I’ve often wondered what the “sin which indwells me” of Romans 7 really is. I was recently reading in Exodus and a lot of light was shed on the subject for me by the Word of God. The Old Testament is full of historical happenings which are simultaneously illustrations of truths or realities if we have eyes to see them and do a little digging into meanings of Hebrew or Greek words with a lexicon. The Passover is Christ our substitute; the Exodus from Egypt is our deliverance from bondage to sin; the Ark of the Covenant, made of wood overlaid with gold, containing the unbroken tablets of the Law and the jar of manna, is Christ, his humanity overlaid within and without by the gold of Deity, our living Law and daily Bread from Heaven.
Bear in mind that humans are three-part beings, spirit and soul (Heb 4:12) and body. The word “flesh” is from the Greek word “sarx”, and in the sense in which Paul uses it means the body and soul of man taken as a unit. Eph 2:2 says that there is a “spirit that works in the children of disobedience (literally, ‘the unconvinced’) and that this spirit is “the prince of the power of the air.” In Christ this spirit is removed and we are given a new inner spirit, a new source – the Holy Spirit. Thus, our soul/body is a container, a temple or vessel of a spirit – either the Holy Spirit or the unholy one. Bearing all this in mind, let’s take a look at Exodus 33.
The LORD said to Moses: “I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey.” Ex 33:20
One day not long ago I wondered what the various names of the inhabitants of Canaan meant. I already knew that most of the old Gospel songs about “The Promised Land” being Heaven were wrong. Heaven won’t have Canaanites to subdue. And my experiences in the Word and in faith over the last few years have taught me that God works from the center outward; He implants His life in us and changes us from the inside out. So that the Church ruling and reigning with Christ will take place when she learns to rely on her inner Husband at all times and in all things.
So from the inside out, the Promised Land is first our own soul/body. Our flesh. Our “land” in which God plants Himself, unifies Himself with us, and then wants us to take over in faith. This Land becomes populated with Canaanites early on, often as children, as Satan implants these hooks for his latching-on. These hooks foster our fleshly ways and means of coping with life, and bring passive, aggressive, and passive-aggressive behaviors, phobias, and any other kind of tool by which Satan lives through us. We’ll deal with these hooks in Part Two.