It's Work Possessing Your Own Soul
Hi there. This is a funny title right? Let’s see where GOD is going with this issue.
According to Scripture humans are made up of three (3) parts: a body, a soul, and a spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
The body is a physical container that houses the soul and spirit. The spirit is that part of a human being that has the potential to connect with the SPIRIT OF GOD. An unsaved person has a spirit that is insensate or dead to the HOLY SPIRIT. An unsaved person has a general sense of right and wrong that is referred to as a conscience. On rare occasions the HOLY SPIRIT may warn the unsaved about danger or give an instruction. Once that person receives salvation, there will be “greater band width” in their spirit to hear the voice of GOD more clearly (are you with me?). The spirit is that part of us that is referred to as “dead” in the following verse: “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins…” (Ephesians 2:1, KJV) When someone receives JESUS as LORD He awakens their spirit so that they can communicate with His SPIRIT. So, what about the soul?
I’m going to give the soul its own paragraph because there is s-o-o-o much contained within it. Your soul is what makes you, you! It’s made up of your personality, mind, will, intellect, emotions, ambitions, desires, memories, and beliefs. That is a whole lot to watch over, take care of, and control! That’s why the LORD says, “Its bitter work possessing your own soul!” The WORD of GOD teaches that it is the soul that needs salvation:
“Truly my soul waiteth upon GOD: from Him cometh my salvation.” (Psalm 62:1, KJV) A soul needs the salvation that comes from GOD.
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30, KJV) GOD’S wise and righteous servants live productive lives winning souls for CHRIST.
“For what is a man profited, if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26, KJV) A person’s soul is the greatest commodity they have; it should not be squandered.
“But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10:39, KJV) The writer of Hebrews declares that he won’t turn back to a life of sin and loss, but will continue to live by FAITH, maintaining his soul’s salvation.
Okay. Let’s summarize what we know about the body, soul, and spirit: the body is a physical container for the soul and spirit; the spirit is dead (insensate) to GOD unless the person is saved; and it is the soul (i.e. the mind, will, emotions, personality, desires, ambitions, and etcetera) that needs to be saved. But look at this next verse, the LORD JESUS speaking: “In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:19, KJV) He was prophesying to the people about the signs of the end of the age including the destruction of the temple, famines, plagues, and war. He admonished them to patiently endure and watch over their souls during these future times of distress. However considering all that’s in the soul, it is a difficult task to look after it even when things in life are going well.
Read this next Scripture: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the HOLY GHOST which is in you, which ye have of GOD, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify GOD in your body, and in your spirit, which are GOD’S.” (1 Corinthians 6:19 and 20, KJV) Note the underlined part of the second verse. It states that your body and spirit belong to the LORD. This verse doesn’t mention your soul.
Who does your soul belong to? The LORD already told us in Luke 21:19; your soul belongs to you! A soul is GOD’S gift to each of us. In the soul is your will and you may do with it, and everything else that the soul contains as you choose. GOD does NOT control your soul. You must choose to yield your soul (starting with your will) to Him. This is a very important Truth for Christians to understand. Not yielding one’s soul to the LORD will prevent Him from working on its different areas thereby hindering the believer’s transformation into becoming more like Him. For example, do you struggle with an uncontrolled appetite for food? Yield that area of your soul to GOD and ask for His help. Do you have an uncontrollable temper? Yield to Him your emotions and cooperate with His plan to develop self-control.
There is much in the soul to be processed and sorted out, wouldn’t you agree? But who in the world is educated enough or trained enough to do the processing and sorting of the soul; an unsaved therapist? I don’t think so. Most of them are struggling with their own issues and they do not have a relationship with the One Who created the soul. You may have knowledge of psychology, you may even have a degree in that area, but do you know of a dentist who works on their own teeth? Or a heart surgeon who performs their own heart transplant? No you don’t! A “do-it-yourself” mentality applied to the care of one’s own soul can only go so far. After you’ve gone on a shopping spree, lit scented candles, taken a vacation, listened to motivational recordings, or had a massage the truth is that there are areas of the soul we can’t transform or heal on our own. The frustration of trying to “handle our issues” or “deal with our demons” soon becomes bitterly unsuccessful work indeed!
Fortunately receiving the LORD JESUS as SAVIOR is only the first step in the relationship; soon after He reveals His intention to “get into your business.” This means that progressively the LORD will impress upon you areas of your soul that require His attention. Back in the day I read a booklet written by Robert Munger entitled My Heart, Christ’s Home. He used the illustration of someone who invited the LORD to be a guest in the home of their heart or soul. In His status as a guest, the LORD was limited in what He could and couldn’t do in the rooms of the person’s heart. By the end of the illustration the heart’s owner gave the title deed of their heart to the LORD. There is such wisdom in this act of surrender, but unfortunately believers do not give up control that easily. Many Christians accept JESUS as SAVIOR, but they deny His lordship over their lives because it requires submission. Years may be spent trying to fix oneself with very few, if any, results. By then you and others around you may no longer be sure that you’re really saved and the landscape of your life will be littered with tragic losses. So, quit the bitter work of possessing your own soul. You trusted the LORD to save it, now submit and let Him do the rest. You’ll be glad you did.
DECLARE: “Here’s my soul LORD JESUS. Go through it. Cleanse every area. Give me clear instructions about what You would have me do to cooperate with this process. Thank You for providing me with grace to endure it until I consistently think and act more like You. Amen.”