I WILL NEVER FORGET when I was told I had to return to my country. It was wonderful and unexpected news that implied two things: keeping everything I wanted to take with me and getting rid of what was not going to be necessary. I made mistakes in the process and ended up not knowing to keep belongings that I needed later on. This, in the material sense, is not serious, but in the Christian life, there are things that we ought to know how to keep. The apostle Paul tells us what they are: our spirit, our soul, and our body—that is, our whole being. We cannot leave any aspect of our lives without being submitted to the influence of God.
“Spirit.» The spirit is life: «Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately» (Luke 8:55). The spirit is also the ability to think, reason, exist: ‘The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God» (Romans 8:16). And we are to keep, or preserve it. How? In the way that Paul himself tells us in Romans 12:2: «Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.» A sanctified reason is what should rule our lives.
«Soul.» The term refers to the part of our nature where our emotions, our instincts, and our longings are found; that part that must be controlled by a sanctified reason, so that its impulses are increasingly subjected to divine will. The body will die, but our personality will accompany us through eternity. Keep it irreproachable, says the Lord your God.
«Body.» This is the fragile material from which we are made and which should be subjected to a sanctified mind that does not abuse it and to a converted soul that leads it to serve as an instrument for good. Caring for the physical health of the body and asking God to use it to advance His cause are the two ways to preserve it.
Our Lord Jesus is going to return, and when that day arrives, He is going to want to find our whole being (spirit, soul, and body) blameless, irreproachable, and without spot. In order for that to happen, we have to keep it well today, tomorrow, and beyond. That is the process of sanctification. Let us ask the Lord to teach us and help us to walk in that path so that He may find us ready when He comes to get us.
«And may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ» (1 Thessalonians 5:23).