In our journey through the wilderness our Father taught us many great truths about ourselves, the ‘self’ nature and how we battle for maturity. In counseling others in faith we have learned that these truths are not well understood, or taught, by Christian leaders. As a result of this Wanda and I have put into visual form a simple way to understand who we are, how the ‘self’ nature affects us and what we can do to battle it into submission. This document, The Nature of the Soul, is the result of our work.
The Nature of the Soul
In Paul Keith Davis’ book, The Thrones of Our Souls, he outlines how the nature of the soul is divided into 4 main categories. There are many sub-categories but these are the main ones.
'Self' in control
Unfortunately we are born with a ‘self’ (flesh) nature that is fed by lies from media, others, satan and our own ‘self’ nature. These lies ferment inside our spiritual core and cause our mind, emotions and will become broken and corrupted. From here we try and medicate away the pain of our souls and thus make our problems much worse.
Meanwhile our ‘self’ nature is determined to either imprison or put to sleep our spirit nature. Our spirit is the only enemy that can bring down the ‘self’ nature.
Spirit in control
Thankfully, for those that have surrendered their lives to the lordship of Jesus, we can receive the truth of God into our spirit. His truth will feed and nourish our spirit so it begins to grow. As we grow in spirit our will, mind and emotions will become increasingly healed and freed as His peace floods our being.
Of course the spirit is the enemy of ‘self’ and so we begin to see the beginning of a battle brewing. As our spirit grows ‘self’, by necessity, will have to die; but it will not go quietly.
A divided soul
Because we were born with a ‘self’ nature all of the areas of our soul are polluted. As we surrender more of our lives to God we will begin to see victory in certain areas as our spirit gains victory. This is normal and it leads to a divided soul; the feeling that part of us is following God while other parts are still pursuing ‘self’.
Battle for the soul
The battle for an area of our soul is never easy. For many days we will battle back and forth depending on whether we feed on His truth or satan’s lies. No one can fight this battle for us. Whatever side we feed will eventually become the victor.
How to win the battle for the soul
Each decision we make to feed our spirit with truth will grow us into maturity. This path is laid out in 1 John 2:12-14. Over time our battle with ‘self’ will eventually lead us to a place where ‘self’ no longer has control over our lives and decisions. We call this victory the abundant, or overcoming, life.
Expression of the soul
One of the biggest deceptions we hear from the ‘self’ nature is how people describe themselves as a ‘good’ person. Many believe that outward words and acts are all that matters but this is not the case. Our words and actions are only the fruit others see and they will inevitably reflect what is inside our spirit core.
The real root is our thoughts, purposes and motives, in others words, the reason why we do what we do. As we feed on either lies or truth our ‘self’ nature or spirit nature will be fed. Then either our ‘self’ or spirit will feed up through our affected mind, emotions and will into our words and actions. The key to remember is that a person can never act outside of their character for long. They may try but eventually the real root can, and will, be seen.
Thankfully God is not taken in by our ‘self’-deception. He looks clearly at the roots of our being to see what we are feeding on. His judgements are based on this knowledge.
Growth of the soul
As we face ourselves we may see that we are growing in one direction.
If we are feeding the ‘self’ nature within our increasing focus will be on what is around us and not on ourselves. ‘Self’ hates exposure and will do anything to hide. This leads to an increasing amount of shallowness, fear and hypocrisy.
If we are actively feeding our spirit with God’s truth then we will find our focus looking inward. We will be led by Jesus down paths of healing and maturity as He exposes our own ‘self’ nature. If we repent of ‘self’ we will begin to grow more honest with ourselves and those around us.
This journey is one of discovery, humility and growth but in the end God will free us from bondage to ‘self’ so we are free to love and obey Jesus without reservation. The battle is not easy but is worthwhile. We encourage you to start today!
Homer and Wanda
PS. If you want a copy of this document in PDF form you can find it here.