conscious realm is the arena of mind, will, emotions, choice, conscience, reason, and imagination. This is both a personal realm and collective realm. We need an understanding of how our souls function individually and together, and we need healing and restoration for the damage done in this realm which is significant.
Jesus was so tuned into consciousness. He mastered his own soul, living in freedom and balance, and he was aware of the conscious realm around Him. He knew when collective unbelief and choice was preventing Him from bringing heaven to earth. He knew men’s hearts and what their thoughts and intentions were. He saw past actions and facades to know underlying motives. He forgave rather than carry unforgiveness.
I’m finding more brokenness in my soul than I dreamed I would. There are aspects I have spoken death over and don’t utilize. There are places where I’ve allowed guilt and shame to fester and warp my reality, places where I’ve been hurt and carried unforgiveness. The goodness of God is that Jesus has paid for my complete healing and restoration. I walk with Him and He leads me into wholeness. He is also beginning to show me how important the consciousness of a community is. Together effects multiply which can be very good or very bad and because He honors our choices, we have the power to choose to bring transformation.
Jesus’ mastery over the physical realm was completely unique. He healed, multiplied food, knew where fish would be, walked on water, and calmed storms. He also walked the roads, worked with His hands, washed feet, cooked food, and ate and drank. The conclusion of most was that He must be from God.
For most of my walk with God, I couldn’t wait to be done with the physical realm. Let me leave this world and really start living in the hereafter. God is showing me how important the physical is. He made us body for a reason and declared, “It is very good.” The second Adam has made it possible for us to become all that we were created for in the physical realm as well as the spiritual and soulish. I’m repenting of my disdain and learning to love my body and the world around me. It is only as I learn to love as He loves that I really experience the material world.
This journey to wholeness in spirit, soul and body is no sprint. If it were, we would race ahead of Father creating some formula where we didn’t need God at all. He has made it a very involved process of trust and dependence, but we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up. Hope springs eternal. We will be like Him as we look at Him face to face. We will be Christlike, fully integrated with our spirit, soul and body all mature and functioning properly with our souls and bodies in submission to our spirit, receiving all they need from the living water that is within rather than trying to meet their needs from the world around them.