The soul

3 John 1:2 3 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

That word prosper means "a good journey" - God wants you to have a good journey. 

I wanted to continue to look at the next part of the scripture in 3 John 1:2 which is THE SOUL.

What is the soul?

“The soul has a side in contact with both the material and the spiritual element of humanity, and is thus the mediating organ between body and spirit”.

What does this mean?

We live in a physical (material) world.
(Our body that allows us to do so.) This world is: created, temporary, connected to sin.

We also have the spiritual world. This is the world of the supernatural - it is perfect and eternal.

In between these two worlds is our soul. This is who we are - our personality, identity, gifts, talents.

Therefore our soul is “the gap between the natural world and the supernatural world”.

When we get saved our spirit is made perfect - this is called salvation - we are made perfect in the sight of God - this happens to our spirit.

However even though we get saved, we still live in a material world - in a world that is corrupted by sin.

Our soul is then connected to both the perfect eternal world, and the temporary natural world.

This explains why inside of every individual there is this desire to reach perfection. This battle between good and evil, right and wrong.

The soul is caught in this connection between heaven and earth.

When we get saved our spirit is made perfect, but our soul isn’t. Most people think that when they become a Christian everything will be perfect, well the reality is it wont.

Salvation is the process of “being made perfect” - this happens instantly in our spirit.

Sanctification is the process of “becoming more like Christ” - this happens over the rest of your life and happens in your soul.

This is where we want to focus on this year - on the soul.

What makes up the soul?

Well essentially there are four areas of the soul

1) The Flesh

The bible refers to the flesh, the part of us that is connected to our bodies.

2) Our Mind and Emotions

This is our thoughts and feelings.

3) The Heart

This is where our will, motives and intentions come from.

4) Our relationships

This is where we find connection and relationship.

These four areas are what make us who we are. 

These four areas are all connected, and sometimes one or two or three of these areas are healthy, but there might be one of these that God is challenging you to work on.

Psalm 23:1-3 ESV
[1] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. [2] He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. [3] He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

God wants to restore your soul.

I believe we can see all four of these areas in this scripture.

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want" - this speaks to our Heart: our desires, intentions and motives.

At the end of the day I am content with what I have. 

When he is my Shepherd I don’t chase after meaningless pursuits. I am fulfilled in him. He will give me the desires of my heart.

Maybe God wants to restore this area of your life.

"He makes me lie down" - this speaks to our Flesh.

When I lay down my life, when I lay down my flesh he is able to lead me.

He is able to guide me - he is able to take me on that good journey he has planned for my life.

Maybe God wants to restore this area of your life.

"He leads me" - this speaks to Relationships.

Am I in relationship with him. Do walk with him every day?

Do I talk to him? Let him lead me?

He wants to model what healthy relationship looks like that we would have that with others.

Do you have healthy relationships?

Maybe God wants to restore that area of your life.

"Beside still waters" - this speaks to our Mind and Emotions.

Hows your mind, is it hectic and crazy and all over the place, or is there a peace?

Is there strength and security in your mind?

Are you tossed to an fro by the worries of life?

Is there doubt or anxiety or fear ruling your mind?

Maybe God wants to restore this area of your life.

Verse three goes on to show us WHY he wants to restore our soul - "He restores my soul, he leads me in paths of righteousness for his names sake."

The reason he wants to restore you is actually so you can help others.

God wants to use you to reach people.cHe wants to restore you so he can use you.

Our soul is like a bucket - if it has holes in it, then its hard to refresh others with what’s happening in our life.

He wants to restore us back to the vessels he created us to be.

That we would go into our community and be able to speak life and hope.To bring them to church where they can get restored.

Maybe we need to focus on the condition of our souls as much as we focus on the conditions of our body.

How’s our soul?