“Empowering the abused woman to recover with God's truth"
Through spiritual dyslexia, most people perceive Galatians 5:16 completely backwards! “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” They recognize that the flesh and the spirit are contrary but assume that they’re automatically walking in the spirit if they just deny their flesh. Therefore, they put all of their focus on quitting this and rejecting that, thinking, If I can just stop doing these bad things and having these foul thoughts, then I’ll be in the spirit! Wrong! This verse doesn’t say “Walk in the flesh, and you’ll hinder the spirit” or “Overcome the flesh, and then you’ll walk in the spirit.” No, it declares just the opposite: “Walk in the spirit, and you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh!”
Darkness is simply the absence of light. You can’t get rid of darkness by shoveling it out of the room. However, if you turn on a light, it’ll flee! When you walk in the spirit (turn on the light), by default—as a byproduct—you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh (darkness flees). Willpower is the shovel of the flesh. If you feel you can’t really accept who you are in Christ until after you overcome the darkness in your life—drinking, cussing, smoking, or whatever problems you currently have—you’ll just end up frustrated and stuck (Rom. 7). It’s not that God won’t release His power to you; it’s just that you haven’t yet flipped the switch! Lay that shovel down and turn on the light! Get into God’s Word and start recognizing and meditating on who you are in Christ. As you focus your attention continually on the reality of your new identity, the brightness of who you are in the spirit will begin to shine in and through you to such a degree that it’ll break the control of the flesh and deliver you from these external problems. Light always overwhelms and chases away the dark!
A friend of mine used to be a well-known secular entertainer who wrote several famous songs. While in this profession, he became born again. After finishing a concert at midnight, he’d hop on the bus with his musicians and start traveling to their next gig. Excited about God and His Word, my friend actually snorted cocaine off the pages of His Bible so he could stay awake and keep reading about how much the Lord loved him!
Today, this man has been a pastor for over twenty years! How did he overcome his flesh and its bad habits? Did he quit snorting cocaine and all the other ungodly things he was doing first? No! This man didn’t let his vices keep him from beginning to find out what God’s Word said about him. He centered his attention on discovering who he was in Christ and what all Jesus had done for him. As those things became reality to him, he finally came to a place where God led him out of that lifestyle.
God wants you to come to Him just as you are! After you’re born again and changed inside, renew your mind to who you are in Christ. As you find out who you are in your spirit, you’ll change outwardly as a result. If you’ll just start walking in the spirit by focusing your attention on the things of God, regardless of what your flesh is like, you’ll break its dominion over you!
Focus: Quality & Quantity
You can know whether you’re walking in the spirit or not by what your attention is on. “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit” (Rom. 8:5). What you’re thinking about will tell you whether you’re in the flesh or in the spirit!
Where is your focus? If the doctor says you’re going to die, are you more dominated by his word or God’s Word? Are you imagining and anticipating sickness, disease, and death? Or are you focused on the scriptures that declare He’s taken away all your sickness and by His stripes you were healed of every disease? Are you centered in on the spirit or the flesh? If your mind is stayed on the things of the flesh, then you’re in the flesh. You cannot please God, nor will you be able to succeed against this ailment. You’ll die physically even though God’s healing and raising-from-the-dead power is already inside your born-again spirit. Whatever your mind focuses on determines whether you’re in the flesh or not. It’s really that simple! By learning to keep your mind stayed on God, your spirit will dominate and control your flesh. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6). This isn’t just quality time; it’s both quality and quantity of time spent focused on the things of God.
Fleshly mindedness is death. “Carnal” literally means “of the five senses.” Carnal mindedness is being fleshly, physical, and outward minded instead of spiritually minded. It’s being dominated by your five senses. If your body is facing sickness and you’re more in tune with and sensitive to what you feel (flesh) than what you believe (Word), then you’re carnal. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Whose Report Will You Believe?
You need to get to where you believe God’s report more than the world’s! You’ve crossed over into the spirit when God’s Word dominates you more than what you can see, taste, hear, smell, and feel. Instead of letting the devil tell you what you can’t do or somebody else saying that you’ll die or your checkbook telling you you’re in deep trouble again, you focus your attention on what God says about you, what He says you have, and what He says you can do. Once you do that, you’ll find it’ll break the dominion, the power, and the control of the flesh over you. Physical healing was purchased through Christ’s atonement. It’s not just a “P.S.” to forgiveness of sin; healing is an integral part of what Jesus died to produce. In fact, His sacrifice provides physical healing just as much as forgiveness of sin. God would no more give someone sickness than lead them into sin. Why? Jesus shed His precious blood to completely redeem us from both! (For an in-depth look at healing, I recommend my teaching entitled God Wants You Well.) Seeing a truth doesn’t mean you’ll automatically profit from it. Actually, conflict will normally arise!
Hebrews 10:32 reveals that once you’re enlightened, you endure “a great fight of afflictions.” Why? Satan immediately comes to steal the Word before it takes root in your heart and produces (Mark 4:15,19). He attempts to dislodge it when you’re at your youngest, when a truth is still new to you, before it’s rooted and established as part of who you are.
Once I saw in the Word that it’s always God’s will to heal, the fight was on! Satan came against me, and I started experiencing sickness more than ever before. Immediately, there was intense conflict between my flesh and spirit. The spirit declared, “By His stripes I was healed (1 Pet. 2:24); it’s already done (Eph. 1:18)” and “The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is inside of me (Eph. 1:19-20).” In my spirit, I had this resurrection power, but my flesh kept arguing, “You’re sick! You feel terrible and you’re about to throw up. Admit it!” There was this incredible conflict between what I saw in my spirit through God’s Word and what I felt in my physical body. My flesh and my spirit were fighting each other!
This was just my unrenewed mind, not some old nature inside trying to make me disbelieve God. For a number of years, my old man taught me how to believe only what I could see, taste, hear, smell, and feel. Anything and everything else were stupid! When he was crucified, my mind was left behind, programmed to sense knowledge. Everything in my physical, natural, fleshly realm screamed, “You’re sick!” My body told me that I hurt. Other people commented on how bad I looked. Therefore, it was a real struggle for my mind to believe what I couldn’t see! I just determined in my heart that I would not give up or give in until I saw with my physical eyes the truth of God’s Word manifest in my body. I was so committed to the fact that what God said about me was true that I decided to make myself believe it.
Cracking the Dam
At the time, I was living and pastoring a small church in Segoville, Texas. I preached healing and had revelation knowledge of it, but I was sick in my body. The devil was fighting me. My flesh and my spirit were butting heads! Since faith without works is dead, I decided one night not to just lay in bed and act sick (James 2:17, 20, 26). I didn’t want to kill my faith by giving in to the pressure. However, it was physically impossible for me to stand up because I was so ill. I had to kneel on the floor in the living room so Jamie could go ahead and sleep. Putting my Bible on the wood floor in front of me, I determined in my heart that I was going to fight this thing! I spent hours just quoting scriptures on healing. I didn’t stop because I knew I’d fall asleep out of sheer exhaustion if I did. I’d confess aloud, “By His stripes, I was healed.” My body would counter, “Oh no, you’re not!” Then I’d answer, “Yes, I am—the Word says so!” This fight continued several hours while I pushed my Bible along and crawled around the room on hands and knees just to stay awake.
You don’t have to do it the way I did, but you will have to overcome the same conflict! You don’t just say, “All right, I see the truth. Flesh, I now renounce you and choose to walk by the spirit!” No, it’ll be a traumatic experience when you turn around and head the other direction. Your mind and emotions have been indulged now for many years. They’ve always said that whatever you see is more real than what’s invisible. There’s going to be a fight, and it probably won’t all happen in just one evening’s time! That night proved to be a major break for me. I cracked the dam of flesh that held back the flow of God’s life in me. My spirit began dominating from that point forward little by little. I’m still dealing with these same things, but I’ve grown a lot. I’m seeing tremendous victory in my life, and I’m able to help many other people. I’m still in process, but I’m renewing my mind and winning the battle between my flesh and my spirit.
Recently, I was required to take a treadmill test while receiving a qualifying physical for an insurance policy. However, since I refused to allow them to shave my chest hair, the electrodes fell off after only twelve minutes. Several weeks later, the insurance company called and said they couldn’t insure me. They cited the fact that my readings indicated I had a serious heart problem that surfaced at about the twelfth minute of the test. When I asked them if the electrodes falling off would’ve made a difference or not, they decided to give me another test. This time I let them shave my chest, but not before informing the nurse that she was removing virgin hair! I finished the test without incident and waited for the doctor to review my results. He was fine with my readings up until about the thirteenth minute of the test. That’s when he got a worried look on his face and told me I had a serious problem. This medical professional then advised me of my “need” to see a specialist that very day and began writing out the note for me to give to this other doctor.
I boldly looked this man in the face and declared, “I don’t believe your results!” It was easy to see that he wasn’t used to someone countering his opinion. However, I challenged him to look again at the printout and then honestly tell me that I had a heart problem. He replied, “Well, this doesn’t really say you have a heart problem. It’s just that your results are completely typical. Since everyone’s heart is a little different, you could be totally healthy. I just think you should go get another test!” “That’s not what you said!” I thundered. “You told me I had a serious heart problem, not that there’s a small chance and you think I should get another opinion.” This guy backed down and sputtered, “You’re fine… just forget about that other test.”
Most people would have taken the word of this doctor over the Word of God, which emphatically declares that we’re healed. By the time they finished obsessing about it, their hearts would have failed—from fear (Luke 21:26)! The next time you’re faced with a report that’s contrary to God’s, who will you choose to believe?
Overcome Your Flesh
You overcome by being mindful of what God’s Word says about you—especially the New Testament. When you’re Word minded, you’re spiritually minded because God’s words are spirit and life (John 6:63). In your spirit, you’re completely changed, eternal, sanctified, holy, and perfected forever. As Jesus is—so are you! If you’d dominate yourself with those thoughts, all it would produce is life and peace.
If you’re having something other than life and peace, then you’re something other than spiritually minded (Rom. 8:6). You may desire the right things, praying and begging God for them, but you don’t receive victory by desiring or begging for it. You receive the victory He’s already achieved and provided for you by focusing your attention on the spirit. When you do that, you’ll overcome.
In my opinion, you won’t manifest much of the life of God if you’re plugged into the world through radio, television, newspapers, and magazines. It takes a lot of effort—real effort—to keep your focus on the things of God. How can you expect different results when you read, watch, listen to, and think all the same things as your unbelieving neighbors? That’s ignorance gone to seed! Sure, you might be able to add a devotion and intellectually know that God wants you healed, prospered, and delivered from oppression. You may even have a desire for and a sensitivity to God that they don’t have. But as far as results go, you won’t really experience any more of God’s miraculous power in your life as long as you continue thinking on the same carnal things that they do pretty much all day long. To get different results, you have to do something differently!
If you mind the things of the flesh, then you’ll be after the flesh; the physical realm will dominate you. You won’t be able to please God (Rom. 8:8) or experience the victory that’s available to you. In order to release God’s power and life, you must overcome the flesh by continually focusing your mind on who you are and what you have in the spirit.
(END OF ANDREW’S QUOTES FOR CHAPTER 18)
Are you ready to change your life? If so, here is the link to start – you can study on your own, by clicking here to go to the teaching of, “Spirit, Soul, Body,” on Andrew’s website. Once on the site, you can choose if you want to listen via audio or watch the videos. Or study with a group, like I am doing, by going to this link, creating an account, and finding an online or local study – the materials are furnished for you – there is an outline teaching, questions, and Scriptures, on the website, that you download after logging in and finding your study.
Here is the link for the group I am in – you can go to the link and register, but to download your class materials, you must create an account, and sign in (the material information is on top of the page). Then contact the Leader, Dennis Kerr, and let him know you just signed up for the class and ask him to send you the Zoom link for the class (although Dennis will receive your registration, I would contact him also). We currently meet on Tuesdays at 4:00pm EST (Dennis is in Arizona and his local time would be at 2:00pm MST for the study) – this Chapter 18, “Mind Your Spirit,” is the current chapter for the week of May 3, 2022, according to the “Spirit, Soul, Body” book.
However, our lesson in the study guide for May 3, 2022, was Lesson 18, “Spirit vs. Flesh,” from the “Spirit, Soul, Body” book’s Chapter 16, which has the same title, “Spirit vs. Flesh,” – this was our eighteenth meeting.
Click the link below to review all study materials, which is the same as the first link on Andrew’s website, for “Spirit, Soul, Body:” All “Spirit, Soul, Body” Resources
NOTE: Wherever there is bolding in this document and is not specified that Andrew did it, it was added by me. Also, highlighting, underlining, and Scriptures were bolded and linked to the text by me.
God’s BLESSINGS to you all and your families!!
Rev. Dr. Dorothy E. Hooks, PsyD