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The War For Your Soul

In our daily meditations, we are focusing our attention on the most famous of all teachings of the Lord Jesus, what’s commonly called The Sermon on the Mount. We come now to one of the most useful portions as Jesus gives practical instructions on how we should not only conduct ourselves but also how we should think and where our behavior truly starts. The Lord gets to the heart of the matter by focusing on the actual change that must take place in a person’s heart. This is where God meets us. The child of God needs to learn how to align our hearts with the heart of the Father. The Book of Proverbs tells us, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23 ESV). The springs of our lives begin in the decision center and thoughts. In the Old Testament, the word heart (levav) is used consistently wherever thought and intent are implied. The Hebrew word for soul (nephesh- literally, to breathe) is used for the whole being, both the body and thought. Many Scriptures show that heart, mind, and thought are linked to the soul, and in some places, they are used interchangeably.


What is the Soul?


Growing up as a child in England, I used to get some picture comics each week. My favorites were Beano and Dandy. When Dennis the Menace, one of the characters in the comic, had a decision to make as to being good or doing bad, he would have a comic demon show up alongside him with horns on his head, cloven feet, and carrying a pitchfork. He would always be pictured as saying something to try to coerce Dennis the Menace to do something bad, while there would always be a saintly figure on the other side of him in a white cloak with a ring above his head, reminding him that he must forgive and do good. These comics illustrate the battle that goes on in our minds and inner beings as to who we will listen to and obey while we live in this sinful world system.


This inner part of us, the immaterial part of man, our minds, will, emotions, and conscience, is what Scripture refers to as the soul of man. If we listen to and obey the dark thoughts, our souls will be shaped and conformed to dark spirits that operate in the invisible realm. This is what King David referred to in his famous Shepherd Psalm 23: “He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3, ESV, Emphasis added). Perhaps you have been through dark times when you had no peace, and your thoughts were constantly under the oppression of the evil one. I trust that you have begun to walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, for there is no one who can restore your soul, mind, will, and emotions like the Lord Jesus. How does the Lord Jesus bring peace to a troubled soul? First of all, we totally abandon ourselves to the Lord Jesus, and then He begins the process of restoration and transformation. The Sermon on the Mount is about learning to walk with Christ and not grieving the Holy Spirit of God, who comes to live within the believer. The Lord Jesus goes beyond the outside sins to the roots of where the sin starts. He talks about the kind of anger that demeans another’s character:


21“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:21-24; Emphasis added).


The Anger that Leads to Murder


The Lord has a way of getting beyond surface issues to getting to the root of problems that affect us at the core of our being. It was a terrible thing to commit the sin of murder, but the Lord Jesus condemned even mulling over or thinking of violence to another. Sinful acts are first committed in the mind and heart of the individual. It is there that choices are weighed, and a decision is made whether the thought is to be acted upon. To keep this to a 3-minute read, we have to come back to it tomorrow—either that or you can read the whole message at the link below. Keith Thomas


This meditation is from a more complete study found at the following link:


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