When we enter into His Kingdom, we bring with us the baggage of our human will, our human logic, our human ways. These clash with God’s Holy Will, His logic, His ways—so, our baggage has to go! Now begins God’s purging.
We are a New Creation. The first evidence takes place in our spirit. There may not be much evidence of it in the faculties of our soul (intellect, memory, will) or in our body. Some people who are baptized in the Spirit experience a dramatic overflow from their spirit into the faculties of the soul. The disciples on Pentecost experienced this—it was quite a scene! Actually, our body cannot physically endure all of the awesome joy, enthusiasm, praise and worship that our spirit does. We’ll have to wait for our glorified bodies to get the full blast.
Holiness is allowing what is in our spirit to rise into the faculties of our soul and overflow into the actions of our body through our willing cooperation. Holiness is God’s work and our cooperation; it is not our work alone.
God does, however, want us to take on the “new body,” part of our New Creation, and also the “new soul” part. They are an overflow from our spirit. All is primarily God’s work; He unfolds it in His time for those who live with confident, patient endurance.
Suspended in Jesus is a divine version of our body—completely healed by His passion and death—and a divine version of our soul—with its purified faculties. That is the prayer of Jesus: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s where Faith comes in.
There are those who still insist that growing in perfection requires that we remain in the Natural Realm and struggle to improve ourselves. If one does not know better, that is a logical choice. But it is doomed to failure. We can never reach perfection that way. Yes, we are to grow in “virtue,” but as the Church prays in the Evening Prayer of the Third Week, “may the Church rely only upon Your gifts.” Gifts—not personal struggle and triumphs (which are almost always tinged with pride).
We are not speaking here about quietism or going to sleep in a lazy stupor. What people will see in us they will call virtue—which we supposedly attained through our own human efforts; but we will know that it was actually a Gift of God and we merely cooperated with it. He even gave us the added power and strength to cooperate easily. It looks the same on the outside; it is vastly, and eternally different on the inside.
A word of caution: There is a delicate balance here. If we immerse ourselves in prayer of the heart and learn how to live in the Kingdom of God now, the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and better explain this awesome Gift of God that He is revealing to His people. The Holy Spirit doesn’t use a cookie cutter; He does a custom job on each one of us.
This is only a mini teaching. May it open your mind and heart to receive the surprises of His love in your daily prayer time with Him.