I want to start out by being honest. I don’t understand my own spirit. I like to think that I am made up of three parts; a body, a soul (including mind will and emotions), and a spirit. I believe that when a person enters into relationship with Jesus that their spirit joins with His Holy Spirit and cool things begin to happen.
I meant the title of this page to indicate bites of candy that are tasty but another word that sounds like chews is choose. I need to choose Jesus.
In the bible spirit often is referred to as wind. This highlights the difficulty in defining spirit. It is not like something I see. Which should not be a problem because thoughts are pretty well defined and I don’t see them. The problem, I think, has more to do with many people not ‘feeling’or knowing their own spirits.
I like the definition of ruah from bible study tools:
“Given the distributed uses of ruah [;jWr] (standing twice as often for the wind/power of God as it does for the breath/feelings/will of the person), mortals cannot see themselves as independent of God. The ruah [;jWr] is living not simply through a surge of vitality, but because of God’s initiatives and actions. The link between the anthropological and the divine ruah [;jWr] is not always clear and well defined.” -http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/spirit/
Also, “The New Testament. Pneuma [pneu’ma] is the New Testament counterpart to the Old Testament ruah [;jWr]. While it occasionally means wind ( John 3:8 ) and breath ( Matt 27:50 ; 2 Thess 2:8 ), it is most generally translates “spirit”an incorporeal, feeling, and intelligent being.”
Rom 8:9 (NIV) “9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.”
I also like the definition from Bible.org; “The threefold nature of man might be illustrated in several ways. Dr. Clarence Larkin uses three circles (Rightly Dividing The Word, page 86). The outer circle stands for the body of man, the middle circle for the soul, and the inner for the spirit. At this point it will be well to quote a portion from Dr. Larkin’s book:
In the outer circle the ‘Body’ is shown as touching the Material world through the five senses of ‘Sight,’ ‘Smell,’ ‘Hearing,’ ‘Taste’ and ‘Touch.’
The Gates to the ‘Soul’ are ‘Imagination,’ ‘Conscience,’ ‘Memory,’ ‘Reason’ and the ‘Affections.’
The “Spirit” receives impressions of outward and material things through the soul. The spiritual faculties of the ‘Spirit’ are ‘Faith,’ ‘Hope,’ ‘Reverence,’ ‘Prayer’ and ‘Worship.’”
Within the definition of Spirit are overlapping concepts which are confusing.
I’m not sure if my spirit thinks at least not like my mind thinks. This might be caused by people using the symbol of thinking to describe the wisdom that comes from my spirit.
I want to take a closer look at the 5 things each part does. And then posit that the spirit can be understood more clearly by using the body as a symbol for things the spirit does.
The 5 things a body does are hear, see, taste, touch and smell. I would include move around and remember mechanical movements such as dance.
5 things the soul does are: imagine, be conscious, remember, reason and have affections or feelings. I would include the will although this could be considered part of both reason and conscience. My soul makes decisions. I don’t really like the word ‘soul’ for this part of me. I consider it all mind things.
An interesting connection between the body and mind is that the spinal cord does some decision making at times without my awareness. This makes me think that although we are our own person biology affects us greatly.
5 things the spirit does are: have faith, renewed hope, reverential fear of God, ability to pray and worship in humble submission. I would include love but this may muddy the water. Basically all the good and Holy things that Jesus does are connected to me in my spirit.
Just as the body and the mind/soul are connected and hard to separate which one is responsible for things. It becomes even more difficult to separate what the spirit is doing from the mind. One example is my mind getting distracted. This is not necessarily spiritual. Although it is unavoidable and the spirit part, I think, is what directs me back to the one I was concentrating on. In conclusion, I am not sure if my spirit can be distracted because if it could not wouldn’t I be able to concentrate on God better? This spiritual skill can be developed. This is one way the spirit is like the body in exercising it.
Both the mind and body can be disciplined and need to be managed not overly indulged to be healthy.
Even this article and me in particular, tend to over indulge the mind.
Let’s ask the spirit what it is.
“I am the breath of life. You can pay attention to your breathing or not. You can train yourself to breathe better when you sing and your singing improves. I am the song and I am the sound and the feeling that comes when the words of the song are sincere.”
This is what I mean. Spiritual things sound like gobbledygook with a ring of truth. This reminds me of how I first started recognizing spiritual things. When I read, I began to notice something inside me ‘said’, ‘that sounds true.’ I often analyze whether I think something is true or not based on reasons but this was not reasonable. It was like an instinct where I wanted to look into it more because it appealed to me.
It was an attraction to an idea that was not seen only thought.
So looking back it was like meta cognition where I realize I’m thinking and then see what is going on in the thinking. Only It wasn’t just me being attracted. If I think about it anything that attracts me isn’t just me making a decision to do it. Like when I’m hungry food starts getting real attractive. This is my body influencing what ideas are more attractive then others. I think the spirit works this way. It can influence what ideas are more attractive.
I’m not sure if my spirit can influence me to like demonic things. The research seems to point that without Jesus my spirit is dead. I think we might have a spirit without Jesus only it may be quite evil.
So a consequence of not knowing Jesus is that when my spirit is influencing me I can’t know because it is influencing good things. I can not be sure if it is my spirit or something else like a demon.
One way I know my spirit is influencing me is because it coincides with good morality and God’s word. If I feel attracted to bad things it is not my spirit. If someone does not know Jesus and their spirit attracts them to bad things they would be fighting against themselves. This can happen as well. The body often wants over indulgence in the food intake.
Is there any benefit in knowing that I am part spirit?
The one I would like to share before concluding is Yes because the spirit gives life.
Think about a fruit. There is the skin. This is like our body. There is the meat or the good part that we eat. This is all the rage. No one likes the skin that much and some skins are inedible like watermelon or banana. But don’t forget about the seed inside the meat. It is small and yet it is the most important part to the plant. The whole fruit was designed to get animals to eat it so they would poop out the seeds and make some nice fertilizer for the new tree to grow.
The fruit part is our favorite. I feel sorry often when writing things like this because it seems all I do is use my mind.
I really want the seed to come through.
Jesus is the seed.
‘Jesus plant Yourself in my spirit. Thank You for connecting with me and always revealing more about Yourself to me. Thank You for explaining things and being very kind even though You are huge and bigger than the universe You stoop down to show me some things about tiny me. Help me be more like you in this beautiful trait of humble service.’
The mind must humble itself and submit to the spirt to be healthy.
Just like the body can not always get what it wants beyond what it needs.
Jesus calls us evil. And Paul admits that he struggles with evil. Letting the mind go rampant is evil and is an acceptable way of life in my culture.
I’m not saying don’t use reason. Just like I’m not saying we don’t have to take care of our bodies but there is a healthy priority. The mind can no longer dominate over spiritual matters. It is more important to worship than to understand everything.