Campmeeting Speaker Highlight //Charles Cowan
I've heard it said that faith will never remain status quo. It'll either grow or go. In other words, you can reach a level in your faith, but you won't be there forever. To maintain the level of faith you're on and progress to the next level, some faith maintenance is required.
You see, as born-again believers, we can't just give attention to feeding our spirits. That's important, but we also have a soul (mind, will, and emotions) and live in a body. To live a sanctified life of faith, we have to do something with them as well.
First Thessalonians 5:23 says, "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." That word sanctify—in its simplest definition—means "to set apart." So you could say, "The very God of peace set you apart—wholly." God desires us to set our whole being apart unto Him!
The second part of that verse continues, "I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless." Some commentaries and Bible dictionaries use the word maintain in place of preserved. I like that. "I pray your whole spirit, soul, and body be maintained together."
What exactly is Paul instructing us to do in this verse? He's saying that our whole spirit, soul, and body should be maintained unified together in a faith life. Our soul should agree with our spirit, and our body should obey the instruction of the Word. That's putting it all together!
To see and experience the maximum of what the life of faith will do for us, this has to be our lifestyle. We've got to keep these three unified. Then we'll have the kind of power Jesus had when He walked the earth.
Remember, every time Jesus spoke, demons trembled. The wind and water obeyed, and the sick were healed. When words came out of Jesus' mouth, they were backed with the full power and life of God. Satan had no alternative but to bow his knee. That's the result of a sanctified life of faith!
So what kind of maintenance must we do? First, we've got to avail ourselves of reading and studying the Word. The Spirit of God is at work when we read the Bible. We're feeding our inner man—our spirit—but we're also doing something where our soul is concerned. The Holy Spirit is taking the Word and changing our thinking. (There's some squirrelly stuff going on in our mind that needs to get out of there!)
It doesn't matter whether we feel or sense something—or even understand completely what we're reading. Something is happening to our soul.
We must also do maintenance with our bodies. Romans 12:1 says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
We can't hide behind our flesh and say, "I just can't do that." No! We've got to bring our bodies in line with the Word. We have to sacrifice the things our body wants to do—and would do—if we didn't present it to the Lord.
Some people may argue, "That's too hard." No, it's not. This verse says it's our "reasonable" service. It's not anything out of the question. And Philippians 4:13 says we can do all things through Christ Who gives us strength!
When we do this, we're following Jesus. Our lifestyle of faith will give substance to God's promises, and the light of our life will shine into the darkness. We are more than conquerors!
"There's some squirrelly stuff going on in our mind that needs to get out of there!"