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 not only to give us our physical breath, but he wants to be our spiritual breath too.
But before we get ahead of ourselves let’s pause for a second 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: [God] breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. We have a spirit breathed into us by God. (Note: spirit and breath/wind are the same thing in the Bible).
Soul: and 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. The Hebrew word for soul, nephesh, literally means “throat.” Why does God call us “living 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, and 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 the same way that God does within himself as a Trinity. And now for us the indwelling life of Christ means that all of our desires can be met in our union with the Trinity. In Christ God meets every godly physical and spiritual desire we have. He satisfies our souls.
As you can see desire is a really important part of being alive. Desire is, at the same time, the drive behind all sin and the power for all spiritual growth. In life we always choose what we desire most. To change your life, therefore, you have to change your desires.
So we need a new soul, right? Nope. 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).
“To live is Christ” offers us both a new spirit and a new body. The indwelling Holy Spirit is transforming our desires into the very desires of Christ himself. And one day he will transform our bodies just like he did the body of Jesus. We will experience a glorious resurrection ending the corruption of the flesh once and for all.
Until that great day your soul is a battle ground of desire. Christ’s desire from the inside out through the Spirit. Selfish desires from the outside in 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 likeness of Christ.
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 can 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 express today?
Playlist: Living Soul.
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