Monday, November 11, 2019

Improving Our Soul-Health

Our home church operates on the philosophy of ministry:

“Bringing the Soul Condition of the people

to the Soul Provision of Christ

through the Soul Care of the body of Christ.”[1]

With that in mind, this is me trying to bring your Soul Condition to the Soul Provision of Christ through My Soul Care ministry to you. The aim is to lead you/us to freedom in Christ so we can all experience God in the real and personal ways he is offering us.[2]

The following diagram shows how we are body, soul and spirit, and that the soul part of us is where the mind, heart and will reside. The heart is the pump that sends through our soul whatever our mind thinks and feels. Our will acts on what the heart gives it. Whatever our minds treasure, that is what we will find our hearts pumping through our souls, and all our decisions will be made accordingly.[3]

What suddenly hit me this was that there are Scriptures that make it clear that our overall soul-health is conditioned by what we think. There are also indications that our bodies are affected by these things as well,[4] but right now I want to focus on how our souls are doing, and how we could improve our Soul-Condition simply by changing our minds (and helping one another to do so).

The Scripture that jumped into my head was this:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.[5]

What this tells me is that, if we let our minds think and feel whatever anxieties the world, the flesh and the devil present, there will be a very different picture from the one Paul paints if we fill our minds with rejoicing, prayer and thanksgiving.

This is a familiar passage, so I have known the sense of it for a long time. However, in light of how our minds think and feel the things our hearts pump through our souls, and our wills are basically captive to whatever the heart gives it to work with, the promise that the right focus of our hearts and minds brings the peace of God to our hearts and minds stands out today.

Even with all the limitations of cyberspace bringing you this post, I hope you see that God is at work for his people to work together for our joy in these things.[6]

The way Paul continues his letter magnifies the importance of guiding our minds to think and feel what is good in order that our hearts will pump that goodness[7] through our souls for the health of our whole being and the clarification of what our wills ought to do.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.[8]

I know that many of God’s children have wounds that need healing. I know there are WoLVeS packs needing to be dismantled and demolished.[9] I know that right now this could sound different to some of you than it sounds to me because the self-protection mine-field I’m stepping on is designed to feed negative thoughts and flood the brain with cortisol to make this feel like a bad thing so you will never let it work.[10]

However, we who have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior have resources at our disposal that the world doesn’t even know exists. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing comes from the words of Christ, so make sure that hearing from Jesus is your ultimate source of information for your mind to think and feel.[11] Then add your puzzle piece to your fellowship with other believers and encourage everyone else to do the same so we can pump through the soul of our churches the most uplifting, encouraging, liberating and maturing thoughts and feelings.

Our home church has been blessed to have so much help from mentors who have often been introduced to us at the same time as we have faced the very problems they are already helping people address. However, whatever methods or resources they contribute are still only helps to get us letting the words of Christ dwell in us richly.[12] When the words of Christ live in our minds and are pumped through our souls by our hearts, everything feels so much better (our brains help our bodies feel that as well), and our wills feel peace about making seeking-first-the-kingdom decisions.[13]

Here is a fitting conclusion to what I have shared:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[14]

Operating in the self-protective systems of the flesh/sark is the way the world does things because they do not have the good news, the Lord Jesus Christ, the breathed-out words of God, or the Holy Spirit’s ministry in their hearts.

On the other hand, letting our new mind in Christ[15] pump new thoughts and feelings through the new heart Jesus has given us[16] is guaranteed to transform us more and more into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ from one degree of glory to another.[17]

And, if you need any help with anything that came up in reading this, please stop and ask your heavenly Father to provide the help you need, go to someone in your church that you know is already seeking the Lord in his word and prayer, and meet with one of two other believers to pray and seek God about these things.[18] When the poor in spirit come together in Jesus’ name with a hunger and thirst for the righteousness of being like Jesus more than ever, God promises to satisfy that hunger.[19]  

© 2019 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8


Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

[1] I have attempted to explain this in a number of my blogposts. Here is one for your consideration:
[2] This is based on our purpose statement of: “Leading people to freedom in Christ so we can experience God in a real and personal way.”
[3] Matthew 6:21
[4] Psalm 32:3-4
[5] Philippians 4:4-7
[6] II Corinthians 1:24
[7] I accidentally typed “goodnews” there and it made me smile. The “gospel” actually means “good news” after all!
[8] Philippians 4:8-9
[9] “WoLVeS” is an acrostic for “wounds, lies, vows and strongholds”, referring to the way we are affected by “Wounds” to the heart (often of the childhood-trauma variety), attacked by Satan’s “Lies” that often attach to our minds before we know how to recognize them for what they are, which causes our flesh/sarks to make “Vows” of self-protection in an immature and childish effort to keep our wounded hearts safe, which then creates a “Stronghold” within us because, from then on, we will always react to threatening situations in a self-protective and damaging way. Our thanks to Marcus Warner of Deeper Walk International for this helpful way of understanding the things that often hold us back in our relationship with God and his people.
[10] While our soul is the central aspect of our “human being”, it is clear that God designed our body to mirror whatever is going on in our soul. When our soul is happy, our brain secrets dopamine to help us with the party. When our soul experiences something painful, our brain secrets cortisol to help us never do that again. Negative and painful childhood experiences can have such a debilitating effect on us because, as a loving church family tries to help us find freedom in Christ so we can experience God in a real and personal way, our fear-based reaction to the help misinterprets the love and ministry as a scary thing, sends cortisol rushing through our brains, telling us that it is not a good thing to let people help us because that means getting hurt again. This is a simplistic understanding, I know, but it shows why the church must pursue the agapè(love) that is the only way we can stay together in the difficulties of fear-based relationships to overcome the damage the WoLVeS have done to far too many of God’s children.
[11] Romans 10:17
[12] Colossians 3:16 describes the effect of a church letting the words of Christ dwell in us richly. While our fear-based souls may fear such fellowship so much that our cortisol-reactions make it almost impossible to see this as a good thing, there are always going to be some believers around us who are growing in these things, and will find the word of God helping them show the agapè and patience that will give us room to find our freedom in Christ so we can experience God in the same ways.
[13] What Jesus taught in Matthew 6:33 regarding seeking first the kingdom and righteousness of God while trusting him for all our earthly needs is central to our worldview. It is a huge clash with the typical sark-centered and works-oriented view of Christianity that so many church folk are living by, but it is the only way we can keep in step with the Holy Spirit’s work of making our lives about the righteousness, peace and joy of the kingdom (Romans 14:17).
[14] Romans 12:2
[15] I Corinthians 2:16
[16] Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26
[17] II Corinthians 3:18
[18] Matthew 18:20
[19] This is based on the first four Beatitudes of Matthew 5:2-6 in the context of Matthew 5:1-12.

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