Spirit, Soul, and Body
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
I am a spirit being, I possess a soul (mind, emotions, and will), and live in a physical body. Let me explain.
With my spirit I make contact with the spiritual realm where God exists. My conscience is the voice of my human spirit. My spirit is eternal, ageless, and will never cease to exist. My spirit is the seat of my human personality and motivations for living. The new birth has removed the sin nature from my sprit and placed within me by the Holy Spirit the nature of God (which is love). I am to allow this reborn human spirit to rule my actions, my thoughts, my words, and my choices.
My human spirit is nourished through the word of God and prayer (Matthew 4:4). I must feed my spirit the word every day by reading and meditation. I must exercise my spirit daily by praying in my natural and spiritual language. I must learn to listen closely to the promptings of my own spirit, for that is where I will hear the voice of the Father speaking to me intuitively about my life. The more I allow my human spirit to rule my conduct, the simpler and freer life will be.
My soul relates me to natural life in a fallen world. My soul consists of thoughts, emotions, and volition or will-power. My soul has been influenced by my surroundings since birth. It has absorbed much of its habits from observing and associating with events and people around me. My soul is full of residue from the sin nature that left me when I was born again. Negative, wicked, and malicious thoughts have been deposited in my soul from past events. I must learn to resist and replace these thoughts by renewing my mind with the Word by meditating and acting on it. I must purposely resist the negative deposits from my past into my soul, and must actively seek to control what my mind dwells on.
I must harness my emotions and not allow them to control my behavior. I must realize that my emotions have been greatly influenced too by my former sin nature and they will often feel things that are wrong and perhaps untrue. My emotions will seek to highjack my life perspectives and make me feel things that are not really true. I must purposely subject my emotions to the word of God. Instead of acting on emotions, I must act on the word. I must choose to believe the word over emotional feelings. This is a difficult thing to do at first but must be practiced until acting on the word and overriding wrong emotions becomes a way of living.
I must learn to moment by moment yield my will to God. My will has a stubborn streak from the residue left by my former sin nature. I must refuse to allow my will to chart its own course in my life. I must consciously yield my will to the word of God throughout my day. I must choose God’s word over my own self-centered desires. This too takes much practice and effort. My first attempts to harness my will may be met with failure. But I must repent when I fail and consciously yield my will to God by yielding it to His word.
My body is the temporary house for my spirit and my soul. One day, I will either leave it behind in death. Or it will instantly change at the rapture of the church. My body bears much scarring from my former sin nature. It has many appetites and desires that are reside from the sin nature and that were learned in my before Christ days. I must invoke stern discipline on my body or it and its appetites will seek to rule and ruin my life. I must set boundaries for what I allow my body to do. This is a lifelong struggle. One day, the Father will clothe me with a new body that will fit me for eternity in His presence. This new body will be in accord with my spirit and will allow me the freedom to express my spirit and soul in eternity as I walk with my Father through the eons of time in the New Heaven and New Earth.
I must keep this perspective of life continually before me.