The Scriptures use the word “spirit” in various ways. Often it is used of the Holy Spirit of God. But it is also used for angelic spirits, both evil demons and holy angels. One of the overlooked ways that the Bible speaks of “spirit” is in reference to the human spirit, that immaterial part of men and women created in the image of God that is a major factor in our experience of existence.
Today I call your attention to Psalm 101. When you read it, you’ll notice it does not mention the word “spirit.” Curious, especially with my introduction. However, this ancient song of David is all about protecting, guarding and ruling his own spirit. Even though it is very short, it’s not an easy psalm to get through, frankly. But when you realize that David is talking about guarding his own spirit, the difficult and enigmatic parts begin to dissolve.
Pay close attention to verses 2 and 3. These set up the major thrust of the song. “I will give heed to the blameless way” is a way of saying, “I will tune my heart to God’s ways.” This is the first step in guarding your spirit. David continues with “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes,” which is the opposite side of the first truth. It’s his way of saying “I will not dwell on evil, meaningless, empty things.” To do this is to guard your spirit. Paul’s words in Philippians 4:8 comes to mind. David also says, “I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me.” This is the powerful practice of not letting falsehood or evil “cling” to your spirit, as those types of things often do. It is keeping your spirit clean, pure, unencumbered and free. The works, lies and poison of the enemy are like sticker-burrs. They easily attach themselves to your spirit as you encounter them. It takes attention to pick them off. Do not let these things cling to your spirit. Step three.
Today, after you read Psalm 101 several times, I invite you to a time of prayer and meditation on God’s Word. Ask him to help you guard your spirit. Ask Him to teach you how. He’s been itching to do so for a while now.
Extra challenge: Continue meditating on the power and gracious control God gives you over your spirit by examining these texts: Proverbs 15:13; Proverbs 17:22-29; Proverbs 25:28; Psalm 143; 2 Timothy 1:7. Think about how they continue your practice and worship in this area.