Is your soul prospering?
Andre Tan, The City Singapore // June 25, 2018, 6:09 pm
The soul has often been a subject of mystery. There are a variety of definitions of what the soul is. To simplify it, I define the soul as “all that is within” – your internal world.
In the creation story, it is written that God created man by forming him from the ground of the earth and breathing into his nostrils. It says in Genesis 2:7: “And man became a living soul”. Our personhood comprises of three parts – body, soul and spirit.
It is on God’s heart that we prosper in our soul life.
In the third epistle of John, the now refined and matured apostle John begins his final letter with a prayer for his friend Gaius. These are his words: “I pray that you may prosper in all things even as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2)
The word “prosper” in the Bible loosely translates to “embarking on a journey towards completeness and wholeness”. God desires for us to be whole and complete, not just physically but internally as well.
I pray that you will prosper in all things, even as your soul prospers. That verse says to me that prosperity of our internal world is directly connected to the prosperity of our external world.
It is on God’s heart for our internal world to define and impact our external world – not the other way around. So often, believers allow the state of their internal world to be defined by external circumstances.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
The Bible tells us of an occasion when Jesus was on a boat with His disciples when a storm came. The disciples were panicking while Jesus, being completely at peace, was sleeping in the boat. In their fear they woke the Messiah up and said to Him, “Do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38)
Jesus then proceeds to calm the storm by making the decree, “Peace be still!”
That is to be the life we live as believers. It is God’s will for us to not be deterred by the storms of life. We are to have perfect peace in the face of adversity and circumstance. But not only that, the state of our internal world can actually affect the external.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us that out of the heart flows the issues of life. Jesus charged His disciples to go into houses and let their peace come upon or be released in that house (Matthew 10:13).
In my study of the soul, I find myself captivated by the words of Jesus in Mark 8, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
I believe Jesus in that statement was not making reference to the eventual destination of the soul but rather it’s present condition. It is possible for us to be seemingly in order on the outside but be in shambles on the inside.
You might be asking yourself now, what does it mean to be whole, complete, healthy on the inside? What does it mean to have a thriving soul life?
I’ll like to point out three signs of a restless soul. If you identify with any of these signs, I hope that you will make a personal commitment to begin working on your soul and embark on a journey toward completeness and wholeness.
3 SIGNS OF A RESTLESS SOUL
1. Your emotions are inconsistent
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?” (Psalm 42:11)
Emotional inconsistency is when your emotions are not proportionate to the adversity or situation. That is a sign of an unhealthy soul life.
Emotions are the external expression of the state of the internal world. When you find yourself over or under reacting to a situation, you have reason to check on your soul. The lie that has infiltrated our culture is that our feelings is “truth” and we are to “follow our heart”.
The Bible says that “the heart is deceitful above all, who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). We are not called to live from feelings but from faith in God. And whenever our feelings do not measure up to our faith, we have reason to question those feelings.
2. You are constantly overwhelmed
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
If you are constantly busy, stressed, and on the edge, your soul life is in peril. I am not saying that it is dysfunctional to be busy. We all have seasons of busyness. That’s what it is supposed to be – a season.
If you are constantly busy and overwhelmed, you have to be intentional with making a choice to relook the way you manage your time, organise your priorities and unwind. We always have a choice to do what is best for our soul.
3. You live in fear of the future
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)
There is a popular saying that goes, “Hope for the best but expect the worse”. That is the societal definition of what hope is. It is fleeting, unsure and rooted in uncertainty.
Hope for the Christian is as certain as the unchanging nature of God – His goodness. Hope is the confident expectation of good.
The sign of a thriving soul life is a life of great joy and anticipation. If you live in fear and anxiety of what the future holds, your soul is restless. My prayer is that you will rediscover “the anchor” for your soul (Hebrews 6:19). A hope that stands firm and secure, even in the midst of the storms of life.
I pray that you will prosper in all things, even as your soul prospers.
Andre is the Lead Pastor of The City, a vibrant church that’s located in the heart of the city. He is a 3rd Year graduate of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM) where he received training and impartation for revival. Andre is passionate about the church and it’s role in society.