Just like God (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), man is a triune being. He was made after the image and likeness of God therefore he is spirit, soul and body. They are not independent of each other. If you feed the spirit by spending time in the Word of God and prayer, it becomes strong and that strength affects the other parts of you. The same is true for the soul and body. So, since we are talking about shedding, maybe we should start with our spirit man.
Man is a spirit, that has a soul that lives in a body. Quite simply put, our spirit is that part of us that connects with God through regeneration. And you would think that if it is connected to God that nothing can go wrong with it, right? If that was true David would not have penned this prayer in Psalm 51:10 after he had gotten himself embroiled in adultery, deceit and murder.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
He had compromised the purity of his spirit because he gave way to his base nature. This caused a disconnection between him and God. Remember he was a man after God’s own heart so any disconnection from God would have hurt him badly. The difference between David and a lot of us is that he was quick to say he was sorry and repent. He wanted God to renew a ‘right’ spirit within him because he was conscious that he had cultivated a wrong spirit.
We as well can cultivate a wrong spirit when we allow ourselves to be drawn away by our own lusts and enticed (James 1:14). Many people feel that they can keep doing wrong and God will keep forgiving them. But there comes a point when the heart stops feeling convicted and the conscience becomes seared/dead. That my friend is a dangerous place to be. It means that you have crossed over into reprobation (Romans 1:28). Click here for more on reprobation.
Without going in too deep in this short post, let me make a distinction. We can either live in a way that makes deposits into our spirit man or we can pander to the flesh (base nature). They are polar opposites and one leads to life and the other leads to death (Romans 8:1-14). In Galatians 5, Paul points out the differences between the works of the flesh and the outworking of the Fruit of the Spirit.
Here they are:
|WORKS OF THE FLESH
Galatians 5:19-21 (NLT)
|FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)|
|When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.||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!|
How do you measure up against these lists?
Personally, as much and as often as possible I check my daily actions, motives, words against those two lists to make sure that I am not falling short. Don’t get me wrong, we all make mistakes and we all sin and come short of the glory of God, but we don’t have to stay there because God has made provision for us. What a wonderful father we have. He said that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In other words, as we yield to God, He is able to help us shed all the works of the flesh and cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit. Here is how you can accomplish a spirit that is free of sin, a spirit that is right with God and a spirit that is alive.
- Acknowledge that you are a sinner or that you have sinned
- Repent of your sin(s)
- Renounce the works of the flesh
- Accept the free gift of salvation/accept God’s forgiveness
- Walk in the Spirit (eat of the Fruit of the Spirit everyday)
- Maintain your walk by daily communication with God (praying/talking to Him and reading His Word)
- Detox as needed. Stay away from that which will contaminate your spirit (1 Corinthians 15:33); fast and pray.
The Bible also said in 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
See. He can make you new. He can help you to