Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
God created man in His image and likeness which includes being a three part being. Man has a spirit, soul, and a body all designed by God to work in harmony subject to Him. The Fall of man into sin and spiritual death (Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 5:12) brought the loss of the dominion, ruling, directing, and governing power of man’s spirit over his soul and body. From the effects of the Fall, desires of the flesh and desires of the mind worked in us to motivate, create, initiate, and direct many things not under God’s rule. In our Fallen state, the desires of our hearts do not all come from God, but can come from our sinful nature (Romans 7:18-20).
One aspect of the renewing of the mind has to do with bringing our mind into subjection to our spirit and the Word that is put in there. The Word of God is of utmost importance in this process, in order to discern the source of our desires that need resubjected to the rule of our spirit and the Word of God. It is the greatest discerner of the thoughts and intents of our heart (Hebrews 4:12). We often hear Believers say, “But I have a desire to do this …, and since God gives us the desires of our heart it must be OK to do it.” Yes, Psalm 37:4 does say, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give you the desires of your heart,” but with the Word of God we need to rightly discern the source of our desire. Due to the effects of the Fall, it is still possible to have desires working in us unsubjected to our spirit and the Word of God; therefore being out of line with God’s will.
Every Christian after salvation can have desires (impulse to act, inclination to act; inner urges to act) that will create, initiate, motivate, and direct things that are unsubjected to God’s Word and their spirit. There are (3) levels of desire that only the Word of God can discern their source:
- DESIRES OF THE SPIRIT
Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will (desire) and to do of his good pleasure.
Hebrews 13: 20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
- DESIRES OF THE FLESH (Lusts)
Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 “Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
- DESIRES OF THE MIND (Un-renewed)
Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
Many Christians act on what they invent and initiate then call it the will of God but it is what they devised, planned, and maneuvered instead of what God created in them by way of desire and inner working. We must renew our mind to the Word of God to be able prove the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. It is only the Word of God that can divide and separate the desires coming from our spirit versus from our flesh and unrenewed mind.