“You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
If the human soul is the seat of our will and mind, then the final part of this month’s series – the spirit – is the real person, the core of who we are. Borrowing from a book I once read, it’s who we are when no one else is looking. Remove the layers of relationships, education, finances, and careers, and the spirit is what’s left. And just like our hearts and minds, if this ain’t right, we’re in for some bad storms on the sea of life. Perhaps this is why David asked God to renew the right spirit within him after petitioning for a clean heart.
Of course, the question must be asked: “What does walking in the new spirit mean?” A closer look at what makes up our human spirit may provide the answer. See, the components of this key part of our existence include intellect, emotions, fears, passions, creativity, awareness, insight, understanding and judgment. Walking in the new spirit means all of these are in alignment with God. It means putting off the old emotions, fears, and passions that we chased into a spiritual ditch, and putting on a new desire to chase after God’s good and perfect will manifested in His entire creation. It means shedding the limiting view of “What’s in it for me?”, and developing a panoramic, Kingdom-building perspective. It means opening our entire selves to God’s limitless possibilities.
The things or people that would trigger us into a Yosemite Sam fit, or a classic Daffy Duck meltdown get at most a shrug with an “Ok, but God’s still in control and will have the final say.”
The other things that would leave us perplexed become crystal clear, as now we are better able to discern what is in or out of the Lord’s will. Our insight and understanding dramatically improve as we learn to pause, take a step back, and pray to respond in a God-led, Holy Spirit-filled manner.
By walking in the new spirit, it is as the apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
And who doesn’t like something new?
As with the heart and mind, all of this is a continuous process, and the possibility of challenges exists. It requires us to work at it and be intentional as we do, even when it seems more than we can handle. But –and thank God for this interjection—the Lord assures us through His Word and proven record that all things work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose. Any setback is only a set up for a comeback, and that’s some pretty good news to me.
So, let’s keep pressing, keep walking into this phase of our lives with a new spirit, mind, and heart to see all of the wonderful things that the Lord has in store for us.
Let’s keep walking in the new.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for this past month, for revealing Your will and way in our lives. Please continue to lead and guide us in this new season to stay on course and keep You first in the process. Also, Father, please be of a special comfort to the families of Kobe and Gianna Bryant, the other passengers, and the crew during their time of need. Strengthen them, Lord, in the days to come. Bless them directly and indirectly through family, friends, and others. I ask this in Jesus’ perfect name. Amen.