Growing up, I had some favorite television programs I hardly ever missed because they kept me “in stitches.” But a funny thing happened after we started having kids. Those shows weren’t quite as funny as they were when I was young. I had never recognized their off-handed immoral flavor before. I had changed. I began looking with a different set of eyes. Daddy eyes.
God used this television lesson years ago to awaken me to the necessity of guarding the gates of my soul. Every person has five physical senses (taste, touch, smell, hear, see) that serve as their “information receptors.”
Whatever comes through our senses goes directly to the station where data is stored and processed (the Mind.) From there, the Mind shares it with the Emotions to see what kind of vibes they pick up. And then, the Will issues its “yes or no” vote on the matter. There you have the soul in motion.
In my estimation, the greatest need today is not one of spiritual revival, but of soul renewal. In a lot of ways, this is harder. Spiritual rebirth comes by way of a free gift given by God. Through the precious blood of Jesus, the penalty of sin is washed away for all who believe (Romans 10:9-10, Colossians 1:21-22).
But if you and I are going to see any changes in our attitude or appetites, we will have to cultivate the changes ourselves. This is very similar to our physical health. If I want to avoid the “dunlap” disease (my gut “done lapped” over my pants), I have got to pay strict attention to my shape and my plate.
This is why a couple of congregational worship meetings during the week can only be the beginning of our training. They serve only as a catalyst to what is required daily. Your Soul (Mind, Will and Emotions) is like your belly, it’s always craving something to eat. If you do not master what it takes in, its cravings will master you. And if it does not get a daily dose of vitamin “W” (The Word of God) it can’t properly assess what it needs.
If your relationship with God means anything to you, ask yourself this question: Am I feeding my soul enough of God’s Word daily? Don’t get religious. You don’t have to hide out in the farthest corner of your house all day long feverishly reciting scripture.
Just make God’s Word the standard that governs all other thoughts and ideas presented to your soul. If you will, your soul will begin to take on a virtue you’ve never known before. And like a well-conditioned body, it will bring encouragement and motivation to others without saying a word.
The Character First I WILL’s for Virtue:
I WILL do what is right and encourage others to do the same.
I WILL guard my eyes, ears, words, and thoughts.
I WILL learn to stand alone.
I WILL abstain from anything which might damage or pollute my mind or body.
I WILL treat others as I would want them to treat me.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 New International Version
My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Biblical Meditation: Proverbs 4:20-22