So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.”
James 1:21 NLT
Welcome to Week Three of The 40 Day Soul Fast!
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This week we will take a closer look at the nature of the soul—what it is and how it works.
You are not alone if you’ve ever asked yourself, “What is the soul exactly?”
Sometimes the essence of who we really are is the most difficult thing to understand.
Consider how much research has gone into studying the human body—think of the science that has been dedicated to understanding our cells and the chromosomes they contain which make us who we are!
By understanding who you are on a “soulular” level, you are better able to diagnose your vulnerabilities, supplement your weaknesses, and nourish your strengths.
As much as our true nature is revealed on a cellular level, so is the truth of who we are hidden within our souls!
When I think of a healthy body, I think of a body that is able to defend itself from disease.
I’ve heard it said that you are exposed to enough germs at any given moment to make you deathly ill, but as long as you keep your immune system functioning as it should, you can fend off even the deadliest germs.
Likewise, the health of your soul depends on its ability to defend itself against whatever may cause you dis-ease. You may understand how to keep your cells protected and strong, but what about your soul?
Your body provides a beautiful metaphor for how your soul functions.
There are always forces at work bombarding your soul—trying to invade and break down protective walls—attempting to get a foot-hold where there is a weakness in order to throw your system off balance.
Just as a virus is a formidable enemy on a cellular level, so are the forces of darkness when it comes to the life of your soul.
I think of how laser technology is able to destroy cancerous tissue or disintegrate a malignant tumor, and how the light of truth with laser-sharp accuracy is able to destroy all the works of the enemy.
Human souls are what kingdom forces are warring over.
God’s primary objective has always been to liberate the souls of humanity from the enslaving forces of the enemy so the sons and daughters of God can take rightful dominion of the earth.
Why is the human soul the front-line of the epic battle taking place between the kingdoms of light and darkness?
Because the soul is the driving force that causes a person to dream and gives every individual the power to create a new reality—a different outcome—to change the course of history.
The soul is the engine that gives any person the power to imagine a desired outcome and the determination to achieve it.
It provides the motivation, willpower, desire, drive, enterprise, passion, resolve, urge, and zeal to accomplish an objective. It is what makes the human will unstoppable.
It determines whether you move toward or away from God’s divine purposes—and it determines the speed at which you move in either direction, depending on whether it is fueled by Truth or deception.
The soul is both the navigational center as well as the engine room of a human being.
Unlike the mind, the soul is the seat of one’s personality—it is where the genetic code of each individual’s drives, desires, aptitudes, and abilities are imprinted. It is the “inner man” that is expressed through the outer man we all see when we look at one another.
The soul is our life force. It is made up of electromagnetic energy that can be measured. It is a substance that has been scientifically proven to exist (read The 40 Day Soul Fast to learn more).
This substance is what gives each person his or her distinctive identity—it is from where we derive our sense of self and individuality.
“What is soul? It’s like electricity—we don’t really know what it is, but it’s a force that can light a room.”
The soul is contained within a physical body that God created from the dust of the earth—a body created from the earth to interact with and function in the physical realm.
With the aid of five physical senses, the body enables humans to be conscious of the world around them giving them the ability to discern earthly things.
In contrast, the spirit of man was created to reflect the image and likeness of God, making him God-conscious, and giving him the ability to interact with and discern spiritual things.
While the body is temporal and earth-bound, the spirit is eternal and heaven-bound.
These two planes of existence—the earthly and the heavenly—come together in the human soul.
The great battles taking place between the kingdom of heaven and that of the world—between the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness—are for the souls of humanity.
These battles not only rage in our souls, but for our souls.
The soul is where the temporal and eternal aspects of human existence intersect.
The soul gives human beings the ability to discern the divine self—to be self-aware—and to consciously live a life elevated by the Kingdom of God while still physically bound to the earth.
The soul is the seat of intention, conscience, and choice.
In other words, the soul is the governing mechanism of your life, which in turn is either governed by Christ, the world, or the enemy.
What you allow to govern your soul is what you permit to occupy it.
- Is your soul governed by the love of things or the love of God?
- What do you spend the most time thinking about? What do you most hope and long for?
Hope acts like an anchor that will either tether your soul to the Kingdom of God or to the kingdoms of this world—to your painful past or to the promise of your future.
“The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope.”
Colossians 1:3-5 MSG
It is our hope in God alone that provides “a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls” (Hebrews 6:19).
From the beginning, God set mankind apart from the rest of creation by breathing into him His very own breath and causing him to become a living soul—an eternal thinking, feeling, rational, creative being like Himself.
He created him in His own tripartite image—spirit, soul, and body.
When we are born into the family of God, His DNA is activated within us.
God’s Spirit comes alive within our spirit, we are given the mind of Christ, and every cell of our mortal bodies is revitalized by the power of His Resurrection Life.
Every aspect of the Godhead comes alive in our own tripartite being—His Spirit comes to live in our hearts, His Nature takes up residence in our consciousness, and even His eternal Word is made flesh in our mortal bodies.
So why doesn’t every believer in Christ walk in complete victory in all areas of their lives?
Why do God’s people struggle generation after generation, day after day, not only with the multitude of opposing forces at work in the world, but the forces at work in their own minds and bodies—even in their own souls?
The great Apostle Paul wrote about this very thing in his letter to the Romans:
“But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me”
Romans 7:23 NLT
How can you be a child of God and still a slave of sin?
This is the primary question we will be dealing with throughout The 40 Day Soul Fast.
What are the toxins and ties contaminating and entangling your soul keeping it vulnerable to sin and cycles of failure?
Even if you don’t feel bound by sinful behaviors or victimized by continual defeat, there may still be other encumbrances within your soul keeping you from breaking through and achieving the greatness God has implanted in you.
But there is hope—the Word God has planted in your heart (James 1:21)—the Christ in you (Col. 1:27 )—which makes all things possible! (See Phil. 4:13.)