Soul ..... !!! So what ?

I have started reading the book " Soul Keeping " by John Ortberg and it is having a fairly significant impact on the way I am thinking about myself.

I am unsure that I have ever really thought about my soul too much. Other than giving my heart to Jesus when I was way younger and doing my best to live my life for Jesus ever since... I have found out a few home truths which are challenging me and also encouraging me.

My blog entries are mostly about my thoughts about what God is doing in and around me, but this particular blog entry is more about what He is doing deeply inside me right now. And it's been very good so far.

I am loving it, I really like what I am learning.

Can I ask you, when was the last time you did some deep soul searching and soul surgery and knew that it was just good ?  Well that's what is happening inside me.

Ortbergs book is laced with quotes from Dallas Willard and it's very helpful.

One such quote: " it's more important who you become in life than what you achieve".

In a world that expects us to perform and come up with results, even in the church, and yes even in The Salvation Army, this in itself throws up a few challenges to the normal way of thinking that I have lived out, (maybe you too) and whilst I still want to achieve great things on the earth and for TSA, more than anything I want to finish my life, when the time comes, as a great Christian... Totally devoted to Jesus and ready to meet Him face to face with confidence.

Soul neglect or total ignorance of our soul is an important issue to address.

It got me thinking how do I neglect my soul ? How do I ignore it ? How do I damage it ?

I think ...and I am still working it through, but it is all interconnected.

My flesh can damage my soul, my choices of the flesh, and my choices of intentional soul food or not choosing that...will cause an issue for my soul.

It has caused me to re consider my soul.  It is a very good thing.

Now for the past few days I have been house sitting and pet minding my daughter and her husbands pets and their unit. This has caused me to have a lot of alone time, away from Jules and Mel and also a bit of travel time backwards and forwards from home to the unit here in Ringwood, and in these times I have had huge opportunity to pray and consider where I am at these days.

It has been a bitter sweet experience ..... And I am getting hold of the fact that I haven't been so good at looking after my own soul so good recently. If not ever.

In ministry, as an Officer - Pastor, many others want us to help them look after their souls, and that's one of the great privileges of being in ministry, but it should never come at the cost of your own soul and I am not certain that it has really, but I do know that I have neglected it still, somewhat.

I think that is what God has been saying to me ...its deeply personal and I share it with you as a reader of my blog, in trust... That it might help you as well.

So here is something of what I am learning about myself.

We can pray, read our bibles, attend church, hang out with other Christians and read loads of books, but still be soul hungry or soul depleted.

It needs to be deliberate in attending to our soul, but first we need to be aware of our soul and how it can be damaged or neglected. That is also a choice.

For me it's a bit about what gets first attention... The flesh ? The Mind ? The stomach ? Or my soul ?

It's about taking time to rest in Him, and be taught by Him, to be unhurried, to be more aware of the things that I choose to do and how it is affecting me deep down. It's about turning TV off, going to bed early,  getting the daily walk and prayer time... And listening out for what God is saying to me about me.

 These past months have been good for that in many ways. Not having a regular weekly congregation to lead and pastor, has given me lots of time to re think ministry and life and what is important and what isn't.

How others treat me has also come under scrutiny and the protection of my soul is not determined by others, it is determined by my own choices and responses.

So, for now, I will keep reading this book which is gently shaping me in a new direction .....and I will allow God to do what only He can do in me. I want that.

I am determined to finish off better than the way I started.

I am on that journey, well and truly,  and it's good.

And so... What now ? So what ?

Well it's the soul that goes to heaven, our spirit... It's hard to define it or to describe it... But it needs to be healthy it's the only bit that will last after our flesh has gone.

It's worth considering what we do with our soul and how we take care of it.

Just a thought !!!!


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