1 Cor. 9:27
When the believer is in any degree possessed by evil spirits, he is liable to live in the body, give way to the sensuous, and to be dominated by the physical realm. This can become the case through "spiritual" experiences felt in the physical frame, but which are not really spiritual, because not from the spirit. A sense of "fire" in the body, "glow," "thrills," and all exquisite bodily sensations from apparently "spiritual" causes, really feed the senses; and, unconsciously to themselves, whilst they have these experiences, believers live in the sense-realm, practically walking "after the flesh," though they call themselves "spiritual." For this reason "I keep under my body" ( 1 Cor. 9:27; top ), is practically impossible in demon-possession, even in its most refined, or weakest degree; because the sense-life is aroused in all kinds of ways, and the sensations of the body are forced upon the consciousness of the man. The spirit sense is practically lost in the acute realization of all the sensations in the bodily consciousness. A man, for example, in normal health, is oblivious of the physical action of breathing going on in his physical frame. In like manner, a believer under the domination of the spirit, ceases to register his bodily sensations, but the opposite is the case when evil spirits have gained a footing, and awakened the sense-life to abnormal action, either by beautiful experiences, or the contrary.
The cultivation of this condition of passivity may be ignorantly, and sedulously, carried out for years by the surrendered believer, so that it deepens its hold upon him to an incredible extent; until, when it reaches its consummation, the man may become so under the bondage of it as to awaken to his state; and then he thinks that "natural causes" alone explain his condition, or else that in some unaccountable way, his acute sensitiveness to God, and Divine things, has become dulled beyond power of restoration or renewal. The physical feelings become deadened, or atrophied, and the affections seem petrified, and stoical. This is the time when deceiving spirits suggest that he has grieved God beyond repair, and a man goes through agonies of seeking the Presence he thinks he has grieved away.
The cultivation of passivity may come about from reliance upon the many helps, contrived, (unknowingly), by the person to counteract, or obviate the inconvenience of the passive state, such as the provision of, and dependence upon, outward helps to the eye for assisting the passive memory; utterance in speech to assist the "thinking" of the passive mind; and, what may be termed "crutches" of all kinds, known only to the individual; elaborately constructed, and multiplied to meet his different needs, but all keeping him from recognizing his true condition, even if he has the knowledge for doing so.
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