By Kathi Pelton
I was thinking about how often, as Christians, we are afraid to show our human weaknesses or reveal our struggles— believing that is will make us appear less spiritual or be less admired.
Yet, we are made of soul and spirit. Most people live out their lives from only their souls (emotions and intellect), ignoring that their souls were created to be a response to their spirits that are submitted to the Holy Spirit.
The truth is that no matter who we are or how far we think that we have grown in Christ, we are continually coming up against our humanity (which is the struggle to see our sin soiled souls transformed). We have been given the constant opportunity and invitation to take that soul struggle to the peace of Jesus, which will then lead us into the wisdom of the Spirit, who shows us how to live— but we must accept that invitation.
In my early years of walking with Jesus, I would have many moments that I suddenly hit the “wall of my soul” and rather than taking the time to process it with the Holy Spirit, I would stuff it down until it was hidden or numbed. This only served to delay in inevitable surfacing of the soul-struggle for another day at another inopportune moment.
I have learned over the years to take time to recognize my humanity by understanding that it has many weaknesses and is in constant need of divine help. I do not allow shame to come upon me when my soul needs help to yield to supernatural strength, wisdom or healing. I recognize that my soul wants control and to have every “why” answered. Yet, surrender brings rest from all the striving and allows His Spirit to teach me the right way to go. Submission to His Spirit brings safety and assurance of things hoped for.
Not one of us can escape being human. We wrestle against our soulish demands, our soulish thoughts of entitlement and our fleshly desires that often go against obedience to His Spirit. But the wrestle, which brings the defeat of a life led by selfish desires, is worth the reward of becoming one with Him. We receive His easy yoke.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
There is also beauty found within our souls and our humanity— we can’t forget that. My soul gets emotional every time I see a beautiful sunset or the way that fog can rest on the dewy grass in the early morning. I am in constant awe that God created great minds that make amazing discoveries. Our souls are not bad, our humanity is not evil— it is only the sin that has infected the souls of mankind that has produced evil. We are really wrestling down sin— so that our souls can come into a spiritual awakening that brings freedom and joy, wisdom and peace.
Today I had a couple early morning hours of wrestling down my soul— or the sin that desired to pollute my soul. I had to wrestle down selfish thoughts and even a bit of envy. The temptation was not sin but nevertheless it had to be wrestled into submission to the purity of His Spirit. If we ignore the assignments sent against our souls then they can remain and grow roots.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
We are human lives experiencing a spiritual transformation and awakening— but it only happened in partnership with the work and power of the Holy Spirit. We live before the Father, clothed in the righteousness of His Son, but we still must seek first His Kingdom and allow our hearts to be made pure.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
Remember— you can pause any time to submit your soul to His Spirit. When a impure thought or selfish desire enters— take it captive!
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
Practice purity and make a habit of dealing with sin or the temptation to sin in the moment that you become aware of it. We have an advocate who is for us! He overcame all sin and temptation— even as a human. He understands our plight and has a way for us to overcome and live in abundance of freedom and joy.
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