Thursday, May 28, 2009

Killing the Soul

‘Killin me soul’

It was late night movie time at my house. I woke up in time to hear a little old lady explained to a young lady that once, in her youth, she had given up the love of her life because he was ‘killin me soul’. Her conscience and the life her boyfriend wanted her to live were in such conflictthat she was dying inside. And, I started thinking, how many Christians today are living a life with such conflict that they are ‘killing their souls’? Christians have been given a code of conduct by which we are to live. The old Christian Hymn says, ‘Nothing between my soul and my savior; keep the way clear; let nothing between’. When the Christian has something between his or her soul and the Savior, they are living with a great conflict between their soul and their conscience. Just like the little old lady in the movie, they are killing their soul. They have shut off the life line between them and the Lord. No, I don’t mean they have lost their salvation. But, they have lost fellowship with the Lord of Life. It is God who sustains us through all the days of our pilgrimage here on earth. It is the Lord who will take us to heaven when we pass through the shadow of death. The closer we are to God here and now, the clearer we will see our eternal future. The more we will long for the life we will live in heaven with the Lord forever.

Separation from God’s fellowship once tormented King David. He had sinned the sin of adultery, and he had already paid a great price with the death of his infant son. He was still paying a great price, for he was separated from the fellowship of God. He was tired of his sin and the sorrow that it brought. King David wanted the joy of his salvation restored. He wanted fellowship with God restored.

Today, many Christians are living with such a conflict between their conscience and their lifestyle that they are killing their souls. Right and wrong are written in the conscience of the individual, but Christians today have exact right and wrong written for them in the Bible. They have no excuse to ignore the commandments, withhold love for one anther that is like the love Christ gave to us, or reject kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness for others who do not deserve it.

In ignoring the most basic of the teachings of the Bible, Christians allow themselves to be led into even greater sins. Every step away from God is a step down the path that kills the soul while one lives.

Other Christians life lives that are sort of lukewarm. They don’t really do anything evil, but neither do they think on the things of the Lord, and act accordingly. They are also shutting off the life line from God that leads to joy.

In Psalms 23, the psalmist writes ‘he restoreth my soul’. There is an old hymn that says, ‘O soul are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness I see.’ Does this describe you? Is there something going on in your life that is standing between you and your Savior? Do you feel like your soul is dying? Then it is time to go to God in repentance and turn from whatever behaviors you may have that are offensive to God. Unconfessed and unrepented sins are like blood clots in main arteries. They stop the life giving blood. One may live with clogged arteries, but they will not live a healthy and energetic life. They will be pale, and unable to do the things they want to do. When a Christian is living in sin, their soul is deprived of the life giving fellowship that comes from God alone.

Be careful to judge only your own life. The trouble in someone else’s life is pretty much his or her own problem. Remember Job. He did not sin against the Lord, although his friends believed that he did. Help the brethren in need. Obvious sin in the church should be dealt with, but be sure of everything before any steps are taken formally, OR before one word of criticism is spoken against a brother or sister in Christ.

If you, like the Psalmist, find yourself lacking in the joy of your salvation, you will find yourself lacking in joy altogether. You will find yourself continually weary and troubled. That is no way to live when the God of creation is also the God of your Salvation. Psalm 41:6 says, ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’

The sin of King David was adultery. He was also guilty of disobedience other times as well. Yet, he was the ‘apple of God’s eye’. It is possible that David’s willingness to repent as soon as he was convicted of sin kept him especially dear to God.

There is also weariness of body and spirit that certainly does not come from a sin induced separation from fellowship with God. For instance, my mom just went through several years of caring for my dad, and the last year of dad’s life was almost 100% incapacitated. Dad died in February, and of course my mom is just starting to establish a new normal in her daily life. She is bone weary in every aspect of living. However, the help she needs is the same as that of a Christian in rebellion against God. Mom also needs to draw closer to God. The difference is that mom doesn’t have to restore fellowship with God. In fact, her fellowship grew stronger through caring for my dad. It is God who will carry her through this and strengthen her for the days ahead. So, the soul living through sorrow, and the soul living in rebellion both have the same help available to them. They must look to Jesus Christ for help. The sinner has some blockage that must be dealt with before help comes, but Jesus is still the answer to both sets of problems.

Those Christians who live apart from the fellowship of God because of sin in their lives, are killing their souls. They need to do as the old lady in the movie. They need to turn from their sins. Don’t make the mistake of believing that God will overlook your sins because ‘your heart is in the right place’ or some other such cock-a-mamie psychobabble. God is very clear on the value of obedience. People often excuse sinful behavior by saying things like ‘God wants me to be happy’, or ‘My good works will excuse my wrong behavior’, or equally ridiculous drivel. God requires obedience above everything else. That is because that in obedience to God, the Christian will find joy, contentment, and even a passion for living the life God gave them. They will find focus in running the race set before them, and the prize offered by God.

Today is a good day to choose exactly how you will run the race set before you.
Will you wholly follow the Lord your God as did Joshua? (Joshua 14:8) Remember Joshua’s reward for wholly following the Lord. He and one friend (Caleb) entered the promised land, and lived lengthy lives.

Or will you live a life that kills the soul through sinful actions? If you are a true believer, heaven will still be your home, but your earthly journey will be filled with the sorrows that sin brings.

Psalm 119:175 says, ‘Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.’

Here are the words and music to “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’. That is the beginning of life filled with joy instead of a life where personal actions crush the soul.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!


His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

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