Tag Archives: Life

Feeling Sorry for That Poor Man in Sierra Leone? Don’t

Talk about flawed. Read the following verses from :

And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 27 “How long shall sthis wicked congregation grumble against me? tI have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me. 28 Say to them, u‘As I live, declares the Lord, vwhat you have said in my hearing I will do to you: 29 wyour dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness, and xof all your number, listed in the census yfrom twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against me, 30 not one shall come into the land where I zswore that I would make you dwell, aexcept Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.

What was your reaction to reading that? Sorrow? Sorrow for the rebellion of a people toward their gracious God?

Want to know mine? I was sad. I was sad that that generation was forgotten. It was erased off the face of the earth. Erased out of collective memory.

I was sad that no one’s name–except for Caleb and Joshua–was preserved in history. And that that fate was more than likely my fate.


The Man in the Sierra Leone Village

I am obsessed with obscurity. I fear falling out of earshot with the literary elite–both living and dead.

I fear if my name is not embedded for AT LEAST four hundred years in our anthologies that I will have failed.

As you can imagine, this has created massive and unnecessary grief in the mornings spent agonizing over my future. Stupid attempts at attention.

Strangely enough, I used to feel sorry for the anonymous of the world. The man in the small village in the hills of Sierra Leone.

I used to feel guilty for my fortune of growing up in a country where opportunities are abundant. Where fame is at arms reach. While they were damned to obscurity.

Then it dawned on me: if not for the grace of God, those forces are at work on everyone.

Including me.

How I Have It Backwards

But that scheme is all wrong to begin with. I am elevating popularity in this life over popularity in the next life. On this note, the Bible is clear: popularity in this life equals .

However, obscurity–anonymity–in this life equals popularity in the next. Every advantage I have over that man in Sierra Leone in this life amounts to a disadvantage in the next life.

He will be honored beyond anything I could have ever imagined. And that is the more precious prize.

Why We Should Not Love the Things of the World–Except This


For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Those are Paul’s words to the Philippian church. It’s a simple statement with massive meaning: while we are still alive here on the earth, our single and solitary affection should be to live for Christ and Christ alone.

Our reward for such a life of devotion?

To finally experience the pleasure of being in the presence of the glory of Christ. And to experience that forever.

This hope of reward is what Paul says should give us courage to live on the earth in service to him:

We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

But how do we know we have this reward? What is God’s proof to us that what he says is true?

The answer is the Holy Spirit living inside of us. “He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”

Think about it.

Before Christ, you did not love God or the things of God. But after conversion, your heart was softened and your eyes were opened and your ears made to hear.


By the Spirit who came to dwell in you.

Why We Should Desire to Remain

And if you have the Spirit dwelling in you has not God fulfilled one of his promises? Through the , “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

And is God not faithful to fulfill his other promises? Paul is convinced.

Don’t get me wrong: Paul treasures living here on this earth. “If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.”

But not for the things of the earth. He treasures being on the earth for the satisfying responsibility of sharing the gospel and growing believers. He treasures it because it pleases God.

But being here on the earth is not easy:

For in this tent [body] we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

Yet, Paul is still indecisive about which he prefers more: laboring here on the earth or being in the presence of God. “Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell.” He says, “I am hard pressed between the two.”

But then he declares the superior choice: “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”

Why Is Departing and Being with Christ “Far Better”?

That’s almost a stupid question.

Unless we don’t believe in the reality of the promises, purpose or presence of God. If we don’t believe in the reality of the promises, purpose or presence of God–or our faith is so small as to be a nuisance to our carnal walk–then this world and what it has to offer will appeal to us and ultimately seduce us.

If that is the case, then we do not serve God. Nor do we truly love him.

John says:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

However, if we DO believe in the reality of the promises, purpose and presence of God, then we will naturally have an appetite for God, his presence and his people. His people are the only things worth loving in this world.

Paul says in :

But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

Sustaining their “progress and joy in the faith” is the labor Paul loves so much about this world. It’s the only thing that justifies his separation from Jesus Christ.

And it is the only thing worth loving in this world because it is the closest thing in this world we have to gaining Christ.

But it is not the ultimate thing. We don’t gain that until our death.

Subdue the Earth: Exploring the OTHER Great Commission


The great commission for creative types like musicians, illustrators or writers. Subdue the earth explained. Finally.

It’s 33 A. D.

You’re on the side of a mountain in Galilee within earshot of the resurrected Jesus.

You hear him , “Go and make disciples of all nations.”

Now, travel back in time to just after the creation of the world–give or take a few thousand years.

You’re in a garden. You see a man. A woman. You hear God tell that man and woman this:

Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth. 

That, my friend, is the OTHER great commission.

Whatever Happened to Subduing the Earth?

Unfortunately that commission has been nearly abandoned by Christians.

Listen. We are no longer dominating culture. We are copying it. Mimicking it. Shadowing it.

In fact, our culture–not Christ–is dominating us.

That’s why you have long-standing biblical doctrines like hell shoved into the basement.

That’s why you have gaudy knock-offs in “Christian” bookstores.

It’s as if we are afraid to be bold. Courageous. Risk takers. And God forbid we offend a culturally-savvy skeptic.

This is what it boils down to: We are not being obedient to God’s original commission. We’ve become followers–in every sector–not leaders.

Yet this is simply not about being a visionary. It’s something all of us can do.

What Does Subduing the Earth Look Like?

What do we do to roll back this tide and overwhelm our culture–the world–with a Christ-centered, God-exalting mandate to create?

For me, as a writer, subduing the earth looks something like this: Write wide and write often.

1. Write novels.

2. Write blog posts.

3. Write articles.

4. Give lectures.

5. Write poems.

Mind you, the point behind this exercise is not to exalt self. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m done with exalting self.

What I want to do is exalt God. To give glory to Christ. And to take some outlandish risks along the way in my reckless pursuit to proclaim the gospel.

That means much more than simply sharing the gospel. Nor does it mean this civilization-creation stuff is reserved for creative types like musicians, illustrators or writers.

Subjugating the earth includes all types.

Who Can Subdue the Earth?

It includes software engineers. Political negotiators. Produce buyers. Librarians. CEOs. Automakers.

You name it. We need people in those fields subduing the earth for Christ.

God blessed us so we could build civilizations complete with governments, businesses, technology, schools and museums.

And then fill them.

Now, on the outside, these institutions may look strangely like pagan institutions.

But they’re not.

Look on the inside and you see a soul transformed by Christ.

You see a utility company worker bent on providing ample water to surrounding communities. And charging a fair price.

You see a pharmaceutical company designing affordable anti–convulsant drugs for children in developing countries.

You see a blogger reporting on the financial investment world. And telling the truth–no matter how much it costs him.

That’s subduing the earth.

One benefit of subduing the earth is it offers an enticing haven to unbelievers. Who wouldn’t want to live in a community where selfless cooperation, beautiful creativity and honest communication were in abundant supply?

We have the means to build a moral, just world. And the love to fill it.

So what about you: What can you do to build a civilization that honors Christ? Who do you consider to be Christian visionaries subduing the earth? Looking forward to your thoughts.

Theology Will Keep You from Committing Suicide

Answers to the hard questions of life can subdue our death instinct.

A systematic study of what the Bible says about a particular topic is theology proper.

It’s a pursuit every Christian must vigorously and regularly engage…

Because it’s the means by which we answer the hard questions of life.

Questions like who am I? Why are we here? What is God? What happens when I die? Do I have a soul?

Questions no one is immune from. And questions science ultimately can’t answer.

NIH Director Francis Collins put it this way:

Belief in God was for me anyway, a much more defensible, plausible position. Not something I could prove but something that made great sense and also provided a powerful answer to some of the biggest questions we all ask of our selves and that science can’t really help us with. Like why am I here? And what does life mean anyway?

Without thoughtful, coherent answers to our big questions, life makes no sense at all.

It would be nice if we could simply stop asking those questions. But that’s impossible. We are forever curious. We constantly ask these questions.

We are natural-born theologians.

To look for the answers outside of Christ, however, leads to confusion. All other disciplines lead to dead ends. Isolation. Incoherence.

As  at the Evangel blog, “A secularist worldview is hopelessly fractured…. There can be no meaningful interpretive key for knowledge because there is only disintegration and brokenness among the various stakeholders.”

Theology, on the other hand, offers us a relentlessly unified, comprehensive answer to the hard questions: .

Listen: If our questions go unanswered, everything remains in the air. Everything becomes unanchored.

Without theology, despair looms. Without theology, suicide knocks at our door.

Heavy prices to pay for not believing in God.

Thus theology leads to relevance. In fact, while regarded as a rather stuffy, arid discipline, it’s the cornerstone on which a Christian must build AND maintain his life.

There is no choice. We must use our minds in this pursuit. Let me know what you think.

Death Lessons: What You Can Learn When Someone Dies

Where I write about the lessons I learned from the death of a distant uncle.

Seventy years from now more than likely you will be dead.

Don’t worry: So will I.

Some of us will die earlier than others [before we reach fifty].

Some will live longer [well after we turn ninety].

See, as humans, we all share this in common–death.

But we also share something else: When we are dead all of the things in our head–our thoughts, dreams, ideas, feelings–will be gone from this earth…

Lost forever to this world. And the people we leave behind.

Why the Morbid Mood?

Yesterday I learned about the death of a distant uncle. A man who I hadn’t seen in twenty years, but for good reasons meant a lot to me.

During a brief time of vulnerability, he took me, my mother and sister into his fold. But during that brief time he taught me how to work hard, hunt and think.

He even gave me a beautiful rifle.

Unfortunately, after a short period of time we parted ways and I never spoke to him again.

I regret that.

And so this morning I found myself a bit tired, wistful and nostalgic. A wee bit indifferent to the world but profoundly interested in hugging my children and embracing my wife.

It’s a classic introvert defense to news heavy on the death of people close to you.

Furthermore, streaming through my thoughts this whole time is an acute sense of our mortality–and the selfishness of living in one’s own head…an introvert’s favorite place to be.

12 Lessons We Can Learn from the Death of a Loved One

So in order to combat that, here are some reflections–commands, really–on how to indulge in the little time we have left in this world–whether you are an extrovert or introvert–and make the most of the time you have with your people.

It applies to us all. Enjoy.

Talk. Nurture deep conversations with meaningful people like your spouse, children, best friends and neighbors. Do this relentlessly.

Journal. Record your thoughts, feelings and ideas. Document tough questions. Sketch out your answers. The point: Be liberal so people can learn something about you when you die.

Pray. Nurture a deep, never-ending conversation with God. Pour out your soul to Him. Ask him for help. Plead with him to teach you how to be more like Christ.

Confess. Shed secret sin by rehearsing the gospel daily, pleading with God for forgiveness and asking an exclusive set of godly men and woman to hold you accountable.

Blog. Share your thoughts, feelings and ideas with a wider audience. Or keep it private and simply share it with family you are geographically separated from.

Contemplate. Think about your past. Evaluate your present. Plan your future. And once you contemplate, share it with others–in a conversation, on a blog or in your journal.

Write. Lubricate lines of communication with a regular letter or email. For times when you can’t pick up the phone or sit down in front of someone. Do this daily.

Slow Down. Resist invitations to do more. Simplify. Enjoy life. Enjoy your spouse. Your friends. Your children. Your home. Your car. The path through the woods. The lake. The clouds. The cross of Christ.

Create. Take those thoughts and ideas and give them life. Write songs. Sculpt statues. Paint portraits. Design cartoons. Build houses.

Play. Go sledding or fishing. Rock climbing or wind surfing. Teach your son to throw a ball. Twirl with your daughter in the den. Uncork a bottle of wine with your wife and watch her trounce you in a game of Scrabble.

Obey. Do when the Holy Spirit nudges. Don’t hesitate. Call that friend. Skip work and run away with your children to the beach. Visit that dying uncle. Share the gospel with a shop clerk.

Love. Grieve with the suffering. Laugh with the jubilant. Talk with the lonely. Listen to the gregarious. Give to the earthquake-shattered. Evangelize the hostile.

As you can probably tell, when I say indulge, I’m speaking about pouring yourself out for others. Giving away EVERYTHING in you to those you love AND to those you don’t love…

To those you know–and to those you don’t know. What you want is to say at the end of your life you held nothing back.

See, it’s worth forcing ourselves outside of our shelters [skulls, homes, churches, nations] and subduing the earth in Christ and for Christ.

Not only is it a biblical mandate, but it also provides for a rich, meaningful life. One that is perilously short.

Don’t waste it.

The Trick to Finding Your Spiritual Gift

How do you know your spiritual gifts? Our understand what they are? It doesn’t really matter if you’ve defined your gifts. It’s something else.

The moment you become a Christian God gives you a marvelous gift–the Holy Spirit.

In other words, the moment you believe…God comes to live in you.

He becomes your guide, teacher and power supply for everything you will do for the glory of God.

That’s true for every Christian.

The Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts

And since the spirit of God lives in us, the New Testament teaches us to behave in certain ways towards the Holy Spirit.

For example, we are encouraged to walk, to live, to be filled, to pray, to manifest the fruits of the Spirit and to use and exercise the gifts of the Spirit.

We are also warned not to grieve, resist or quench the Spirit.

The Christian life is a Spirit-dominated existence. A Spirit-directed existence. A Spirit-controlled existence.

And when we allow the spirit of God to dominate, direct and control our lives, marvelous results occur. Here are six:

Holiness. Constant sanctification.

Joy. Constant satisfaction and contentment.

Liberty. Constant sense of freedom from danger or anxiety.

Confidence. Constant sense of reliability and courage.

Security. Constant sense of protection and favor.

Victory. Constant sense of strength.

But there’s one more: ministry–a constant service to the body of Christ.

An Other-Minded Approach

A Spirit-dominated, Spirit-directed and Spirit-controlled life results in personal benefits, yes, but also in corporate benefits as well.

When we are dominated by the spirit, we are naturally able to serve others. It’s an other-minded approach.

See, when you walk in the spirit of God, your gifts are ministered to me. And as I walk in the spirit, my gift are ministered to you.

As we live and move and have our being in the Spirit, the spirit of God operates through us so we serve the body of Christ and radiate his glory so that people will see and believe.

This is subduing the earth. And it’s crucial. Especially when it comes to finding out your spiritual gifts.

How Do You Know Your Spiritual Gifts?

Frankly, that’s not the issue.

It doesn’t really matter if you’ve defined your gifts. What matters is that we walk in the spirit.

The trick to finding out your spiritual gifts is not defining them and then doing them…but simply getting on your knees and begging the Spirit to dominate, direct and control you…

And if you do that, then he will do what he will do and you can eventually look back and say, “Oh, now that’s what I do.”

That, my friend, is the trick to finding out your spiritual gifts. Make sense? And can you think of any other benefits that result from a Spirit-dominated life that I haven’t listed? Let me know.

Why Did God Create Man?


Ever wonder why you are here? Why anybody is here?

I’m not talking about “what’s my purpose?”

I’m talking about why did God create us? Man? Woman? You? Me? Adam? Eve?

Creation? Anything?

Why did he create the universe and atoms?

Stars, oceans, continents, apricot trees, corn, squirrels, earthworms?


Did God lack anything? I mean: God’s not lonely. He’s a three-part being.

He’s not needy. He’s self-existent.

Neither Is This the Reason

Is he sadistic and perverted and gets a good chuckle when we suffer? No. The .

Was he a poor gardener and needed the help of a professional? No. He’s omnipotent and could manage the garden well on his own.

Then what is it? Why would God create us? Care for us?

Even the  over God’s concern for a creature who pales in comparison to the largeness and majesty of nature…yet is exalted as steward of that creation.

What gives?

This Is the Reason God Created Us

The  gives–just a little. It tells us that our chief aim in life is to worship God and enjoy him forever.

Does that mean God is egotistical and relishes human worship?

Absolutely not.

The issue of why God created man goes to the very core of God’s character and we must go back to the Genesis story to uncover–as best as we can–his purpose.

Here’s what we know: God planted the first man–Adam–in a splendid garden surrounded by a rich, robust world. Yet God saw that it wasn’t good this man was alone.

Enter woman.

And So Is This

Next, he told them to be fruitful and multiply. He told them to subdue the earth.

In other words, he blessed them. He gave them life, responsibility and freedom to care for creation.

And from this we can surmise that God gave freely because he himself is self-giving. That is his incorrigible character.

In return he expects us to bless the nations:

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us…that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 

But there’s something else we can surmise out of God’s creation of man and nature and that’s this: He created man because he is a creative being.

And since we are created in his image we also are defined by this same creativity so that the ends of the earth may know him and fear him through our works that proclaim him.

What are you doing with the life, freedom and creativity God freely gave you? Let me know what you think.

Secret Sin: The Hideous Corpse in the Closet


Guest post by Daniel Wilson of .

You know what it’s like to struggle with secret sin that has a death-grip around your throat…

Secret sin gnaws at your conscience more than anything else…

You feel like a hypocrite with moral standards fluctuating with the presence or absence of an audience…

Endless cycles of determined resolve and dismal failure continue as you try to break off the secret sin…

Your soul has some sickened bent toward feeding at the swine trough even though every taste leaves you with a regretful hangover…

Intimacy with God is almost nonexistent because no two lovers can remain relationally intimate while one plays the harlot…

You may rightfully doubt your own salvation because–despite having gained a lot of knowledge about God and the gospel–you look back on the past few years and see little victory over secret sin…

And you are weary of new techniques and three-step processes to bring freedom.

They never work.

If that sounds like an insider’s description, it’s because I left tracks in mud on the miserable path of secret sin.

Secret sin creates an inconsistency between our outer and inner lives.

Hypocrisy. We do behind mentally or physically closed doors what we would never do out in the light. This shows that whatever is motivating our public deeds is not strong–or not relevant–enough to govern our private deeds.

Where Does the Struggle with Secret Sin Originate?

In general, we sin because we are sinners. Until our sanctification is complete, we will not cease to wrestle with sin.

We are seduced by promises that sin cannot deliver on. We struggle to believe that sin is profitless and costly and thus we are blindly attracted to something that is repulsive in reality.

In particular, our heart is fertile ground for secret sin when we use righteousness to gain approval. We become concerned only with outward appearance. That opens the door for secret sins because they are hidden from view and do not affect public approval ratings.

Struggling with secret sin is an indicator that our outward righteousness is primarily motivated by a love for man. If our outward righteousness was motivated by a love for God, then we would use the same motivation to live righteous private lives.

This is a heart problem: love for God is not filling our heart, enabling and motivating our deeds publicly or privately.

Jesus gives us a profile of this problem in His diagnoses of the Pharisaical heart. The Pharisees did all of their deeds to be seen by men. That’s all they wanted. Concerned only with outward appearance, their hearts were far from the Lord. They were like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness (, ; ).

Contrast that with a former Pharisee whose heart was changed–the Apostle Paul:

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. 

The difference between convenient obedience and full obedience is a matter of where our heart’s affections lie. We either serve and love God above all, or we serve and love man. And only one of those two loves can enable and motivate us to reject secret sin.

The Unsurprising Yet Singularly Effective Solution

Where do we get such a love for God that enables and motivates us to obey?

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” 

We are not naturally filled with love for God. Nor are we the filler that we may fill ourselves. We are helpless to bring about the required heart change so that we can overcome secret sin.

On Our Knees

Gripped and crushed by our powerlessness, we are finally where we ought to be. We are ready to cry out for God to fill us with love for Him. Let Him break, mold and fill us as He sees fit.

Let thy personal weakness, O Christian, be an argument to make thee pray earnestly to thy God for help…Let not the doctrine that you, unaided, can do nothing, make you sleep; but let it be a goad in your side to drive you with an awful earnestness to Israel’s strong Helper. – CH Spurgeon

By the law is the knowledge of sin’ [Rom 3:20], so the word of grace comes only to those who are distressed by a sense of sin and tempted to despair. Martin Luther

The loss of all confidence in one’s self is the first essential in the believer’s growth in grace. A. W. Pink

What is our desperate prayer request? That the Lord will direct our hearts to the love of God and the steadfastness of Christ so that we will do the things that we have been commanded, for our good and His glory.

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. 

[Also see ]

That is the gospel: God requiring of us what we cannot supply on our own. And then giving us the supply.

Does anyone wish to overcome secret sin, to be rid of it at last? Then take hold of the gospel daily. You will find no victory as you wage war against sin until your heart is filled with love for God.

Got a Ridiculous Christmas Story? Here’s Mine

The following story never seems to surprise my wife.


If you lived with this chronic curmudgeon it probably wouldn’t surprise you either.

The Ridiculous Story

Peg me at five years old. Circa, thirty days out from Christmas 1976.

Bright blond hair. Thin as a ski pole. A hand on the hip and a goofy grin.

That’s me.

Dad walks into my room. Smiles. “Whatcha want for Christmas, Demian?”

I put the blocks down and slowly climb to my feet, hand to chin. “Box of mud, of course.”

“A box of-of what?”

“A box of mud.”

I sit back down to play with my blocks again. Dad finally backs out of the room.

Two days later he and mom drop the question at the dinner table. “Whatcha want for Christmas, sport?”

I stop chewing my mashed potatoes. “A box of mud, of course.”

“See,” my dad says to my mom.

Three days later I’m taking a bubble bath. My head is lost in a mountain of strawberry-scented Johnson and Johnson bubbles. Mom knocks on the door.

“Honey. What do you want for Christmas?”

I slowly pretend to paint the wall with bubbles. “A box of mud,” I shout.

She doesn’t give up. “Are you sure?”

I don’t say anything.

“Are you sure?”


“What did you say?”


Two days from Christmas. Dad is waiting for me at the back door. I push through, plop on the ground and start to peel off my boots.

“Still want that box of mud?”


Christmas morning. My sister and I charge downstairs in . We are told to march back up stairs to put on pajamas. We obey and run back down the steps.

Gifts are handed out. I finally get mine. It’s as heavy as an armored tank. Or four gallons of jet fuel. Or a rifle.

I massacred the wrapping and fling open the lid and find nothing but old fashion backyard mud.

In a box.

Rocking back and forth on his feet, dad says, “Whatcha think, sport?” He smiles.

Mom and dad say I went white. That’s true. What they didn’t know was that I’d also stopped breathing.  Broke out in a cold sweat. And was on the verge of sobbing.

Naturally mom couldn’t bear to let her son suffer so she pulled out my other gifts.

I unwrapped them in a complete stupor. To be honest, I don’t remember those OTHER gifts. All I remember is my box of mud.

And that I’d actually gotten it.

Your Turn

Okay. I’m looking for your ridiculous Christmas stories. They can be last years. Or from your childhood. It can be about somebody you know. It doesn’t matter. Just share it. Merry Christmas Eve, folks!

31 Biblical Facts about Man’s Spirit

Given the space I devoted yesterday to spiritual death, I thought I’d follow up today with a post on the biblical case for man’s spirit.

Here we go.

1. Man has a spirit. 

2. Man’s spirit is immortal. [See the heading ]

3. Man’s spirit can be divided from the body and destroyed. .

4. God’s spirit contends with man’s spirit. [Some translations say “abide.”] 

5. Can be sad or vexed to the point a person can’t eat. 

6. Man’s spirit can be encouraged and motivated. 

7. Can be in anguish. 

8. Can turn against God. 

9. Can search for meaning and truth. 

10. Man’s spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. 

11. Can be revived by water or food.  and 

12. Can be faithful and steadfast in the Lord. 

13. Can be rebellious. 

14. Can faint and melt in despair and fear. 

15. Can be reborn. 

16. Can be grieved and troubled and alarmed. 

17. Can be drug down by lethargy and stupor. 

18. Can be fervent. 

19. Can be meek and gentle. 

20. Can be present though the body is absent. 

21. Can be holy. 

22. Can be restless. 

23. Can be filthy. 

24. Can be lifted out of sorrow. 

25. Can be in unity with others. 

26. Can worship God. 

27. Can rejoice. 

28. Can be an example to others. 

29. Leaves body at death. 

30. Can be dead through sin. 

31. Can be made alive in Christ. 

Naturally, this is not an exhaustive list, so…what’d I miss that you think I should include? Looking forward to your thoughts. Brutal and all.