By now you know that man is a triune being, man is three distinct functioning parts. Man is a spirit, he possesses a soul which is his mind, will and emotions, and he lives in a body. The spirit is the life source of any man. The spirit will live without a body but a body cannot live without the spirit. Before a man is born-again he makes no distinction between the soul and the spirit, he thinks they are one and the same. God can and does influence every spirit of men, whether they be born-again or not. Before I accepted Jesus as my Savior, He gave me vivid dreams of burning in hell. The devil is a liar, he would never try to scare anyone away from his abode.
Romans 8:5 They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the spirit, the things of the spirit.
When the Bible refers to the flesh, it is talking about the soul(mind) and the body. The spirit of a man lives in its own little world, it is capable of communing with God but it must be born-again first. God is a Spirit and He communes with spirits, the devil is a spirit but he got kicked out of the spirit realm. The devil is capable at injecting thoughts and evil concepts into the souls of men. Our Bible tells us to cast down(out) imaginations that are contrary to God’s will. Our soul and body are programmed by nature to do what “feels” good. The soul and body can feel good about robbing something of value from another person, even a family member.
The reborn spirit of a man by nature wants to follow God based on His Word. The man has a problem, his spirit wants the things of God but his soul and body want the things of the world. All of us were sinners before the new birth and we all know how hard it is to break the lustful habits of our flesh. Some Christians never succeed. Some endure for a season and some surrender to their Heavenly Father. If the flesh is given the headship, it will never allow the person the opportunity to draw near to God. If the spirit is allowed to lead, the body will resist the need to fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
Acts 20:28 Take heed that you feed the church of God, which He has purchased with His own blood.
The world has taken heed to feed the flesh of all men. God has raised up men to feed the spirit of man. Which ever one is fed the most will be the strongest, the stronger will be the predominant. Every man makes the decision in his mind(soul) of what manner of man he will be. Yes, we do have evil forces that work against us but God gives us an adequate measure of grace to resist the temptations. Not all men will accept this grace, they are content to be sinners hoping one day to “get right” before it is too late.
You do not build up the spirit once and think you have all you need. We must continually be edified because the devil never gives up on pulling our flesh into his camp. Arnold Schwarzenegger won Mr. Universe in 1968. Have you seen his body since he stopped working out? If we stop feeding our spirit, he will become a “stick man”.