Long post – short version.

I have a long post i want to write – trouble is it’s long and it hasn’t all come out right, just yet – and even if it had some of you might get ‘lost’.

SO i am trying this first…

How do we know the difference between the ‘fleshy’ me – and the ‘spiritual’ me.

I’m convinced there IS a difference that separates those two.

Can you always know for sure where that ‘fine line’ is?

Do you REALLY know when ‘you’ are ‘in spirit’ and when you are in flesh just ‘trying hard’ to be in spirit?

Does it ever get you confused?

Β 

I would like to know! – before i post the ‘long’ version.

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46 thoughts on “Long post – short version.

  1. i think you answered it in your question. when “confusion” sets in. That for me is the first sign. it can be confusion in any form.

    my flesh is my old self. which is COMPLETELY different than the new creation i am. we all still battle with our flesh (old nature) and because they are both on different sides of the spectrum i think that we, at least for those of us here, are very aware of it because we are constantly seeking HIS will and perfect ways.

    make sense?

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  2. Bran – i may just be rubbing off on youuuu! πŸ˜‰

    Think with your head but make sure you listen to your heart always for the ‘deep’ stuff. πŸ˜‰ ♥

    Tam – you have a ‘better’ guide than most would, i suspect (although i am realising that your story is not so unusual for some bloggers – more than i would have liked to think of, in fact). 😦

    You are right – confusion can be one indication.

    For some people however i think they can be VERY certain and in no way unsure or ‘confused’ in their own mind about what they believe God wants, and yet be so very far off the Truth of God.

    In Jesus’ time i think the Pharissee’s were such people. Sure of their belief that they were remaining true to God’s word while moving ever more away from it with their hearts.

    WE see much of that still today.

    Sometimes we may have something we believe in and have no confusion about – until someone says something that makes us see our own thinking in a new light and we then realise we were confused all along.

    God is that Light!

    If i may offer a word of caution?

    From where you are now it may be very easy to see the ‘old self’ and associate that with ‘the flesh’ so as to have one reference (or many points of reference from the way you used to behave) but you are still in flesh today, albeit much more in His Light to see more clearly.

    It is not so easy though to see how this flesh may still be up to some ‘new’ tricks that in your future you might look back on and wonder ‘how could i have been THAT way? What was i thinking ‘back’ then?

    Our fleshy nature hides from our current view very well. Even while we see it in one ‘act’ it is deviously busy working on another differnt way that our attention has been diverted from.

    Life is a very tricky thing… and our own ego takes advantage of that whenever it can – even if we are ‘saved’ from past sins.

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  3. For me peace is an important factor. In the event of yielding to my flesh I have always experienced a loss of peace. I also feel awfully separated from God in that situation. God’s truth says that He will never leave nor forsake us and that nothing can separate us from His love, however, we tend to experience that feeling of separation because we yielded to our flesh versus His spirit that lives inside us. I don’t know if that makes sense but those are my thoughts at 1 in the morning when I’m extremely tired lol.

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  4. Your comments always make sense to me GC! πŸ™‚
    Peace would be a good way.

    My problem is there are many many times in a day when ‘peace’ is the last thing i am feeling 😦

    I find it easier to hear His ‘voice’ when i am doing nothing and feeling that peace – i need to work out a way to be less taken over by ‘fleshy’ me and keep His Peace inside at all times. πŸ™‚

    Hey Bran – i’m coming over – but you really should be sleeping now! πŸ™‚

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  5. Hello FRIENDSTER! This is yet again a thought-provoking post (like most, if not all, of your posts).

    I find it hard to answer your question, because although I have always adhered to the general interpretation that we are a soul contained in a flesh, I had not ventured to ponder further; I’d never thought to ask myself, β€œwhen am I in spirit, and when am I a flesh trying to be a spirit?”

    Let me try now, though.

    There are moments when I find it hard to do the things I know that is right… like forgiving someone who has wronged me, or trying NOT to hold a grudge. It is when there are battles between reasons within me that I am sure I am just a flesh trying to be a spirit. The spirit part of me wants to do the absolute, which is to follow the example set by Jesus; but the flesh part of me would not want to do that; would want to avenge my β€œhonor” which had been trampled upon. But when I look clearly into that β€œhonor,” there are times that I recognize it’s just really my ego talking.

    There are also moments when peace and love so consume me, that they seem so tangible I can touch them. There are even times that I feel as though love and peace reside within me. During these times, I feel so light, so close to God, so loving, so peaceful. I also feel so loved, and so beautiful both inside and out. I am just like a soaring hope. During these moments, it’s so easy to do what is right in the eyes of God. No, I am not sure, but I like to think that maybe, just maybe, these are the moments when I am being the spirit me.

    Then, there is also another part of me that I like. There are moments that I enter a different world, which is often called the world of make-believe or imagination. I know it’s like the route of an escapist, but I prefer to call it the artist’s world. When I am in this world, I feel the hurt of the humanity, their struggles, their pain, their everything, but I also see some light flashing, and I hear some whispered messages that balm my soul, my spirit. It’s hard to explain, but it’s both painful and uplifting. I do not know if it’s still within the realm of the flesh or already within the plane of the spirit (it could be somewhere between) but it’s wonderful.

    Hmmm… I hope I’m making sense. πŸ™‚

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  6. good thought provoking question.

    i also aim to follow after peace. the challenge comes in quieting myself to the point of being able to even experience His peace in the midst of a storm.

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  7. Good morning Love!

    If we don’t have peace does that mean we are not in the Will of God [walking in the Spirit] or does it mean that we have not allowed ourselves to benefit from all He has to offer us? Is there a difference? Are we always either walking in the flesh or walking in the spirit or is there an in-between, sort of a stagnant status that some of us fall into when we’re not really doing much of anything?

    Some questions that came to mind as I was reflecting on your post πŸ™‚

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  8. Love –

    I won’t even attempt to answer this because, truthfully, I am one of the people who is consistently confused by this. There are certainly times when I know I am acting in the flesh but there are also times I am certain I am following the Spirit, acting in God’s will, and things have gone wrong. Or, maybe I only perceive them as having gone wrong….maybe in God’s plan things have gone right. See what I mean about confusion. As a Christian, I think one of the most difficult and frustrating things is trying to understand God’s will for my life.

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  9. i REALLY love reading your thoughts my friends! πŸ™‚

    I have been ‘limiting’ myself somewhat by reason of my current understanding of Bible Scripture (which grows thankfully a little each day, thanks to your comments πŸ™‚ ) to only considering us as either being in flesh – or in spirit.

    However both Sherma and GC raise the possiblility of either partially/simultaneously being in both or being somewhere ‘in between’, or somewhere ‘other’.

    I will ponder on that – i have no reason to in any way doubt your descriptions you offer πŸ™‚

    I will say that in strictly physical terms we are always in the flesh on Earth. But my post and our comments all point to us being able to be something ‘more’ than that, by reason of our quite complex nature’s – of something ‘other’ than just our physical make-up.

    We can and do have thoughts and mental experiences that are related to only our physical self, independent of anything else, or more precisely anyONE else.

    I would describe these as us being in the flesh as the Bible uses the term – when we specifically only pay attention to what is of, and benefits only, us. Many on earth live almost entirely in this existance – (or so they believe)

    But then we are also able to go beyond that – those who have ‘felt’ God’s presence – or just felt something MORE than just themselves – something ‘greater’, or ‘other’ – not ‘me’ can learn to connect their ‘inner, higher’ self to it.and as GC put it – ‘benefit from all He has to offer us’

    It is at such times we can find a great ‘easing’ – a peace that surpasses our own emotional feelings – and we feel like we Truly are a part of something much greater than we ever felt before. We become United – ‘One’ – again, oh so briefly in time.

    As Sherma describes our imaginations – they can be sources of great inspiration, insight and sometimes painfully so to our ego or to our higher self as we realise that we may not be living up to all we are able to.

    So long as we learn discipline in them and do not let them infatuate us they can be a route to improve our relationships and understanding.

    With others and with ourself – and with Him also.

    As to peace and ‘the storm’ Alece mentions living in a flesh body can mean that in many instances throughour each day we are forced to deal with matters solely , or immediately of an ‘earthly nature’ while not being able to remain in direct contact with His and our spiritual nature. There is where the ‘turbulence’ arises and is the cause of much of our unease – our loss of peace.

    Learning to keep a part of us ‘external’ to our physical self – separate from it where we can remain aware of Him at all times, is necessary if we are to remain ‘in Spirit’.

    Great thoughts all – you inspire me! πŸ™‚

    And Sherma – you make total sense – in ways i do not often consider – but i like to!

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  10. Welcome again Rick! πŸ™‚

    That is one of the reasons i wanted to write the long post – like you i frequently wonder why i felt i was being so right and yet things did not go the way i thought they would, or ‘should’.

    I am learning (i hope correctly) that my ego frequently misdirects me and after the event i become wiser – my goal is to try and become wise BEFORE the event! πŸ˜‰

    I’m not altogether sure just yet that is the way God is working on me!

    I live in Hope! (and as best i can in love too).

    I hope that the longer i stick it out trying to follow His Will that i may just get there one day.

    One of my most brilliant insights into the way He works in me is that He lets me try every possible alternative until i come to the right one after all others have been eliminated through trial and error and no other way is left!

    sigghh! πŸ™‚

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  11. Hi,

    This is the first time I have visited your blog and BOY! What a question!

    I would love to answer, but I think it would turn into a ‘post’:) Plus…I have to think some more on this one!!!!

    Great question!!

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  12. I get confused when I rely upon my feelings to determine if I’m walking in the flesh vs. the Spirit. It feels good sometimes to “let it out” or I try to convince myself, “I said that in love, so it was OK.”

    I have to stick to the scripture for the answers to flesh vs. Spirit:

    Galatians 5
    Philippians 4:8
    2 Peter 1:2-11
    Ephesians 4:17-32
    Colossians 3

    These are some of the scriptures I use for “the washing of the water of the Word.” They’re quite convicting… 😐

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  13. Wow Love bug….awesome couple of posts..I’m “working” right now, but I’ll come back when I have a bit of time…. ♥ you!!! πŸ™‚

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  14. cathi’s wrapping her brain around this one.

    [my thoughts…]We all have the core dimensions of biological, psychological, social and spiritual elements wrapped together in skin. I can’t separate the spiritual me from the fleshy me. One may have more influence over the other from time to time, but we are all spiritual beings[…end my thoughts].

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  15. Hey Cathi, you are quite right – we cannot separate the two ‘selves’ (not from within our skin anyway!) πŸ˜‰

    You are also right that one has more influence than the other from time to time.

    Therein lies the central point of my soon-to-come long post – what things can we do to ensure we are all in/of Christ (spirit in control) and not leave it up to ‘chance’ or fate when fleshy us is in control of our thought/action/emotion and when His Spirit, that is to live in us, is?

    Our Faith is the starting point but we can actually DO things to decrease the times our flesh takes over, so that we live in spirit more than we currently do.

    ( and by doing that ‘work’ in us His work increases throughout the rest of the World!)

    Ministering to others is of little use if we have not first ministered (cared for) ourselves and continue perfecting ourself in His Spirit.

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  16. Hey Love…..I have a few minutes, so I thought I would throw in my two piddly cents…hope you’re doing well!
    When I think of flesh, spirit, I automatically go to Galations 5. Verses 16-18 say “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.”

    God’s will for all of us is that we have the opportunity, ability and desire to do what will give us the greates satisfaction now, and a thousand years from now. The only activity that we can perform in freedom is love. Verse 13 says…”You were called to freedom, so through love be servants of one another”…this love is not optional, but commanded. It’s also beyond our power…Paul’s answer is learning to “walk in the Spirit”…

    Romans 8:7 says, “The mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law.” The mark of flesh is that it is unsubmissive.

    Going back to Galations 5, vs. 17 says…there is a war between the two. The main thing I get from that verse is that Christians experience a struggle within. You put verses 16 & 17 together, and the focus is not the war, but the victory for the Spirit. So, when you walk in the spirit, your bad desires not only can’t come into maturity, you nip the desires of the flesh in the butt. That’s how I want to be…that is what I strive for…less of me (flesh) all of Him….

    Love you love… ♥

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  17. Thank You Deb, not too sure if i am doing well – but it fels like i am doing what He wants and i seem to be quite happy in that so … i just hope i’m doing ‘right’, by Him, by me, and by all of you.

    “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.”

    We need to be prevented form doing it ‘our’ way and not His way as we might if we had only our own spirit in us, or did not listen to The Spirit.

    WE need wisdom to understand what is ‘our’ way and what is His way so we only follow His Will.

    Just as the spirit strives against our flesh – so our flesh always strives against the spirit – we need to watch and learn how not to do that – it is a long struggle because the flesh continues to seek new ways to struggle if the old ones are not entirely removed from us.

    Love you too! πŸ™‚

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  18. OOPS! – almost lost Heather in ‘spam’:shock:

    Welcome Heather – all ‘posts’ welcome here! long comments are a specialty of mine so don’t be shy – say what’s on your mind.

    Cathi is an expert on that – however she is usually far more conscise and to the point than i am! πŸ™‚

    Cath – ok with you if i ‘PASS’ IT ON???

    I try to get mine all from Him these days (i was not always like that though :oops:) and am happy to pass on what i first receive. πŸ™‚

    P.S. i LOVE you ♥ ♥ ♥

    … and the way your mind works!

    We should so watch An Inconvenient Truth together one day πŸ™‚ (over a hot chocolate) πŸ˜‰

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  19. Hey Love!!! Is Brandy rubbing off on you? You look a little emoticon happy these days πŸ˜‰

    So, regarding your word of caution. I assure you I wasn’t suggesting that i do not deal with my flesh any longer. It is still breathing and it is a daily battle. if it weren’t then there would be no reason for the battling of the Spirits to go on around and over us. I have to find that scripture that talks about the battles in the spiritual realms of good and evil. I believe, on most days, my ‘flesh’ is dying more and more. But not fully til I arrive in the safe Hands of my Awesome Father!!!

    Love you!!!!

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  20. can I have a smidgen of your brain? I’d never have to worry again about my ph.d. entrance interview!
    We can steal headphones from mandy mac and you can give me all the answers in my head…you’ll just have to speak over all the other voices in there!

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  21. all 17 of us are trying for our ph.d. in social work…we love individual and group therapy and want to teach for the rest of our lives!!!
    And you aced my test! I give you 5 star stickers!

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  22. WOO-HOOOO! five stars – does that make me a general? or a hotel? Please don’t let me be the Paris Hilton!

    PLEAAAAZZEE! 😯

    therapy sounds good! πŸ˜‰ although i’d probalby prefer one on one to group.

    does that make me anti-‘social’?

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  23. First, let me say I have not read the posts because I did not want them to color my response.

    I do believe at times it can be confusing. Which of course is one of satan’s biggest ploys.

    I think I for the most part can tell if I am in the Spirit or not. When I’m not I have come to learn to ask God what is my true motivation? To change my motivation so I am in the Spirit not the flesh, especially in a serving capacity.I think that I am living and walking in the Spirit most of the time, although my flesh does rear it’s ugly head quite frequently. Which is good – because that keeps my on my toes, seeing the many ways (of which I’m learning more and more) that the flesh creeps in and I would not have known it before.

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  24. i do like the way you think HisLife. ( and Welcome to the comments btw) πŸ™‚

    I believe there are many more ways than we usually can recognise how the flesh works in us when we think ( moreso than we feel) we are being in spirit.

    One of the most reliable ways i have for telling the difference is those (not frequent enough) times when i catch myself immediately thinking in the β€˜i’ – an immediate sense of β€˜i’ agree’, i think that way, that is what β€˜i’ think/feel too.

    When i DO catch myself (as i said not frequently enough ) doing that i try to stop immediately and put myself more under His thought – removing the β€˜i’ as much as possible from the situation – taking in the bigger picture.

    It is then i can better hear His voice and better know what is in His Heart – not my selfish one.

    Kind of learning to replace His Life 4 mine!

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  25. you all are party animals tonight!

    Been watching a movie with the fam.

    And Love – you can totally be up and awake at 9 a.m. Really now πŸ˜‰ well. if you need to be a little late I will allow it. i guess.

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  26. maybe not so big. hope we havent hyped something up that shouldnt be hyped. eeks!

    ill talk to you in the morning. my morning. your evening. in a bit πŸ˜‰

    SO love you

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