Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.
Often we serve God with the soul, which is subject to emotional issues, ups and downs. Someone serving with the soul is on fire or lethargic in their service to God in proportion to how happy they are, how encouraged they feel, the nature of circumstances in their life. Those who serve with the spirit take no account of these things but they serve God because He is God in all these things.
We can serve in the flesh by our dedication to a task or a ministry. We are doing a thing and enduring in it by the sheer force of our will power. God may never have called us to that task, or He may have been ready to move us to something else, but we continue on faithfully anyway, in the power of a disciplined flesh. Serving God in the flesh is much like any carnal thing we do. We make our plans, schedule our events, recruit our helpers and go about our work. Everything is structured and organized. So organized that there is no room for the Holy Spirit to move, and if He did move it would “mess everything up”.
But we can serve God in the spirit, leaving all of our own plans and agendas and allowing ourselves to be moved by the Spirit of God, even if waiting to know His agenda means sitting and doing nothing for a time. What matters is what HE wants, and personal preferences must take a back seat. Or be thrown out the window entirely. To serve God with the spirit requires a place of surrender that many are unwilling to accept.
Lord, help us yield to you!