God has created us to be three-part beings; spirit, soul, and body. People often wrongly identify the parts, but 1Thessalonians 5:23 clarifies it quite nicely. There are three parts that make us humans, and our soul is the part of us that we must constantly keep in check. It’s governed by our will, and God won’t violate our free-will choice. We can do whatever we want to do. We’ll pay the consequences of our wrong actions, but the choice is squarely ours to make. The soul has a couple of gates. Stuff goes in and stuff goes out. That’s an over-simplified statement, but true nonetheless. The mind is the thinking center, and the heart is the feeling center. Both have storage capacity, and sometimes they hold on to the wrong things, and this causes us major problems down the road.
In Proverbs 4:23, God tells us to guard our hearts, and to let this be one of our chief occupations in life. If Heavenly Father has told us to make guarding our hearts a priority, then it means that the heart is pretty important, and not guarding it will cause some serious malfunctions. To guard something is to be careful about what goes in it and what comes out of it. In other words, we must be extremely discriminating about what we let through the gate. This places us in a position of discernment, and sometimes we’re not so good at it. We can’t predict the future, things don’t work out as we expect, and the people we choose to have relationships with are not always who they purport to be. These are just a few of the reasons why we desperately need the help and guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit. He’ll help us discern what is true and righteous.
With the heart, a situation might make us feel really good, but be bad for us. On the flip side, a situation that is for our overall well-being might break our hearts. That’s the tricky part, because oddly enough, what’s best for the soul doesn’t always feel good to the heart at first. But here’s the whopper piece of information that none of us can afford to miss, whenever we do what is best for the soul, we increase spiritually. God tells us in 3John 1:2 that He desires that we prosper, be in good health, and that our souls will flourish in His goodness. This is why the adversary blinds the minds and hearts of people through his tactics of bombardment and chaos.
Distraction is his game, and so often we fall for it. We become so consumed with the heart business that we neglect the soul, and end up missing the blessing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve witnessed this in the lives of others. They feel as if they can’t catch a break. It’s one problem right after the other for them, and it’s because a pivotal blessing is coming their way. Causing them to miss it by distracting them is the name of the devil’s game.
We have to open our eyes and begin to see these distractions for what they are. They are sent our way to keep us from making the very decision that’s going to usher in what we’ve been praying to receive. Our choices can be doors to opportunities that will advance us in Kingdom pursuits. These are the choices that are before us every day; choices to nourish our souls with God’s Word, so that it will cause all aspects of our lives to thrive.
You have to face the reality that when it comes right down to it, it’s YOUR soul on the line. When you stand before the judgment seat of God’s throne, you can’t take anyone with you. This should motivate us to move everything in our lives aside so that we can get quiet and spend some quality time with God in His Word. This is a very important way that we can hear from Him.
Looking at romantic movies or reading novels, you might have come across the advice, “Just listen to your heart.” This sounds like the right thing to do, but it isn’t always wise counsel. Jeremiah 17:9 warns that the human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and Proverbs 26:23 cosigns this. It warns that smooth words sometimes hide a wicked heart. So, when it comes to someone else’s heart, as well as our own, we need the Lord’s help to discern the right choices so that we can make good, solid decisions.
God has a treasure waiting for you, and He doesn’t want you to miss it. Don’t let chaos and bombardment confuse you. Isaiah 26:3 tells us that God will keep us in perfect peace when we trust in Him and keep our thoughts fixed on Him. Your heart may want what it wants, but let God take control, because only He knows what’s best for your soul.■
“My Heart Hurts, But My Soul Feels Good” written for Overcomingdomesticviolenceorg.wordpress.com. Copyright ©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!