To begin 2016, I was compelled by the Holy Spirit to read several books about inner disciplines. One of the books I had recently purchased pertained to this. Soul Keeping by John Ortberg, Senior Pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian in CA.
In a couple of chapters Ortberg addresses the tension that sin creates for the soul.
Remember Jesus making this statement in Matthew 22:37 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (In Luke 10, a lawyer includes with all your strength, Which Jesus approves.). Ortberg concludes that the soul integrates the mind, will and body.
Now if we engage in a dance with sin in any part of our life, that sin will disintegrate our capacity for enjoyment and more importantly any deep sense of meaning for our life. Remember, sin distorts one’s perceptions, alienates us in our relationships, inflames ungodly passions, and enslaves our wills.
In Psalm 51:6 we read what The Lord desires, “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” The Lord makes it really clear what He desires for us. He has longings that concern our soul, our deepest inner part. Ortberg writes, “When my will is consistently, freely, joyfully aligned with what I most deeply value, my soul finds rest. That is wholeness. When I live with half-hearted devotion, my soul is always strained.” I don’t know about you, but I long for wholeness and rest in my soul.
In James we read of a double minded man. He refers to this two times (1:5-8 & 4:1-10). Read James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Double-minded (note the hyphen, it is one word) is translated from the Greek word dipsuchos. Psuche is the Greek word for soul. So literally this could be translated “double-souled” or “split-souled” or “fractured-souled.” The implications are this: sin fractures the soul of a person. When we cling to sin we prevent our soul from functioning properly.
So how do we prevent or soul from being double-minded? In Psalm 19:7 we read, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.” This means that we must pay attention to the laws of God, responding with conviction to what the Lord calls sin. That is one side of the response. The other side is to live with a God-given ache for goodness. This is why we are to Love God and love others . . . just what Jesus told us to do in Matthew 22:37-39.
So how is your soul-care today? Are you finding a godly increase in sensitivity over sin coupled with a burden to love others? Are you delighting in the law of the Lord to find your soul revived? There are remedies if you are not. Confession of sin, study and meditation on the Scriptore, humble service to God and others all while experiencing God’s grace will bear transformation; transformation of your soul.