While looking at the above picture how many of us have felt this way? Not in regards to the hand but our flesh?
Phantom Flesh Syndrome
There are a couple of definitions for flesh and carnal in the Scriptures.
sarx – flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood) of both man and beasts and the sensuous nature of man, “the animal nature.”
sarkikos - having the nature of flesh, i.e. under the control of the animal appetites
I’ll be talking about the fallen, carnal nature aspect of the word. But first I will briefly explain Phantom Limb Syndrome
Phantom limb syndrome is the perception of sensations, including pain, in a limb that has been amputated. People with this condition experience feelings in the limb as if it were still attached to their body. This is because the brain continues to receive messages from nerves that originally carried impulses from the missing limb. (http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=96857) There are many different articles about it but one I found interesting stated that while talking a person would gesticulated(talk with their hands) with a phantom arm. They still operated, or so they thought, out of something that was cut off and removed. It still felt like they had something even though it was removed. In their mind they thought they still had this limb….and now we come to Phantom Flesh Syndrome.
How many of us operate thinking we still have a “flesh” problem. “I just need to crucify my flesh more” or “this darn flesh I just can’t seem to kill it” are just a couple of things we’ve heard or said about ourselves. The Scripture declare the flesh dead, cut off, and removed from us yet we still think and appear that we are operating out of our flesh. But this is not the case. Romans 6:6 declares:
We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin.
“Know” is Greek is ginōskō which means to learn to know, come to know, get knowledge of, perceive, feel. It is also a Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. And Galatians 5:24 declares:
And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.
I love the past tense here. “Have” and “was.” Crucified in this passage is systauroō – to crucify along with!!!! Strong’s Concordance has a gem in the explanation of this word: utterly estranged from former self. If you just skipped that over read it again: utterly estranged from former self. This revelation is astounding me as I type. Utterly means – carried to the utmost point or highest degree and estranged means – to arouse especially mutual enmity or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness. But how many of us feel or know that deep inside. We look at our action and figure it isn’t dead yet and there is more that we need to do. We look at our actions as proof to our nature instead of the other way around. We don’t know who we already are.
I could go on and on but I want to keep this simple and to the point because sometimes we can get cloudy by many words. So how do we learn, come to grips with, and perceive that we are not in the flesh anymore? Now comes the astonishing fix which isn’t astonishing really but after by Mirror, Mirror post it blew me away. How does one get free from Phantom Limb Syndrome and Phantom Flesh Syndrome? Mirrors! Yep that’s right, mirrors! If you can, read this article: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-mirror-cure/. The epiphany came and I was like wow!
It should be clear that a person doesn’t need a fallen nature to miss the mark. ie. Adam sin while in complete perfection and relationship with Abba. I mean Adam literally walked with God in full Glory and out of Adam’s full spirit man and still missed the mark. We all know the saying, “We aren’t sinners because we sin but we sin because we are sinners” and to use a term very loosely, “our nature is not dependent on our actions but our actions are dependent upon our nature.” Death came to all based on one man’s action regardless if you sin in Adam’s likeness(Rom. 5:14) In both fallen and redeemed natures we can sin and miss the mark and/or act righteously (Rom. 6:20-22).
I’m really trying to keep this post short… I would encourage readers to read: Kainos Ktisis New Creation and What You See You Become. Also read: Don’t Hold Me Back Both are fuller explanations of my quick summary that I will do.
We are designed to become what we focus on and believe about ourselves. Out mirror must be not only the graphe(Scriptures), which is very important, but also the logos(Jesus) and rhema(God’s spoken word). When we see things happening in and around us and when we act out of this phantom flesh we continually need to wash our minds with the Word(rhema) and renewing our mind with the truth of our redeemed nature and the glory He has given and shared with us. We behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord(2 Cor. 3:18). We reckon that false image of ourselves dead and our new and true image alive to God in Christ. When we see ourselves walking in sin we must look to see where our mirror is. Are we focusing on sin and weakness or our glory and heavenly seat?to arouse especially mutual enmity or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness I also need to note that you can’t wipe a dirty mirror(old self) with a dirty rag(own righteousness). The Lord Jesus gives us a clean mirror that will never get dirty…we just need to keep our eyes on it because as soon as we look away and walk away we can get confused and dismayed (James 1:23). We must listen what the rhema is telling us to do and believe it. We live in a finished work and we need to believe that it is finished. Amen?!
Father, forgive me when I look away as Adam did and missed the mark. Thank You for ransoming me from that fallenness of mind and nature and setting me free. Continue to cleanse my vision of myself and You so I can reflect You in all our fullness together. I am one spirit with You so today I choose to believe it and act on it. I keep my eyes on my Mirror and reckon all false reflection void and destroyed. Transfigure me, Father, into the same Image and Glory I see in You. Help me to live in my current glory in order to build the foundation for the next glory.
In Jesus’ precious and fiery name,
Amen and Amen
We could all meditate and take in this song! We Dance!!! Twirling, resting, the Father throwing us in the air and catching us in only the way He knows how!
2 Samuel 9 (NASB)
9 Then David said, “Is there yet anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David; and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.” 3 The king said, “Is there not yet anyone of the house of Saul to whom I may show the kindness of God?” And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is crippled in both feet.” 4 So the king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.” 5 Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. 6 Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, “Mephibosheth.” And he said, “Here is your servant!” 7 David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly.” 8 Again he prostrated himself and said, “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?”
9 Then the king called Saul’s servant Ziba and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master’s grandson. 10 You and your sons and your servants shall cultivate the land for him, and you shall bring in the produce so that your master’s grandson may have food; nevertheless Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall eat at my table regularly.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant so your servant will do.” So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table regularly. Now he was lame in both feet.
Yesterday during worship at church I was reminded by the Lord the story of Mephibosheth. How often I have felt like him. Crippled, helpless, subject to the care and needs of others(I’m not disabled). How he must have feared when Saul died because it was common for new kings to kill all direct descendants of the previous king. He ran, had to have help to run, from the new King David. Feared for his life in his crippled state. Defenseless. Broken.
For too long I was like the old Mephibosheth. Crippled by shame and addiction. Fearing the previous king(the enemy). But the new King came looking. He came looking for me. He sought me. He found me crippled and lame with shame, hurt, addiction, and with a false view of Him.
And He place me at His table! He prepared it for me! He cooked for me! He washed me feet…He washed my lameness away. He wiped and collected my tears. I became the new Mephibosheth. I place to eat at the King’s table forever. The King mephiboshethed me. Mephibosheth in Hebrew means exterminating the idol. He, my King, exterminated my idols. They fell to the King. He destroyed them.
When I was feeling this overwhelming love pursuit. I wanted to get on the mic and share with the congregation but I am microphone shy or more like freaked out (I know I am called to speak). The overwhelming love of the Father. How He searches us out. The Hound of Heaven as He has been described as.
WHO? WHO CAN I SHOW MERCY TO? That is who my God is! He searches for who He can show mercy to. Do you hear Him pleading? If not, then hear Him pleading through me…come out and let Him show you mercy! He wants you! He loves you with an everlasting love. He is not worried about your crippling or wounding or shame or even your anger with Him. He is looking for you and begging be reconciled! He loves you and He sees you….and He is running after to meet you in your mess with a robe and ring….with a huge feast prepared! YUM!!!! Have your fill!!!!
Good morning Holy Spirit!
May I rest in Your new mercies. Thank you that I don’t need to ask You to come for You haven’t left since I first asked You to come. Thank You for the ability to forgive today. Thank You for the ability to respond to today out of my spirit and not react out of my soul. Thank You for being my Comforter. Thank You for being Another of the same exact kind. Thank You for leading me into all Truth and revealing the Father and Son to me. Continue to cause the scaled of my eyes to fall so I may see the salvation You offer to me. Thank You for being the Wind that blows away the dross and the Breath that breathes Life and Vitality into my whole being. Thank You for making my soul to prosper and my spirit to grow and my body to be healed. Thank You for giving me the language of heaven and angels in which no darkness can listen to or comprehend. Thank You that You are God and I do praise and worship You Holy Spirit. You are Lord and I give You Lordship over me. Come and enthrone all thrones of my soul. Expose those thrones that are occupied by darkness. Thank You for the gift and ability to repent. Smear me with all You are. Thank You for being in me and with me. Thank You for being a Person and for being personal with me. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You for coming with the mother heart of God. Thank You for being a Father to the fatherless and a Mother to the motherless. Thank You that Your gifts and fruit are available to me when needed. Thank You for stepping into me and bringing Life and renewing me and making me born again by Your will.
We are those awake
From Him Through Him To Him
Is my everything
Satisfied in the waiting
The crutch of Glory
Toes Ankles Waist Shoulders
Hearing Whispers Whispers
Softness Coolness Eden
Splendor shrouds me
Secret Place abounding in me
Raptured and Captured
Safe and sound
We are those Awake
I love the Prophetic! It’s an amazing thing to hear His voice first in my own spirit and through His Body. It’s so confirming and validating when God speak the same thing through different people who don’t know each other. It’s like God’s public recognition of your private relationship. Reminds me of what Matthew 6:6 says
But you, when you pray, enter into your closet and lock your door, and pray to your father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you in public.
It’s beautiful when the Father honors you with His Words for they are life. You know what the word Promise means? In Hebrew it means: dabar – speech, word, speaking, thing. In Greek it means: epaggelia – announcement. So when God speaks it is always in promise. But the promise sometimes in subject to our submission to it.
So several months back a woman from my church had a message and several words for people in the congregation. I was the first one she spoke to and she had a dream and told me it. It was awesome. Another guest speaker, Wendy Backlund, had a word for me and this time I was the last one. It also was a powerful word. Then, someone I don’t know, randomly Facebook messaged me a word…and it was spot on and combined both the other words together! It’s like God saying, “Well done.” It’s an amazing feeling when God recognizes you. I know some don’t believe in this stuff but I don’t judge them based on lack of experience. Some, unfortunately have been injured and wounded by immaturity in this error. Wrong prophecy isn’t false prophecy…it is prophecy in training. God is working on us! That is why in the Old Testament times they had schools of prophets. Kinda of like Samuel hearing the voice of God and not recognizing it until Eli taught him (1 Samuel 3:9). We criticize new people in the prophetic and label them false but if a pastor or evangelist isn’t perfect then what?
As believers and sons of God we are a prophetic people. We hear His Voice and follow Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:20 says
Do not despise prophetic utterances.
And 1 Timothy 4:14 says
14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.
Notice this prophecy wasn’t used to complete the Bible, as some say prophecy was designed for. This prophecy was used to bestow a spiritual gift on Timothy by the laying on of hands. Timothy didn’t write Scripture. So why then did he need a prophecy?
There is a difference between the office of a prophet and gift of prophecy but I don’t feel the need to get into that today.
Some of mystified hearing God’s voice but the fact that some abuse a gift doesn’t negate its original design. There can only be a counterfeit if there is a real. So when you ask God for bread He won’t give you a stone…because some like to cast the first one they get. I am one of his sheep and I hear His voice and I follow Him and He confirms what has already been planted and watered in my heart and spirit and He will give the increase. Until the complete stature of Christ is manifest in His Bride these gifts and Offices are still needed. We still need Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelist so we still need Apostles and Prophets. Oh and by the way…without Love the whole shebang is worthless and white noise or a clanging symbol! Just like the Priests robe has bells and fruit(Ex. 28:34), we need both to operate all things in love. The gift of prophecy lines up with the fruit of goodness and it’s the goodness of God that leads to repentance.
Amen and amen! Glory to God in the highest!