Monday, September 16, 2019

Praying in the Spirit for the Wounding in Our Hearts

I woke up this morning surrounded by a pack of WoLVeS. WoLVeS is now our anacronym for the wounds, lies, vows and strongholds that attack our walk with God. It has become very helpful to have an easy title to refer to as it also reminds us to get out the word of God and go WoLVeS hunting![1]

As I began praying about this fresh attack, I could see what the wound was, what lies I was believing because of the wound, the vows I was tempted to make to protect myself, and how damaging it would be to let any of that determine my walk with God and his people today.

When I asked God to reveal to me the real source of the wounds, this is what happened:

First, when I noticed that simply “thinking” about everything kept me operating in the flesh, and I asked Father why I never seem to be able to think things through in the Spirit, he answered me before I even finished asking. The answer is that we don’t “think in the Spirit”, we “pray in the Spirit”![2]

Second, when I looked up expressions of “in the Spirit” because I wanted to see what else I would find besides, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication”,[3] I realized that God wants me to experience something in my soul that is of a greater satisfaction than a hug. To be in Christ in the Spirit is a superior attachment to anything I could long for with people (and would obviously help with our people-attachments as well!).

Third, praying in the Spirit will clearly involve our minds/thinking, but prayer is the distinctive expression of relationship with the Spirit in which God will “guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”![4]

Fourth, God focused attention on this Scripture:

Now the Lord is the Spirit, 
and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 
And we all, with unveiled face, 
beholding the glory of the Lord, 
are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. 
For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.[5]

God moved his spiritual cursor over the phrase, “with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord.” When I looked that up in the original Greek, I discovered that “beholding” refers to looking in a mirror. Which means that the picture is not of us looking away from ourselves at the glory of Jesus himself so that our gazing upon him would continue our transformation into his likeness (though that is clearly included).

Instead, if “beholding the glory of the Lord” means, “looking in a mirror at the glory of the Lord”, then there is something about gazing on the glory of the Lord in us, the glory of us being in Christ, the glory of us being in the Spirit, of us being beloved sons of God, that causes us to increase in our likeness to Jesus all the more.

William Hendriksen translates the phrase like this: “beholding the reflected glory of the Lord”.[6] He points out that, in the context, the focus was on the glory of God that the Israelites saw on Moses’ face when he came down from beholding the glory of God on Mount Sinai.[7] They were seeing the glory on Moses’ face that reflected the glory that Moses himself saw on the mountain.

When Paul speaks of us “beholding the reflected glory of the Lord,” it includes this double picture. We have seen what Paul calls, “the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”[8] As we keep beholding the reflected glory of the Lord that we see growing in us, we continue being transformed from one degree of that glory to another. One day, that will lead to that wonderful experience when, at Jesus’ return, “we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”[9]

Which brings me back to how the WoLVeS are trying to keep us from going WoLVeS hunting. If we were to see “the glory of the Lord” in us instead of the wounded, deceived, self-protective victims that the world, the devil and the flesh have made us, think about what a focus of setting our minds on the Spirit instead of on the flesh would do to us![10]

Everyone who hears what God is working to do in his children should consider ourselves invited to freedom in Christ now, today, this week, this month, however the Spirit shows us our next steps today. If we keep in step with the Spirit, we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh that also have plans for us now, today, this week, this month, for the rest of our lives.

Instead, God will move in his body to provide the ministry we need to grow in our experience of the glory of the Lord. And, as we keep beholding the glory of the Lord growing in his church, we continue to grow in that glory. 

And that gives us a lot to pray about in the Spirit!

© 2019 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

[1] We were introduced to this model of treating the wounded heart through Marcus Warner’s ministry in a series of videos entitled “Foundations”. WoLVeS hunting simply refers to a time of prayer where we ask God to show us how wounds are holding us back, what lies we have believed because of those wounds, what self-protective vows we have made to avoid such painful experiences ever again, and how the whole mix has turned into a stronghold where we cannot join God in what he is doing. You can find the whole Foundations course here:
[2] See Ephesians 6:18, but in the context of the spiritual weapons described in Ephesians 6:10-20.
[3] Ephesians 6:18
[4] Philippians 4:7 (I was actually deeply encouraged as I saw how Philippians 4:4-8 shows praying in the Spirit with its resulting peace from God and with God.)
[5] II Corinthians 3:17-18
[6] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 19, p. 127). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
[7] Paul describes this in II Corinthians 3:7-18, first showing that the glory of the old covenant pales in comparison to the glory of the new covenant. Then Paul show how Moses’ face had to be veiled to limit how brightly that glory shone when the Israelites looked at him, but that, “when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.” It is obvious that this is a complete picture of someone who first experiences the glory of the Lord shining on them, and then the effect of that glory shines out to others. The fact that the veil has been removed means that we have full access to look upon the glory of Christ, and so we would then see the glory of Christ on our own faces.
[8] II Corinthians 4:6
[9] I John 3:2
[10] Romans 7 and 8 make this contrast abundantly clear. Galatians 5:16-26 speaks of it as well.

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