Managing Your Complete Self
Understanding our complex design is crucial when learning to master those areas that are
untrained in the ways of righteousness. Many of us understand that we have a spirit, soul,
body, heart, flesh and mind but do not always understand how all these parts interact and
are influenced. Having a clear understanding of our composition allows us to focus on the
areas that need discipline and empowers us to take control of our life. Let’s look at some
of the areas that constitute our design:
Spirit – God designed driving force
The human spirit is seen in the creation of man. When God created Adam, he breathed in
him the very breath of God. This ruach is often used to described the Divine Presence,
and literally means wind or spirit (Gen. 2: 7). Without the life of God, man does not
experience eternal life.
After the fall, Adam and Eve had sentenced themselves to death because they had eaten
from the tree that was forbidden. God then forbade them to eat from the Tree of Life.
Interestingly, they did not need to eat from the Tree of Life in the first place since they had
eternal life in them. Since death had entered humanity God forbade them from accessing
the Tree of Life because he did not want fallen humanity to live forever. If that were to
happen, death itself would live forever. Upon our acceptance of God’s gift of life through
Jesus Christ, we are born again. The Holy Spirit regenerates our dead spirit and causes it
to be made ‘alive to God in Christ Jesus’ (Rom 6: 11). The very breath of God is inhaled
into our spirits once more and we are brought to life (John 20: 22).
Sinful Nature/Flesh – Satanic/demonic designed driving force
The flesh was birthed in humanity when Adam and Eve succumbed to the temptation of
the serpent. When the spirit died, the sinful nature assumed power and took control of the
Soul – gives birth to the desires of the ruler
The soul is the mind, will and emotions. It is the unredeemed part of our composition. It is
prone to outside influence. It is in this area that we are subject to seductive techniques of
the enemy. Indeed, the enemy can and will seduce but what is more important for us to
understand is that it is the nature of the soul to produce sin. The mind, will and emotions
are bent towards rebellion and naturally draw away from God because they have been
slaves to the sinful nature for so long. Old habits die hard.
Heart – cultivates the desires of the ruler
The heart is the life factory. It is in the heart that the emotions, thoughts and requests of
the soul are developed. The heart produces lifestyle and behaviour using the elements
that have been allowed to enter it. Since the heart produces whatever we allow into it, we
are to be careful to guard it against the schemes of the enemy. Indeed, the heart is the
wellspring of life (Proverbs 4: 23 cf. Matthew 12: 34).
Body – manifests the desires of the ruler
Our bodies are the vehicles through which the heart will manifest what has entered it. Both
good and bad are produced in our behaviour. Our hearts are fickle and have no intrinsic
loyalty to one ruler or another which is why it is important that the mind serves to protect it
through taking captive every thought that is opposed to Christ. Indeed, as a man thinks in
his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23: 7).
Sow to the Spirit
With this in mind we are able to effectively manage what is going on in our head and heart. Ultimately, our heart will cultivate that which is meditated on.If you yield to thoughts on negative, sin energy then you will produce sin. If you yield to the Holy Spirit’s activity in your world, then you will produce holiness. We need to quickly identify what is seeking to gain ground in our thoughts and actively take them captive. If you are committed to listening to the Holy Spirit, your spirit-man will respond and assume a greater level of influence over your thought life. This will in turn be cultivated in your heart and you will produce the fruit of the Spirit. This revelation is critical in walking out your salvation. You will be able to recognise what’s happening and deal with it promptly. Jesus set you free for freedom. He gave you the reigns back. You are in charge. You have control. Use it well.
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