The Battle for the Soul
The goal is to learn to live for Lord Jesus. We are commanded to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. The Lord God formed man from the dust of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7) The battle between good and evil, God and Satan has been for the souls of men. A man's soul consist of his mind, will, and emotions. Socrates and Plato taught that the soul was comprised of logos - mind or reason, thymos - emotions or spiritedness, and Eros - appetitive or desire. The Christian view of the soul is closely related to Socrates and Plato.
Watchman Nee explains it this way, "As soon as the breath of life, which became man's spirit, came into contact with man's body, the soul was produced. Hence the soul is the combination of man's body and spirit. God dwells in the spirit, self dwells in the soul, while senses dwell in the body. The spirit can subdue the body through the medium of the soul, so that it will obey God; likewise the body through the soul can draw the spirit into loving the world." The soul can take charge over the body and spirit and make the entire being serve self.
The soul is the pivot point in the service of the Lord, while the spirit is pulling the soul to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. The body is desiring the things of the world. If the soul desires pleasure, comfort, admiration, and immediate gratification, then the soul will operate from it's lower nature. If the soul desires to please God above all else, then the soul is operating form it's higher nature. Whatever controls the soul controls the man.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what (is) that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Roman 12:2) The Bible encourages us to have the mind of Christ and to have one mind with each other. Christ means anointed- we are to have anointed minds. The Lord God has put his laws into our minds and wrote them in our hearts. What we see, hear and think develops our minds. If we are to have the mind of Christ, then we need to fill our minds with the things of God. We need to thing upon things that are godly and glorify God and watch things that glorify God. The battle is for our minds. Throughout the day it is good to have mind check-ups. What are you thinking about? Are you thinking godly thoughts or have the cares of this world taken control of your mind? The mind must make a conscious decision to follow after God and his kingdom.
One of the battles of the mind is about keeping your mind pure concerning other people. Never criticize or insult someone in your mind especially another Christian or yourself. If you see something wrong with a person, then pray that God gives them the grace to overcome. I am still working on this, but I'm better than I was years ago. Think good thoughts about other Christians, don't let the devil uses your anointing to harm other people. Continuously read and study the Bible, don't let the world control your thinking. Watch what you watch on television.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: There has been much teaching on the power of thoughts. A pastor many years ago gave a sermon on thoughts. This sermon moved me so much so, that I have made a conscious effort to control my thoughts about other people. The next stage in my development would be to control my thoughts about myself. In the sermon, he mentioned that in heaven, there would be no need for people to exchange words, but we would know each others thoughts. I'm not saying this is true, but imagine thinking as if people knew what you were thinking about. We believe that God dwells within us, God is the first one to hear your thoughts and he hears every thought that you think about his people and his leadership.
If you want to improve your relationships, improve your thoughts about your spouse, family, and friends. Think on the good, not the bad. The law of sowing and reaping can be expanded to include our thought life. If you are thinking hateful thoughts, you will draw hate to you. We need to think about; Jesus Christ and his kingdom, love, peace, joy, faithfulness, goodness, just to name a few. When the Lord places someone on your mind, don't think negative thoughts, pray for them, ask God to protect and bless them.
Now faith is a substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. What is faith? Faith is our thoughts about God. Faith is thoughts, then thoughts have power. You can hurt other people with our thoughts. Don't think bad, sinful things about other people or the government. We need to control our thought life.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. In the Garden of Eden, after eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, their eyes were open knowing both good and evil. Jesus is telling us that the eye can be single, knowing only good. This is impossible for man, but possible for God.A good prayer would be, "Lord Jesus please make my eye single and full of light and purify my heart." There are some things that only Lord Jesus can work in us. If we want our wills to by for good, then say so. I desire to do good and be pleasing to God Almighty Father. My will is to please and obey God.
The Spirit of God lives in you and has recreated your spirit. Because God is so gracious and powerful, it would be silly to try to change your mind or emotions on our own. It is much easier to lean on God. Our job is to be willing to change and have the desire to please God. You were recreated in His image with His characteristics, which are the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You must reach out with the hand of faith and claim the fruits of the spirit. God's nature is inside of you, but you have to be willing to exchange your old emotions: hate for love, fear for faith, pride for humility, anxiety for peace, doubt for trust in God. You have to have the willingness to reject the old emotions and have a desire for the fruits of the spirit. If you don't have the desire, pray to Almighty Father in the Name of Jesus to have a desire for the fruits of the spirit in your life. God will give us the desires of our hearts, when we delight ourselves in the Lord.
Most thoughts have corresponding emotions. Does the thought of getting up and going to work bring emotions of dread or depression, or does the emotions of thanksgiving to God raise up because you have a job. Are you murmuring and complaining that you have to clean a house? Or are you grateful that you have a house to clean. Be thankful and grateful to God. Give him a thought or emotion that he can bless.