(Note: Typically the posts I write are totally self-contained … this one is definitely different. If you are so stirred, I recommend reading this post with your Bible or Bible software at hand since there are many references without the actual Scripture passage itself. Be blessed!)
Dehydration occurs in the human body when it does not have enough water and other fluids to perform its normal bodily function(s). In the human body … when you lose or use more fluid than you replenish, you become dehydrated.
Spiritual dehydration is similar … yet different.
The human being comes into the world spiritually hydrated … but it is with the spirit of natural man, the flesh, the world … yet as written in a post earlier this week God created the human being to be filled by the Spirit of God. So in reality, man comes into the world totally and completely spiritually dehydrated.
So that man born of the flesh (Jn 3:6) … must be born again of the Spirit of God (Jn 3:3-7).
For some, the former spirit is totally and completely evicted and replaced by the Spirit of God … one moment the natural man is devoid of the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 15:46-49) … the next he is totally and completely hydrated by the heavenly … the living water (Jn 4:10-14) … anointed and filled by the Holy Spirit (1 Jn 2:20, Eph. 5:18) … filled up to all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19).
For others, that spiritual hydration is not a total and immediate replacement of the spirit of the natural man with the Spirit of God … the spiritual exchange takes time … with the spirit of the flesh at constant odds with the Spirit of God (Romans 7:14-8:5).
God’s plan … the Spirit of God increases replacing the decreasing spirit of the natural man totally and completely …
He (Christ Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:31 (NASB)
The decrease … denial … the surrender …
If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself … Matthew 16:24 (NASB)
And do not be conformed to this world … Romans 12:2 (NASB)
The increase … the renewal … the submission …
… be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NASB)
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior … Titus 3:4-6 (NASB)
If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must … take up his cross and follow Me … Matthew 16:24 (NASB)
God’s desire for man … to be filled up to ALL the fullness of God.
I (Paul) bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 (NASB)
Spiritual dehydration occurs in the human being to varying degrees as he transitions (decrease/increase) from being the natural man devoid of the Spirit into the spiritual man with all the fullness of God.
Too often in American Christianity, we fail to engage in the battle of decrease … we prefer to serve two masters (the world and the spiritual, also see Matt 6:24) rather than enter into the divine conflict God has set before us (2 Cor 10:3-7) … we spend more time on the outside of the cup than the inside (Matt. 23:25-26) … the result …
Spiritual dehydration … so the Christian does not have enough living water and Holy Spirit IN him to perform his divinely chosen body of Christ role(s) (1 Cor. 12:11-31).
(Lord willing, to be continued)