As a part of my prayers to God, I pray that we would be delivered from this Present Evil Age. As Paul wrote to the Galatians, Jesus gave Himself for our sins “so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal. 1:4). When we pray for the well-being of our friends and family, we should take into consideration all three levels of human existence: (1) the spiritual, (2) the psychological, and (3) the physical.
Our spiritual existence focuses on our relationship with God, but it also includes our avoidance of evil, whether demonic or other evil forces of darkness (Matt. 4:16). The Greek word psyche is most often translated as “soul, life, or breath.” Our soul, like our spirit, is immaterial. We are commanded to love God with all of our soul and mind (Matt. 22:37). On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus’ soul (psyche) was greatly troubled (Matt. 26:38) as He anticipated His coming death. In His agony, his sweat became like blood (Luke 22:44). Jesus’ death included testing on all three different levels of human existence: the spiritual, the psychological, and the physical. There is no doubt that Jesus’s death was physically severe, which included physical abuse and torture, and there is no doubt that He suffered from psychological stress during the horrific ordeal. Not knowing specifically what is going to happen next in our lives or how things are going to exactly unfold is a part of many of our tests. We are left with the necessity of simply trusting in God.
When enduring His great period of testing, it is interesting to note that Jesus said to His apostles, “My soul (psyche) is greatly grieved to the point of death, remain here and keep watch with Me” (Matt. 26:38). Jesus was truly God and human. An important part of being human is the need for the support of other humans when we are going through various tests and challenges. We are relational beings, and our relationships with others are a very important part of our psychological health and stability.
When John, the Elder, prayed for his friend, Gaius, John wrote, “I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2). Gaius was apparently experiencing a period or season of poor health. However, John noted that Gaius’ soul (inner man or psyche) was prospering. Of great importance, we learn that Gaius’ psychological health was a byproduct of his spiritual health. John, the Elder wrote that Gaius was “walking in the truth” (3 John 1: 3). We “walk in the truth” when we walk by the Spirit, wherein the Word is a light to our feet, trusting in Christ Jesus, while having no confidence in our inherit capacity to live our new, supernatural way of being (Ps. 119:105; Phil. 3:3).
The Bible teaches us that we humans are trichotomous beings, which simply means that we are (1) body, (2), soul, and (3) spirit. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely [holoteles]; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete [holokleros], without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23). This verse written by the Apostle Paul strongly supports the idea that we humans are uniquely comprised of all three parts: (1) body, (2) soul, and (3) spirit. Our health and sense of well-being are derived from all three. The Greek words holoteles (meaning “complete in all respects”) and holokleros (“complete in every part”) are both helpful in advancing our understanding.
Hebrews 4:12 is another verse that captures the idea that we humans consist of all three parts. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). Our relationship with God is mediated through His Word, His Holy Spirit, and His Providence (God’s protective care for us in time and eternity). Jesus said, “But the Helper, The Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all things I have said to you” (John 14:26).
During Old Testament times, a believer could lose the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. After a time of sin and rebellion, David prayed, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (Ps. 51:11). Since the First Coming of Jesus Christ and the Day of Pentecost, we (believers) now enjoy the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. However, we can still grieve the Holy Spirit and be out of fellowship with God. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed [saphrizgo] for the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). The Greek word saphrizgo means that the presence of the Holy Spirit in a believer marks, stamps, or seals every believer as a permanent possession of God. We have a permanent security in Christ. However, we can still grieve the Holy Spirit. Speaking of the rebellious Israelites, Isaiah wrote, “But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit” (Isa. 63:10). If we sin, we must acknowledge our sin so that we can, once again, function in fellowship with God (1 John 1:9). We are challenged to live in fellowship with God, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Of course, we all fail from time to time. However, as we keep our eyes on Jesus, we can, more and more, stay obedient to Him by and through the Spirit, and remain, more and more, in consistent fellowship with Him.
In summation, the presence of a human spirit makes us a unique type of animal. We have the capacity and challenge to live in constant fellowship with our Creator, who is also Spirit. Yes, we are also soulish beings, and our souls (psyche) are also immaterial components of us. Finally, our spirits and souls occupy a physical body, which is naturally decaying. Obviously, this creates a number of challenges along the way. Like our Lord, Jesus Christ, when enduring times of suffering, we must depend on our relationship with God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The spiritual must take precedence over the soul and the body, but we must seek a wholeness and balance of all three, which is how God designed us to function.
 “G5590 – psychē – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (nasb20).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 18 Apr, 2023. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g5590/nasb20/mgnt/0-1/>.
 “G3651 – holotelēs – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (nasb20).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 18 Apr, 2023. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g3651/nasb20/mgnt/0-1/>.
 “G3648 – holoklēros – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (nasb20).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 18 Apr, 2023. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g3648/nasb20/mgnt/0-1/>.
 “G4972 – sphragizō – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (nasb20).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 18 Apr, 2023. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g4972/nasb20/mgnt/0-1/>.