Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spirit & Soul

As I reflected on the attributes of the spirit and those of the soul this morning, I was struck by the truth that only Jesus can unify these powerful aspects of our individual lives. Both are created by God, touched by Him and entrusted to us in union with our bodies. Both are powerful entities with great capacity and without Christ, it is the soul, the spirit (or even the body) which seeks to determine the course of our lives. Seeking to understand the soul and spirit intrigues me--care to continue on a path of looking at them?

We have considered before that the soul is a treasured creation of God. God holds us responsible for guarding our soul. In creating humanity, God's very desire was to connect and relate to His creation--our souls are the mechanism for that miraculous happening. Like the spirit, the soul can be damaged, devoured and even lost. Souls can thirst, be without knowledge and even 'vexed' to death by others. God alone can heal and redeem a soul from the power of the grave...from the power of lies or violence done to it. Yet he allows us to participate in touching the souls of others through love and even simple words. The capacity of the soul to link with others is both a privilege and a responsibility.

The spirit is 'life itself' and scriptures lead me to view it as the driving force of our lives. It is a gift from God which can be shaped, weighed, directed and lost. The human spirit is capable of all the fruits of the flesh of Galatians and is subject to the influence of evil spirits. It can be affected by music, broken by perverse words or sorrow. The spirit can be steadfast, stubborn and even set against God. However, the spirit can not be retained by the power of man. It is a gift of God, a possession of God entrusted to a body and soul.

While Adam was said to be a living soul, Christ is called a life-giving Spirit. It is our spirit which unites with Christ at salvation; our power source becomes the Lord Himself! The soul of the believer unites with the souls of other believers and scripture says we are 'one soul.' Jesus Christ is the Truth, the only truth, which can shape, heal and direct our individual lives into a unity of purpose. Without Christ, our lives will enter onto dead-end paths or self-defeating endeavors which destroy us from within...with Christ, we have peace and power for this life and eternity. As the body of Christ, the unifying power of The Truth becomes ever more vital. But that is another subject entirely! Blessings to you as you seek the Truth and the peace of living in Him.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Holy Ground

Our souls are a magnificent creation of the Lord--intricate and complex beyond my ability to comprehend. The dynamic interaction of the body, soul and spirit produces an ever-changing entity to study. Even 'minor' sicknesses slow the body and turn the flames of the spirit down dampening the soul. Yet, an expression of appreciation or even a random song can sometimes make our spirit soar and our souls rejoice. I suspect our souls are indeed a battleground of the Lord and like Joshua we need to be reminded to take off our sandals--to understand it is Holy Ground to contemplate the soul. As I wander in this thought land, my own poverty and lack is ever-present. My soul is awed with the love of God which reaches out, the power of God which is able to use imperfect vessels and the presence of God which sustains.

The power and value of the soul seems in stark contrast with its vulnerability. The soul can often be touched by a simple word or a kind gesture more effectively than with the most well-orchestrated program or performance. As a society we tend to value individuals based on their appeal to us and their ability to produce what we need. Our God values individuals because of their amazing potential to love. May we feed on His love today that we will simply spill over onto a soul near us who needs His touch.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Soul Value

Have you been contemplating the value of your soul...of every soul? It is an incredible joy to consider how immensely valuable souls are to the Creator. Our souls are an amazing aspect of our humanity, a creation of God which belongs to God. With all wisdom and love, He has given us the responsibility of stewarding this possession of His--our souls. It is only with stubborn trust in the wisdom, love and power of God that our souls can be nurtured, grown and ultimately saved.

Much danger exists for the can be devoured, destroyed and even lost. The enemy, Satan, hates our very souls and longs to destroy them. The soul is a point of attack in many aspects. We will explore those points in the coming days. But more exciting, we will explore the beautiful design God has for our souls.

Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost. He paid the redemption price for our souls and healing and deliverance is ours for the asking. The course of our life is determined in the soul...seeking and serving the Lord is an act of the soul. As we move forward with this thought train, John 10:10 seems to be a great reminder that God's desire is for our souls to lead us toward joy-filled, abundant life!

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thinking Out Loud

Good Morning! Today's 'blog' is not a complete train of thought at all. My prayer is that it will be a train engine which brings us along a track of discovery. My mind has been drawn to explore the complexities of our humanity...the characteristics and inter-connectedness of the soul, spirit & body. It is only the Word of God which can power this sort of journey...only the Word of God which is powerful enough to bring clarity and unity to individual lives and to humanity overall. Will you join me on this journey and share your comments? I don't have answers but do have a soul desiring God...and His Word promises great blessing in such a focus! Come along.

Christianity is 'soul business.' The Creation account tells us that God's crowning creation was man...God gave the breath of life and man became a 'living soul.' Corinthians tells us that the first Adam was a living soul and the last Adam (Jesus Christ) a quickening Spirit. God's plan for His Creation is above our full comprehension but what a joyous focus. Ephesians tells us that God's desire for every soul is transformation into the likeness of Christ...what a glorious destiny He has planned for us.

Yet the scriptures, and life itself, bears witness to souls damaged and lost on life's journey. Our souls are created and kept by God but every individual has a responsibility for their own soul and has impact on other souls. Our souls can actually be 'knit together' and believers are to be of one mind and soul. My desire is to explore how we, as Christians, can live out the destiny God has called us too--and how doing that will help others on their journeys too!

May Paul's prayer cover our journey: And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Soul Nourishment!

We can use the challenges of life as a doorway to the banquet hall of God! Without a heart intent on worshipping God, the best this world has to offer will only give us empty calories that leave our souls starved. In fact, much of this world is actually poison to our souls which leaves us feeling without strength and sometimes desperately ill. It is these dark days of disappointment, confusion and sickness which inspire us to lift our eyes above the seen and seek the One who is unseen.

As our eyes glimpse the healing beauty of the magnificent Creator, our souls began to heal and grow. The unchanging goodness of God is the source of nourishment for souls damaged by the empty calories of our culture's menu and the deadly poison of sin. When our eyes feast on Him, we began to feel stirrings of worship. Worship becomes the food our souls so desperately need. Our soul health is restored and our lives powered by His greatness. Enter into His banquet hall today!

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
(Psalms 37:3)