I’m sure most of you have seen courtroom drama shows, so you know that in a court of law the jury makes the final decision about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. In order to do that, they take the facts presented by the prosecution and the facts presented by the defense, they compare them, and then they decide what the truth actually is. What they say, goes.
In your life, your soul is your decision-maker. It takes the facts presented by the world and the truth presented by the Word, it compares them, and then it decides what it’s going to believe. What it says, goes, and what you believe is what you’ll live. As you can see, your soul is a very important part of you and the Word has a lot to say about it.
The Bible has several words it uses to identify the soul: soul, flesh, and heart. In our core verse for this series of teachings, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, you are taught that you are a three-part being: You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body.
The word “soul” in this verse is the Greek word psyche, and it is defined as the heart, life, mind, and soul (Strong’s Concordance) and also as the place of feelings, desires, and affections (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). These definitions could be summed up by saying your soul is your mind, will, and emotions.
What the Word Says About Your Decision-Maker
Let’s look at just a couple of the characteristics of your soul. Bear in mind, this is certainly not an exhaustive summary. Proverbs 2:10 says, When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul.… Your soul needs knowledge, especially knowledge that is pleasant!
Psalm 13:2 says, How long shall I take counsel in my soul…. Your soul is what receives counsel and advice in order to make informed decisions.
Lamentations 3:20 says, My soul still remembers and sinks within me. Your soul is what remembers and stores your personal experiences.
Job 7:15 says, So that my soul chooses strangling, and death rather than my life. That sounds like Job, doesn’t it? In this verse, we see that it is the soul that chooses between life and death. God tells you in Deuteronomy 30:19 that He has set before you life and death, so choose life. It is your soul that makes your choices, either for good or for bad, for life or for death. It is your decision-maker.
Made in the Likeness of God
Your soul is the part of you that God spoke of in Genesis 1:26 when He said, Let us make man … according to Our likeness. When you ask about a person that you don’t know, you usually ask, “What are they like?” What you’re really asking is if they’re nice, fun to be around, quiet, funny, etc. In essence, you’re asking about their personality.
Your soul is your personality and it is also the center of your feelings and emotions (1 Samuel 30:6), your appetites and desires (Deuteronomy 14:26 and Psalm 107:5, 9, 18, and 26), as well as your thoughts and intents (Luke 2:35 and Hebrews 4:12).
Why All the Fuss?
Your soul is kind of a big deal, and this is why the Word talks so much about it. It’s such a big deal because your mind is the only place that the enemy can attack you. Your spirit man is untouchable because it was sealed by the Holy Spirit from the day of its creation (Ephesians 1:13), so the enemy is denied access there every time. On the other hand, the sway he has on your mind is completely up to you. Hence, the fuss.
Joints and Marrow
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
This verse is using an analogy: Soul is to joints as spirit is to marrow.
If you know anything about physiology, the marrow is where life is contained. Your spirit is compared to the marrow because your spirit is also where your true life is contained, the real you. (See Made in the Image of God for further teaching on that subject.)
The joints in your body enable movement and connect all of your bones. Your soul does the same thing for you spirit and your body. It’s what connects the spiritual with the natural because there is no direct connection between the two. In order for what’s true in your spirit man to become true in your body and in the circumstances around you, it has to flow through your soul.
The Devil’s Goal
The devil is doing his best to influence your mind through TV, social media, movies, and whatever other means He can. He knows that if he can keep your mind unchanged by the Word of God, then he can keep you living in bondage to fear, poverty, and sickness.
This is why even though everyone receives a brand new, perfect spirit when they’re born again, not everyone will walk in the fullness of what God has provided for them through the sacrifice of His son. Not everyone will experience healing, prosperity, and freedom, and this is a direct result of one thing: Not renewing their minds, or renewing it to the wrong things.
Here’s the Facts
Romans 12:2 gives specific instructions on how to get what’s in your born-again spirit man from the inside out.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
You are instructed to renew your mind. What you renew it with is completely up to you. The devil will present you with facts from the world, like you’re sick, you’re broke, or you’ll never amount to anything. God presents you with the truth that He has healed you, He has prospered you, and He has a plan for your life.
A Futile Tug of War
Your mind gets to weigh both sides, and if the enemy can keep you waffling between the sides, then he can keep you right where he wants you – stuck in sickness, poverty, and bondage. It would be like two people of equal strength engaged in a tug of war. Both sides are pulling equally and nobody is going to win. If you don’t choose a side, believe a side, put your faith in a side, you’re not going to win.
… casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ …
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV)
You will be presented with opportunity to doubt God’s Word every day, but you don’t have to accept it. This verse instructs you to take the thoughts that come into your mind and hold them up to the Word of God. This is how you take your thoughts captive and bring them into submission, and this is how you bring your soul into agreement with your spirit. In essence, this is how you walk in the spirit and not in the flesh.
Stop listening to the world and start letting your mind be changed by God’s Word. When your soul lines up with your spirit, that is true believing and that is when change can happen in your body and in the world around you.
My Prayer for You
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
3 John 1:2