On average, adults make approximately 35,000 choices a day. This number is actually the number of decisions we intentionally make, which means it does not include choices made on a subconscious level. With all of these choices to be made, how can we ensure that we are making the correct choice each and every time?
In Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth, he presents three areas that influence our thinking. The first area, and the highest level of influence, is from the spirit. Paul teaches that the spirit level influences all other areas of decision making. He says to be lead by the Holy Spirit (God’s Spirit) and not the spirits of the world.
Secondly, Paul says that our soul is the next area of influence. Our mind, will, and emotions comprise this soul level. Within the soul, our mind should come first, followed by will, then emotions. We should be able to make a decision in our mind whether we want to or feel like it. Paul encourages us that this level can be aligned by having the mind of Christ.
The last area in which we should ever make decisions is in that of the flesh. We should never be controlled by our flesh in the sense of making decisions based solely upon our survival. When we make decisions based on the flesh, the lowest level of thinking, we refuse to trust God on even his most basic promise of providing for us physically. Other passages of Scripture refer to this as crucifying our flesh on a daily basis, which simply means putting flesh on the lowest level of influence in your decision making.
Spirit > Soul > Flesh:
Our decisions should therefore be made by the Holy Spirit with the mind of Christ and by flesh that is “crucified”. When our flesh attempts to rise above our soul, we must renew our mind and make the choice to be lead by our logic and reasoning. When our soul attempts to rise above our spirit, we must put our soul in place by building up our spirit.
The good news is what we read in Romans 10:9, which says, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” In the original language, the word we translate as saved contains within its meaning deliverance, rescuing, and healing. If we make a poor decision, no matter what area of influence this decision is made from, the salvation of Jesus gives us the authority and capability to realign our decision making faculties along with providing the forgiveness for the poor decision. I encourage you today to take hold of the full salvation found in Jesus Christ and make decisions based first upon his Spirit.
Pastor Zac Breckenridge