I Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body. (C.S. Lewis) I love words. The difference in just a single three-letter word changes everything. You are a soul. I know, I know really what’s the difference? It makes all the difference in the world. Our body is dying. We are born with time ticking off the clock from the first breath that is ever taken outside the womb. No one wants to think about that when handed a tiny, perfect, precious being but it’s true. In the same regard, that same infant is filled with purpose and potential bulging within their soul. Every need already met. Enough grace sufficiently provided. They are more than conquerors deep within them. All that power wrapped in flesh. Therein lies the problem. We are born in bondage to our body. Overpowered by our feelings, gripped by emotion, and with an underdeveloped mind in need of knowledge. It is such as state that the Lord provides Eternity deep within us – to drive us, motivate us to reach for something more than our five senses. Our heart longs for more because our soul is connected to it.
You are a soul. You have a body. If you are a soul and have a body, it means that your soul should be in complete control of your body because it is superior while flesh is superficial. What or who you are can never be taken from you. What you have can be by that which is stronger, mightier or more powerful. Sometimes when the Lord shares a deeply philosophical truth, I feel like a cow standing in a field slowly chewing cud. I know it is not glamourous but as I read the statement by C.S. Lewis today, I felt compelled to let it marinate in my mind. I am not a body, I am a soul. My soul should be the driving force of motivation and the head of my life rather than my physical or emotional being which is dying as we speak.
Natural death is unavoidable (Hebrews 9:27) but not terminal for those who choose to nourish and grow their soul, empowering it with the Word of God and His Holy Spirit to overcome every obstacle of the natural man puts up to self-preserve and maintain control. Our soul must find the strength in Jesus Christ to take over before it is too late.
James 2:26 (NKJV)
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Does this verse back up the claim of C.S. Lewis? Maybe. For me it definitely does, as I think of the struggle within me. (Romans 7:22-25) I can identify with Paul who loved God’s Law and desired to maintain it, yet fell short in his humanness. I do, too. It is frustrating. Yet, as I learn recognize and utilize that Christ lives within me and His Grace is enough, I also am discovering that my soul is not as strong as it needs to be. Tests, trials, and troubles all force my flesh out in the open as it objects to its discomfort and imminent death. Our body is dead when our spirit or soul leaves us making it inferior. Our soul is saved by faith in God through Jesus Christ alone. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. I want to please God. He is not looking at what I do because my arms and hands “do”. He doesn’t necessarily dictate where I go, my feet carry me. He doesn’t even really care about how I feel as that is an emotional state driven by one’s mental state. He looks to see if my soul is prospering in faith. As my soul prospers…
3 John 1:2 (NKJV)
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
Oh how I wish God’s Whispers were His Shouts. I wonder if I would hear Him more distinctly and see Him more clearly in my life. Religion is the action of those who wish to prosper of their own accord. I am not at all criticizing the church just making a point that our body “does” but it is our soul that “is”. If we do not prosper in our soul, nothing else matters. We will not prosper in God’s Blessings and Promises in all things and be in health until our soul becomes more powerful and unaffected by what we see, hear and feel. It must be firm and confident in faith to grow, develop and mature impacting our natural life and physical body.
Romans 4:16-20 (NKJV)
Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God…”
Abraham is the father of many nations. He had only one son. How is this even possible? By faith. Faith is the salvation of our soul. Abraham demonstrated the utmost faith in God. How? Abraham believed in the God who gives life to the dead and who calls those things which do not exist as though they did. God it. Abraham believed God. (Period) Yes, but there was more to it. Contrary to hope which means the impossible. He still had hope. His faith was not weakened by his own body which was considered already dead. He did not waver. A prospering soul that is greater than our physical being is not moved by natural things. Unbelief keeps our soul in bondage to what our feelings and physical limitations not allowing us to move our life into the Presence of God completely so that we can prosper as our soul prospers.
Matthew 6:25-30 (NKJV)
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
I ashamed to admit that on the day our son was diagnosed with cancer, I burst into God’s Presence with a long list of “things” that I had done “for” the Lord as my reasoning as to why He could not allow our son to die. I was mad. I was crushed. My physical body completely overwhelmed by physical outbursts from sobbing to shortness of breath to nausea. It was as though my brain stopped working and every part of my natural body went into immediate distress. My emotions ran the gambit, too. I have never felt so out of control in my life and my flesh reacted to it. I will never forget that day. It was the day I changed forever. It was the death of me. I will forever be thankful for that moment.
Obviously, I am not thankful for the terrible ordeal our child suffered due to a horrible disease. I will forever be thankful for the moment that began the process of my complete and total undoing. I lost control that I never really had. My faith in God was not based on total trust but my ability to perform up until that moment. When rendered utterly and completely helpless, I had one choice give up or trust God. Now as a parent, what option did I have but to pick up that sword of faith and fight even unto death? Statistically, we spent three years on the wrong side of odds. However, God is faithful and healed our son just as promised.
It is human nature to worry and stress over life. We worry about money. We worry about bills. We worry about other people. We stress about all these things that do not really matter driven by our physical needs. We allow that which is a have to control who we are. We do not have a soul. We have a body. We are a soul. The Peace of God may look like insanity if you do not have the faith to perceive it, but those who live by faith are at peace with the Living God so as their soul prospers it will be the same in real life. The problem is that our life, like our soul, becomes so wrapped up in the flesh it forsakes our freedom to live.
I Corinthians 9:26-27 (NKJV)
Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
I must discipline my body to remain subject to my soul. The prosperity of our soul must be our priority. We have God’s Word. He has filled us with His Spirit. Not to make this life better or save our body from death, but to grow, develop and mature our soul to take over. It is a fight. You will do battle every day as your flesh fights back. Your mind rallies for logic when faith becomes illogical. There are days that I think maybe, for a moment, that I have lost my mind. When this pursuit of God makes me act irrationally or do crazy things, when it really is not that at all just one step of faith successfully achieved. When we make radical steps of obedience, it seems a little crazy especially when accomplished with perfect peace. But rest assured, God’s Plan is working in us to achieve all that He has set forth to do just keep walking by faith and not by sight. God’s got you!
Philippians 3:20-21 (NKJV)
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
By reconciling our life to Christ, including how we feeling and emotion, it comes at the price of self. The soul is judged according to its actions “in the body”. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10) Our soul is not free to engage in a relationship with Christ if in bondage to the body. We cannot give freely what is not our own. (I Corinthians 12:12-14) To be one heart and one mind is a relationship; not a religion. Our flesh must be put to death to allow our soul to be free. (Romans 6:11-13) We were created to be the Temples of the Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 6:19-20) All things are lawful under God’s Dispensation of Grace but not all things are helpful.
If I decide to plant a garden, I will head to Lowe’s or maybe Home Depot to gather supplies from the Garden Center making a monetary investment. Once back home, I will till the ground and do the laborious part of clearing the area for my garden meticulously removing all the rocks and weeds until there is nothing but fine rich soil. Taking each seed, I will carefully push it into a neat and perfect row. Fertilizer will follow with lots of fresh water to saturate the ground as I nurture what I hope will produce something. After all my hard work is done, I must wait for God to give the increase. Too many times, when we do not see immediate results in the natural, it is human nature to give up what the Lord is supernaturally doing in our soul to complete our life. If I do not continue to tend my little garden as the seed dies in the ground and is resurrected to new life, I will never reap the harvest of all my hard work or return on my investment. What if I do not continue to care for it? I will never see the maturation process complete or purpose fulfilled. How many gardens have we abandoned because our flesh is weary or tired of waiting?
Colossians 1:19-23 (NKJV)
For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard…
I am challenged today to release my soul from any control my flesh may have on it. I am the one who allows it when I do not allow faith in God to dictate my attitude and actions but rely on my physical feelings to dictate my reaction when God calls for a response. Are you responding to God’s Promises today by engaging in faith and confident hope? Am I? We react in our flesh to its complaints, groanings and impatience. We must look to great men of God such as Abraham who did not allow his faith in God to be weakened by his body and never wavered in belief. Lord, I ask you to help my unbelief. Holy Spirit, make me conscious of all areas of my life controlled by my flesh and not by You! Jesus give me the Grace to overcome my flesh and live freely in You in all things today that I may prosper as my soul does reconciled to You!
I Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NKJV)
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. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.