I am a Spirit?
If you get this, you will never struggle with the emotional roller-coaster ever again. If you get this, you will be empowered to never make a choice based on your emotions.
I first caught wind of this principle while I was reading Timothy Jorgensen’s book, Spirit Life Training. It was one of our required readings when our School of Obedience was running. I highly recommend you purchase it when it finally comes out, republished by Destiny Image.
This article builds upon my other “identity” article I have written. It will be most beneficial if you read my first article on identity.
When people are feeling angry, they say, “I’m angry.”
When people are feeling sad, they say, “I’m sad.”
When people are feeling tired, they say, “I’m tired.”
When people are feeling nervous, they say, “I’m nervous.”
When people are feeling worried, they say, “I’m worried.”
Yes? Yes. Keep that in mind.
You are a 3 part being – spirit, soul, and body.
You are not a body that has a soul and spirit, nor are you a soul that has a body and spirit.
You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body.
Your spirit is the real you (Remember when God breathed into Adam?), it is what gives you life. The fact that you have been made one spirit with him (1 Cor 6:17) is what enables you to connect with God (1 Cor 2:10-12).Your soul could be defined as your mind, will, intellect, and emotions. And your body is… your body.
Most Christian are led by the flesh; they allow their spirit and soul to be subservient to the lusts and desires of their flesh, which is why they struggle with sin. They do not know that they are supposed to be dead to the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:24) and walk in the spirit. You can read more on being dead to the flesh and freedom from sin here.
Walking in the spirit is not about a conscious effort, it is understanding your identity. Thus, problems arise when your identity is rooted in our soul/body rather than your spirit.
Managing your Emotions
So when people are experiencing emotions, frustrating thoughts, or pain, those are all experienced in the soul or body. But the issue is when people place their identity in what they feel. It’s the “I am” part of the phrase. When people say that, they fail to distinguish between “I am frustrated” versus “I am feeling frustrated.”
When someone says “I am frustrated” they are placing their identity in what they’re feeling, hence, “I am frustrated”, and as a result, they will feel completely powerless to feel anything else. The mindset behind that is, “I am frustrated, and I am completely powerless to not be frustrated because I am frustrated… it’s who I am! I am frustrated!”
But if you can understand “I am feeling frustrated”, it changes the mindset to , “Oooh this is just a feeling! If this is just a feeling, I can change what I feel! I don’t have to be stuck with feeling this!”
When people say, “I’m sad, I’m depressed,” the implication is that they feel stuck in that emotion — that they don’t have any power to get out of it. But if they can shift it to “I’m feeling sad, or I’m feeling depressed,” it will help them realize it’s just a feeling, and they can change what they feel.
“Man I’ve just been so frustrated about xyz”
“Oh, well good thing you’re a spirit.”
It became a tool we used to remind us that we are no longer bound by what we feel. Emotions were no longer the basis from which we made decisions and how we related to people.
If we understand that we are made one spirit with God, and the Kingdom is in righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17), then we have constant access to peace and joy.
People say things like, “I’m scared of this, I’m worried about this, this situation is making me feel stressed out.” But when they understand that what they’re feeling is something external that’s affecting them, they will feel empowered to not live in that emotion.
“I’ve been worried about xyz”
“Oh, well good thing you’re a spirit.”
The first time I lived out this principle was about a year ago. I was changing the oil for my car and the drain-nut was stuck. I tried for about 30 minutes trying to get it loose. I tried multiple wrenches, different positions to get better leverage, none of it worked. I was fuming mad. I pulled out my phone to call my uncle because he used to be a mechanic.
As the phone was ringing, I was thinking about unloading all my frustration on him because the situation was so irritating, and then, I remembered, “Oh wait, I’m a spirit.” I instantly realized I was empowered to not feel frustrated. The situation didn’t force me to be frustrated, but it was how I was choosing to respond, so I decide to chose otherwise. I realized, “I’m a spirit!” so I have constant access to peace and joy, “This is just a feeling!” so I felt empowered to feel otherwise. Immediately, my countenance changed, the frustrated lifted instantly and I calmly spoke with my uncle about the problem.
Go here to read about a time I approached a gang of 5 huge guys to minister to them, this same principle got me past the fear.
For most, it doesn’t even cross their mind that they can feel something other than what their current circumstance dictates. If the circumstances are frustrating, most people will come out saying, “I’M SO FRUSTRATED”, not realizing that they are free to be at complete peace.
So the whole point of this isn’t to eliminate your emotions, nor is it to imply that you will never experience another negative emotion (how would you even define “negative”?).
The point is to empower you to not be bound your emotion (e.g. you should never feel helpless to stay feeling scared in any situation). The point is to remind you how to live from your spirit rather than from your soul.
Did you notice how this ties back into identity? Your behavior will always reflect what you believe about yourself and what you place your identity in. If you believe you are depressed, your depression will be there to stay.
Even with sicknesses, diseases, and conditions, people say, “I’m sick.” “I’m diabetic.” “I’m paraplegic.” “I’m blind.” “I’m an alcoholic.” “I’m OCD.” The list goes on. I don’t have a problem with language and how our culture uses language, but it does create mindsets concerning people’s identity and it keeps people bound up in their issues.
Why is this even important?
The devil will do everything in his power to try to keep you powerless, and so long as he has you operating in your soul rather than your spirit, you will lose the battle eventually.
The devil makes every effort to keep believers in worry, fear, and anxiety because it keeps them focused on themselves, it paralyzes them from recognizing the real enemy and it makes them turn inward to find the problem internally. This causes them to lose sight of God and the tools He’s given us for victory . They get lost in their inadequacy and no longer see His power/sufficiency that works in us (Eph 1:18-23).
To live in perfect peace and joy isn’t some hyper-spiritual reality that only a few dead saints had the privilege to experience. It is possible for every believer to live in. Living in perfect peace and joy isn’t about some kind of emotional bliss that makes you super-human. It’s a confidence and awareness of who you are, who He is in you, and the tools you have been given to overcome any situation.
Having victory in every circumstance isn’t about trying to make every situation go the way you want it go. It’s about being able to have absolute peace and joy regardless of what is happening… and in that peace and joy, you become aware of the tools you’ve been given and that is often what helps you turn those situations for the better. Also… it’s a lot easier to think straight (Col 3:2) when you’re not caught up in an emotional breakdown.
Again, this is not about eliminating emotions from your life, that’s silly. This is about empowering you to no longer let emotions cloud the way you think, make decisions, and the way you relate to people. This is about learning to rule your emotional life, rather than allowing your emotional life to rule you. This is about learning to walk in the spirit, to train your spirit man to have supremacy over your soul and body.
Remember the first line of this article? If you’re not there yet, go ahead and read this again. =]
This is the story behind the naming of my website. Understanding this propelled me to live in a whole new freedom from the emotional roller-coaster. I no longer did things because I did or didn’t “feel” like I wanted to, I no longer worried, no longer got nervous, no longer feared, no longer felt confined to an emotion because I realized I didn’t have to. My hope is you will encounter this same freedom.
*Tim’s book has come out on Amazon.