Before accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior my decisions were dictated primarily by my soul (i.e., my psyche; my mind, will and emotions). If I “felt like” doing something to make myself happy I would do it without concern for others. I would choose to do things that I thought made me happy but in reality did not; even to the detriment of my body. As an example, going out and getting drunk and waking up without a clue as to what happened. Perhaps even abandoning a friend or two in the name of finding “more fun”. Usually, this degree of drunkenness had some associated ill side effects. My body suffered the consequences of my soul’s decision to party hard.
Once I became a believer Christ’s Spirit took up residence within me. I no longer had only a soul living in a body. I now had a spirit living within me; the very same Spirit as Jesus. It is this spirit which now guides my conscience. This spirit which separates me from my “old” self and which leads me to make right choices. It is this spirit that I desire to be in control of my life, though in my humanness this is not always the case. I praise God that Jesus Christ is always there to forgive me for wrong choices and to guide my spirit back to His.
The Bible states in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (AMP), “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [that is, separate you from profane and vulgar things, make you pure and whole and undamaged – consecrated to Him – set apart for His purpose]; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete and [be found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
I am by no means perfect. I made bad choices before I had Christ’s Spirit living within me and I have continued to make bad choices, at times, since then. As Paul writes in Romans 7:19, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing”. I try not to judge others because I see the imperfection in myself; I experience my own bad decisions. Praise to God that His Spirit refuses to leave me but draws me back to His Word. It is through the conviction of the Holy Spirit within me that leads me to repentance and back into right standing before the throne of God. Our Father wants this for me and for you; we need only ask.
“Heavenly Father, thank You for the free gift of Your Holy Spirit. If we do not have Your Spirit living within us, we pray right now for forgiveness in the Name of Jesus Christ. We say with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord. We invite Your Holy Spirit to take up residence in our hearts. We accept Your salvation because of Jesus’s death on the cross in place of us; He took our sins upon Him so we could experience eternal life. We thank You, Father, for this precious gift. In Jesus Name we ask these things. Amen.”
Kami R. Lobner