In 1 Thes 5:23 Paul talks about being set apart spirit, soul, and body.
Set apart is in the optative mood which means wish.
Paul has a wish that our spirit, soul, and body would be set apart/sanctified now. We don’t have to wait until we die to have our bodies set apart for God!
This is a wish for Paul, because there are many obstacles in the way, otherwise Paul would have commanded it.
I had an encounter one night recently where Holy Spirit spoke to me out of Rom 12:1 where Paul says, Brothers and sisters, I parakaleo [come along side and call or urge you] to yield your bodies to God. The Spirit said to me “do you know what that means? You are being asked to take your physical body and yield it to a spirit.” It says in Jn 4:24 God is spirit.
So how do I yield my physical body to God who is spirit? Is there a schema in my brain that can apprehend that reality?
How can I yield my body to spirit, especially since I have been raised in a western rational culture that values materialism far above spirit?
In the very next verse, Rom 12:2, Paul says, You don’t have to continue in the schematidzo [schema/mindset] of the world [in our case rationalism and materialism] but you can experience a metamorphosis; a transformation, by new thoughts from above/heaven.
We can have a kingdom schema put into our brains that will be in alignment with our born from above spirits that enables us to yield our physical bodies to God, who is spirit.
Holy Spirit says I would like to change your schema, so it will be normal for you to yield your physical body to God, who is spirit.
I yielded to God, who is Spirit, and I felt my body being immersed in the Spirit, it felt like being immersed in liquid plasma with electrical current.
I heard "be filled with the Spirit." This is stated in Eph 5:18 and it is in a middle voice which means fill yourself. The full verse says, "Don’t get yourself drunk with wine, but fill yourself with the Spirit." It is in a continual tense: keep filling yourselves with the Spirit to overflowing. Get filled and stay filled.
We were created to have a relationship with God who is spirit. It should be normal for us to yield our physical bodies to God who is spirit.
Before we are in Christ we follow a different spirit:
Eph 2:1 — "You were dead in the trespasses and sins (2) in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air [Satan], the spirit that is now at work in the sons of unbelief, (3) among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the body and the mind…
So our bodies were following a spirit, fulfilling its desires.
We were living by the passions of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of our bodies and minds, not even realizing that that we were following the prince of the power of the air (Satan/a spirit).
It wasn’t just the passions of our flesh that got us in trouble; we were following a demonic spirit!
This is no joke!
Our bodies were trained to follow the prince of the power of the air (a spirit).
We have been so "psychologized" that most people in the West are unaware of this reality of our bodies connecting with spirit.
Our bodies are used to walking with a spirit, even if we didn’t realize that is what was happening.
Satan has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe (2 Cor 4:4). Apparently Satan has blinded the minds of believers also!
So our bodies need to be trained to be occupied with the Spirit of God, rather than the spirit called the prince of the power of the air (Satan).
We can train our bodies to yield to God!
1 Cor 6:19 — "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (20) For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God with your body.
Do you really know [which is eido in Greek and means perceive] your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?
Your body was created to house your spirit and the Spirit of God.
We can glorify God with our bodies by yielding our bodies to the Spirit. As Rom 12:1 says, "Yield your body to God as a living sacrifice… which is logical worship."
Paul is saying this is logical: yield your physical bodies to God, who is spirit, as worship.
Rom 8:11 — If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
When we yield our mortal bodies to the Spirit of God, resurrection life flows from the Spirit to our physical bodies.
I believe that is what I experienced that night and what I continue to experience as I stay yielded to the Spirit with my body.
Since, "fill yourselves with the Holy Spirit" is in a continual tense we are filled up inside and the Spirit flows all over us like a coating. So if we don’t stop yielding, then our bodies will stay full and overflowing with the Spirit.
Resurrection life is available for our bodies now!
I believe it is God’s desire that when we die it is because it is our time to go, not because we are sick.
Ps 63:1 — My body longs for you God in a dry and thirsty land. Our body was created to be in union with God, who is spirit. So, our physical body longs to be connected to God who is spirit.
Our bodies long to be connected to spirit. No wonder so many become demonized, or enter into unhealthy relationships with other human beings, who are spirit, because their body longs for union with a spirit.
Ps 84:2 — My heart and my body cry out for the living God. Our bodies cry out for the living God who is spirit. Our bodies cry out for spirit!
There is a longing in our bodies for God and if we don’t yield our bodies to God we will feel compelled to yield our bodies to other spirits, human or demonic.
Jeremiah 23:9 — My bones/body trembles/shakes, and I am like a drunken man, like a man who is overcome by wine because of the Lord.
As I have learned how to yield my body to God, I have experiences like Jeremiah just described.
Matt 6:33 — Seek first the Kingdom of God and natural needs will be added.
Zeteo (zaytehoh) = seek, desire, pursue.
Proton = first, of primary importance.
Basileia = kingdom, realm.
Make pursuit of the realm of heaven/spirit realm of primary importance!
Then the natural things will be added!
Make pursuit of the realm of heaven of primary importance, by continuing to yield our bodies to God and God will add our natural needs.
As we read in Rom 12:1 Paul says, "Brothers and sisters, I come along side you and urge you to yield your bodies to God…" Paul is saying, "I am not speaking down to you, I come along side you and encourage you to yield your bodies to God!"
We were created to have a relationship with God who is spirit. It should be normal for us to yield our physical bodies to the spirit of God, so that we live with our bodies immersed in the Spirit.
Holy Spirit, train me to yield my body to you as a lifestyle!