“In the person with the ‘well-kept heart,’ the soul will be itself properly ordered under God and in harmony with reality.”
Moses encourages us in Deuteronomy 4:9a: “Only take care and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen and lest they depart from your heart.” If we don’t manage our souls, our souls will manage us – emotionally, physically, relationally, and spiritually. We neglect our souls when we’re busy, we ignore them, don’t take care of the issues of our hearts, and are disobedient to God.
A good description of a healthy soul is in Psalm 1 verse three: “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” A healthy soul produces fruit no matter what is going on in life because it is connected to the Living Water, Jesus. If we remain and abide in Christ, peace, contentment, and stability will be evident in our lives. A healthy soul is one that is not “controlled” by externals, addictions, or idols but finds its home and rest in God.
There are steps we can take to ensure our souls are healthy. First, acknowledge and pay attention to your soul. Periodically, check its pulse by taking care of the issues in your heart. Utilize the God-given tools of confession, repentance, forgiveness, and grieving. In humility, give God thanks for everything, entrusting the outcomes to a sovereign God. A soul under God’s enabling grace allows us to live a life of obedience, pleasing Him with the choices we make.
Solitude, stillness, quiet reflection, and listening to the Father’s voice are the primary ways I actively watch over my soul. These spiritual practices did not come easily and initially were uncomfortable. But I remind myself that the uncomfortableness of today will lead to greater freedom tomorrow. Being trained in these practices helps us readily enter the presence of God.
God is the one who restores our souls. As I abide in Christ, snuggle up close to Him, and learn what pleases Him so I can express my love to Him through obedience, my soul becomes healthy. Peace is restored to my soul when I align my life with God’s truth about who He is and who He created me to be and live from that truth. My soul finds rest in God when my heart trusts in His goodness. Choose ownership over the wholeness of your soul.
“Rest to our souls is rest in God. My soul is at peace only when it is with God, as a child with its mother.”
Which of these practices does your soul need to become healthier?