In closing this series I want to look at an aspect of our lives that isn’t often referenced. In a previous post I referred to the three functions of our soul as our mind, will, and emotions and connected them to the furniture in the tabernacle. “The inner court contained three objects, the lampstand which represents our mind (light and illumination), the table of showbread which represents our will, supposed to be broken (the ground grain) and submitted to His will, and the altar of incense, which represents our emotions and desires. The altar of incense was positioned right outside the Holy of Holies so the fragrant incense entered into the Holy of Holies, into His presence. Our desires are to be directed toward Him.” In another post I referenced the functioning of our spirits and noted, “We are called to an ongoing internal encounter with His glory within our spirits that is generally not observed by others, just as the ministry of the high priest before the Ark was not observed.” However, to walk this out we need to know how it functionally works so we can learn how to have and ongoing encounter deep within, to in practice carry the Ark.
So how does this hidden aspect of our spirit work in practice? The theory is nice but what role does it play in our lives? Just as there were three visible object in the Holy Place that connect to aspects of our soul, there were three hidden objects in the Ark of the Covenant that connect to three aspects of our spirits. The Ark contained three objects, the tablets of the testimony (the Ten Commandments inscribed on stone) which relate to our conscience, a pot of Manna, which relates to communion, spiritual nourishment, and Aaron’s rod that had budded, which speaks of the intuitive life in our spirit. The scriptures are below.
2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; 3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; Hebrews 9:2-4 (NKJV)
Relating these things back to our spirits, our spirit has the three main functions of conscience, communion and intuition. The scriptures illustrate these different aspects of our spirits.
The tablets of stone, the commandments speak of the conscience aspect of our spirits. Paul addressed this in Romans.
1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, Romans 9:1 (NKJV)
The manna speaks of ongoing spiritual nourishment, communion. Jesus and Paul both addressed this function.
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” Matthew 4:4 (NKJV) 14
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14 (NKJV)
The rod speaks of intuition in our spirits. The rod was an apparently dead and dry stick but life was released through it when it was placed in Yahweh’s presence. There is life in our spirits through His regeneration and indwelling presence but we need to learn to pay attention to it.
11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:11-12 (NKJV)
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, 23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 1 Peter 1:22-23 (NKJV)
As we walk with Him and reflect back on the role of the Ark in the life of Israel, we have clues to how to pay attention to our spirits. As long as Israel moved with the moving of the Ark, analogous to being led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14), they walked in victory. However when they neglected the Ark (Heb. 2:1-3) or moved in presumption, as when Eli’s sons took it into battle without Yahweh’s direction, they suffered loss. There is a phrase in Malachi 2:15 that is critical, the prophet says, “Therefore take heed to your spirit,” an injunction we would be wise to pay attention to; and need to learn to develop in much of the church if we are to fulfill our calling and purpose.
In my next posts I will start a series on how we practically walk in the Spirit.
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-18 (NKJV)