Bible Reading: Philippians 4:1-9
A close relative of mine recently went for a routine checkup at the hospital. Everything was very fine, except that her cholesterol levels were high.
Here’s the thing- she had no symptoms, she was not feeling anything wrong, she wouldn’t even have done any check if it was not set up for her to check as a routine. She didn’t feel there was anything wrong, but something was wrong and it was significant!
Today, we want to set up a routine checkup session for our souls. It isn’t so much about whether we feel like we need it or not.
- Are you conforming or being transformed?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is -his good, pleasing and perfect will”. Romans 12:2 NIV
What has happened to your soul in the face of all the loud evil we have seen in 2020?
We can’t afford to keep conforming to the designs and the systems of the world- we can’t be hopeless people like the world tries to make us, we can’t become immoral people like popular opinion seems to suggest, we can’t become selfish in a world full of need
“For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16 NIV
What are your soul’s desires? What is your soul focus? Have you in some way slipped into conforming with the lusts of the world.
“And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 AMP
God invites us to a constant transformation. The truth is that we’re either conforming or being transformed, not anything inbetween.
Has your soul somewhat slipped into resignation and hopelessness or are you firmly holding out your faith and hoping in Jesus one more day? Are your values intact? Has sex outside marriage become just ‘one of those things’ or are you pursuing sexual purity and integrity? What are your persuasions? What are your confessions? Are you renewing your mind to be transformed to the image of Jesus?
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV
- Are you hurting or being healed?
If you’ve ever stepped on a nail or cut yourself with a kitchen knife, was your big problem the manufacturer of the nail or the style of the knife? I bet that it was that you were in pain and bleeding!
I think the first thing when you get cut would be to run and find how to stop the bleeding and close the wound, then we can later on go back to thinking about the type of nail and who did what and find out how it shouldn’t repeat itself again or something. I doubt the reasonable response is to be asking who left the nail on the floor while you’re still wounded and bleeding out.
Who offended you? Who hurt you? Who broke your heart? Who abused you? Who broke your trust? Who are you holding a grudge against? It doesn’t matter who the who is! What matters first is the who can bring healing to the wounds on our soul!
We must be quick to release all grudges and fight to keep our souls healthy, not wounded. We must not keep bleeding out while holding on to grudges. We must do all we can to make sure that by the grace of Jesus we are not living with any offence or bleeding in our soul.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalms 34:18 NIV
[The Lord] heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3 NIV
“Forgive us the wrongs we have done as we ourselves release forgiveness to those who have wronged us.” Matthew 6:12 TPT
- Are you ruled or ruling?
“He who is slow to anger is better and more honorable than the mighty [soldier], And he who rules his spirit than who takes a city” Proverbs 16:32 AMP.
Another quick test for our souls is whether we have been ruling it or something/someone else is ruling it? As you think over the year, have you been a victim of how you felt? Have you been able to control the emotions of your soul from birthing hasty, unnecessary actions? A flip check to this is whether you have been able to control and stay in charge of your soul to birth the right actions (even when you didn’t feel like?).
A ruler can command his/her subjects to do things they might not normally do. A good ruler is one that would command the subjects to do things that would benefit the subjects and the kingdom.
Have you been ruling your soul? Or is something else ruling it for you? We are either ruling our soul or it is being ruled.
I love how David says confidently “Bless the Lord oh my soul” in Psalm 103. It wasn’t a suggestion; it was a command! “all that is within me bless his holy name”. David was ruling his soul.
In the parable of the rich fool, he said to himself “… O my soul, you have plenty of goods saved up for many years! So, take it easy! Eat, drink and be merry”. Luke 12:19.
Possessions were in command of his soul…And sadly, He lost his soul.
As Christians, we must keep discovering a dependence on the Holy Spirit to help us rule over our souls.
When my relative saw the results of the tests, the big question was what next? The first step was clear, change the kind of foods she ate and exercise more. So, she started to learn the kind of foods she should eat and how to develop a proper structure for exercising. She had to start avoiding some kind of foods and focus on eating some others. As we meditate together about the health of our souls, are there intakes and practices that you need to consider?
“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11 NIV
“For wisdom will enter your heart and Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul” Proverbs 2:10 NIV
Something to Pray:
“Beloved friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and that you continually enjoy good health, just as your soul is prospering” 3 John 1:2
Pray that your soul will be in good health and always prospering.
Oluwaloni leads a Life Group at Sycamore