The Internal War: Foundations Of The Soul

In the Army we talk a lot about slaying Souls. In the church we talk a lot about saving Souls. Whether you are aware of it or not, as humans, we are in the business of Souls but not in the way you might imagine.

The foundations of our Soul (mind, will, emotions) are different than the Spirit of a person. Essentially, a human being is a Spirit, cased in a physical body, with a soul (mind, will, emotions). The Spirit will live for all eternity, either with God, or absent from Him. The body will age, decay and die. The Soul is the battleground for the eternal destiny of the Spirit. This is where almost all spiritual warfare plays out in a persons life before it is physically manifest, and why a healthy Soul yielded to and cleansed by the Lord is of the utmost importance.

The slaying of souls or the salvation of souls as it is understood in our modern culture is not accurate. Today, when we talk about slaying souls we often mean killing others. When we talk about the salvation of souls we talk about an eternal destination of the soul of a person after death. The Soul has been used interchangeable with the Spirit of a person. A wrong understanding of the Soul and Spirit can have disastrous consequences. Namely, using the terms synonymously ultimately leads to a void in understanding and distinguishing between the two. When Soul and Spirit are used interchangeably you lose the knowledge that the very battleground you should be focused on in your life is what's going on inwardly, what's happening with your Soul. You lose how to care for your Soul and you lose the ability to check for triggers in your Soul that indicate you are standing on lies instead of truths concerning who you are. As this plays out in our lives, the consequences for ourselves and our families are enormous.

#Souls then, is really about the death of, or the redemption of, the mind, will and emotions of a person. The outcomes of this battleground in your life is what will ultimately decide the eternal destination of your Spirit. These outcomes often dictate your belief systems, core values, and personal ethos towards God and others. The consequences of the battleground of your soul, for yourself and the generations in your family lineage can't be overstated.

Hebrews 4:12 states: For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The word of God, along with other spiritual disciplines are paramount in our ability to wage war inwardly to ensure we, along with our loved ones are standing on a firm foundation.

There are three core lies we come into agreement with for a variety of reasons that should operate as triggers in our lives to tell us we aren't standing on a truthful foundation.

Lie Number 1: Performance

The issue of your value and worth is dependent on your performance.

This lie is engrained in our culture. From youth sports, recitals, dance, or anything else that can and should be done for sheer joy, and personal development; these activities run the risk of building a faulty foundation because more often than not they carry a hidden message. The same competition that can help develop strong and resilient character traits often carries with it a sinister and subtle identity crisis. If I don't perform well, I'm not worth anything says the lie.

If it doesn't get you in your youth, don't worry it will come back to wage war in your soul as an adult. Next time you are at a social function anywhere in the western world start a conversation with a stranger and one of the first questions you will be asked enviably will be: "What do you do for a living?" aka, "What is your identity?" or "What is your social class and worth?"

The long term ramifications that come from living out of this lie for decades are serious, deadly and eternal.

Lie Number 2: People-Pleasing

The issue of your value and worth is dependent on whether certain people love or like you.

Similarly, this lie is also engrained in our culture. This lie usually manifests in two ways, one being the person that needs everyone to love and like them. They lose themselves in trying to be everything to everyone no matter the cost just so they can try to please others and make everyone happy. The other way this lie manifests is that a person isn't concerned with pleasing everyone, just a handful of essential people. (I.E. inner circle of friends, siblings, parents, etc.)

This lie can weave its way into the foundation of your Soul quite easily. Maybe you are the type of person that will white-knuckle it and think "I don't care what others think" as a way of setting up a false foundation when you feel threatened in this area. In the area of the Soul we have to pay close attention to thoughts that run unguarded in our minds. If this is you and you are honest, it means deep down you really do care what others think. Deep down, we all want people to love us. The danger comes when that hope is laid upon the foundation of people pleasing. When it is and people don't love us it can feel like something is wrong with us and we are unlovable.

Living out of the belief that we are unloveable can significant, serious and even eternal ramifications for our lives.

Lie Number 3: Control

The issue of your worth and value is dependent on whether you are in control.

The people afflicted by this lie try to control others. The people in their lives often feel manipulated, shamed, judged, condemned and bullied. Other people affected by this lie want to control outcomes. Some people affected by this lie do both of these things.

Many of us from military backgrounds are Type-A personalities. We are overachievers, driven, in-charge types. We are taught to control and perform. If we work hard and produce good results we are taught we can feel good about ourselves. What happens then if we work hard and things don't come around? In the military and even in our culture often things take a dark turn. We might feel angry, or irritable, we might lash out and hurt those closest to us or a myriad of different things. When this happens, we can be sure this is a trigger our soul is resting on a faulty foundation and we need to realign with the truth.

Whenever we notice we are living out of one of these faulty foundations in our Soul, it is necessary to realign our Souls with truth.

Reading the truth once won't set you free, but clinging to the truth, contending for the truth, and holding fast to it as the waves of these lies assault your soul will ultimately bring freedom. Mediation, prayer and connecting with the designer and lover of your soul is the only way through. We were made for intimate communion with God. To think we can have victory in these areas apart from him is foolish and prideful because it is only in his presence that we are free.

Here is the truth that can set you free from these lies:

The issue of my value is settled at the cross. On the cross, the Father said to me "You are of infinite worth to me, I declare you to be worthy of my Son's blood"

Every time these lies creep up, you must realign and reset your Soul on the true foundation that your value is settled at the cross.

What then can diminish our worth?

Not rejection, not enemies, not hatred, not criticism, not abandonment, not abuse, not a spouse who leaves you or no longer loves you, not bad performances, not academic failures, not getting laid off or passed over for a promotion, not people beyond your reach or circumstances outside your control.

Reread that:

Not rejection, not enemies, not hatred, not criticism, not abandonment, not abuse, not a spouse who leaves you or no longer loves you, not bad performances, not academic failures, not getting laid off or passed over for a promotion, not people beyond your reach or circumstances outside your control.

Now, that's good news!

The more we understand about our Soul and the war being waged within, the healthier our lives will be and the better our relationships with God and others will become. My prayer for you is that as you embark on this lifelong journey you find the grace and strength to do the work and war of soul care that most assuredly has significant, serious, and eternal ramifications.

For Continued Study, Two Books We Love On This Topic Are:

"Soul Care: 7 Transformational Principles For A Healthy Soul" - Dr. Rob Reimer

"The Spiritual Man" - Watchman Nee