He will see the result of the suffering of his soul and be satisfied – Isaiah 53:11 (margin)
[W]e are heirs -heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17
Biblical suffering is denial of the “soulish” nature, our outer man, that part inherited from Adam which asserts itself over God. God designed the soul (our will, mind, and emotions – our desires, thoughts, and feelings) to serve the inner spirit, to be the means by which He is expressed in glory through His creature; this was ultimately exemplified by the single righteous life of Jesus of Nazareth.
Spiritual death ensued when man not only desired to know and live by good and evil and gain wisdom apart from God, but decided to act upon that desire. Jesus, the last Adam, redeemed us from the curse by continuously denying that “soulish” nature in complete surrender to God the Father, while acting exclusively by the power of the Holy Spirit inside Him (see Gen. 3:5-6; 1Cor 15:44-50; Heb. 2:10-11,14; 5:7-10).
Living the exceedingly abundant spiritual life while denying His outer man was Jesus’s basic life principle: the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what the Father is doing (John 5:19; also v.30 [title], 6:38; 7:16, 28; 8:28-29; 12:49-50; 14:10, 24). Of course, Jesus could have done many things of Himself that would seem good to us, but He did only as the Father was doing; He was holy as God is holy.
Jesus ministered as a pure vessel of the divine life as He joyfully humbled/denied Himself and depended entirely on God to move Him. The Body of Christ is now His flesh; Christ Jesus is revealed through us to the extent that we now gladly humble/deny ourselves and rest in Him, allowing Him to move us as a hand moves a fine leather glove. We must do only as God is doing and speak only as He is speaking, for acting from ourselves is of the fallen spirit; everything we do and say of ourselves is sheer presumption (sin) and will be burned up on Judgment Day (see 1Cor 3:10-15).
It is the source of each action that matters, not our intention, because our intention is our will, not God’s (see Hosea 6:6). Our outer natural self can produce nothing but death, but our redeemed spirit acting through the faculty of a supple soul absolutely surrendered to Christ is Life.
May God enable us to receive such revelation! May He ignite us with such love for our Lord that we always desire to deny self, thereby releasing the living waters to provide parched souls with life-giving revelation of Christ. Amen.
I am the vine, you are the branches… apart from me you can do nothing – John 15:5 (emphasis added)
Abiding in Christ our Vine with you, your sister deanna
Written April 7, 2015; revised May 9, 2016