Awake my soul

I don’t know about you, but I’ve realised more and more during lockdown that I’ve had to give myself a good talking to. I’ve found that my mind is easily gets distracted and I find that I get so focused on little things that actually ‘real life’ becomes challenging.

The trick is to try and ensure that you catch yourself before it becomes a real issue, preventing normal functions.

At times, I wonder why I am the way I am. Many of you, like me will have been taught that when you become a Christian everything becomes ‘rosy’ and all you have to do is get on with life. The reality tends to be a bit different though doesn’t it. 

The more I think about it though, the more I realise that it shouldn’t surprise me. As a human I am ‘made’ up of three parts – body, soul and spirit. 

My body (greek = soma) continues to get older, creaks more each day, and will eventually cease to allow me to continue to experience that which we refer to as life.

When this happens, my spirit (greek = pneuma), which is the part of me that because of my relationship with Jesus is acceptable to the Father will continue to exist. My spirit is where I find my conscience, and it is the part of me that communes with God.

My soul (greek = psyché), or mind is a part of me that needs continual work. Romans 12:2 tells us that we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. I think that we forget that our minds need to be transformed. We assume that becoming a Christian means that we will automatically think the right way. We can find ourselves getting more and more frustrated as we realise that our minds are not in line with our spirit. 

As a church we are spending some time looking at the life of David and some of the Psalms that he wrote.David spent a lot of time telling his soul to come back into line and to start thinking the right way.

I believe that it is important to feed our ‘spirit man’ We need to spend time with the Father, communing with Him, stretching our faith, enjoying His presence. It has already been make perfect by the cross, but He loves it when we spend time with Him.

But we need to be disciplined with our body too – too much junk and not enough exercise will reap its own reward.

Our soul can be talked into a place of destruction or one of promise and hope. 

Consider these verses. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases.” (Psalm 103:1-2)

‘Why are you downcast O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation.” (Psalm 45:2)

In each example, David tells himself to remember things, to consider things, and questions why he feels the way he does. I dare say, if it is ok for David to do this, it is safe to assume that we can too.

There is an old story about an even older Cherokee and his conversation with his grandson.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

There will be some who read this for whom simply talking to yourself is not the answer. Some will have very real medical issues that need to be dealt with by a professional. Please seek help as appropriate. If you are already receiving help, can I encourage you to speak positively to your soul as an addition to anything that has been provided, whether that be medication or something else. God is absolutely able to transform any situation around in an instant, but sometimes He uses medical professionals to effect His perfect plan for your life. 

Speaking truth to your soul is a good thing. I pray that as you do, your experience of lockdown will change for the better, and you will begin to see clear paths and opportunities where there may only have been mountains before.

Stay safe.