Lift Up Your Soul

Have you met your soulmate?

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines a soulmate as “a person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament, a person who strongly resembles another in attitudes or beliefs.” This idea of “finding your soulmate” must be on the Hallmark movie writer’s list of ten commandments. (As a side note, Hallmark has gone down the dark path of highlighting alternative lifestyles in a big way this year, so you might consider switching to the Great American Family network for your dose of scripted Christmas movies).

Is there such a thing as a soulmate? Well, if you look around you horizontally and try to pick them out of the crowd, I’d say no. You might find someone who is similar to you in temperament (but why do opposites attract?), and you certainly can find others who strongly resemble you in attitudes and beliefs, but they will never be your “soulmate.”

The only true soulmate for us all is the Person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Only the God who created your soul and spirit can perfectly meet all your needs – emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical – and complete you. Another human being with a fallen nature will never fill that role, no matter how wonderful a person they may be.

In Psalm 143, David is talking to his soulmate, having recognized his complete dependence and need for God. Everything that troubles him is resolved through the intimate, personal relationship he enjoys with the Lord.

I stretch out my hands to You; my soul longs for You, as a parched land (143:6).

Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for I trust in You; teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul (143:7-8).

The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh (also spelled nep̄eš). The literal meaning is “that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, the soul, the inner being of man.” When God created Adam from the dust of the earth, he was simply an outer shell, an inanimate, non-living being until something very special happened.

Genesis 2:7 – 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.

At that moment, God gave Adam both spiritual life and soul life. He could commune with God in perfect harmony, as no sin had entered the garden. Our soul is “the man himself, self, person or individual.” It is the seat of our appetites, emotions, passions, intellect, and will. At the moment of creation, God became our true soulmate, as we were made in His image, His Spirit breathed into us, bringing us to life.

Adam and Eve abandoned their soulmate in pursuit of lower, baser desires. They believed the lies that Satan told them. Satan didn’t really care what they did; he wanted the worship of their souls, and he knew that sin would break that bond God had with His creation. God had warned Adam that if he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would die. God allowed his soul to continue to exist, but the Spirit of God left Adam and Eve. They no longer had a spiritual connection to Him and were spiritually dead.

Therefore, we can never truly know God or return back to God by simply doing physical acts of good works. God wants our obedience, but He must first possess our soul. We must return to Him and allow Him to breathe spiritual life once again into us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Even after we come to faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit comes to indwell us, our enemy, Satan, desires to make us live as though we were still spiritually dead. He does this by going after our soul – our emotions, our desires, our will, and our thoughts.

For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead (143:3)

David discovered the secret of walking with His soulmate. He lifted up His soul to God, recognizing that He was the only one who could fill the gaping holes that the enemy creates in us when we are not in fellowship with Him.

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to You; my soul longs for You, as a parched land. … Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for I trust in You; teach me the way in which I should walk; for to You I lift up my soul. Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; I take refuge in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For the sake of Your name, O Lord, revive me. In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble. And in Your lovingkindness, cut off my enemies and destroy all those who afflict my soul, for I am Your servant. (Psalm 143:5-6,8-12).

Our “enemies” aren’t the people around us who disagree with us, or with whom we have issues. Those are simply people in need of a Savior, just like us. The enemy of our soul is Satan, who tempts us away from God with his lies that promise emotional, mental, intellectual, and physical fulfillment in something or someone other than God. When we surrender ourselves to the world’s enticements and philosophies, we have abandoned our true soulmate.

1 Peter 2:24-25 – And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

Are you trying to fill up your own soul without regard for the One who created you to be one in soul and spirit with Him? It will never work. Acknowledge your sinful habit of looking to other things to satisfy your soul. Stop working so hard to do good things you think will win God’s favor and ask Him to redeem and restore Your soul. Lift up your soul to the Lord, and you will discover more than you can imagine, for your soul will have found its resting place in the Spirit of the God who made you.

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? … Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 16:26; 11:29)

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