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Even As Your Soul Prospers....
What Are We?
The first response might be that we are human beings, homo-sapiens, people... all true. But, beyond the chemicals, what are we comprised of? What are our largest components?
The most common view from the Christian standpoint, is that we are "tripartite beings"; we have are spirit beings, we have a soul, and, we live in a physical body.
While not all people accept this definition as fact, we will, for the purposes of this hub, agree with the concept of man as being a tripartite being as described above.
We are Spirit, we have a Soul and we live in a Body.
The Spirit of Mankind
The Spirit of mankind is our life force. It is the Spirit that becomes born-again and re-connected to the Father. This is done through receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The Body of Mankind
The Body of mankind is that which keeps us in connected to and with this physical world. A Body is required if you are going to legally function on Earth.
The Soul of Mankind
The Soul of mankind is where our consciousness exists. The Soul contains our emotions, our mind and our will.
The least complex parts of our tripartite being are the Spirit and the Body. You are either saved or not saved. You are either healthy or not healthy. There are no extra "deep" or shaded notions hidden here. It is easy, it is either, yes or no; black or white; in or out.
The issues and difficulties that we have in life take place in our Soul realm. This is where the battleground is and this is where the battle rages. If we lose ground in this arena, we become vulnerable to serious attack in every other arena.
The reality is that attacks in our bodies and attacks against us through external circumstances are an effort to infiltrate our Souls.
Are you satisfied with where your Soul is anchored?
Do you believe that we are a spirit, that we have a soul and, that we live in a body?
The Prosperous Soul is Anchored in The Word of God
In order to keep our Souls “steady” and less vulnerable we should anchor them in some set of principles or standards.
Our Souls contain our emotions, our mind and our will. Our Soul can become convoluted through the trauma of erratic emotions. Our Soul can become confused by double-minded
thoughts and logic that is little more than polluted non-sense. Our Soul can become crippled by the continued weakening of the in-decisive will.
Our Soul can become a “real mess”
No matter what you believe, your Soul must be anchored in something that is unchangeable, something that is unalterable. and in something which is "greater than you". The anchor helps us make the "right" decision because all of our decisions are based upon the principles and the standards of the anchor.
The anchor helps our Soul make choices in spite of the surge of feelings that come from our emotions. Anger, love, sorrow, joy and so on do not affect the Soul contrary to the principles and standards of the anchor.
The anchor helps our Soul guide our actions to those that benefit all mankind and not just ourselves.
The anchor strengthens our Soul to move and hold fast to the principles and standards that we have accepted as right.
In effect, the principles and standards of the anchor which we connect our Soul to help develop our thought life, help control our emotions, and help us make decisions.
Whether we realize it or not everything we do and everything we think all are rooted in whatever we have chosen to anchor our Soul in.
What is your Soul anchored in? Reality TV? The traditions of your culture? Social norms? Yourself? The Word of God?
What is the Evidence of a Prosperous Soul?
The Elder, [ John, the Apostle], To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:1-2 New King James Version
Although this is a personal letter from John to Gaius, we know that the context is to be received as being personally available to each and every Christian Believer.
A deeper look into Church history reveals that Gaius was prospering mightily in his Soul. The Apostle John was wishing that Gaius health and material prosperity would prosper in the same manner as his Soul.
What demonstrated the prosperity seen in Gaius’ Soul? The Soul consists of your emotions, you mind, and your will. What kind of evidence that pointed to prosperity of the Soul was present in Gaius?
There must have been something that could have been felt relative to his emotions. There must have been something that could have been heard relative to his mind. There must have been something that could have been seen relative to his will. What was it?
For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and* for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, 3 John 1:3-6 New King James Version
The scriptures talk of Gaius as walking in truth, being faithful in whatever he did for both Believers and non-believers [strangers], and for treating others with Godly hospitality.
Perhaps observing these things is the key to obtaining a prosperous Soul.
So, we can say that Gaius demonstrated the prosperity of his Soul by:
- Living an uncompromised [by his will] life, following the principles and standards of the Word of God according to his ability before them?
- Treating all men equally and without respect of person [through his mind]
- Loving [with his emotion] the brethren unconditionally
If we examine ourselves along these lines, how do we look?
The Greatest Hindrance - Unforgiveness
The prosperous Soul has to be free of as many hindrances as possible. The Word of God is clear that forgiveness is important to God. After all, our salvation is a result of His forgiveness. Our Souls cannot prosper as they should if they are clouded with un-forgiveness.
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your
Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive
This scripture tells us that if we do not forgive others for their sins against us, God will not forgive us of our sins (against others or against Him-implied). If un-forgiveness hinders us from receiving God's forgiveness, than it is safe to suggest that un-forgiveness can hinder us from receiving prosperity for our Souls.
It should be understood that there is more to forgiveness than the act of simply saying "I forgive you". Forgiveness has more than one step.
Forgiveness... More than Saying, "Sorry"
Forgiveness has at least 2 components. First, the apology, then the healing.
A large part of the process of forgiveness is obtaining healing for the wounds on the Soul which were inflicted by the offense.
I forgive you for the hurt, but that hurt left a scar or a wound on my Soul. Much like after a physical fight; no matter who wins or who loses, everybody emerges from the fight with some sort of scar or mark.
Even when you bruise or accidentally hurt yourself, there is a reminder of the incident embedded in your flesh in the form of a scar or mark. The same is true of the Soul. Whether you were hurt by others or you hurt yourself, any damage done to your Soul leaves a scar or mark.
You may not feel the pain from the incident or event that made that scar or mark on your body, but chances are you still remember how you got it. And, every time you see that mark, you relive the hurt that put it there.
What Can Wound My Soul?
Our Souls can be wounded by hurtful incidents, events, words and/or actions. Anything, small or great has the capacity to cause physical, mental and/or emotional hurt and pain. What causes hurt and pain in one person may not affect another person.
The result of wounds on our Souls are weakened places that are capable of causing us to "give place" to the devil. These wounds are capable of keeping us in bondage to harmful and unhealthy habits. These wounds are capable of causing us to justify actions.
Wounded Souls also can cause us to “fragment” our own personalities. A wounded Soul may create an “alternative personality responder” within themselves to defend them or to hide behind when faced with a painful or hurtful situation.
Acknowledgement of the wounds and forgiving the “who” or “what” that caused the wounds often precipitates our deliverance and the healing of these wounds.
Picture This, (If you don't mind)
You are driving along in life, headed for your destination. Your mind is filled with excitement about the future and all of the great things you are going to be a part of.
Slowly, the road begins to change. It becomes bumpy. The further along you go the bumpier it gets. You are having a hard time trying to avoid the many pot-holes that have appeared.
The lines on the road begin to fade until you can't see them at all. You have to use your instinct to make sure you stay in your lane. The asphalt crumbles and cracks more and more until it eventually disintegrates into dusty gravel.
Your thoughts are no longer peacefully pondering the joy of reaching your destination. They are now actively fixed on avoiding the dangers of this damaged road. You slow down for safety and your focus is now on the circumstances and not on getting to your destiny. In fact, you begin to wonder if you took a wrong turn somewhere.
You even begin to doubt if you are pursuing the correct destiny.
So, Goes Our Souls
This is what happens in and to our Souls.
We are living our lives moving toward our dreams and all seems well. Then a situation, event or trauma strikes. Our Souls are bruised; they become damaged and hurt.
If we fail to deal with the hurt effectively when it occurs, we will continue on through life with the wound from the hurt eating away at our soul, both.damaging and deteriorating it.
Too many bumps and bruises on our Soul will cause us to become joyless, to lose our motivation, to become hopeless. Our minds are no longer excited about our dreams. We find ourselves more conscious of our damaged emotions than we are of anything else.
If our health and financial prosperity is to follow after our Soul’s prosperity, then this picture of a wounded Soul would put us in the hospital and in the poor-house.
Who would want this as a standard of prosperity? I wouldn't... would you????
A Properous Soul Leads to a Prosperous Life
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2 New King James Version
As stated earlier, this scripture tells us that the prosperity of one’s Soul is the standard by which personal prosperity in all things (including personal health), is built upon. From this perspective it would be to our advantage to work on bringing prosperity to our Soul.
We saw how the Prosperous Soul was demonstrated by Gaius, but how is it obtained?
Since the Soul contains the emotions, the mind, and the will, obtaining prosperity of the Soul calls for
- keeping our emotions in balance, [swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath]
- renewing our mind with the Word of God so that we obtain the mind of Christ (a sound mind helps make decisions based on the principles of the Word of God – which is our anchor)
- growing daily in our Spirit through the knowledge of the Word of God and personal relationship with Him
How is this Done?
The answer is simple. Spend quality time with God.
The Bible tells us to keep our mind stayed or fixed on Him, [Jesus Christ]; to set our affections or emotions on things above; to choose who and what we will serve, [God or Satan - life or death].
Quality time with the Lord changes everything.
- Reading the Word anchors our Soul and renews our mind. It gives us a standard to live by. This brings security to the Soul.
- Prayer removes worry and concern because it acknowledges the reality of God as being not only the creator of human kind but as greater than human kind. This brings peace to the Soul.
- Praise soothes the wounded Soul by rejoicing in the exploits and victories given by God.This brings joy to the Soul.
- Worship brings the very presence and glory of God into the worshipper’s presence. This brings humility to the Soul.
- Being still after worship gives God the opportunity to minister to you, to heal the wounds on your Soul, to guide you and to bless you. This brings deliverance to the Soul.
God wants us prosperous in every area of our life. Some of us over emphasize one area above another.God is interested in it all areas equally.
When your Soul prospers, everything can prosper..
We have been given the tools to walk in, and, maintain prosperity. The only effort involved is in spending time in the Word and walking with the Lord.
The choice is yours, what will you do?