Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February 13, 2013

'And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.'  Genesis 2:7

The church I attended in my adolescent and early teen years had only one exit. And each Sunday my pastor would strategically position himself in that foyer between me and the front door. It was humanly impossible to leave the service without receiving a firm handshake and the probing, often convicting question, "Brad, how is it with your soul?"

It wasn't always so good with my soul and it was even worse after I lied to the preacher by saying it was. He knew I was lying and I knew that he knew I was lying. It isn't easy to lie to your pastor but I am ashamed to admit I got used to it. I never got good at lying but it wasn't from lack of effort and experience.

Sorry, Pastor Ralph.

Decades later I am grateful that I can truthfully  affirm that it is good with my soul! In fact, it is very good! And these many years later I am thankful that I learned early in life that I have a soul and what happens to that soul really matters.

What more important topic to discuss in the beginning of this Soulshift" study than to talk about the soul?

What is the soul? Beyond some metaphysical or spiritual definition, what is the soul, why does it matter, and what  must I know about it?

We know it came from God because the Scriptural account states God breathed it into us. So, the soul is our original connection with God. It was His image and His life shared with shared with us!

Shall we consider some definitions for the soul?

"The soul designates the physical life. Vitality in all of its breadth and width of meaning is meant by the soul. The Hebrew word in Genesis 2:7 is "nephesh" and it's basic meaning is throat." Holman's Bible Dictionary

Isn't it neat to think that life entered into man through the throat and the things that sustain life enter through the throat? Doesn't it give new meaning to the idea of "hungering and thirsting after God"?

Words of praise and prayer and petition and proclamation pass forth from where(?) - the throat! Cursing and blasphemies also come from the throat.

The word "soul", referring to human beings occurs in the Old Testament 755 times! So, it is a very important concept! To appreciate the importance of this "Soulshift" study I want to make sure you are clear on the meaning and significance of the soul.

Pastor Ralph's soul is rejoicing in heaven right now, so I will ask in his stead, "How is it with your soul?"