Today we are going to be discussing how to strengthen our inner man (our spirit). There are several ways to do this, we strengthen our inner man through worship, prayer, Bible study, hearing the Word, and hearing testimonies of what God has done.
In the middle of Ephesians, Paul prays for us, you will remember at the beginning of this series I mentioned that the text in our Bible adds in Ephesus, meaning that originally this letter was written to the general church and not dealing with any specific issues in a particular church.
Paul Begins his prayer by saying, in Ephesians 3:14-16 NIV “For this reason I kneel before the Father, (15) from whom every family in heaven and earth derives its name. (16) I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,”
Paul says that our inner man (our spirit) needs to be strengthened through the power of the Spirit, this happens when we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses….”
The cornerstone of how to live this Christian life is being filled with the Spirit. This involves talking to the Holy Spirit. 1 John 2:27 says the Holy Spirit is our teacher, how do we learn without talking with our teacher. In Acts the disciples have multiple conversations with the Spirit. This really is a teaching all on its own but to just be on point we need to embrace a Spirit-led life and in order do do that we must engage the Holy Spirit more than what the Church is known for.
Paul goes on to explain how we strengthen our inner man. Verse seventeen, “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith”. The first step to strengthening our inner man is to surrender to Jesus as Savior and Lord so that we can become new creations, according to Second Corinthians 5:17.
The second thing is being rooted and established in love. Jesus said to his disciples, they will know you are my disciples because you love one another. He also said a new commandment I give to you that you love one another.
A picture of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 AMP “Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].”
That is what love is and that is a sign as well as how to strengthen our inner man.
Ephesians 3:18-19 NIV “may have the power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,”
I want to go to the Amplified for verse nineteen, “[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!”
That is quite a verse! Bill Johnson says this, “many people stop short of an experience with the Spirit because they are satisfied to have good theology”. I believe this verse speaks to how wrong Christians are to have the “education” of the scripture without the experience of the scripture.
(I’m not yelling, I just want you to see this), “That you may REALLY COME TO KNOW, PRACTICALLY, THROUGH EXPERIENCE FOR YOURSELVES”.
Mental ascent or the ability to quote is not knowing His love and His love is not just saving us from Hell.
In order to be truly strengthened in our inner man we must realize the cross was more than for our souls salvation. Look at Psalm 103 with the Hebrew definitions added with the words.
Psalm 103:2-5 NIV “Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits (dealing bountifully with) – who forgives (pardons) all your sins (your depravity, guilt, and punishment) and heals (makes healthy) all your diseases (suffering and sickness), who redeems (avenges and ransoms) your life (to have life, to live prosperously, to be restored to health, to be made alive and cause to grow) from [destruction] (the sinking down into depression of the mind, ultimate death) and crowns (surrounds) you [you surround them with favor as a shield (Psalm 5:12), you with love (goodness, kindness, faithfulness [Fruit of the Spirit/Gal. 5:22-23]) and compassion (tender mercies), who satisfies (fulfills) your desires with good things (pleasant, rich, valuable in estimation, to ave in excess, the good, better, happy, prosperous, and the higher nature) so that your youth (your early life) is renewed (repaired and made a new) like the eagles).
I know that seems like a long run on sentence, but we need to understand that as fact.
Christ’s death on the cross was not just for our souls but for our whole person. Remember when the Pharisees got mad at Jesus for healing on the Sabbath? Jesus said how can you get made about the whole man being healed on the Sabbath?
We have bought into the lie of the enemy that says our soul is more important than anything else. Now that sounds correct, however, most of the Church takes that and says we need to focus on salvation, healing isn’t important, as long as you have enough to get by that’s good, that is contrary to scripture.
Let’s go back and look at Ephesians 3:20 right quick, in the Amplified, “Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]–”
This one verse alone and there are many others we can go to that point out much of the bad theology that has taken hold of the Church.
If we are going to strengthen our inner man we must realize what is available to us, salvation, the ability to walk holy without sinning, healing, good relationships, prosperity, and all that is in THE WORD belongs to us! We are a BLESSED people, it’s past time we take our BLESSING! THE BLESSING is the privilege of the sons of God, why we choose to believe the lies and think we are humble in lack and being taught in sickness, I don’t know, but we can’t find it in THE WORD.
We looked at Psalm one hundred and three, now let’s go to Isaiah.
Isaiah 53:4-5 NIV with Hebrew definitions, “Surely he took our pains (sickness) and bore our suffering (pain and sorrow), YET WE (notice it was mans perception and not Gods) considered him punished by God, stricken by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions (rebellion), he was crushed for our iniquities (depravity); the punishment that brought us peace (completeness, safety, soundness, health, prosperity, and contentment) was on him, and by his wounds we are healed (made healthful).”
These two Old Covenant passages that tell us why Jesus is coming tell us that salvation is for everything that our life encompasses.
I am going to make a very strong statement, many churches messages are illegal in the Kingdom. What do I mean by that? We have taken one part of salvation and left all the others. Jesus came and preached the message of the KINGDOM.
If we preach power without purity it will ultimately lead to the pollution of the heart.
If we preach purity without power it will ultimately lead to Phariseeism, and Jesus said the Pharisees produce converts twice the sons of hell they themselves are.
Most agree that when ministers fall it hurts the Kingdom, but on the flip side if people are loving and holy yet have no power we don’t see a problem with it.
Jesus said do the works, the works are both the fruit and the gifts of the spirit. The fruit is the work in us and the gifts are the work outside of us. It is not an or ministry it is an and ministry.
As we strengthen our inner man, if you have lacked purity, strengthen the purity, if you have lacked power strengthen the power.
What areas of your inner man to be strengthened?