The Spirit World
I don’t understand myself.
I want to have a good attitude when I drive through the Las Vegas highways, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. I know I have a wrong attitude. I need to live God’s way because it’s better than experiencing anger behind the wheel. When I don’t, it’s sin living in me!
I know nothing good lives in me, or more precisely, my sinful nature. I want to do the right thing, but I can’t. I want to do good, but I fail. I don’t want to do the wrong thing, but I do it anyway.
If I keep doing the wrong thing, I’m not the one doing it; it’s the sin living in me and having its way.
Does this sound familiar? Well, maybe not the road rage, but can you relate?
The Apostle Paul expressed this struggle in Romans 7:15-20. Paul gave us a glimpse of the spiritual tension that often causes us to miss the mark. We experience this tension in different ways. For some it’s road rage; for others, it’s strife, gossip, jealousy, and more. Is there a spirit world? Yes.
For the past few weeks, we’ve considered the synergy between our body, soul, and spirit. Why? We want to thrive, and live God’s Kingdom purpose. We want to pursue God’s best for our lives.
Although some answers wait for us in heaven, we know that Christ made way for us to experience an unhindered life.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7 New Living Translation
The Spirit World
The spirit world is real and can influence our choices. Before the fall of man, there was harmony with God, but after the fall, corruption distorted this harmony; therefore, humanity, with its sinful nature, needed a way back to God.
Yes, we have an enemy, but Jesus “humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross,” Philippians 2:7-11 NLT.
The battle was won. There’s a champion in the house, Jesus Christ. He is the King of Kings and humanity’s Savior.
Christ, as our Redeemer, helps us resist the temptations of our sinful nature and the schemes of the enemy. When we submit to Christ, we place our lives and circumstances under His authority.
“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.“
James 4:7 NLT
The redeeming grace of God, helps us overcome our sinful nature and resist temptations. We don’t have to fear the spirit world.
9 Fruits of the Spirit
As we yield to God’s Spirit, our spirit renews (2 Cor 4:16-17). We take captive every thought (2 Cor 10:4-5), and those renewed thoughts, (soul) stirs our emotions (soul) into a decision that results in the physical manifestation of our actions (body).
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Whether Christians believe our soul and spirit are one or two separate aspects of humanity, (See “Time to Soul Search”) this we do know, the Holy Spirit is the source of all spiritual gifts, and they are given to God’s people to help each another.
“To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said.“
Spiritual gift tests are helpful, but ultimately our focus is on the giver of the gift and not the gifts themselves. God is faithful to equip us for the task he has called us to do.
Our Body, Soul, and Spirit
God has created you to flourish. Your body is a gift and needs to be cared for to enjoy life, meet personal demands, and serve others.
Your soul is the gift of intellect, raw emotions, and free will. We need seasons to soul search and examine our past and present circumstances. Our raw emotions can reveal hurts and disappointments that can begin to heal. The process builds character and helps us fill our unique role in the Body of Christ.
Your spirit, as explained by author Wayne Gruden in his book Systematic Theology, is “a spiritual life that enables us to relate to God as persons, to pray and praise him, and to hear him speaking his words to us” (446). Also, the inner work of the Holy Spirit will bear fruit in our lives.
If something is amiss in your life, perhaps it’s time to examine the health of your body, soul, and spirit. Our intentional pursuit of God strengthens us to live an undaunted life with purpose and joy.
“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.”
(Part One) “Understanding Our Three-Fold Framework”
(Part Two) “Time to Soul Search”
Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 2007. Print.