Welcome to week three of Spirit, Soul, & Body. I had so much to say about the soul last week that I had to extend this particular study into two parts. We are diving deeper into our study of the soul this week. Here are the links to week 1 and week 2 if you haven’t read those yet. Last week, we learned what our souls are and that our spirit has authority over them. We are learning about the potential for sin in our souls today.
4. Training our soul is serious business. God created our mind, will, and emotions to help us examine the temperature in our souls. You can tell how you are doing based on your thoughts, wants, and feelings. If we avoid negative feelings, we can’t take authority over them and they will eventually have authority over us.
Things like abuse and trauma can move into our souls and set up camp. Overtime, they affect our personalities and change us. Without healing, our identities become centered around pain and fear. Then, every choice we make and word we say is birthed out of negativity. Offense, fear, anxiety, doubt, unforgiveness, gossip, envy, and lust all come from our souls and can completely destroy us.
That is why it is so important that we allow the Holy Spirit (and professional counselors) to bring healing. The last thing we need is for the world to encounter Christians with unhealthy souls. They will see the Church as hypocritical and having a relationship with Jesus, pointless. We are here to model the life and freedom that’s available through Him, which means that we are responsible for the health of our souls.
If you are a victim of someone else’s sin, please don’t hear me say that any abuse or trauma you faced was your fault. We are not be accountable for the choices that other people make. We are, however, responsible for how we respond to what happens to us. We have to do the hard work of forgiveness and healing so that we don’t perpetuate the cycle of sin. Hurt people, hurt people. But healed people, heal people.
“Away then with sinful, earthly things; deaden the evil desires lurking within you; have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires; don’t worship the good things of life, for that is idolatry,” (Colossians 3:5 TLB).
“Then Peter came to him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!'” (Matthew 18:21-22 NLT).
5. Unhealthy connections form unhealthy soul ties. Unhealthy soul ties are spiritual connections with people that tear you down and distract you from Jesus. This can happen physically or emotionally. Have you ever had a relationship with a boy/girlfriend that wasn’t healthy and then, all of a sudden, you found yourself “needing” them? You wrapped yourself up in that relationship and lost all of your other friends and sense of self as a result? That’s a soul tie. When we go looking for purpose and meaning outside of God, the enemy will be glad to provide it. His goal is to steal, kill, and destroy us (John 10:10).
Soul ties happen in relationships with unhealthy:
- Sexual partners
- Abusive marriages
- Authority figures
“A soul tie is where we have bonded, attached, and become one with someone. An ungodly soul tie is based on lies and deception; occurs when the relationship is unhealthy or sinful. It is motivated and pursued out of lust of the flesh and can easily become an idol we worship.” – Gateway Church
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NLT).
There are also healthy, godly soul ties. These form in covenant relationships. The bond between a husband and wife is a supernatural soul tie. You can also have healthy ties to friends and family.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh,” (Genesis 2:24 NKJV).
“As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul,” (1 Samuel 18:1 ESV).
6. God’s plan is for our souls to be rested and peaceful. When we operate from a place of rest and peace, we show the world that we belong to God. We are acknowledging that we trust Him to take care of us. We could be going through the hardest situations imaginable, but the Holy Spirit can help us maintain authority over ourselves. I previously stated that our souls have the potential for offense, fear, anxiety, doubt, unforgiveness, gossip, envy, and lust. The opposite extreme is also possible. Our souls were created to be the home for freedom, peace, security, forgiveness, life, blessing, and purity. It all depends on our choices to align with the Holy Spirit and submit to God’s word.
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers,” (3 John 1:2 NKJV).
“He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake,” (Psalm 23:3 ESV).
Training our souls, part 2. Last week we talked about journaling and telling our flesh “no”. Here are this week’s suggestions:
Forgiveness and healing– We are never more powerful than when we release control and forgive. I know that this feels counterintuitive, but releasing someone who has wounded us gives God room to act on our behalf. When we hold onto anger and bitterness, our souls get wrecked and our personalities change. Healing happens as we submit to God’s process. He fill us with grace and compassion as a result. It is brave, hard work that is SO worth it.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you,” (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT).
Breaking soul ties– If there are any unhealthy connections between you and another person, you need to cut those ties spiritually. The following steps are from Gateway Church.
- Confess and repent (1 John 1:7-9).
- Seek godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).
- Ask for and receive forgiveness from God (Psalm 32).
- Extend forgiveness towards yourself and others (Ephesians 4:31-32).
- Pray sincerely that the tie would be severed (James 4:4-8).
- Pray that the stronghold be removed (2 Corinthians 10:5-6).
- Ask the Holy Spirit to purify your desires and cleanse your soul (Psalm 51:10-12).
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit,” (Psalm 51:10-12 NKJV).
God has great plans for our souls. We just have to understand our responsibility in seeing them mature and grow. Next week we will finish up this series learning about our bodies. Praying you experience healing in your soul this week.