Faith Relationships Self-Management

Oh, My Soul!

Our soul is one of the most underthought of parts of us.  It doesn’t respond like the rest of our body, where you can either get over it or get used to it. That isn’t how our soul works. Our soul has to be cared for and nurtured. And for some of us, the words nurture and care are things we try to run from because “that just ain’t me”. We are the only ones who can allow God to renew our tired, worn, weary, hurting souls; so let’s put aside our macho preconceptions and get real with what we know our Heavenly Father is telling us to do.

How Do We Care for Our Soul?

Get Vertical with Worship – You know those times when you are just at peace? Where you get drawn into a place where you don’t really perceive your physical surroundings anymore. Where it is like your inner self is more aware than your outer self. I think of it this way; what happens here on Earth is like a horizontal line, but what happens between our soul and God is a vertical line. When we worship, we are focusing on our vertical connection with Him more than our horizontal connections with the comforts of this world.

Worship is a heart posture where we ascribe unspeakable value to something. It’s where we humble ourselves and say that we know deep within us that there is something greater than what we are. And when we worship our Creator, our soul reconnects with the One in whose image we were made. Our soul is refreshed when it realigns with our perfect Father and not the “golden calves” that are around us all day long.

The things of this world will fade away and crumble, but our souls will last for all eternity. So when we align our souls with things of this earth, it loses its identity and starts to wither. As King David wrote in Psalms 42:1 – “As the deer pants for the water, So my soul longs after you, O God”. That is why we must regularly return to the source of all things eternal so that we can be refreshed, renewed, and strengthened.

Go Horizontal Because Relationships Matter – I’m betting that you could name one person off the top of your head that always makes you smile just by being near them. I have a few. I have one brother who I know will always wrap me up in a great bear hug of brotherly love. I have another brother who always asks how I am doing in God, and he truly listens to my answer. God has placed each of my other brothers in my life for a specific reason of strengthening His church body.

It is good and vital that we meet together for encouragement, accountability, and fellowship. In fact, the second recorded observation by God about us in Genesis is that “It is not good for man to be alone”. And just as we need to take care of our vertical connection with God, we also need to take care of our horizontal connection with others. The Apostle Paul states how much of refreshment we can be to others in Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.”

When we come together with true love for each other, our souls resonate with the goodness of God. We are called to be God’s reflection here on Earth, and we can be restored in our souls through that wonderful connect with others.

Have a Good Talk with Yourself – Sometimes we have to give our souls a pep talk. Just like a good coach will do for the losing team at half-time, we have to speak life into ourselves. And we do this by speaking God’s Words over our lives. All throughout the Psalms, we see the author talking to himself. Psalm 43:5 is one that I have been clinging to lately. It reads “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior, and my God.” The psalmist is asking himself, “Why are you hurting? Why are you discouraged? Why are you sad? Why are you just slightly off?” But then he doesn’t leave it there, he continues on and tells himself to hope in God, and then praise Him.

When it feels like nothing is working, we need to remind ourselves of the promises God has fulfilled in our lives. Then tell ourselves to put hope in the future that God has declared over us. And finally, we set our hearts on praising God, even in the midst of the storm. Because, even if we don’t feel like it due to our circumstances, our unchanging God is worthy of all our praise.

Put into Practice:

Take some time this week and do some soul searching. Ask God if there are any parts of you that are getting neglected. Maybe it is really obvious that something is off like mine was, or maybe there is something deeper. In this constant go-go-go world that is full of comforts and distractions, it can be easy for us to hide our hurt, even if it isn’t intentional. But we have a loving Father that knows us better than we know ourselves, and He wants to mend and care for us even if we don’t know we need it.

I also want to encourage you to take a moment and do some caring for your soul. Set apart some time and practice one of the three things mentioned above. Put on some worship music and just sit and bask in the presence of God. Schedule a meeting with fellow brothers who uplift you, virtually if you have to. Or look up some verses of praise and encouragement and speak them out loud over yourself.

I leave you with the prophetic words of Paul that he wrote in Romans 5:32 “Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other.”

Warrior On!

Casey Perkins

Casey Perkins has been in the church his whole life. However, that did not prevent him from going down a path of perversion, adultery, self-indulgence, and isolation. Thankfully, like all prodigal sons, the Lord chased after Casey even when he was a long way off and welcomed him back with open arms and unconditional love. Casey's primary purpose now is to live out the mantle that God has placed on him and lead other men into the grace and calling that the Heavenly Father has given us all.

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