Genesis 2:7. the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul.
Take a deep breath.
That breath is a gift from God and it is keeping you alive. But we are meant for so much more than to just be physically alive. God wants us to be spiritually alive too. He wants to be our spiritual breath too.
But before we get ahead of ourselves let’s pause and try to understand how life works. Genesis 2:7 shows us that as human beings we exist in three parts: body, spirit, and soul.
Body: God formed the man of dust from the ground. We have a physical body shaped from the earth.
Spirit: and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. We have a spirit breathed into us by God (there are several places in the Bible where God’s breath and the spirit are connected, for example see Job 33:4. In fact spirit, wind, and breath are all the same word in the Bible).
Soul: the man became a living soul. Notice the word “became.” We were given a body and we were given a spirit, but we became a soul. A nephesh. Literally it means “throat.” Why does God call us “throats?” Because the desires of life are felt in the throat – hunger, thirst, breath. Our desires don’t begin in the soul, they begin in the spirit and in the body. But they are felt in the soul. They take shape in the soul. In our thoughts, our choices, our feelings. Life is lived out through the soul because desire is lived out through the soul. We are living souls.
To image God is to be this living soul. To desire as he does. To long for love and respect. Of course, all God’s desires are met within himself as a Trinity. For us, the indwelling Christ means that all of our desires can now be met in our union with the Trinity. In Christ God meets every godly physical and spiritual desire. He satisfies our souls.
As you can see desire is a really important part of being alive. Desire is at the same time the source of all sin, and the power for all spiritual growth. In life we always choose what we desire most. To change your life, you have to change your desires.
So we need a new soul? No. Remember, the soul is not the source of desire, the spirit and body are. We need a new spirit and a new body.
If only that were possible (hint: it is).
Praise God “to live is Christ” offers us exactly that. A new spirit. The Holy Spirit. The indwelling life of Christ. His life in us changing our desires and affections from the inside out. And a new body. A glorious resurrection ending the corruption of the flesh once and for all.
Until then your soul is a battle ground of desire. Christ’s desire from the inside through the Spirit. Selfish desires from the outside through the body. It’s a mess. But it’s a blessed mess. A mess that God is using to transform your soul into the image of Christ.
Galatians 5:17. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh.
Where do you feel the battle in your soul between the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit?
You in Christ
How does the truth of being in Christ bring defeat to your selfish “fleshly” desires?
Christ in you
What is one desire of the Spirit inside of you that you can live out today?