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The Bible says that man is created in the likeness and image of God. God the Father said in Genesis, "Let us make man in our image and after our likeness."

Have you ever wondered who He was talking to? I believe that he was talking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. So when God created man (humans), He created us with three distinct parts that when put together form a complete man.

Man cannot exist without one of the three parts. Those three parts are spirit, soul, and body. When the Bible refers to the heart of man, it is referring to the spirit of man. The spirit of man is the part of us that is dead towards God before we are saved.

But it is also the part of us that comes alive when we are born-again. God who is the Father of spirits (Heb. 12:9), also made us to be spiritual creatures. The spirit of man is the core of who we are and it is the part of us that God communicates with after we are born-again.

The soul is made up of the mind (your brain, where you think logically and process information), the will (where you have the ability to choose right from wrong), and the emotions (where you feel sadness, happiness, anger, loneliness etc).

The body is pretty self explanatory. It is the house that we live in while on earth. The Bible says that the body without the spirit is dead. When someone dies, that means their spirit—which lives forever—leaves their body.

I wanted to cover this so that we can have an understanding of the make-up of man. For the Christian this becomes vitally important that we understand these things so that we can communicate with God and realize how He speaks to us.

A Biblical Illustration
I want us to look at a familiar story in the Bible in Matthew 14:22-32. This passage of scripture clearly illustrates the conflict between the soul and the spirit.

In verse 22 Jesus tells His disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side while He sends the multitudes away. So they obey His wishes and get in the boat and cast off to the other side of the water.

Jesus goes to a mountain to pray and when evening comes they suddenly find themselves in the midst of a developing storm that is causing the waves to toss the boat around. Verse 25 says that in the fourth watch of the night Jesus came unto them walking on the sea, and they were afraid thinking it was a spirit, but Jesus said to them, "Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid."

When Peter realized that it was Jesus he got real bold and said, "if that is really you bid me come unto thee on the water." Do you think that Peter was talking from his soul or his spirit?

He was talking from his spirit, because the soul knows that it is impossible to walk on water. It is against all logic to even consider such a thing.

In verse 29 we see the only thing Jesus said to Peter was "come." This one word from Jesus gave him (Peter) the ability to transcend natural law and get out of the boat and walk on water. As Peter stepped out of the boat and began to walk on water he was operating out of his spirit because, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23).

The Bible says in Romans 10:10, "For with the heart or spirit man believes…." Verse 30 says, "But when he (Peter) saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me."

How Quickly Things Change Without Faith
Here we see a man who was seconds before operating out of his spirit and transcending natural law by walking on water, reverting back to the soul and the logical mind. And as he did he lost his ability to stay on top of the water and he began to sink.

What a lesson for you and me. When we are operating out of our spirits and exercising our faith there is nothing impossible to us, according to Mark 9:23. When we are operating out of the soulish realm, we are limited to the laws of nature and the abilities of a natural man.

I encourage you today to begin to operate more out of your spirit-man instead of the soulish realm. How do you do that? Read the Word. Meditate on God's promises of who you are and what you can accomplish in Him.

These are some of the basics you must do to grow in discernment and know whether you are operating out of your "head" or out of your "heart."

Copyright © Voice of the Lord Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Brian Mullins
Web site: Voice of the Lord Ministries
Brian Mullins pastors Voice of the Lord Ministries, a non-denominational, Spirit-filled church located in Kernersville, North Carolina, between the cities of Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

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