“And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:’ and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” Luke 23:46 (KJV)
At the end of December 2017, I heard the words “give up the ghost.” During that specific moment in time, I had absolutely no idea what that meant but I KNEW God was speaking to me personally. That’s the thing I love about God, He gives you a Word in every season. He gives the Word to you in whatever way He speaks to you before you go into something or as you are going through something – a snippet before its fullness unfolds.
Since that day; and even now, my life has become more of an INTERNAL battle. I can literally feel the war. The temper has flared up, frustration has climbed new levels, patience and tolerance are itching me, the tongue goes wild every now and then… BOOM! The bomb has really gone off. Paul’s words in Romans 7 & 8 resonate in my whole being. They’re becoming ALIVE on the inside.
At first, I was like “Lord, what is happening to me?” I automatically assumed that everything that was happening to me was a bad thing. Then I remembered the words of Pastor Philip, “let it come up and come out,” messages spoken by our Pastors and other ministers in church about our flesh being strong; we ourselves being too strong… DING DING DING!!! #LightBulbMoment.
The Word I heard came to mind again – give up the Ghost. Even though Luke 23:46 is referring to Jesus giving up His spirit; dying on the cross to move into the next phase of God’s divine plan for us, what God has been saying to me through this Word is GIVE UP YOUR FLESH. The scripture now takes on a new meaning for me.
Through this Word, God is saying, “Stop fighting me. Give up your flesh.” I must give up MY WAYS. In order to go to the next level, the flesh MUST die. I must give up my ghost– my soul (will, mind, emotions), heart and spirit. EVERYTHING I am, I MUST give to Him. I must STOP FIGHTING HIM.
Welcome to the process friends… or as Pastor Isaac calls it, METAMORPHOSIS.
Of course the battle is intense because the flesh doesn’t like the spirit and the spirit doesn’t like the flesh – they’re at enmity with one another (Romans 8:7). The flesh doesn't want to die! You really begin to meet your other side… your Mr.Hyde. However, we must still give up our flesh.
God has been telling us as a house that the Holy Spirit is coming in a greater measure and the Church will not be able to hold Him. Isn’t it ironic that this is one of the Words for 2018, but just before it God tells me to, “give up the ghost?”
I’m here to say that the struggle is real but SO IS GOD. God tells us to pick up our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23). As hard as it can be; especially when we don’t want to, WE MUST stay connected to God and daily give up our ghost – our flesh. It’s challenging but the more we find ourselves in His presence, the easier it will become because there is more of Him and less of us (John 3:30).
Be encouraged to die and keep dying to your flesh… give up your ghost to receive His.
BY STACEY SPENCER