Depending in the version you read, the word SOUL is used over 280 times in scripture. The most common word for soul, nephesh, in Old Testament Greek means “the inner being of a person, the seat of appetites, emotions and passions.” Notice how it’s used in these passages:
Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.Deuteronomy 10:12
O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;Psalm 63:1
My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
In New Testament, the most common word for soul, psuche (psoo-khay), also relates the soul as “an essence which differs from the body and is not dissolved by death (which distinguishes it from other parts of the body).”
It is the essence of who we are and the part of our being that relates with God, as shown in these passages:
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.Matthew 16:24-27
21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.James 1:21
If we are to be AWAKENED in anything, it should be in the deepest place, by the One who can save us.
I love the way James 1:21 reminds us that the Word of God implanted is able to give life to our souls. How do we implant the Word of God?
Might I suggest we look to nature for our example? How are seeds implanted? If we just scatter them about, we have limited success. But if we prepare a place for it to land and care for the seed, it awakens to life.
First, the seed must land on good soil – mellow and fertile, ready to receive TRUTH.
Then, if it’s covered with soil, it’s not easily snatched away.
A seed may have to sit in the dark awhile . . . waiting.
When it’s watered, the seed breaks apart to allow a root to anchor the smallest beginning of a plant in that soil.
Finally, a shoot rises to the LIGHT!
I want to give you some time to check the soil of your soul – are you ready to receive the Word implanted? Where is the Word of God landing in your life these days? How have you prepared yourself to receive Truth?
As a practice, turn to Psalm 63 in your favorite version and work through these steps:
- Read the scriptures.
- Circle the words that describe your soul’s condition.
- Jot down any questions you might have.
- Make notes of feelings that are stirring.