Training the spirit and the soul

running-573762_640Psalm 144:1: Of David. Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.

David was a famous warrior by the standard of his time. He announced his entrance to the world stage when he struck down Goliath (1Samuel 17).

He met with that challenge headlong with just a slingshot. He was a man moved by the Holy Spirit, and before he went to the battlefield he was trained in the wilderness were he was killed both a lion and a bear.

He told King Saul that was enough training for him to be able to take down Goliath. He was so sure that for the God who delivered those animals into his hand, Goliath was not big deal.

He saw Goliath with the eyes of God. And part of our spiritual training is to get us to see things the way God does, so that we act with his power and purpose, doing great things.

Part of God’s training for us involved getting us to take up challenges and overcome them, which Goliath was for David.

Without adequate training, we will not grow at the pace we should. Training involved spirit, soul (emotion, will, and mind) and body (1Thessalonians 5:23). Training is all about manifesting the fullness potential in all these areas. We will now focus on the spirit and soul.

Spirit

The spirit represents the limitless God housed in earthly vessels of our body. Paul speaks of the treasure in heaven vessels, while speaking of the spiritual gifts he operated in. The gifts are spiritual qualities contained in our spirit, which is empty (dead) if we are not born again. Having the Spirit of Christ make you part of his body (Romans 8:9).

The spirit is trained for battle through the use of the spiritual gifts. The opportunity to use spiritual gifts in the service of the kingdom of God is training.

The spirit is also trained as more time is spent in the presence of God. Our spirit is derived from the Holy Spirit (John 3:1-9), therefore when we pray with the Spirit, speaking in tongues, our spirit gets the download from heaven needed for the moment.

That brings the imperative of prayer. Paul said that he prays in the spirit more than the people in the Corinthian church (1Corinthians 14:2, 4, 14-15, 18). He says his spirit prays, and that the person who speaks in tongues build himself up. The more you pray the more you enable your spirit to output the functions encoded within it. That is training.

The spirit is the instrument of divine communication. The bible says that we have received a spirit from God so that we can know what God has freely given to us (1Corinthians 2:12).

The capacity of our spirit is determined by and determines the depth of our communion with God and built.

It determines the influence we bear on earth. Jesus could not start his public ministry, where he was of benefit to people on a large scale, without the infusion of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38). And even for the disciples to shake off the threat of the Pharisees, they prayed and the Holy Spirit came upon them and they were moved into a new dimension of spiritual impact and effectiveness (Acts 4:23-34). A trained spirit also shows in our sensitivity to God. The Bible says that as many as are led by the Holy Spirit are sons of God (Romans 8:14).

Soul

Emotion

The emotion is trained in the context of relationships, e.g. the family. When God says that even if your father and mother forsake you I will not leave you (Proverbs 27:10), it shows that the family should primarily be the place of acceptance; while the experience of rejection affects the emotions negatively.

But the church is presented as a rehabilitation centre because we get to experience the love of God undiluted, we experience his acceptance, through other Christians.

The emotion is always reflective, you reflect back to others what they feel about you and it influences how you feel about yourself. When you focus on God and his truth, you reflect the feeling of joy he feels for you, or other feelings as God may want you to share.

The training of the emotion involves being able to increasingly express the joy of the Lord and not to be so susceptible outside negative influence, contrary to God, and not need illicit or prescriptive drugs to regulate/dictate how we feel.

The seed of divine joy should blossom in us. Jesus said that he leaves his peace with us, not the worldly one, but heavenly one (John 14:27). Jesus gives us an unexplainable peace. The fruit of the Spirit generates the positive emotions of joy, peace into us (Galatians 5:22-23).

Will

The will is trained and retrained through repentance and behavioural examples. The will is the place of direction and decision, and we are encouraged not to associate with the wrong crowd who can influence us wrongly.

The Bible says that evil communication corrupts good manners (1Corinthians 15:33). We should not follow the multitude to do evil. The choice you make trains your will. For example, the more you pray the longer you can pray.

Job says that he has made a covenant with his eyes so that he will not look with lust at a maid (Job 31:1). That decision he made trained his will to do the right thing. We have the right to choose, that is what distinguishes us as human beings made in the image of God from animal. We can also pray to God to strengthen our will so that we act righteously. David prayed give me your spirit to guide me (Psalm 143:10); for your name’s sake lead me and guide me (Psalm 31:3).

Mind

The mind is trained through education. It is what you put in your mind that is expressed in your life. Where the mind goes, the life goes. We should be trained in righteousness (1Timothy 4:8). Isaiah said: come little children and I will teach you the fear of the Lord (Psalm 34:11). When we are trained in the fear of the lord by the right examples we surround ourselves with, then our life will be shaped aright.

The force of your reasoning is enhanced as you are exposed to the ministration of the word. It is interesting to note that all the fivefold ministers are to focus on training both the spirit and the mind as they impart grace and truth on the saints, respectively.

They have the role of feeding the people of God with knowledge of God and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15). The point is that when the mind is influenced, the life is influenced. The Bible says: as a man thinks in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7). The devil also wants to cast his influence in the mind. But we are called to resist the devil (James 4:7).

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