THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE SUBCONSCIOUS
We begin our discussion of the renewal process by looking at work of the
Holy Spirit in the subconscious mind, that part of the mind which is below the
level of consciousness. We can do very little about the unconscious part of our
minds, the subconscious. If we commit a sin and are conscious of it, we can ask
God to forgive us; but for that which occurs below the level of consciousness, for
all those sins that have been committed against us that we are not conscious of,
only the Spirit of God can deal with them. Also, for those hurts that we have
within our being that we are not conscious of, even though the effects of them
may affect our emotional well-being, there is not much we can do about them.
But God is faithful; God has given us a complete perfect salvation that takes care
of every part of our total being.
CHRIST IN YOU
In the new birth, as we repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, Christ
is formed in us. The Holy Spirit imparts the life of Christ to us. So the first thing
that happens in our Christian experience is that Christ is formed in us. Jesus
Christ becomes incarnate within us. The Holy Spirit superimposes the nature of
Jesus Christ, the divine nature, upon our nature, the human nature, and now our
desires, our wishes, our instincts begin to be "Christ-ianized," because they are no
longer only the expression of the nature of man, but they are permeated by the
nature of God and begin to find expression through the personality, the person, of
the Lord Jesus Christ. This is why we sometimes see cataclysmic conversions.
Sinners living completely apart from God receive the Lord Jesus Christ, and their
lives are completely transformed. They may have been alcoholics or drug addicts.
They may have been bound by all manner of sin; however, when they receive the
Lord Jesus Christ, when Christ comes in, every desire, every impulse seemingly is
sanctified and their lives are completely transformed. The desires that previously
dominated their lives no longer have influence or control over them. On the other
hand, there are those who are converted but seem to have more of a struggle to
overcome certain desires or certain temptations. However, the important thing is
that Jesus Christ is imparted to us by the Holy Spirit. This is the mystery of the
Gospel. The Apostle Paul said that this mystery was hidden from the foundation
of the world until God revealed it unto him:
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and
from generations, but now is made manifest to his
saints: To whom God would make known what is the
riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gen-
tiles; which is Christ in You, the hope of glory (Col.
The mystery of the Gospel is Christ in you, the hope of glory. This was the
mystery. This was the revelation that God gave to the Apostle: the transforming
power of Christian experience is derived from the impartation of Jesus Christ to
the believer. The nature of Jesus Christ, even Christ Himself, is in us.
Jesus prayed to the Father for Him to effect this experience:
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me,
and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: ...that
they may be one, even as we are one: I in them and
thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one
And again, Jesus promised that when He sent them another comforter, they would
know that He was abiding in them:
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and
ye in me, and I in you (John 14:20).
Probably the most powerful statement in the scriptures concerning this
impartation of Christ is that of Paul himself, when he relates his experience in
Christ to the Galatians:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not
I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now
live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for me (Gal. 2:20).
THE GALATIAN EXPERIENCE
It was to these same Galatians that Paul presented the dilemma of so many
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again
until Christ be formed in you (Gal. 4:19).
Why was Paul suffering the travail of birth again for these Galatian Chris-
tians? What had happened to them? After they were converted and received the
Lord Jesus Christ, certain Judaizing teachers visited the church and preached to
them that unless they were circumcised and kept the law of Moses, they could not
be saved. Therefore, Paul exhorts them:
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye
should not obey the truth...having begun in the Spir-
it, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
....Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith
Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again
with the yoke of bondage (Gal. 3:1-3,5:1).
This is one of the most graphic illustrations of the need for the renewing of
the mind. These Galatians had received Christ and had been set free by the Spirit
of God; however, the false teachers had taught them that they must be circum-
cised and keep the law. As a result of their believing these teachers, they had lost
the joy and freedom that they had received in Christ. Therefore, Paul was agoniz-
ing in prayer that Christ would be formed in them again.
The experience of the Galatians emphasizes the need to bring our minds into
harmony with the Word of God. Many Christians receive Christ--His joy, His
peace, His love--in their hearts, and then certain teachers begin to change their
ego ideal (their concept of what a Christian is) by giving them a false impression of
Christ. The Galatians had received a Christ of love, joy, and peace, and then, the
false teachers said that was not the real Christ; the real Jesus is a circumcised,
law-keeping Christ. The Galatians started conforming their lives to a "law-keeping
Christ," and the Christ of love and joy died in their hearts. They were thrown into
mental conflict. This illustrates one of the basic problems in Christian living: the
Christ of the Christians' experience is not in harmony with the Christ preached by
their church; therefore, they are thrown into mental conflict--confused, guilty, and
God said that He would make a new covenant with His children:
For this is the covenant that I will make with the
house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will
put my laws into their mind, and write them in their
hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be
to me a people (Heb. 8:10).
The Ten Commandments were written on tables of stone; but the new
commandment of love, given to the Christian, is written in the mind and on the
tables of the heart. This new commandment is imprinted upon our minds and
engraved upon our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit as He imparts the life of
Christ to us.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
Not only is Jesus Christ now in us, but we begin to bear the fruit of the
Spirit as a result of His presence. This fruit is the nature or character of Jesus
Christ reproduced in us, and love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
meekness, temperance, faith--the character traits of Christ--begin to find expres-
sion through our lives. The fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of the new birth. The
fruit of the Spirit arise from the ID, the unconscious part of us. We do not put
them on. They are produced by the Spirit. They rise up from within, seeking
expression through us to the world. Joy bubbles up. Love is shed abroad in our
hearts. Peace flows like a river. These are the fruit of the Spirit, expressions of
the personality or the character of the Lord Jesus Christ; and, I believe that the
fruit of the Spirit will find expression through us to the world unless somebody has
messed with our minds. Just as the false teachers messed with the minds of the
Galatians, people may give us wrong instruction concerning the expression of
Christ through our lives. We will express the love of God and other fruit of the
Spirit unless somebody has messed with our thinking.
When I received the Lord Jesus Christ, I loved everybody. People that I had
thought were homely, were beautiful. People that I had not particularly liked, I
loved. I hugged everybody in the church. It was a great night. Then the people
of the church started telling me that I could not love everybody. They told me that
there were certain Christians I could not love because of their life-styles or their
doctrinal teachings. I found that I was not allowed to love anybody except those
who attended our church and believed our doctrine. Soon, I could barely tolerate
some of them.
The new Christian overflows with the fruit of the Spirit; then, the church
starts informing him that he cannot love everyone, he cannot have joy, he cannot
have peace. He cannot express the wonders of the Lord except in a certain way.
That is what happened to me, and, ever since my conversion, I have been trying
to "get my head on straight" so I could love all of God's children. I still struggle to
get my thoughts straight, allowing the love of God to flow through my life. Thus,
the fruit of the Spirit will be expressed to the world through us unless somebody
has given us wrong teaching.
THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
Not only does the Spirit produce His fruit in our innermost beings, but He
also manifests His gifts in our spirits. The gifts are resident in the subconscious.
The gifts come up from within. Therefore, the gifts of the Spirit will manifest
themselves through us, if we yield ourselves to Him. In other words, if you
become ill, the Spirit may give me a gift of healing for you, if I will allow Him the
freedom. But if I believe that the day of miracles is over and God does not heal, or
if I am afraid, or if I do not feel I should pray for the sick--then there is little that
the Spirit of God can do about manifesting His gift of healing through me.
How many times do we feel that we should pray for someone, but a doubt
or a fear comes in, and we refuse to do it? How many times do we feel we should
witness to an individual, but a doubt or a fear arises, and we refuse to do it? The
Spirit of God desires to manifest the gifts of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, the
life of Jesus Christ to the world. Therefore, our responsibility is to allow the Spirit
of God to renew our minds so that He may have freedom of expression. Jesus
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly [innermost being] shall flow rivers of
living water. But thus spake he of the Spirit, which
they that believe on him should receive (John 7:38-3-
If the rivers (fruit and gifts) are not flowing (finding a free expression), there
is a dam (a mental block) somewhere. A doubt, a fear, a tradition, a teaching, a
doctrine--something is stopping the flow. We need to understand what is stopping
the flow of the living waters through us, so the fruit and gifts can find expression
and bring blessing to people. Everyone of us has a tremendous potential to bless
individuals if we can allow the Spirit free expression through our lives. God has
given us the fruit of the Spirit to renew our personalities with the character of the
Lord Jesus Christ, and He has provided the gifts of the Spirit to enable us to do
the works that Jesus did and the greater works as He promised.
I WILL PRAY WITH THE SPIRIT
One of the most important works of the Spirit in the subconscious mind is
how He ministers to us concerning those things that we are not conscious of--all
of the sins that have been committed against us, all of the things that have hap-
pened to us since birth which are affecting our lives today. We do not know
exactly what is going on in our innermost beings. One of the values of praying in
the Spirit is to help us in dealing with these subconscious conflicts.
As Paul said,
We know not what we should pray for as we ought:
but the Spirit itself make intercession for us with g-
roanings which cannot be uttered (Rom. 8:26).
I do not know what to pray for, and even when I know what to pray for, I
do not know how to pray for it. I may feel that there is something inside of me
that is bothering me, but I do not know what it is. I do not know how to pray
about it, so what am I going to do? Is God going to leave me with my fears, with
my doubts, with my conflicts, with my anxieties? No, God has provided a way of
helping me. For even though I do not know how to pray as I ought, the Spirit of
God helps my weaknesses and makes intercession for me with groanings which
cannot be uttered. God, who knows what is the mind of the Spirit, answers the
prayer of the Spirit, because the Spirit always makes intercession according to the
will of God. Whenever I have had fears and doubts, I have prayed them through in
the Spirit to God, and I have found a release in prayer. By faith, I have claimed
the promise that God has taken care of the situation.
Most of us have been hurt. Most of us have been sinned against, resulting
in our having anger, fear, resentment, hostility, or doubt bottled up inside of us.
The Holy Spirit wants to cleanse us from these feelings. In fact, a special ministry
of healing has come into existence in the last few years that addresses inner
healing, or healing of the memories. This healing of the memories is one of the
ways the Spirit of God edifies us when we pray in the Spirit. When we have
doubts or fears or we have problems that we do not fully understand, the Holy
Spirit is able to take those to God in prayer, and the God Who knows all things is
able to cleanse us, deliver us, and transform our lives. We do not have to have
scars. We do not have to bear the hurts. We do not have to suffer the anxieties.
We do not have to be tormented by the fears. We do not have to have feelings of
guilt grinding us down. We can find a joy and a peace and a freedom and a
victory in the Lord Jesus Christ.
A Christian psychiatrist, a Christian counselor, or a good Christian friend can
help us to verbalize those things in the Spirit and enable us to receive forgiveness
and healing--not for things that we have done, but for the things that others have
done to us. We will be able to forgive them and find a cleansing and a healing.
This is part of what we mean when we talk about the Holy Spirit edifying the
believer when he prays with the Spirit and prays with the understanding, or when
he psalms with the Spirit and psalms with the understanding.
I WILL SING WITH THE SPIRIT
In times of stress and conflict, many of us find great comfort and consola-
tion in reading the psalms of David and of others. As I discussed earlier in the
section concerning singing in the Spirit, I believe the Spirit gives us a new psalm of
praise when we sing in the Spirit. He also may give us hymns or spiritual songs so
that we may express our praise to Him. There is comfort and edification in singing
as the Spirit gives the words, or the words and melody, of a song as the joy of the
Lord bubbles up within our beings. This helps us to understand more fully the
meaning of "he that speaks (prays or sings) in tongues edifies himself"
(I Cor. 14:4).