A Brief History of and Explanation of Sanctification

The idea of sanctification (the process of becoming holy or being transformed into holiness, or eliminating intentional sin) as a work of the Spirit was first propagated by John Wesley in the mid to late 1700′s.  “Wesley held that, in this life, Christians could come to a state in which the love of God, or perfection, reigned supreme in their heart.” (1)  Wesley held that this was an additional work of the Spirit secondary to the salvation experience.  Thus. It was coined the “second work of grace.”  This view remained prominent throughout Christianity until the early 1900’s.  It was emphasized during the great Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles.  William Seymour, the leader of the revival, writes in his newsletter, the Apostolic Faith, “Ten here have received sanctification, and five are filled with the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues.” (2)  They saw sanctification as an event rather than a process and many would, “pray through to sanctification.”  This view was challenged in 1910 by William Durham, who had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at Azusa Street.  Durham developed the “Finished Work” theology.  “Durham emphasized that sanctification was a matter of identification with Christ and that by faith in what was accomplished on the Cross, the Christian could live victoriously.  As the believer identified in faith with Christ’s death and resurrection, the sin nature was crucified and the resurrection power was made available.  For Durham and others who adopted his views, sanctification was progressive and ongoing transformation in contrast to an emphasis on a crisis experience.” (3)  This teaching, which is embraced by most Protestants today, while it’s rooted in scripture, it tends to de-emphasizes the need for sanctification.  From the time of Wesley to the early Pentecostals, Christians pursued sanctification.  They prayed for it and many actually received an impartation of the love of God.  In modern times, this need has been de-emphasized by “finished work” theology.  The reality is that both positions, Wesley and Durham, have benefit for today’s Christians.

It is absolutely biblical that Jesus purchased, on the cross at Calvary, our justification (forgiveness of our sins), our sanctification (the power for us to move to holiness), and our baptism in the Holy Spirit (empowerment for ministry).  Nothing else is required by God for us to move into all three of these areas traditionally known as the “Full Gospel.”  It is absolutely possible for a believer to experience all three of these at the time of salvation.   It happens and it is biblical.  However, more often than not, the three are received over time as the Christian continues to grows in Christ.  The concern, in our time, is that Christians have stopped pursuing an experience where they are so filled with the love of God that they desire to stop intentional sin.  Many times the identity crisis of Christians will be solved with an infilling of the love of God.  This infilling of love is a work of the Spirit.  It is recommended that Christians suffering form the identity crisis pursue it.  It has transforming effects.  Worshipers form the Azusa Street revival would encourage us to “press-in” for it.  It will only come from the Spirit and we should put ourselves into a position for the Spirit to impart to us all that Jesus purchased for us.


1.  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wesley.

2.  Hyatt, Eddie, Fire on Earth, Creation House, Luke Mary, FL, 2006, page 97.

3.  Hayford, Jack; Moore, David, The Charasmatic Century, Warner Faith books, New York, NY, 2006, page 116.

Grace and Golf

Many of you who know me know how much I love golf. Many of you who know me also know that last week I had the best nine holes of my life scoring six straight pars and finishing with a 41 on the front nine, and a 47 on the back nine for a total of 88. A great round for me. Many of you also know that I had a tremendous encounter and healing with God on the seventeenth hole. It was an amazing time. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty confident about my game. So, with an unexpected opportunity to play this week, I was hoping for another great round. Much to my surprise, I had the worst round of my life. Ridiculously high score, somewhere in the 100’s. With this in my mind as I went to prayer with God, this is the word that He spoke with me and the lesson learned from the worst round of my life.

Be careful with sports and exercise, it doesn’t fulfill you. Be careful with diet, it doesn’t fulfill you (either doing good on one or bad on one). Be careful with study and learning, they don’t fulfill you. In short, be careful with your successes, they speak nothing of your self-worth and value. Additionally, be careful with you failures, they speak nothing of your self-worth and value. Fulfillment and acceptance come only from the love of God. God’s love for me and his desire for relationship with me is dependent upon neither my success nor my failures. If I am righteous, this love for me remains unchanged. If I sin, His love for me stays constant. Hence, my fulfillment and acceptance are secure whether I succeed or fail. We don’t achieve to receive fulfillment. We are fulfilled, so we are free to achieve.

I’m grateful and glad that I played that terrible round of golf. It helps root our my own sense of pride. I felt so unworthy and rejected by this terrible game of golf. I felt like a complete failure. It really shook me to my core. Then, I realized that golf wasn’t the issue, but something inside of me was the issue. As I prayed and asked God to reveal to me what He wanted me to learn about this experience, Rina came into the kitchen and wanted to share something with me. This is what she read: “It is of great importance to guard against vexation on account of our faults; it springs from a secret root of pride, and a love of our own excellence; we are hurt at feeling what we are.” (1) It never occurred to me that I had a “secret root of pride.” I just never knew it was there until I had a great round of golf and then a terrible round of golf. Through this circumstance, He has revealed more of me that needs more of Him. There were some lessons for me to learn in this.

We mustn’t despair when we make mistakes. We are imperfect creatures moving, in a process of sanctification, into perfection. He has created a milieu of grace for us to exist inside, one in which we can practice righteousness without fear of condemnation or judgment. Despair and depression over our own faults and shortcomings, is a deep form of pride and a false humility. Bill Johnson writes, “In my own pursuit of God, I often became preoccupied with ME! It was easy to think that being constantly aware of my faults and weakness was humility. It’s not!…By being sold on my own unrighteousness, the enemy has disengaged me from effective service…It may sound strange, but I don’t examine my motives anymore. That’s not my job. I work hard to obey God in everything that I am and do. If I am out to lunch on a matter, it is His job to point that out to me. After many years of trying to do what only He could do, I discovered I was not the Holy Spirit. I cannot convict and deliver myself of sin. Does that mean that I never deal with impure motives? No. He has shown Himself to be very eager to point out my constant need for repentance and change. But He’s the One with the spotlight, and He alone can give the grace to change.” (2)

The soul that is rooted and grounded in love will recognize that failure, shortcomings, and faults are only indicators of one simple thing. A further need for dependency upon Him and His Grace. They do not define who we are, and they are not indicators of any future events. They simply indicate aspects of the fallen nature that have built a resistance to the Holy Spirit. These, He will root out. Humility is not despairing over our faults, but recognized the need to turn more to God than to ourselves. Our failures and success should turn us both likewise, unto God, not to ourselves.


1. Guyon, Madame, A Short and Very Easy Method of prayer; which All can Practice with the Greatest Facility, and arrive in a short time, by its mean, at a high degree of perfection.”

2. Johnson, Bill, When Heaven Invades Earth A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles, Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. 2003, page 147-148.

Prophetic Minstrel

Tonight, Jon and I were worshipping with one of the CD’s Michelle and Troy gave us, when I got the urge to grab my violin and try to play along to one of the songs. After the song was over, I was going to see what the next song was and play along with it, too, but in the “in between” while nothing was playing, God gave me something to play. I turned the CD off then, because it doesn’t happen all that often that God gives me a song to play like that and I didn’t want to be distracted by the CD player. As I was playing, God began to “speak” to Jon (in his thoughts) and Jon started writing down what God was saying. I wasn’t paying much attention to what Jon was doing (my back was halfway turned to him) but at one point I was playing the same thing over and over again and got frustrated because nothing new was coming and I thought it was probably getting irritating for him, hearing the same tune over and over again. I was about to stop when I “heard” (again, in my thoughts – clarification for Alan) 😉 God tell me there was a reason I was playing it again and again. I kept playing for a while longer, until Jon stopped writing and almost right after he stopped writing, I stopped playing… I just felt done. Then he shared that he had been given a word while I was playing, and I shared what I’d been feeling while I was playing. I pondered the possibility that God had moved on me to play because He wanted to give Jon a word, and he agreed and read the following scripture verse to me:

“And Elisha said, ‘As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you, nor see you. But now bring me a musician.’ Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him. And he said, ‘Thus says the LORD…'” (2 Kings 3:14-16)

Here is what Jon wrote down….

The spirit moves inwardly like a fire, receive the burning deep into your belly. This is the purging fire of the consuming God. He imparts fresh gifts to men, He will root out all until nothing but love remains. Acknowledge me and my presence and you will sense that I am there. The acknowledgement is faith. Be familiar with my presence and your acknowledgement of it. It is key to the walk of the spirit. Faith releases the walk of the spirit. The acknowledgement of my presence releases the faith. Give mental ascent to my omnipresence and you will know that I am with you always. Walking with you, being burdened for you in the burdens you bear. Release your burdens upon me so that I can bear them with you. They don’t just go away, but I carry them for you as we walk together. This provides peace in the storm. Let me bear your burdens as we walk in the spirit, for I am burdened for you. The burdens will block your ability to experience my presence. Behold, I will anoint you with fresh oil. We are still just beginning. I will surprise you, I will show up when you don’t expect me. I am the Lord your God who sanctifies you, I am preparing my vessles to walk by the Spirit. Be at peace and fear not, I am making all things new, both past and present. We need to deal with some areas of the past to hasten change in the present, to impact the future, to create space within my vessels. Continue in the paths I have you on, do not deviate to the right or to the left. Seek not holiness by your works but by my spirit. I really am with you always. I really am. Let me change you, and say “amen” to my work. This is all I require of you.

Exactly How Did Enoch Walk with God?

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

“Peripateo” is the Biblical Greek word to walk. It is a combination word, of peri, meaning all around like perimeter, and pateo which means “to trample” and yeilds the meaning “to tread all around;” (1) “to make one’s way, make progress, to make due use of ones opportunities;” (2) “to live and act or behave, to pursue a particular course of life.” (3) Scripture tells us that “Enoch walked with God and was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24) Meaning, that Enoch and God shared a daily relationship which is described as “walking.” For the Christian, the bible declares that we will “walk” between one or two different manners. We will either order our lives according to the “flesh” or we will walk according to the Spirit (see Romans 8 and Galatians 5,). One will enjoy the benefit of a life shared with the Divine. The other will reap the consequences of a life spent in the pursuit of selfishness chasing the next “feel good.” It is the purpose of this article to dissect the anatomy and physiology of these two walks.

The Walk of the Flesh

In order to begin this walk, we must first understand what is meant by the “flesh.” The Greek word is “sarx”. It has been variously defined as “the entire fallen human being-not just the sinful body but the entire being, including the soul and mind, as affected by sin.” (4) “Sarx is the lower nature of a person, the seat and vehicle of sinful desires.” (5) “the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God; accordingly, it includes whatever in the soul is weak, low, debased, tending to ungodliness and vice.” (6) In essence, to walk in the flesh is to pursue a lifestyle rooted in self-fulfilling pleasure. This walk has a mental mechanism, that we will call the flesh mechanism, it is made up of three parts. They are emotions, decisions, and actions. However, before we discuss this, let us examine the origin of “the flesh.”

Oftentimes, it is said that Adam and Eve ate either the “forbidden fruit” or “the apple”. These descriptions fall far short of the significance of the fruit of this tree. The name of the tree was the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:17) The fruit of this tree, when consumed, would provide the knowledge of both good and evil. (Genesis 3:5) After eating this fruit, the “eyes” of Adam and Eve were “opened”. (Genesis 3:7) Immediately, something changed in their souls. Their innocence was lost and humans were elevated to a different spiritual status. (Genesis 3:22) They now had the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve (and therefore their descendants) had acquired a knowledge that they were never meant to possess. Adam and Eve had innately been “good” without this knowledge. When they followed what God had said, the couldn‘t help but “consistently do good.” With this new acquisition of knowledge, there became a choice where one had never before existed. With the “opening of their eyes”, sin and the selfish nature was birthed into the human soul. This was the creation of the “flesh”. Selfishness, self preservation, and self fulfillment became an innate part of all humans. Examine the actions and efforts of the first couple after the fall. Even when Adam and Eve thought they were “doing good” they really weren’t. For instance, they knew they needed clothing, but their efforts were insufficient. (Genesis 3:7 & 21) Observe the events that followed the opening of their eyes. They became selfish attempting to save themselves by their new found intellect.

The first revelation from this new found nature was their own nakedness. They recognized nudity and insufficiently covered themselves. Then, they heard the sound of God walking in the garden, and they became fearful and hid themselves. (Fear and shame are the products of sin.) Adam and Eve seek to blame others for their mistakes. Adam first blames Eve and then he blames God (Genesis 3:12) and then Eve blames the serpent (Genesis 3:13). Selfishness becomes natural. Their eyes were opened and they become focused on themselves. They were attentive to their nakedness, their shame, their fear, and in an act of self-preservation, they blame others for their mistakes. James Goll summarizes: “Can you imagine, after Adam and Eve had known God, and He knew them, how quickly the spiritual climate changed? As a result of their disobedience, they experienced instantaneous barriers to their intimacy with Him. Walls shot up. After their sin, they plucked off leaves from the nearest bush as quickly as they could and sewed covering for themselves. They were hiding form the Lord their creator for the first time in their lives. But God, in His passionate pursuit, was still drawing close. A new reaction stirred within them as He drew near. Preciously they had run toward the sound of His footsteps. Now they ran in the opposite direction. Before, their response had been for joy: ‘Oh, wow, it’s Father!’ Now it was dread and fear: ‘Oh no, it’s Father!’ They were guilt-ridden. Never had they had such an emotional reaction or even such a thought before! They had not known condemnation or fear or shame. Now, as a result of their disobedience, they ran and hid from the voice of God.” (7) Adam and Eve began to walk in the flesh and all of their descendants, thereafter, have wrestled with the same walk.

Notice the emotional center of our first parents actions. They acted out of their fear, and their shame. This is the beginning of the flesh mechanism. This mechanism is rooted in emotionalism. It looks like this:

1. Emotions dictate:

2. Decisions (the use of the intellect to decide on the best course of action to alleviate or enhance the desired emotion.)

3. Actions: the execution of the plan developed in the deciding phase.

Using the aforementioned example of Adam and Eve, let us dissect how the flesh mechanism works inside of them. The first emotion of shame. Shame is an unpleasant emotion. The selfish mindset of the flesh seeks to eliminate the emotion by any means available, preferably, by the fastest route. Hence, the decision is made to get the closest item available to cover oneself with it. Then, the actions backs up the decision. The leaves are sufficient to cover the shameful parts, but as demonstrated by God’s response, fall far short of the holy standard. But that didn’t matter, what matter was the elimination of the shame. Thus, demonstrating that the flesh mechanism can’t make one holy, it is only sufficient for alleviating some unpleasant emotions. This cycle is repetitive and is the driving force of the “walk of the flesh.” At this point, let us examine each phase of the flesh mechanism.


The human soul has been defined as “It is the seat of the affections, will desire, emotions, mind, reason, and understanding. It is the inner self.” (8) The Greek word is “psuche”. It is the word that psychology is derived from. Hence, psychology is the study of the human soul. All of the flesh mechanisms occurs inside the soul. The soul is vaguely comprised of a will, an intellect, and an emotional seat. The emotional seat is at the center of the soul. The mind and the intellect function around the emotional center and the will carries out the actions and decisions of the emotions and the intellect.

Emotions are powerful and, as evidenced by our example, they can dictate all other functions of the soul. The word emotions is derived from a Latin word, “emotio” which roughly means “to move”. Hence, emotions are those things that stir us into action. (Shame and fear moved Adam and Eve to construct fig leaf clothing) Emotions are more than feelings, they get things moving. Emotions are defined as “an internal motion or agitation of the mind which passes away without desire; when desire follows, the motion or agitation is called a passion…This strong impression, or vivid sensation, immediately produces a reaction correspondent to its nature, either to appropriate and enjoy, or avoid and repel the exciting clause.” (9) In other words, if an emotion is pleasant, the soul is stirred to continue the action that causes the pleasant experience or to repeat the action of the emotion after it has passed away. Furthermore, if the emotion is unpleasant, the soul is stirred to repel or prevent the circumstances that brought about the disagreeable experience. These stirrings drive the flesh mechanism.

Decisions, Intellect, Mind

There are three different Greek words that describe the one English word mind. (10 see footnote for descriptions of the others) We will focus on the one that applies solely to the soulish nature of humans as we are discussing the walk of the flesh. The Greek word is “dianoia” which literally means “a thinking through.” “The word suggest understanding, insight, meditation, reflection, perception, the gift of apprehension, the faculty of thought.” (11) In essence, this word describes the ability to take a thought or an idea and reflect, meditate, and ponder on it until one reaches a conclusion. This is the ability of the mind. In the flesh mechanism, it is utilized to plan, plot, and made a course of action to either perpetuate the desired emotion, prevent the undesired emotion, or repeat a particular emotion. All sin is birthed out of this process. James tells us this when he writes, “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” (James 1:15) The decisions about the emotions are developed in the mind.


Sin that is seen is the last evidence of the flesh mechanism. By in large, it is too late to prevent the sin when it gets to the action phase because the decision has already been made in the soul to carry out the action. The Biblical word that best describes this is the Hebrew word “aliylah” it means an exploit or a performance. The Old Testament uses the word so profoundly in the following verse, “For the LORD is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed.” (I Samuel 2:3) When the flesh mechanism brings one into the action phase, sin happens. Therefore, the actions of men will be weighed by God.

Thoughts and Spirits

Oftentimes, our thought life is the producer of many emotions. It is important to note that a thought is not an emotion. Remember, an emotion motivates one to action while a thought is simply an idea that comes into ones mind. Thoughts don’t necessarily prompt one to action. The Biblical Greek word for thoughts is the word “dialogismos”, it is the word from which “dialogue” is derived. Hence, the thought often times works in tangent with mind. It is defined as, “inward reasoning, questioning, consideration, and deliberation, turning thought over in the mind; reckoning by mental questions, opinions, designs and disputes.” (12) Hence, ideas are discussed and “tossed around” inside of ones head without inciting to action, as an emotion would. However, once certain ideas are tossed around long enough, they can evoke an emotional response. For example, an addict may have a using thought come into his mind. Initially, it is just a thought. But, if the thought is meditated upon and romanced in the mind, it will become a drug craving, which is the emotional response of the romanced thought. Once the emotional craving kicks in, the addict begins to strategize and use the intellect to plan the next use. Once a plan is decided upon, the plan is executed in the action phase. Thus, we see that the flesh mechanism can be activated by our thought life. An undisciplined thought life can trigger the flesh mechanism which leads to sin and ultimately to death. Scripture is very clear in this regard, “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5) And again, “Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought.” (Ecc 5:2).

The spiritual realm exhibits its influence over the thoughts and emotions of humans. One can consider that human beings are composed of a body, a soul, and a spirit. They physical body is simple enough to explain. It is the outer shell, or tent, of the soul. It is the shell that the soul lives inside. The soul we have defined well enough already. The spirit is the communication link between the physical realm and the spiritual realm. One can think of the ones spirit as a cell-phone link to the spiritual realm. When a spirit wants to communicate with us, it sends a text message, if you will, from them to us via our spirit and it “pops” into the soul or mind, as a thought. If these thoughts are left unchecked they can have disastrous consequences. If they are caught and brought into subjection to Christ, then they can be resolved. This is one aspect of the spiritual realm communicating to us. This is how prophecy takes place, the Holy Spirit flows with our spirit and sends messages to our mind which we speak to an individual or situation. We can speak the mind of God when the Spirit of God communicates with our spirits and our minds understand the message and we speak it to the situation. Then, we become the spokesperson for the Spirit. This can work for the Holy Spirit, but it can also work for demonic spirits as well. Once, a thought is romanced and decided to act upon, an individual may begin to discuss the issue with people. Let’s take our addict again. Once a spirit of bondage (or addiction) has influenced and gained control of the thought life and mind of an addict, that addict begins to talk about using drugs. Thus, this individual becomes the spokesperson for the spirit of bondage (or addiction). A Biblical example is evidenced when one lying spirit influenced every prophet Ahab had to entice him into battle to be killed. The Bible states, “I saw the Lord sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. And the Lord said, ’Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, and said, ’I will persuade him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘In what way?’ So he said, ‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And the Lord said, ‘You shall persuade him, and prevail. Go out and do so.” (I Kings 22:19-22). Thus, once one prophet became the spokesperson for this spirit, all the prophets were brought under its influence.

My dear friend Patrick Pegues proposed another mechanism of contact between us and the spiritual world. Oddly enough, it is through our emotions. As it has been demonstrated earlier, emotions tend to motivate human behavior. This becomes a powerful means of communication. A spirit can send our soul an emotional download. Thus, in the presence of some spirits, an emotional download is given to a person and they respond with action out of this emotion. For example, a spirit of anxiety will produce an emotional response of anxiety in a room. This is why we are taught to walk during a fire drill. The emotional spiritual experience is much stronger than just the thought experience because emotions can move us right into the flesh mechanism. These spirits are much more influential over human behavior. Conversely, the Holy Spirit has similar effects on individual as evidenced by the holy laughter and crying that can be exhibited in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Being able to discern the presence of these sprits is difficult. One must posses the ability to tease out their own emotions in a given situation versus an unprovoked emotional response caused by a spirit. Oftentimes, people who are untrained in the gift of discerning of the spirits, struggle with seemingly wanton mood swings and can’t figure out what is “wrong with them”. Nothing is wrong with them, they are just untrained in their giftings but are oftentimes medicated and diagnosed as bipolars.

The Walk of the Spirit

The walk of the flesh is centered on the selfish pursuit of fulfillment. Emotionalism is the vehicle that is used in fleeting attempts to gratify an inner void. To begin with, if there is a walk other than the walk of the flesh, then, it must meet this basic of human needs. The first step in the walk of the Spirit must be fulfillment and inner contentment. This is what the walk of the flesh seeks to gratify but is not capable of producing. The walk of the Spirit must meet this basic need of the human soul before the journey can begin. First, the walk of the Spirit must make peace with God. Secondly, there must be a sense of fulfillment, contentment, and completion that accompanies this walk. Lastly, it must continue. If these conditions are met, then one can be walking with God; subsequently, walking by the Spirit. One of the most amazing things about the walk of the Spirit, as we will see, is that it takes very little effort on our part. Meaning, that it requires little “works” on our part. Conversely, the walk of the flesh requires great effort on our part to maintain the cycle that the flesh mechanism demands. The walk of the Spirit, is one that leans more on God than on self. This walk places most of the responsibility on God and not on us. The following is an examination of the walk of the Spirit.


“to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)

The Bible is explicit on how we obtain peace with God. It states, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:1) Justification is “a legal term signifying to acquit, declare righteous, show to be righteous.” (13) All of humanity when it begins a walk of the Spirit must begin with this basic premise. This one question must first be answered, “Am I accepted by God?” “Do I have right standing with God?” If this questions lingers, the power of the flesh mechanism will constantly interfere with the walk of the Spirit. One must know that they have peace with God and that they are accepted by God without condition. These truth are evident in the ministry of Jesus and can only be experienced through the experience of Jesus Christ.

The basic premise of Christianity is that God put on flesh and lived among humans in the form of Jesus Christ. He became our representative human. Subsequently, since all of humanity fell because of the disobedience of Adam, all of humanity can have peace with God because of a second Adam, namely Jesus Christ. As the representative human before God, He lived a perfect life. Then He died the death of a criminal having committed no crime. “King of the Jews” was the charge written above the cross of execution. Because He had lived a sinless life, death could not hold him. Death only has control over those who sin. Jesus never sinned, thus, death had to let Him go; subsequently, He was resurrected. The resurrection proves that Jesus is who He says He was. He ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. He has right standing with God. He has peace with God. Well, because He is the representative human, all that he obtained can be imputed to us. How? By Faith. “pistis” is the Greek word for faith and has the basic meaning of divinely planted confidence toward God. (14) Faith is not a blind leap into the unknown as Kierkegaard would have us believe. Faith is rooted in experience. One develops faith in Christ as one experiences Christ. God never asks us to put our faith in something that is unknown, He asks us to put our faith in His Character and His Character is revealed to us through our experiences with God. Without the personal experience, one is only left with religion and not relationship, theology versus spirituality. There is a tremendous difference. One is rooted in theory the other in practice. Theology talks about how great a Ferrari drives and spirituality, drives the Ferrari. In order to have peace with God, an experience with Jesus is essential. He gives us right standing with God. The scripture says, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness.” (Romans 10:4) Note, it doesn’t say that Christ is the end of the law, only that He is the end of the law for righteousness or right standing with God. Meaning, that we don’t earn right standing with God through our good conduct and behavior. Only through the admission that we are sinners and the acceptance of the ministry of Christ in our lives (that He died for my sins and is willing to forgive me) can we have right standing with God and peace with Him. In order for two to walk together, there must first exist peace. Christ is the peace that begins the walk of the Spirit.

Love and Acceptance

“He who does not love does not know God for God is love.”
In the middle 1700’s, a theologian named John Wesley developed an idea called “sanctification”. Biblically, the word signifies the process of becoming holy and it was the only word he could find to describe the experiences, in the Spirit, that he was having. Wesley experienced what he called a “second blessing” of the Spirit. As he was walking with God, he experienced a filling of the love of God that so impacted him that it broke off the use of his flesh mechanism. The filling of this love of God moved Wesley to eliminate sinful practices. Thus, he called it sanctification. It is not the intention of this article to discuss second blessing theology versus finished work theology. The second blessing is mentioned here because of its relevant spiritual experience. The old Methodist would pray, ask, press-in, and seek after God for Him to fill them so full of His Love that they would never sin ever again. And, He answered their prayers. They were filled with the love of God. Again, it is not the intention here to debate whether they ever sinned again, or were sanctified, or perfected. It is discussed here so that those who are struggling with feeling rejected, unloved, and distant from God, can pray and seek for this experience. It is better to have the experience and then try to determine its meaning, than to try to determine the meaning of something that one has not experienced. Hence, God is willing to fill all of us with His love. It is the writers suggestion that we not repeat the mistakes of the past. Let us just experience the love of God in a real tangible and practical way and sort out the theology later. Let the Great Love of God impact your soul in order that we may know that He has accepted us without condition so that we may walk with Him.

Once we know that we have peace, are loved and accepted, a relationship can begin to develop. The next step is that of influence. We simply put ourselves in a position of influence by the Spirit. This begs the question, “How does one put themselves in a position to be influenced by the Spirit?” There are several different exercises we could place here. Prayer, fasting, praise and worship, tithes and offerings, baptism in the Spirit, soaking, meditation, exercises spiritual gifts, and fellowshipping with other believers. All of these things put us in a position to be influenced by God and serve to reiterate the basic truths that we have established regarding love, peace, and acceptance. It is not the intention of this article to delve into these exercises individually. (15) There are many resources available for such endeavors. They are mentioned here only as tools that reveal to us the will of God so that we may follow it. When walking in the Spirit, we can’t lead God. We must wait for His will to be revealed to us and these exercises can facilitate it, only they are not guarantees of results. The Lord gives revelation of His will as He sees fit. (Oftentimes by dreams, visions, angels, and prophecies) It is important to remember that these are not “works” to be used to achieve love, acceptance, and peace/intimacy with God. Christians have all of these before they go to the pryaer closet. It must become an internal reality that never falters. It is built on the inside of our nature. We are, the children of God and because of Jesus, we have been given a new nature. The reader is cautioned to take any of these exercises for the sake of self fulfillment or self gratification or to seek favor from God. We do not work in order to achieve fulfillment, we are fulfilled; therefore, we do works, out of our fulfillment. What is outlined in this article are only principles not works. Principles are experienced and works are achieved. Make no mistake about it, achievement will not advance one in God’s kingdom, but experiences with God’s spiritual principles can impact the soul and lead to a life of walking with Him.


I have a great-Pyrenees dog who loves to chase cars. I mean, dangerously chase cars. Since she is a 120 pound dog, danger, really is the appropriate adjective. She get dangerously close to cars and has almost been hit on several occasions. Concerned drivers have stopped at our house to tell us that she was jumping on their vehicles and damaging them. To remedy this situation, I dug a 400 foot underground trench in which I placed 400 feet of wire that transmit’s a signal to a collar on the dog which electrically shocks her back into the yard and away from the road. This has worked very well. The dog will chase cars right along the line of the trench but never crosses the boundary. Problem, at least for the dog, solved. Or is it really? I was praying about this seemingly mentally challenged canine and her innate destructive behavior and God spoke to me and said, “You do the same thing.” What? How could this be?

Very simple, any repeated behavior that causes destruction in one’s life is the same thing that this dog is doing. Placing an external collar on the dog didn’t fix the dog, it just prevented her from harming herself when she engaged in the car chasing behavior. Likewise, many of us have external fixes but still have internal problems. For example, an alcoholic can be abstinent from the substance but not be healed of all the internal reasons that they consumed a substance to the point of harm. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin are death, (Romans 6:23) So, any lifestyle pattern that is a walk of the flesh, is one that ultimately leads to death. The goal of all sin is fulfillment. By fulfillment I mean, the particular behavior somehow makes us feel complete and accepted on the inside. It fixes all the internal issues. Or does it? More often than not, it places a band-aid on the problem and when the effects where off the behavior must be repeated. This develops into a bondage, complete with its own spirit. The walk of the Spirit knows no such mechanism as this.

On Sabbath morning I got up and felt disconnected from God, meaning to me, that I felt like I was walking in the flesh. I searched my mind and heart for any unconfused sin that may have caused this particular rift between me and God. I could find none. I thought, well, perhaps I just walk innately in the flesh and everyday must “get connected to God” in order to lay hold of the walk of the Spirit. So, I put on a worship CD (really good soaking one too, bought it right off the Elijah list for 27.50) and attempted to draw close to God. Well, my five children (all under ages 8) were playing in the room and being loud. Despite my many Christian-like exhortations for them to quiet down, they continued to be loud. Hence, I blew a gasket and yelled for all to be quiet because I was attempting to draw close to God and they were preventing me from my endeavor. Anyone not compliant will receive the maximum allowable penalty. Then,

God shows up and tells me, you just exhibited a work of the flesh with your “outburst of wrath” against the children. He continues, “One cannot achieve a walk of the Spirit through the works of the flesh. Meaning, you can’t use flesh works to control your environment in order to “get into the Spirit.” But I say, “But God, I’m trying to connect with you so I can be loved and accepted and then I can model this to the world because I innately walk in the flesh.” God says, “Who told you that you innately walk in the flesh?” I reply, “Me!” Then God says, “You innately walk in the Spirit.” And there-in lies the theological/spiritual cancer. The lie that Jesus died for me and forgave all of my sins so I could have peace with God. Then, He filled me with so much of his love that I felt completed and fulfilled. Then, He filled with the Holy Spirit and gave me spiritual gifts. All of this, so that I could innately walk in the flesh? I don’t think so. All of this so I could innately walk in the Spirit. He changed my sinful and selfish Adamite nature into a loving and serving Christite nature. Scripture says that “we were, by nature, children of wrath.”(Eph 2:3) Now, I am a son of God. Born-again into his likeness. Before my feet hit the floor in the morning, I am filled with His love and acceptance. It is a given every morning. I just have to acknowledge its Presence. I say to myself, “I am loved and accepted by God” then I pray, “Holy Spirit, Come.” This destroys the walk of the flesh. Scripture states, “When we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” (Gal 5:16) This simple reception of the love and acceptance and peace from God, provides the inner fulfillment that all of mankind is looking for. Things brings about internal transformation as well as external behavioral changes. And if it were possible for dogs to receive, I think my great-pyr would’ve given up car chasing long ago.

The Fullness of God

“That He would grant you according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height, to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:16-19)

If we ended this article right there, it would be enough, but because of His Great Love, There is more. Paul was writing to the Ephesians and He wrote to them that they would know “the depth, length, width, and height of the love that God has for us. And that, they would be strengthened by the power of His might in their inner man.” It is my opinion that Paul was talking about the very thing that we have been discussing. When we know, by experience, the love of God. (This is the essence of the Greek word to know, it means to know by experience) This revelation brings us into a profound relationship with God, Paul tells exactly what it means. “That you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:19) This is the great mystery of Christ, that we might be filled with the fullness of God. That we truly have become the temple, the dwelling place, the cover of the mercy seat, cloud by day and fire by night tabernacle of the living God. This is the awareness that every Christian should wake up to every morning and this is the walk of the Spirit.

The Spirit Mechanism

Above and beyond what has been stated, which really is not a mechanism as much as it is spiritual principles and factual benefits of the Christian life, there is a spiritual discipline we can discuss. The Spirit mechanism is similar to the flesh mechanism only the order of events are changed. Rather than be emotionally driven beings we are know Spirit led beings. Because of the fulfillment that has been achieved through the love of God, it eliminates the necessity of emotionalism. Hence, it gets bumped to the bottom. So the Spirit mechanism looks like this:

Decisions (The Spirit influence upon the soul)

Actions (the execution of spirit led decisions)

Emotions (the natural bi-product of a holy life is sound emotions)

Scripture commands us to “crucify the flesh with its lust and its passions.” Notice the word passion in that verse. Is that not one of the definitions that was previously given for emotions? Controlling our thought life and bringing every thought captive to Christ constitute part of the Spirit decision process. We walk out our thoughts before God and consider the best options and right course of action with the consultation of the Holy Spirit. Then we take action. The need for emotionalism has been eliminated by the filling of the love of God which is the fullness of God. This brings acceptance, peace, and true unconditional love. This is Grace. “And He shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of Grace, Grace to it!” (Zech 4:7)

In order for two to walk together, a mutual love and acceptance must be shared by the parties. It is a basic human need for all of us to feel loved and accepted. In order for us to walk by the Spirit, we must be convinced that God accepts us without condition. This is a strong demand that we place on God; but, it is one that He is willing to accept because He is love. Humanity is asking God to accept and love them without placing any conditions upon their behaviors or responses to His love. For God to change His love for us based on our behaviors would be to lower the love of God to the human standard. He must live far above that water-mark. He must love us without any conditions and this love must be communicated to us in such a way that it can be experienced. The first evidence that God loves us is in the ministry of Jesus. Scripture says, “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (I John 4:9-10) God, based upon His Love, sent Jesus to die for us “While we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:8). Not only did Jesus come to die for us, but He did this, while we were acting like and behaving like the enemies of God. We were more aligned with the devil than with God, and while we were in this states, He died for us. Thus, he demonstrates His love for us in the ministry of Jesus. Secondly, the love of God is demonstrated for us in a more practical Wesleyan way.

1. Strong, James, The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishing, Nashville, TN 1995, Strong’s number.

2. Thayer, Joseph, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 2005, page 504.

3. Webster, Noah, American Dictionary of the English Language 1828 version, Foundation for American Christian Education, Chesapeake, VA, 1995.

4. Radmacher, Earl, The Nelson Study Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1997, page 1978.

5. Hayford, Jack, The Spirit Filled Life Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN, 1991, page 1458.

6. Thayer, page 571.

7. Goll, James, The Beginners Guide to Hearing God, Ventura CA, Regal books, From Gospel Light, 2004, 2008 page, 19-20.

8. Hayford, page 1557

9. Webster.

10. One word “sophroneo” is described as a right or sane or controlled mind-see Mark 5:15. Another is the word dianoia which is described as insight or perception see Mark 12:30, and the last is derived from sophroneo which is described as a sound mind or controlled thought life see I Timothy 1:7 According to Hayford.

11. Hayford, page 1494.

12. Ibid, page 1512.

13. Ibid, page 1427.

14. Ibid, page 1492.

15. The reader is referred here to my blog “Who do you think you Are?” Rediscovering the power of the kingdom identity. It is located at http://www.kingdomidentity.wordpress.com. The last section is entitled growing in identity and it develops these topics.