Take Heed to Your Spirit
“Take heed to your spirit.”
In the closing book of the Old Testament, we read this admonition twice (Malachi 2:15-16). The minor prophet Malachi was urging God’s people to take heed to their spirits in relation to their deeds affecting and disturbing the family unit. The Scriptural truth is definite—our spirits do affect all aspects of our lives.
Let us define the word spirit and what it means to the Christian. The word is formed with a lowercase “s,” indicating that it does not refer to the Holy Spirit, but rather to our personal prevailing attitudes. The prevailing attitude of the Christian must be one of HOPE, the anticipation of good in the near future. The news media is destroying hope in our society and influencing the public to live in a state of unrelenting panic over economic, social, and spiritual matters—both personal and national. Everything might seem hopeless, but the Christian must not live as if there is no hope. He must live with the knowledge that good does happen, is happening, and will continue to happen for God’s people. We sing, “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”—that is where our hope lies and where we will find grace to anticipate more “good in the near future.” And the closer we draw to the Lord, the greater the hope we have, for He is our Hope.
The prevailing attitude of the Christian must also be one of HAPPINESS. The word happiness is synonymous with a number of different words in our language, but the words I most closely associate with true happiness are rejoicing and joy. Happiness is often prompted by the external, while joy is internal—it comes from within. In Philippians 4:4, we read this: “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” God’s people must be “happy campers.” External conditions do not dictate our joy; we may find “joy unspeakable and full of glory” in our Lord Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:8).
In addition to hope and happiness, the prevailing attitude of the Christian must be HEAVENWARD. In Philippians 3:20, we read this: “For our conversation is in heaven…” We sing, “I’ve heard of a land that is wondrously fair; they say that its splendor is far beyond compare. In that place that’s called ‘heaven,’ my soul longs to be; for where Jesus is, it will be heaven for me. Heaven for me, heaven for me—Jesus will be what makes it heaven for me.”
Our prevailing spirit must also be one that includes HYMNS. I have discovered that a song in the heart will oftentimes put a smile on the face. Spend some time each day singing or humming some hymns of the faith.
Possessing HUMILITY is also a way to guard your spirit. In James 4:6, we read this: “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” A contrite and humble spirit honors the Lord. When a person walks humbly before God, he will possess a positive spirit.
The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 2:8: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy.” Oh, how I endeavor to guard my spirit from being captured by the false ideas of mankind “after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” It is my prayer as I live my life that my spirit will be one of hope and happiness that is focused heavenward and influenced by hymns and humility. I challenge you to join me in this endeavor. Let us not allow this world or its philosophies to capture our spirits.
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Pastor Trieber has served as the pastor of the North Valley Baptist Church since March of 1976. He is also the President of Golden State Baptist College.