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This soul of mine is killing me!

From all we can read in scripture, we see that man is made up of body, soul, and spirit. Our body is the easy one - we see and feel that all the time. The soul and spirit are a little harder to understand because they are things we know exist, but aren't as "tangible" as the body is. Spirit give us our drive; without it, we'd kind of be "dulled" to the world around us. Soul is made up of three separate parts: Mind, Will and Emotions. Mind is more than thought - it is where we kind of "commune with" thought - sometimes it is a Plato put it: "Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself." You combine all the "soul talk" with a will that wants to go one way and not the other, or a bundle of emotions constantly giving you fits and starts in this direction or the other, and you have a mess of issues! 

11 Therefore, let’s make every effort to enter that rest so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience, 12 because God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions. 13 No creature is hidden from it, but rather everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we have to give an answer. (Hebrews 4:11-13 CEB)

The soul has a tendency to talk more than the spirit - making it a little hard to hear God on occasion. This is why I often take time out to just listen to what the spirit is telling me - because I don't want to merely give into the mess of thoughts that invade my mind, or follow every whim my emotions create based on some "feel good" scheme I might fall into. The thing about it is that we often give more attention to our soul and the three parts working within it than we do our spirit and the communion we have with Jesus there. When all is said and done we wonder why we are confused, or in the muddle of a mess we find ourselves in because we listened to our soul instead of the spirit.

It could just be that what we need to do is get more of God's Word into our spirit so our souls can be "contradicted" on occasion when the need arises!  There are thoughts we need to get out of our minds, equally as much as there are emotional reactions to pressures which create more panic and worry than is humanly possible to overcome. The truth of the matter is that we are ill-equipped to deal with life on a totally "soulish" level. We might do a lot of thinking, sorting things out to the best of our ability and formulating some sort of "plan", but how many times have we done this only to find we cannot maintain the enthusiasm in our emotions toward the thing we have planned despite a little "will-power" exerted toward the goal? Emotions, will, and thoughts don't carry us for the long-haul - spirit does!

God reminds us to focus on the spirit above all else - allowing his Spirit to strengthen our inner man, giving us fortitude for the tasks ahead. The spirit of man is "hollow" without his presence - it is "hallow" when we connect with him. Just sayin!

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