Luke 1:80, NASB
“And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.”
This is such a brief description of the early years of John the Baptist, but how significant! He had been nurtured by godly parents from conception, and clearly walked in close fellowship with God. The result was strength of spirit.
It seems that there’s a battle within the heart of every believer between strength of spirit and strength of soul. Of course God does not desire that any part of our being should be left damaged and weak, but when the strength of my soul overrides the strength of my spirit there is the opportunity for disorder and deception within. I can see this in my own life through years of trying to compensate for the insecurity within my spirit, by applying my natural inner strength. The Bible tells us that this is not at all helpful.
‘The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one’ (1 Corinthians 2:14-15).
The word natural (psuchikos in the Greek) in this verse could be better translated soulish. Each moment of our lives, even as believers, we have the option of walking as a soulish or a spiritual person. This is not about how pious we are, but about that part of our inner being which is allowed the stronger role, the human spirit or the human soul. Am I truly willing to be led by the Spirit of God directing my life through my spirit, or am I allowing the spirit of this world to direct my life through my soul? The difference in my life could be revolutionary!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, for so many years I elevated the strength of my soul in order to deal with the sense of vulnerability inside. Today, and in the days ahead, I ask that You strengthen my spirit as you did with John the Baptist, so that there is right order and true confidence within me to face all the challenges of life. Amen.