Anyone who serves God will learn sooner or later that the great hindrance to his work is not others but himself. He will discover that his outward man and his inward man are not in harmony, for both are tending toward opposite directions. He will also sense the inability of his outward man to submit to the spirits control, thus rendering him incapable of obeying Gods highest commands. He will quickly detect that the greatest difficulty lies in his outward man, for it hinders him from using his spirit.
Many of Gods servants are unable to do the most elementary works. Ordinarily they should be enabled by the exercise of their spirit to know Gods word, to discern the spiritual condition of another, to send forth Gods messages under anointing and to receive God’s revelations. Yet due to the distractions of the outward man, their spirit does not seem to operate properly. It is basically because their outward man has never been dealt with. For this reason zeal. Pleading and activity are but a waste of time. As we shall see, there is just one basic dealing which can enable man to be useful before God: brokenness.
The Inward Man and The Outward Man
Notice how the bible divides man into two parts: “for I delight in the law of God according to the inward man” (Rom. 7:22). Our inward man delights in the law of God, “…to be strengthened by His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16). And Paul also tells us, “but if indeed our outward man is consumed, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16).
When God comes to indwell us with His Spirit, life and power, He comes into our spirit which we are calling our inward man. Outside of this inward man is the soul wherein function our thoughts, emotions and will. The outermost man is our physical body. Thus we will speak of the inward man as the spirit, the outer man as the soul and the outermost man as the body. We must never forget that our inward man is the human spirit where God dwells, where His Spirit mingles with our spirit. Just as we are dressed in clothes, so our inward man wears an outward man and our spirit wears a soul. And similarly, the spirit and soul wears the body. It is quite evident that men are generally more conscience of the outer and the outermost man, and they hardly recognize or understand their spirit at all.
We must know that he who can work for God is the one whose inward man can be released. The basic difficulty of the servant of God lies in the failure of the inward man to break through the outward man. Therefore we must recognize before God that the first difficulty to our work in not in others but in ourselves. Our spirit seems to be wrapped in a covering so that it cannot easily break through the outward man; we are not able to serve. Nothing can so hinder us as this outward man. Weather our works are fruitful or not depends on whether our outward man has been broken by the Lord so that the inward man can pass through that brokenness and come forth. This is the basic problem. The Lord wants to break our outward man in order that the inward man may have a way out. When the inward man is released, both unbelievers and Christians will be blessed.
Scripture says “He that loves his life (soul) will lose it, and he that hates his life (soul) in this world shall keep it to eternal life”. The Lord shows us here that the outer shell is our life (our soul life), while the life within is the eternal life which He has given us. To allow the inner life to come forth, it is imperative that the outward man be replaced. Should the outward man remain unbroken, the inward would never be able to come forth.