There are times when God wants to draw my attention to things that He begins to speak through every little thing I can see. This time, God actually wanted to remind of something I had heard at a retreat a few weeks back. Apparently He really wanted me to learn something from that experience but I was “busy.” One of the things He actually wanted to caution me about was my level of “busyness.” When we say the Holy Spirit brings something to our remembrance, it really is not a joke. He took His sweet time getting me to fully understand this topic.
You see, one of the speakers asked everyone who was in attendance, “If you could describe your spirit man with a pictorial image, what would it be?” There were couple of interesting answers, the fighters, helpers, warriors, angels, and mostly interestingly, a King. I never got to answer the question but God was really interested in my answer because He kept asking me the question and I kept ignoring it. I know there was a time where I prayed to God to scream if that would get my attention. Well, he did. He came back and asked, “Wunmi, what does your spirit man look like?”
Now that I think about what my response was, I realized I was merely projecting. I was answering based on what I thought it looked like rather than face the reality. If you’ve met me, you would know I could be very bubbly, very talkative, helpful and just all round interesting. So, that was how I described my spirit man. I described it this way because the spirit controls the physical right, so if my outward appearance is this way, then that must be exactly what my spirit man is like right?? WRONG!!!! I was in for a rude awakening. Have you ever had those moments when you just know that the Holy Spirit is about to correct you? Well, that was what happened. If you’ve ever been there then I’m sure you would describe it as a humbling experience. Oh my!! After my response, I was satisfied with my answer because after all I prayed, worshipped and did everything as usual. I only reflected on this for a few minutes and then I slept off. Hmmm, I should have finished that conversation properly before sleeping because what my eyes saw in my dream was not fun.
I saw something in my dream that scared me…. and I felt every moment of this dream. I saw what my spirit man really looked like and it wasn’t a pleasant sight. It was malnourished and looking very unkempt. I was startled because I never realized things were as bad. I mean, I thought I was at least feeding my spirit, but then I saw what I was doing to starve my spirit. It doesn’t matter how much of the word you study if you do not pay attention to some other aspects.
You see, 1 Corinthians 2:11 puts my dilemma the perfect way. I didn’t realize that the thoughts I was having and all the other things I was doing was contradicting the right things. I was so insensitive that I never paid attention to the warning signs I was getting. It was like I was feeding my body but it wasn’t going in. Only my spirit could tell that my thoughts were canceling out all the good things I was putting in. I had fear, worry, guilt, anxiety and all manner of sins that were just doing damage to my spirit. God had to show me that I needed to set some things aside and just concentrate on building up my spirit man. I kept feeding this spirit while it was sleeping . Exactly how’s that supposed to work ??? Thing is, all through 2020 I kept praying that I never get to a place of “see finish with God” and apparently I was at that level. I was taking advantage of grace, and the damage that does is that God is willing to forgive you for your wrongs, but the fact that you are taking advantage means you’d be blinded by all your wrongs because you have a sure thing called Grace. What God wanted to do by revealing this to me was to get me to re-access my choices. He wanted me to treat my spirit man better. He wanted me to be more spiritually alert.
Truth is, when I saw that image of my spirit man, my heart grieved. I grieved the times I neglected God when He reached out His arms to hold me. I grieved the times I neglected His directions and felt like I got this. I grieved the times He was smiling down at me to encourage me but I was way too focused on my worry. I grieved because I was such a hypocrite encouraging others to build a stronger relationship with Him when mine was breaking. However, He didn’t want me to go down that lane for too long. All He needed me to do was acknowledge what was going on and fix my eyes on Him. He reminded me once again that guilt is a sin (this is a story for another day). He broke me that very day, not to humiliate me but to build a stronger and better person. He did this by reminding me of who I am and not to lose sight of Him. He whispered into my heart and called me His daughter. He told me He’d never leave me. He said that because I am found in Him I can never be condemned. I’m grateful for this opportunity to renew my mindset. I was no longer on my high horse assuming all was well because I didn’t realize I was allowing some pain to build up which was interfering with the growth of my spirit.
So, my dear friends, I have not just come to tell you a story (I really struggled with writing this piece because God why do you want my business out there like that. Then He asked if I was more concerned about how I look to others than my obedience to Him. Yet another humbling moment so here I am). I am also here to give you practical ways to wake your spirit man up or basically energize your spirit man. I know this might be a struggle for some because I mean how do you build up something you can’t see, but please just indulge me:
- Worship: gets you in an atmosphere that transcends you beyond the physical. There’s something about worshipping that communicates some things you can’t put into words. When you worship, it’s almost like you can touch God. I guess that’s why most times we lift up our hands and close our eyes because it feels so real. Psalm 63:1
- Praise: I don’t know if other Nigerian tribes do this, but the Yorubas have this thing called “oriki.” So basically all they do is come up with some words of praises, you hear things like, “just as the Lion is the king of the jungle so are you the best amongst your peers.” When they do this ehn, your heads swells and you just feel sooooo good, especially if it’s in the morning. My dad still does it when he calls on phone. That’s the feeling God gets when you praise Him. He just begins to blush and says to Himself, Olawunmi well done, you are doing well. Praising God lifts your spirits as much as it lifts His. Psalm 68:4-5
- Word study: when you have an understanding of something, it’s hard for you to be convinced otherwise. Searching through the scriptures gives you an understanding of who you are and helps you build your confidence. Hebrews 4:12
- Fellowship: No man is an island. There’s something about having a community. Having people who you can pour out your heart to, people who are sensitive to your spiritual as well as physical needs, people who know to go to God on your behalf. One way to build that community is through church, get involved in your church and find people who also have a relationship with God and can strengthen yours. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
- Prayer: We go on dates with people because that’s an opportunity to get to know more about the person. The first few dates you ask just basic questions like favorite color, movie preference, and basically just have easy conversations. Then the more you go out, the deeper the questions or conversations get. You become comfortable enough that you start to divulge some intimate details about yourself. Well, think of prayer as a date. You are getting to know more about God, so ease into the conversation at first, and when He reveals Himself, you start telling Him everything you’re thinking. I remember the first time I said, God, I’m so angry right now. It was a very funny moment because I paused for a few minutes for telling Him that, but I felt Him rub my back just to calm me down. See, God is a very interesting Being to be in a relationship with. He responds to your every need.
- Praying in tongues: Now with this one, you are talking Spirit to Spirit. Especially when you don’t know how to express yourself, just stir up yourself quickly in tongues and trust me, it’s like you’ve started an engine. The Holy Spirit helps you bring out those things you never knew you needed. He builds your spirit man to come on a level where understanding can be met 1 Corinthians 14:14, Jude 1:20.
- Testifying: the more you talk about God, the stronger your bond with Him becomes Revelation 12:11.
Building relationships that lasts does not come from habit, but from a place of intimacy. Taking these steps are not guaranteed if it doesn’t come from your heart. I’m still working on changing that image of my spirit man and I trust God to help me turn things around.
WIth all my love,