Each of us has a body, a soul and a spirit but where are they? I think this is a great question and one that intrigued me. I like to know what makes me, me. In school I learned so much about the way my body works but, I wanted to understand on a deeper, spiritual level. My body won't live forever, but what about the rest of me? Are you a curious person too? I have good news and a simple diagram that hit the target for me.
Bulls-eye! That's what I call the diagram explaining what's going on inside me. Picture three circles, one inside the other. The outer circle or shell is our individual human look. The skin we live in. The next inner circle represents the human soul where our mind does it's thinking, our will does it's choosing, and emotions tell us how we feel in living color. The innermost circle, or the heart of the bulls-eye is the place where our spirit lives. Some people draw this diagram with only two circles and put the soul and spirit together but I don't get stuck on that. To me, it's not the where inside me that matters, but whether or not I'm using each part properly that means the most to me.
To know that I was created to be unique, by a loving God makes the feeler in my soul very happy. Who doesn't want to be unique, but the bulls-eye is my main focus. Why? Because, in God's design, it's my spirit that leads the charge of where I spend eternity.
A person who accepts the Lord Jesus as their Savior has the Holy Spirit living in their spirit and they will go to heaven when they die. You may say, "Well, I know someone who got saved and their life sure isn't perfect!" I get that and thankfully God is patient and merciful as He goes to work shaping our inner self to look more like His Son. It's a lifelong process of change and growth. If a person is saved and they do something that is sin, the spirit of God in them will be grieved, and that person will be miserable till they repent. Bringing their lives back into obedience restores the closeness of the relationship.
Imagine watching a Christian who is tempted to lie. Their spirit knows this is wrong. In their mind, they mentally know lying is a sin. Emotionally they struggle because doing either the right thing or the wrong thing comes with a payoff. The final decision to lie or not is made by the chooser, the will.
If this Christian is walking close to the Lord in prayer, studying their Bible, and truly cares most about what God thinks, what decision do you think they will make? If they don't look to see what God thinks and if they care more about what people think or their own selfish motives, what decision do you think they will make? Temptations do come up and over the course of a person's life, God goes lovingly to work focusing His child on the best way for their life. He loves His children so much! He is a determined heavenly Father who will give multiple chances to make the right choices. Not trusting God and making the wrong choices can result in the pain of toxic emotions like fear, anxiety, regret, bitterness and heartache. Research has connected these emotions with loss of quality of life emotionally and physically. Learning from my mistakes has brought me so much pain - for me and for those I love. It's why people say, "If I knew then what I know now...." On the other hand, obeying God has brought me so much joy and peace!
The ancient formula for a life of beauty is Trust+Obey=Rest. This proven formula is a soul restorer. Keeping your soul free from these dangerous pollutants allows room for radiant inner beauty that is timeless. God cares for your inner and outer health enough to give you a written prescription for optimal beauty, health and a joy no person can take from you. It's found in the Bible, God's book of love for you.
Do you want to hit the bulls-eye? Obey God and trust Him. I have learned that sin is depending on my way of doing things. Learning to depend on God instead of our own way of doing things is the way to rest and a beautiful restoration in our soul.