The Soul, Spirit Battle
One of the greatest examples of the soul-spirit battle is Jesus’ experience in Gethsemane.
There are many soul-spirit reactions which we are meant to have, so long as we understand them. Jesus said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death.” He then said in Gethsemane: “If it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” So Jesus was conscious of a contrary will. Was He wrong? He knew the difference between soul and spirit. With His human soul, He was meant to feel all that was involved in becoming our sin-bearer, and He did. But equally, He knew that that was not His real self. His true will was His Father’s will within Him, in His spirit. His soul-will was the necessary effect of the Satanic pressures on Him for our sakes; but that merely drove Him to the three hours of bloody sweat when His spirit-will, His Father’s will in Him, so dominated His soul that He could walk that awful Calvary path as a King. Many a time believers are confused in this respect. They feel they won’t be willing for this or that, if demanded of them, or that they are now not willing. Quite so. They are not meant to be. In their souls they are meant to shrink and refuse. That is the natural and right impact of an unpleasant situation on them. But that is not the real we or the real will. The real will is down in our spirits where “it is God that worketh in us to will…of His good pleasure.” We should not even ask people if they are willing. We cannot be. We should say, you will never be willing. Self cannot give up self. But you can affirm in faith that God in you will will His will, and will take you along with Him.”