I’m about half way through a month of no coffee and wine. Now before you get concerned i’m not about to confess to a rampant addiction nor am not about to sign up for alcoholics anonymous. There is nothing wrong with wine or coffee, rather I would see them as some of the good things that God give us to enjoy. So why should I not have them for a month? To just remind my soul who is in control.
Paul writing to the Corinthian Christians says, “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything” Paul said this when talking to them of going outside the boundaries God’s design for sexuality. The principle though is that there are good things God has given us that if left unchecked can take a position and hold in our life that is destructive to us.
Yesterday I sent you Proverbs 20; 27 that says,”The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one’s inmost being.” there is a number of things this verse implies.
- That there are areas of darkness in us.
- That while our spirits are a lamp they lack a power source without God.
But then it also raises questions
- If my spirit is a part of my “inmost being” what is the part of me in darkness that needs illumination? and
- How does God “light up” my spirit?
Our areas of “darkness” resides in our “soul” or what is often described as our “flesh”. Our soul is made up of our emotions, experiences and desires. In and of itself our soul isn’t “evil” or to be afraid of, but it is something that we need to put in its God’s designed place within us.
Until a person gives themselves to God, asking for the forgiveness and restoration that Jesus gives, his or her will is “controlled” by the soul. This was not in God’s original plan. Romans 8 says that when our soul is in control it results in death, while the person controlled by the Spirit produces life and peace. This is because our soul was never supposed to be “in control”, rather it was our spirit in connection to the Holy Spirit that was designed by God to be “in control.” Perhaps a good analogy of the is novel by William Golding, “The Lord of the flies.”
This story depicts a group of British boys who are marooned without adults on an island. After the plane which is evacuating them from the war crashes, the boys start out well cooperating and helping each other, but eventually without adult guidance they give into their desires. This results in the death of two of the boys and the trauma of the rest.
Like the boys, without the life giving illumination, guidance and power of the Holy Spirit our flesh desires take over. Something that is good (God created out soul) is elevated to a place it was never designed to do be, in control of our will. The result, just like the story is death.
After we have become a Christian the link of the Spirit to our spirit is reestablished, However because our flesh has been in control for so long it will try and reassert its authority. This is why Jesus said we need to “deny ourselves, ourselves and take up our cross daily (Mark 8:34).” For every person there will be a way that your flesh is seeking to regain control. The truth of Proverbs is that we often can’t see the Souls “Coup” attempts, thats why we need the “lamp” to catch it out.
So the last question I have for you is this. Where is your flesh trying to “take over” and how are you denying it and allowing the illumination of God to conquerer it?