1 Thessalonians 5:23
If you were simply a “spirit-being” your spiritual potential would be unlimited. But you must constantly contend with your “soul,” which comprises your emotions, will and intellect.
In addition, you have to cope with the needs and appetites of your physical “body.” Pray as you will, your “soulish” nature won’t suddenly wake up one morning with the desire to please God because it’s always in conflict with His will (See Romans 8:7-8).
When you “walk in the flesh,” it will take you down the wrong road every time. Like a spoiled child, it must be disciplined and made subject to your regenerated spirit. Your soul, on the other hand, is constantly caught between your flesh, which says no to God, and your spirit, which says yes to Him.
That’s why your soul (will, emotions and intellect) must be reprogrammed daily by God’s Word. Paul says, “Let God transform you…by [renewing] the way you think” (Romans 12:2). Whatever you program into your computer is what you get out, right?
Similarly, when you begin to think scripturally you begin to live victoriously. The real action takes place in your spirit – the part of you that was renewed and regenerated when you were born again.
When God’s Spirit became intimate with your spirit it resulted in a new birth, and as you grow spiritually you begin to produce spiritual fruit (See Galatians 5:22).
As that happens you start to realize you are actually a regenerated spirit living in an un-regenerated body. Knowing this will help you understand many of your struggles, and pray: “Lord, I’m completely Yours: ‘spirit and soul and body.'”