with Jeremy Westcott –
Our soul gates are: conscience, reason, imagination, mind, emotions, choice and will.
Our conscience is the ears of our heart. It is our protector and our director, our guard, and our guide. Our conscience will keep us from wrong and direct us to good. Sadly, our conscience can be dulled or seared by repeated exposure to sin (Titus 1:15). We need our conscience cleansed, clear and sharp.
It is not that we reason and try to work it out with intellect: this is about being able to translate and interpret the words of God that are spoken to us, to understand and explain God’s word as He speaks to us.
The eyes of our heart. It is absolutely key that we develop our imagination.
Our western culture and education system have trained us out of using (and valuing) our imagination. Our imagination was given to us by God so that we could see what He is doing. So that we could see visions, see dreams, see the heavenly realms, on the screen of our imagination. We need to learn how to use it again and train it so that it grows and develops.
Our mind, conscious and subconscious, is where the storage programs are. Here we find our memories, the word of God, and belief systems. It is like the hard drive of a computer. Everything is stored there. The subconscious mind, our heart, sits somewhere between our spirit and our conscious mind. Memories, beliefs, values, lies, truths, mindsets. Jesus called this ‘soil’ and it can have all kinds of seeds sown into it.
Our subconscious mind is affected by our DNA nature, from our parents, that sets up defence mechanisms and coping mechanisms. Our patterns of behaviour come from what we believe. Nurture has an effect too: we have had a whole lot of experiences of life during our upbringing and education which train us to operate in certain ways. Trauma too, the things that happen to us and cause us to make vows and decisions based on our experience. All those things also get connected with familiar spirits assigned to our life. They know us, and they lie to us, in order to get us to operate from a false belief system.
All those things on the inside of us manifest on the outside in the way we think. So things like our reactions, our attitudes, our responses, fear, worry: all come from the inside and manifest in our mind.
When revelation comes, from the word of God, from the Holy Spirit, things can start to change. Then we have an opportunity of surrendering to Him, and He can deal with familiar spirits who lie to us. Our behaviour patterns start to come from the revelation of the truth of God’s word, especially about who we are. Our mindsets are based on the truth of who God says we are. Our attitudes, suggestions, the ideas that flow from our into our minds, are flowing from the inside out.
But if we do not deal with all those things on the inside we will continually have triggers which set us off thinking in a particular way, and that is where the conflict takes place. We have to be willing to allow God to transform us from the inside out.
Our soul has emotions, where our responses and our feelings are, where we are moved, where we get those gut feelings. Emotions affect our esteem, our worth, whether we feel love, security, acceptance and value.
We have all had unmet needs. Maybe as a child, or in relationships, we did not receive all we should have received in the way of love, security, acceptance, encouragement and so on. Then we end up with low self-esteem, or disappointment in our life. Those can result in our feeling insecure, rejected, being dependent on other people, or in co-dependent relationships.
We try to get our needs met in these ways because we have not been in right relationship with God, and He is the only one who can properly meet those needs. We have looked to the world, and been hurt. We experience guilt and shame, and carry lots of unhealed hurts where people have let us down, and caused pain in our life. Since we have not learned to forgive and release them, this has set up anger, resentment, and bitterness, which are all emotional things.
Now those emotions can completely rule our lives – if we let them. We have to deal with them. They affect what goes on in our conscious mind and then they trigger responses all the time. Our behaviour does not just happen. Our behaviour derives from the things which are on the inside of us and God wants us to operate in forgiveness, and to be restored, changed and renewed so that the strongholds and all the hurt and pain in there get dealt with.
We also have a will. If we sin, through stubbornness or rebellion, our will is damaged and effectively becomes a barrier to what God wants to do. That sets up such things as unbelief, indecision, control, doubt and fear. As we deal with them, God wants to replace them with humility, confidence, boldness, courage, persistence, determination, perseverance, self-control (which is a fruit of the Spirit). All those things can happen if we allow God from the inside out to transform our life.
It is really important for us to understand what is going on inside us and how we operate. Some of us have been taught to peel back the layers to expose what is going on deeper down; that is OK as long as we don’t try to change ourselves from the outside in, because if we approach it from that direction it is a battle we will ultimately lose.
If we focus on the problem, the problem gets bigger. If we focus on the solution, the problem gets smaller. In Jesus, nothing is impossible. Nothing will prevent God from doing what He needs to do, if we surrender to Him.
The final gate is choice. In the end, it all comes down to one question. Once we have cleared out everything which would lead us away from surrendering to God and allowing our spirit to rule, we still have to make a conscious, daily choice. What will we choose to do?
Let us press in, and get to the place where all these gates are flowing with the life of God and transformed. At the moment most of them are not like that. We cannot change ourselves. We have to invite God to come into those gates and transform us.
It would be really dangerous if the glory of God started manifesting through us, through an unholy life; dangerous both for us and for the people around us. He will not allow His presence to be manifested out of us until there is a holy life for it to flow through.
But He does want to manifest His presence through us.
©2013-2015 Freedom Apostolic Resources
Gateways of the Spirit
with Jeremy Westcott
- This diagram is based on an original by Ian Clayton (sonofthunder.org)
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:38).
God has come to dwell in our innermost being. Now we want to allow Him to flow through us and out from us, transforming both ourselves and the world around us. As we open the gate of first love, we begin to allow Him to flood into our whole being.
And that is where some find the first blockage. As we have looked at our gate of first love, some of us have seen it blocked, closed, locked, even chained. But that is a projection of our soul. Even if our own experience of first love has caused us to put up barriers to intimacy (and I have written before about my own), we also have the ability to take them down again. We can clear it, unlock it, unchain it, open it. The enemy has no access here in our spirit. Jesus is knocking. Let’s let Him into our lives.
As we open that door of first love, the river flows out into our spirit. We surrender to the presence of God on the inside. In our spirit, there are different senses, or different actions of the spirit: we need to let the glory of God flow through these and activate them. It is the Holy Spirit coming through those gates, through those doorways in our spirit, coming out into our soul.
Fear of God, reverence, prayer, hope, faith, revelation, intuition, worship. And there is one more, our heavenly gate if you like, our access to heaven, which is back through that gate of first love into the heavenly realms, following the river of life back to its source.
The first few are to do with fellowship. The presence of God in us. Learning to identify and know God by experience of who He is, so we learn to fellowship and trust him in that place. And the others are to do with revelatory things, where God reveals Himself through us, where we see aspects of His kingdom, where we hear His voice, where we get to know what He is doing, and where He gives us visions and dreams and revelations of what He wants to do. Without the first, the second does not really function.
Fear of God
We need to understand that within us there is the all-seeing, all-knowing, omnipresent God. That is an awesome thing. God who has created the universe, and everything in it, has chosen to come and dwell within us. We become a habitation of God. We have to prepare that place for Him to dwell. The all-consuming fire of God is on the inside of us.
Fear of God is not the same as being afraid of Him. If I know God’s love, I will not be afraid of Him. But this is an awesome thing, to have Him dwell within us, and He wants us to know the awesomeness of His presence.
Honouring and respecting God. We will do nothing that will bring His Name into disrepute or dishonour. We will seek to bring honour to Him.
That is not getting on our knees, putting our hands together, and finishing it off with ‘Amen’. It is about two-way communication, where the Spirit of God, where the mind of Christ, where the heart of the Father, are flowing through us in relationship. That is why praying in tongues is so important: it is our spirit praying and communicating with God. And we can do that without ceasing, if we train it to continue even when our conscious mind is elsewhere.
That sense where visions and dreams and opportunities are flowing, where God shows us His will.
Harmony, concord, understanding, knowing: where we come together in agreement with God. We start to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the power of God as He flows through us.
Inspiration, light, counsel, wisdom.
We need to activate these senses. They do not just automatically switch on.We need to be hungry and thirsty, desiring them.
Gut feeling, instinct, knowing, as the Holy Spirit reveals the Father’s heart to us.
Back through our first love gate, our connection with the heavenly realms and a consciousness of what is going on in heaven.
Now all those are great, and you can have them all wonderfully working, but without one other thing, it doesn’t mean anything. And that is worship.
Worship is not singing. It is a state of complete obedience to God. It is complete surrender and total submission to the will of God for our lives, on a daily basis. Everything else that is flowing within us will lead to us saying, ‘God I choose to surrender myself to you’. That is what He wants us to do.
In the past, faced with this kind of exercise to work through, most of us would have thought and prayed about what might be blocking each gateway, and asked God for help in removing it. It might have been helpful for us too: peeling off outer layers of our issues, difficulties and blockages through traditional ministry.
But that is an outside-in approach. We want to allow the flow of God to work from the inside out.
I would encourage you to find Jesus on the inside of you, and take Him with you to stand in each gateway. Work through them one at a time, perhaps one a day. And not to assume that we know what any of the names of the gateways actually mean: ask Him to show you what that gateway means to you. Most of the blockages will have come from the outside in. Ask Him what they are. Ask Him to stand with you and work with you from the inside out to unblock them and allow the glory of God to flow through them.
It is all about feeling, sensing and engaging with Him: a very different way of working, but very effective.
©2013-2015 Freedom Apostolic Resources