April 20, 2011

The health of your soul matters

Deep within, our soul is crying out for a deeper reality with God. Somehow we have lost our way. We cannot hear His voice. It is only when a crisis brings our life to a crashing halt that our self-deception is exposed and we begin to see that nothing really matters in life, but God. All pretence and self-protection is ripped away and we stand, like Adam and Eve, “naked and afraid” with the same desire to hide ourselves.

Our soul, the “hidden person of the heart” (1 Pete3:4 NASB) is no longer hidden to our own gaze. God has always seen our true self and now He wants us to see; it is when we truly see ourselves that transformation can really take place. Soul care is a journey that will bring “truth to our inward parts” (Gen 30:10). Restoration of the soul is what soul care is about. It is also about seeing the threads of purpose that God has woven throughout our live and knowing how to respond to His work by developing a deeper relationship with Him. The health of our soul does matter.

God calls us to be in relationship with others yet it is in these relationships that we are hurt the most. To protect against further pain we put up barriers and defenses. We learn to live behind masks and pretences. This is exhausting. Becoming real before God is the first step towards authentic relationship with God and then, with others.

Soul care is looking at your life story; the struggles, pain and triumphs; the past and the present and inviting God into all of the broken pieces and allowing Him to heal those deep, dark places. Our stories are powerful and we need to know them in order to share them. We can only “hear” our stories when we sit in quietness and solitude before Him, ready to hear and receive.

When we allow God into the deepest, darkest places of our soul we are set free from bondage and are healed from the specter of the past. We begin to see our story as one of redemption; a powerful testimony of God’s grace.

Soul care is developing a deeper relationship with God by spending time listening to Him. Connecting in a real way with God will awaken our souls to hear His call once again. Our soul will be renewed as we realize that He is transforming us from the inside out.

Attending to our soul will allow God’s healing rain to the dry places of our soul, bringing forth new life.

Soul care is not rushing through what God has placed before you. Time is a tool that God will use to develop character within us. Time is also something that God requires of us. We need to make time for Him. Our soul needs to drink frequently from the wells that only God can give. We need to learn how to abide in the vine.

If God asks “Why are you here?” Do you know the answer? Being diligent in caring for our soul by making time for Him in our lives will give us an answer to this question.

Soul care helps us to keep our roots firmly rooted in Him so that as we grow in “outward” ministry we do not become top-heavy. Our growth is maintained by the “life sap” flowing up from our roots. We begin to accept how God sees us and in obedience we step out further into what He has for us. Our soul is a living part of us that needs to be nurtured by His presence.

Do you see yourself as accepted and beloved by God?

It is by deliberating placing ourselves in the presence of God that we begin to see ourselves as He sees us.

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