I want to make some bold statements, shocking distinctions I find in the Word of God that aren’t often accepted among the world’s population. There is a huge difference in the life of the soul versus the life of the spirit.
The Bottom Line of the Soul
Everything originating from the soul-life will always be in Satan. The soul of itself can produce nothing spiritual. Even at the soul’s absolute best, everything produced is only for self. Satan banks on the soul’s movements to discourage, defeat, and bring about death. Those controlled by the soul-life are in death.
It seems extreme to make these distinctions. It may even seem over the top, but let’s look at God’s view of the same.
“Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me scatters.”
Matthew 12:30 ESV
For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Romans 8:5-8 HCSB
Here are just two examples of God’s view of the fruit of soul-life. I’ve wanted to believe that it isn’t quite that bad, that there can be a happy medium where it isn’t all black or white—just sweet Pollyanna, Care Bear moments. And even as I write this, I’m reminded of this verse in Revelations.
So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth.
The Distinction Soul Versus Spirit
God’s distinction is much clearer than most manners allow (hahaha). He says, “Either/Or – you choose!” God puts a premium on the source of life’s flow—is it His life or another’s (Joshua 24:15)?
Knowing this tempts me to run and hide under my bed. How do I know? What if it’s not His life that emanates from me?
Well, the spiritual man has the spiritual life. And the spiritual man has the Holy Spirit guiding him through living that life. Amazingly, our God didn’t just smack us on the hindquarters and send us out into the field saying, “Do your best!” No, we have a resident Counselor who leads our choices and an indwelling Life that produces rivers of living water.
It’s our choice. And there is another Factor in place: grace. God’s sovereignty covers our sheep-ness (actually “sheep mess”). “What you intended for evil, God intended for good” (Genesis 50:20). Because we serve a Living, Ever-present God, who is a Father of the highest order, there’s grace in place that knows I’m but dust. And thankfully, even when my self-life rises like Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings, I have a God over it all. This doesn’t erase my consequences, but it does mean He is in charge!
Because I’ve been adopted, and am a son of the Most High, I love Him. I choose His life as the source of mine. I’ve come to realize that no other life has good fruit. At the end of any day, I see no other source producing a life worth living at all. Only His life is that.
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 HCSB