Pastor Jim Mann
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23, NIV) Many theologians believe that this verse describes the makeup of a human being.
The three constituent parts of every person are the spirit (small “s”…human spirit, not Holy Spirit), soul (comprised of mind, will and emotions), and body. Each of these things is an important part of who we are.
But who is driving the bus? Which of these is dominant in your life? I believe God intended it to be our spirits. In other words God intended us to be spiritual beings living in a spiritual relationship with him who have souls and exist in bodies.
At the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden, things changed. The spirit moved to the back of the bus. Now, in our sin, it is no longer a spiritual relationship with God that drives our lives. For some of us it is our bodies that drive us—we pursue physical pleasure, sensuality, wealth, luxury or comfort. For others our souls drive us forward. We all know people who overthink/overanalyze, who always have to have their way, or who are driven by their emotions.
Think about some of the statements made in the Bible concerning these:
Body: “…put to death the deeds of the body.” (Rom. 8:13)
Emotions: “My soul is in anguish…I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow….” (Psalm 6:3, 6-7, NIV)
Mind: “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace…” (Rom. 8:6)
Will: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
In all of these the writers encourage us to put spirits first. When we give our lives to God through Jesus we can live as we were created to live—no longer conformed to the old way of doing things but being transformed (see Rom. 12:1-2).
Ask God to help you give prominence to your spirit. When your emotions begin to dominate, prioritize your spirit. When your flesh offers temptation, give your spirit a promotion. When you can’t shut your mind down to sleep, let your spirit dominate.
This takes some getting used to and is a bit challenging at first. But give it a try—see how it goes. I’ll see you in church.
Jim Mann, Ph.D. pastors New Life Church at Robson Ranch. This interdenominational church meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 8:30 a.m. Visit New Life’s website: www. NewLifeDenton.org for more information.