4/5 The Functions of the Human Spirit and Total Wholeness

So far we have been looking at the seven different parts of our personality that need to combine for Total Wholenss in our life.  So far, we have discussed the mind and the will.  We now continue with what does our spirit actually do?


1.  First and foremost, our spirit enables us to worship God, John 4:23-24. 

The human spirit was designed to worship.  However, the question is: “What will the spirit worship – if not God?”

It is in the heart that idolatry takes place.  We form images in our heart, which we worship.  Things we love or hate – both are the heart’s treasures.  We worship what we look to for meaning, what we use as strength to get us through our problems.  We worship what we put our mental energies into and what we treasure.  We may also form alliances with the demonic world with our spirit and our heart.

Our spirit is designed to help enrich our relationship with God, to have relationship with Him. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness” (John 4:24). Worshipping God is altogether a matter of contacting God in fellowship.

To worship God is actually to contact Him, based on the etymology of the Greek word here rendered “worship”, ‘proskuneo’. This term derives from pros, meaning “toward”, and kuneo, meaning “to kiss”. Thus, “worship” literally signifies “to come forward and kiss”.  Similarly, we contact God in the most personal, intimate way when we touch Him as the divine Spirit in our human spirit.

We hear from and commune with God by our personal spirit.  His Spirit communicates with our spirit.  He testifies with our spirit, Romans 8:16, to reassure and affirm us.

2.  The Human Spirit is Design to filter Truth

Ever since Eve was deceived and believed the snake’s lies in the Garden of Eden, the whole world has been lost in a fog of deception.   The world still chooses not to see things the way that God does.  Just as with the mind, the question then remains: what is truth?

a.  There are various ways of sorting out truth – or getting lost in untruth:



Problems,   Faults of:

  From our own experiences or from the experience of others.

Learning from our past, from books, other authority figures – such as parents, teachers, church leaders, and politicians.    As perceptions of what we think is right or wrong. Experience can be self-centred, with faulty views based on other’s biases.  Limited without God’s views or His wisdom.

By using logic and rational thought.

Logic based on the facts presented.  Observations and/or logical assessment of the situation.

We do not have 100% of facts, nor do we know the future for our decisions.

Emotion or feelings orientated.

Decisions and actions based on whether we are ‘happy’ or depressed, angry or pleased.

Feelings are not stable, as they change with our moods.

By our intuitive im-pressions

Decisions guided by our own personal ‘awareness’ based on ‘something’ beyond logic.

If not founded in God, this can be influenced by other inputs, as greed,   ambition, and pride.

Using insight or revelation from God. Dreams, visions, the inner “aha” of the Holy Spirit, the written Word.

Must be based on firm Scripture as it is easy to let the heart and other voices speak.

b.  In counselling, there are ‘his truth, her truth, society’s truth, the pastor’s truth and even the counsellor’s truth’.  We must have a stable base to build our truth on, rather than ‘shifting sand’, Matthew 7:26.

Since we all began in the fog of deception and ‘short sightedness’, our goal is to get in line with how the Lord Jesus sees things.  Remember, He has the truth and He is truth, John 14:6.  Aside from God, truth is elusive, limited and biased by our own interpretation.

3.  Our spirit encourages us to have a hope for the future.

It is a healthy spirit that encourages us to get beyond the unresolved hurts of the past and the present.  Deep, lasting release, forgiveness and restoration must happen at a spiritual level.

4.  Our spirit helps us to relate to others. 

It wants to respond with empathy, thus enriching and sustaining relationships.

5.  It helps create and enjoy the God-given ‘glory’ of the marital sexual union. 

It is a spiritual experience to see another person as precious, cherished and worthwhile.  The “becoming one flesh” Father God desires is also a deeply spiritual experience, Genesis4, Matthew:5.

6.  Our spirit helps with knowing that we know something, being ‘an Intuitive’

1 Corinthians 2:11 says, “For who among men knows the things of man, except the spirit of man which is in him?.…” This verse shows us that there are matters which only our spirit knows, and which the soul is unable to know.  Our spirit has the capacity to know and discern apart from human reason, troubled conscience or circumstantial experience.

For example, in the Gospel of Mark the scribes were silently reasoning within their hearts about the Lord’s statement, “Child, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5-8). Perceiving these unspoken thoughts and responding to them, “….immediately Jesus, knowing fully in His spirit that they were reasoning this way within themselves, said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?’

This verse further illustrates that the spirit can have an inner sense and knowledge independent of both the reason and the outward circumstances upon which the soul’s discernment relies so heavily.

7.  Our spirit carries us through tragedy

Recently, I met a child with cerebral palsy.  Her body was twisted with the condition but her spirit was alive and vibrant.  It amazing what the human spirit can go through and come out stronger.   The Nazi Death Camps testify to this story again and again.
8.  Our personal spirit helps to keep the body alive and functioning. 

This includes giving ‘buoyancy’ to the immune system.  The spirit helps us ‘throw off’ physical complaints, thus protecting the body against sickness and physical ailments.  As the spirit is released, we develop staying power and stamina.  Without the spirit, the body dies, James 2:26.

Outwardly, the human may be old, but this is only a passing matter. The spirit, however, remains forever young and suffers no symptoms of old age – unless it is in a broken and crushed condition.

9. Our spirit works with our conscience in converting the lessons of life into our character.

Our spirit is involved as we learn how to walk in a steadfast manner with God.  As we follow Jesus, the spirit brings the awareness of how others are hurt if ‘sin’ and wrong happen.

10. The fruits of the spirit are formed and flow out of what we learn as our character is transformed. 

Thus spirit is not an emotion although our emotions can be touched by our spirit and our spiritual experiences.

11. The spirit is also designed to be the vessel Jesus uses to touch His church, by using the ‘spiritual gifts’ of 1 Corinthians 12-14.

12. The spirit gives an outlet for the creative nature within us. 

Being made in God’s image, we have a creative side that needs expression.

13. The spirit makes contact with the spiritual dimension, either God’s or Satan’s kingdom. 

The ‘umpire of peace’ is to reign in our hearts as a safety switch from God.  The peace of the Holy Spirit dwells within your spirit.  He testifies with our spirit about truth, Romans 8:16.

14.  Finally, our spirit functions to contain God.

2 Timothy 4:22 says definitively, “The Lord be with your spirit”. This word unambiguously designates our human spirit as the site where God makes His abode in us. Since the Lord lives within our spirit, we can accurately describe our spirit as a container of God.

As we have seen, the spirit influences our lives in a mighty way.  By paying attention to it we may benefit in ways we have yet to explore.  Spend some time over this next few weeks and try to find out about your spirit,

Susanne  Fengler, Blog Author



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