Letter to my Soul

I just finished writing a letter to my soul. That may sound odd at first, but there are a couple of reasons why I’m doing this:

1. It’s scriptural

King David often talked to his soul. Psalms 42 is a good example of this:

    Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (Psalms 42:5)

I also think of Mary, the mother of Jesus, when she learned that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit, she talks about her soul in the third person:

    My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior (Luke 1:46-47).

I find a few occasions in the Bible where Godly people would talk to their soul or about their soul in the third person. I realized this past week that my soul needed some talking to.

2. Our souls have a mind of their own it seems

There have been times when I was tempted and gave in, and it felt like my soul just took over. I would be right in the middle of the sin, and I felt like I was on the outside, watching myself make this absolutely wrong decisions but deep down not wanting to do it, yet still doing it.

Talking to my soul

So, I decided to have a talk with my soul, to write a letter to it. I started to realize that it is through my soul that many of my decisions are being made, and I don’t believe that’s the way God intended.

Your soul is your mind, will and emotions. It’s your memories, your choices and your perspective on life. We humans often interpret the world around us through our soul.

Initially, you would think this is normal, that this is the way God intended. The problem is that our soul is often wounded, bruised and deeply hurt, and instinctively, we cope or compensate or build walls in our heart about how we make decisions.

For example, maybe a close friend or relative hurts you deeply, and you immediately vow to yourself, I will never let that happen to me again. So, you start building walls in your soul to keep that from happening again. You refuse to trust at a deep level, or maybe you limit new relationships to just superficial ones, never letting anyone close to you. Your God-embedded need for deep relationships now suffers, and you begin to search out unhealthy relationships to compensate.

Unhealed wounds, patterns of thinking, lifelong habits, and strongholds all affect how we make decisions. And our soul is not supposed to be our master. That’s why David told his soul, “Why are you so disturbed, soul? Put your hope on God. Stop trusting in yourself.”

We are commanded by God to change the way we think.

    “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.” Romans 12:2, NLT.
    “Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness–righteous, holy, and true.” Ephesians 4:21-24, NLT.

It’s time to let my God-birthed spirit rise up and take control of those areas in my soul that have been wounded, confused and making poor choices. It’s time for you, soul, to surrender.

The Letter

Dear Soul,

Far too long, my soul, you have made decisions for me, and most of those decisions have been to just satisfy yourself, or some gaping wounds you’re trying to fill. No more. No more decisions. No more following your fleshly, carnal demands. It’s time you are denied your demands. Kick and scream all you want, but I’m not listening nor obeying you anymore.

Soul, your destructive motivation have been revealed. I see this now in Romans 7:18-19, I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

This is my version: I—the alive, reborn spirit of Russ—desires to do what is good, but my soul hinders me from carrying it out. For what my soul acts upon is not the good my spirit longs to do. No. The evil that my spirit cringes at is the evil my soul screams to do.

Soul, you’re finished. By the authority of Jesus Christ, I command you to submit to my spirit—the spirit that is alive in Christ through the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

If Jesus can resist sin even unto the point of shedding blood (Hebrews 12:4), then surely my soul can be denied is sinful ways, because “the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead inside of me” (Ephesians 1:19-20).

My Character

Soul, for too long, you’ve taken the easy way out. You’ve avoided conflict. Something in you has driven you to not stand against issues that need to be resisted, even to the point of compromise, peer pressure and undesired submission. Instead of facing problems, soul, you bury them, stuff them and then numb them when they try to get out. No longer. I will take whatever stand my spirit calls me to stand against, facing adversity with God’s strength. Guided by the God’s Holy Spirit, my spirit will now take the lead, make decisions and responding to God.

Far too long, my soul, you have given in to escape. When difficulties arise, you run to fleshly escapes. And in doing so, you quench all opportunities for growth, for character development, for hope.

    We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us (Romans 5:3-5).

Soul, because you operate in this escape mentality that is so pervasive in our culture today, you have diminished my opportunity to grow in character and in hope. No longer. Through my experience with fear and panic and the ability to persevere through trusting in God, I was able to grow with incredible depth of character. But in these other fleshly areas, you no longer will drive me to escape. I will consciously be watching for your attempts to escape, and I will stop you. I will face whatever adversity comes my way by standing strong, firm and established in God.

I will grow in character, my soul, despite your attempts to escape. Soul, you are no longer in control.

Sincerely,

The reborn,
Christ-filled,
spirit of Russ

3 Responses to “Letter to my Soul”

  1. Carl January 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    Very powerful man. I am glad this was posted here. I was thinking about it since you shared this with me the other day. I think I feel a letter to my soul is due.

    I appreciate the open honesty. Thanks.

    PS. Has the soul responded? Has there been unconditional surrender yet? Has it mounted a return salvo?

  2. Joy and Kev April 7, 2009 at 2:49 am #

    Thanks, for this.

  3. Nandi April 4, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Hi Russ,

    I was searching for something and happened upon your blog – I’m glad I did! I haven’t read any other of your stuff but I sure hope you’re still writing.

    God has started a good work in you and will see it to completion. He promised to lead us in the path of righteousness (Psalm 23) so just keep surrendering to His leading as you seem to be doing already.

    You are the redeemed of God. Shine on! Remember that God has blessed you with ALL spiritual blessings inheavenly places:-)

    Let Love Reign.

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