Reply All – Part 2 (The Soul)
Pastor Amie Dockery
July 14, 2019
Main Idea– Your soul is the place where your heart (attitudes) and mind (thoughts and perceptions) overlap. How you regulate your soul’s reaction to things will determine your path in life. Because your soul is constantly seeking a direction it is essential you are able to keep your soul still – and at peace – so that you can hear God’s voice, and respond to what He tells you.
Love God with your entire being
- The Bible tells us to love God with our entire being: our hearts, souls, strength, and minds. Luke 10: 25-28 – And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
- Those verses imply it is possible to love God only partially, or incompletely.
- There are distinctions between the different parts of our being. The condition of each part is important to our total wellness.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely: and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Your soul is distinct from your spirit
- God’s word penetrates deeply. Therefore, you need to use it to keep your soul accountable to God, rather than to your own attitudes (heart) and thoughts (mind).
- Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
- Your spirit is pure and incorruptible, and will return to God when you die. Ecclesiastes 12:7 – Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.
- However, your spirit is influenced by your soul during this lifetime. You must learn to regulate the combination of inputs into your spirit from your emotions and reasoning.
- One simple analogy might be a camera. A camera has a body. The different settings on a camera (your soul) regulate the images that pass through the lenses to the film (your spirit).
- Another analogy is a typical computer. A computer has a body. The software (your soul) that enables the computer’s function determines an outcome that can be transferred to permanent storage at a place called i-Cloud (your spirit).
Learn to control how your soul functions
- The Greek word for “soul” is psyche (pronounced psu-kha). The Hebrew word for “soul” is nephesh – which means “a breathing creature.”
- Your soul is alive. Its nature is to be in constant movement.
- Your soul is not neutral. It operates according to patterns it has absorbed from the inputs of your heart and mind. It seeks predictability. It avoids confusion. It seeks direction.
- You must train your soul to be at rest and yield to your spirit. That is different from how a camera or computer functions.
- Instead of letting your eternal spirit be influenced by your heart and mind, you should require your soul to sit still and wait for input from God. Psalm 23:3 – He restores my soul; He leads me beside the still waters.
Your soul needs direction
- Your soul’s biggest fear is unknown territory. Follow God’s leading as you make decisions. Intentionally stop your soul from moving on its own. Make your soul yield to the Spirit of God.
- Jeremiah 6:16 – Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
- Psalm 63:1 – O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
- When Moses led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, they were pursued by the Egyptians. In the midst of a dangerous and confusing situation God told the Israelites to be still – not to follow their own emotions and reasoning – but to follow His direction.
- Exodus 14: 1-4 – Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.’ Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.
- Exodus 14: 13-14 – And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (be still).
Standing still is the best thing you can do for your soul
- The best thing you can do for your soul is to train it to be still.
- In the stillness God will speak a new word to you.
- Psalm 62:5 – My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.
- Jeremiah 31:25 – For I satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.
- Without your control, your soul will seek busy-ness and will become weary.With weariness will come confusion and a lack of direction.
- Psalm 130:5 – I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.
- Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth!
- Stillness = knowledge. Busy-ness = ignorance. That is why Satan is intent on continuously distracting you from peaceful times with God.
God’s direction might be different from what you expect
- Give whatever skills and gifts you have back to God. Do not rely on them yourself.
- Be still and God will show you what you otherwise would not have seen. Proverbs 3: 5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
- God’s solution for the Israelites was to walk right through the Red Sea. They would not have been able to do that themselves if they had not, at first, been still and waited for His command to move. Exodus 14: 15-16 – Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.
- In this way, your soul will be able to give all the credit to God as He guides you through the circumstances of your life. Psalm 34: 2-4 – My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
Reflective Questions for Reply All – Part 2
- Pastor Amie gave two examples (camera and computer) that might portray the distinct nature of our bodies, souls, and spirits. Do those illustrations make sense to you? Do you have any other examples of your own that might explain the distinction between our souls and spirits?
- Has Satan found success in keeping your soul busy and not at rest? What has he done to create that condition of constant movement in your soul? What are two practical things you can do to intentionally call “time out” for your soul and wait to hear something from God?
- Can you recall times from your own experience where a rested soul enabled you to see things more clearly?