As I write this blog, I can’t help but to remember the bible verse that says:
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 1:2 KJV
The word prosper means successful or makes good way. It indicates a walking. Not an occasional thing but a continuous walk. So why do we need a successful soul? I'll talk about that later because right now I want to address what this particular verse is saying. In the above scripture, the apostle is commending one particular person to continue to practice hospitality (welcoming traveling prophets, apostles, teachers, and evangelists into his home. They traveled to very distant places, without really knowing where their next meal was coming from or where they would stay. They simply relied on God to provide). The apostle encouraged this person and a fellow worker to continue to show hospitality and to continue to walk in the truth and to do what was right as oppose to another person in this story who chose not to support the church and its work. As a matter of fact, he simply wanted to set himself us as the church boss. He only wanted the title. The ones who were showing love and hospitality were walking in the truth of God's word and not following the false doctrine from false teachers that was prevalent during this particular time. They got it! The truth! So in commending them, the apostle says to them, in essence, and I'm paraphrasing, "Good for you! Not only is your soul prospering in terms of understanding the truth of God's word, and doing what is right, but my desire is for you to also be in good health as well my dear friends." There was a false teaching during this time that said that the spirit was more important and that they should neglect or despise the physical side of life, including their health. I don't think anyone can argue against the idea that a well body will enable us to do the things that God has called us to do. As go your soul, so goes the direction of your life.
Our soul is comprised of our will, emotions, intellect and imagination. We are a spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body. Our soul is either influenced by our spirit which is connected to God’s spirit or it's influenced by our body, which takes its information from the environment via our five senses: Smell, hearing, taste, seeing and touch. When I was raising my children, I was ever so careful to protect what we call in the church world, their ear and eye gate. I carefully monitored what they heard, what they saw and who they hung around as much as was possible. Everything that comes to us from within or without is filtered through our soul. It is at the soul level where choices are made. It is at the soul level where the battle is either won or lost. It is at the soul level where you either say, yea, or nay. I will or I will not. I can but I don’t. I can but I won't. I know it’s wrong, but I’m doing it anyway. The soul is our decision making capacity.
It’s at the soul level where emotions can run high or stay mellow. It’s at the soul level where imagination can run wild or be sober. It’s at the soul level where your imagination or your mind can either agree with the circumstances or agree with the word of God regarding those circumstances. It's at the soul level where we have to decide if we're coming into agreement with the word of God or we’re going to come into agreement with the circumstances or situations and believe them. This bears repeating. It’s at the soul level where the battle is either won or lost. It is at the soul level where we decide whether we will or will not obey the voice of God or listen to God’s spirit influencing our spirit, or whether or not we’re going with outside influences that might negatively affect our soul, hence our decisions. That’s why the bible tells us to cast down every imagination and every high thing that dares to exalt itself against the word of God. This might be a little deep but it’s so true.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Cor. 10:5 KJV.
So if I asked, how healthy is your soul or how do you care for your soul? What would your answer be? I would be curious to hear your answer. I personally think the answer can be found, in part, by looking at the choices that we make. As our soul is successful or mature, and more in line with God’s word, then we are more apt to make better choices. As our soul is prosperous, our decisions will be more mature or sound, our emotions more stable, and even as our intellect come under the authority of God’s word, we would learn how to trust more in Him than in ourselves for answers as it relates to our personal and spiritual success. We will live a more healthy, stable, vibrant lifestyle.
You would be amazed at how many people intellectualize themselves out of believing God or His word. If God or faith in God, doesn’t compute intellectually, they can’t grasp it because they’re looking for something a bit deeper than the simplicity of Christ or the simplicity of His salvation. Not that what He did was simple, but believing that what He did bought our eternal salvation and salvation in this life. Salvation means to save from destruction. He saved us eternally, yes, but whatever causes destruction in your life on this side of eternity, He came to help you through that as well to bring you to a better, safer place. That my dear friends is salvation in no other name then the name of Jesus Christ! Salvation is that easy. You simply believe.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb. 11:6 KJV
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isa. 26:3 KJV
As you are able to renew your mind (Ro. 12:2), and think on those things that are above, not on those things that are on the earth (Col. 3:2 NLT). As you think on those things that are good, those things that are prefect, as you set your affections on those things that are above and not on those things that are below, you are better able to develop a healthy soul. A healthy soul will help to take your life in the right direction. To help you to accomplish your goals.