Let’s take a closer look. The soul is our logic, emotions, and will. Our spirit and soul are the eternal parts of us that are going to live forever. It is true that our soul and spirit are more closely connected than our flesh. This is the area the enemy attacks. The order of our life is very important. Our life must flow out of the spirit.
By James Holland Sr.
Walking in the spirit, “to quicken to make alive”. The truth is we will either live in the spirit or in the flesh. We must be careful not to hide from the truth that God is trying to bring to fruition in our lives. We are commanded by the Word to “rightly divide the word of God”. Yet, this can only happen when we have been rightly divided by the word first. To be lead of the Spirit means to be spiritually influenced by God’s Spirit in every area of our lives.
Many times in Christian circles we will hear the phrase “back slide”. This simply means that one, who had been allowing the Spirit to influence them, now has diverted back to allowing their flesh or carnal nature to influence their actions. Jesus said “the Spirit of truth will lead you into all truth”. The word of God is always personal first. That is, the word is to be applied to me first! Truth is not just knowledge, but it is also a relationship with God. Many people understand truth from the intellectual perspective, yet that doesn’t mean that they obey it or love it. If I am to be lead and guided by truth, I must be a partaker of truth. If we refuse to be changed, we will not go very far in our spiritual growth with God. John writes the word was “made flesh and dwelt among us”. The Word is not just a printed book; it is Jesus Christ in us. He is the way, the truth, and the life. The Word will transform us; in fact, it must transform us. So what does it mean to walk in the spirit?
I turn your attention to l Thessalonians 5:23. “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.”
We must realize these three dimensions of our life. They are spirit, soul, and body. The Word must touch all of these areas. Notice the progression. God puts spirit first, soul second, and body last. Yet most people today put body first, then the spirit, then the soul. Spirit (pneuma) had the same meaning in both the old and new testaments. Hebrew “rah”, and Greek “pneuma”, both mean “wind” or “spirit”. This explains what Jesus was talking about in John 3 in His discussion on being born from above by the spirit and wind, blowing where it wills. The spiritual aspect of human beings is the most important. Our spiritual growth and knowledge will last for all eternity.
What about the soul? The Greek word is “psyche”, which has spawned many English derivatives, beginning with psycho. The main usage of psyche in the Bible is for “soul” and “personal life”. If we are not believers, we cannot serve God acceptably. However, since psyche also refers to our personality and our life on earth, we must also make the most of our lives so that we can have some rewards for our labors in the Day of the Lord.
Body (soma) is our flesh. The human body is a masterpiece of divine engineering and should be properly maintained to serve God. Make no mistake; if we are going to walk in the spirit, we will be impacted by it in our spirit, soul, and body.
In 2 Peter 1:4, Peter declares that we are “partakers of His divine nature”. When we receive His divine nature we receive His power. When we are spirit filled and born again, it is our spirit that is first changed, then our thinking is changed, and then we begin to let our body adjust to our new life. It is up to us to allow the spirit of God’s truth to work in us. It is not up to someone else. In fact, the church cannot make us spiritual, the pastor cannot make us spiritual, the Sunday school teacher cannot make us spiritual, and God can’t make us spiritual unless we want to be spiritual. The call is ours!