Your Soul is Where Your Spirit Breathes

(excerpt from Love is Not an Emotion)

When paramedics arrive on the scene, aside from checking for a pulse, they look to see if the injured person is breathing—a sign of life. It could be said that our soul is where our spirit breathes.

Strong’s lexicon comments that the human soul “by the right use of the aids offered it by God it can attain its highest end and secure eternal blessedness.” The soul is regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life; and as an essence which differs from the body and is not dissolved by death (distinguished from other parts of the body).”[1] This is where our eternal spirit resides.

It is the place where our spirit man can touch the presence of God.

When we are in love physically, the presence of the person we love can be intoxicating. Have you ever experienced such an attraction that you feel your heart almost stops, or you discover you’re holding your breath— waiting for his or her next communication with you. What will he say? What does he think about this or that? That’s somewhat close to the deep, desire from your heart and soul to touch God, that Jesus is talking about.

So far we understand that we are to love God with all of our heart—or make Him the very heartbeat of our existence. On top of that we are to love Him with our soul—that is our mind, our will and our emotions.

The mind is a faculty of understanding, feeling, or way of thinking. God desires to be a part of our intellect. He wants us to love Him with our thoughts. He wants us to include Him in our intellectual studies. The Bible is key in that. When we read His Word we are in touch with Him.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.[2]

I think to love God with all our strength means to hold fast to Him without compromise. Our strength includes being closely joined to a person or a thing. This reminds me of the covenant exchanges I’ve read about in the Bible.

David is one my favorite people to read about in the Bible. I’ve learned so much through his life because I can apply so much of his life to my own. 1 Samuel 18:1 says The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. When people made a covenant to one another like David and Jonathan did, the two parties agreed to join themselves together until death. They joined their strengths to overcome all of life’s battles.

If you read the exchange between David and Jonathan, you’ll find they swore to give to the other all that they were. What once was David’s now belonged to Jonathan and likewise; what once belonged to Jonathan was now David’s possession.

God’s covenant with us goes much deeper. He exchanges all He is for the little that we are. He holds fast to us; while we hold fast to Him. We love God with all our strength knowing He will never fail us; therefore we should strive with all that we are not to fail Him.

linae coverYou can read Love is Not an Emotion – available in paperback and on Kindle.

[1] Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Psuche”. “The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon” http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/psuche.html

[2] Hebrews 4:12 NKJV

Defeat Fear with God’s Love

(Excerpt from Love Is Not an Emotion

linae cover

My children learned at a very young age that God has not given us a spirit of fear. Although both my children approached life fearlessly, my oldest son battled nightmares for a season when he was very small. Through his own faith and our prayerful agreement with him each night before he went to bed, he overcame them.

From the time my youngest son was born, we played scripture set to music in their bedrooms at night. One scripture in particular is from 2 Timothy 1:7: God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and of a sound mind. My husband, Blaine would crawl on his hands and knees into their bedroom, in the dark. The boys didn’t know he was there—listening. My youngest son had memorized the entire CD. He would say the scripture before the words came through the speakers. He learned those words at a very young age and is still quick to quote them today.

One Wednesday night at church the teacher for the two-year-old class caught me in the hall. My youngest son was nearly 3 years old. She told me what had happened earlier that evening in her class.

The class was about to go outside and it was dark out. One of the little girls in my son’s class began to cry saying she didn’t want to go outside because it was dark and she was afraid. My son put his little face directly in front of hers and told her, “We don’t have to be afraid outside. God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.”

“God says we don’t have to be afraid.”

The teacher supported his statement and hand in hand, the two of them went outside to their activity.

Sometimes we need the faith of a child. He told her what God’s Word said, she accepted it, and fear left. Fear, when face to face with faith and love, is instantly defeated.

A Promise to Pass Safely Through

I lived just hours from the Tahlequah River in Oklahoma, one of my favorite summer adventures with aunts, uncles and cousins. One year  Grandpa and Grandma went with us. Grandma had never learned to swim was extremely fearful of the water. I remember her putting those big, full, orange life jackets around her neck, arms and legs as she joked with us. She was quite a site to see.

There were summers when we got very little rain and we had toScan_20150619 (16) drag our canoe across the rough, pebbled, shallow places in the river. Other years the water rushed dangerously fast. Every once in a while someone would capsize and others on the river would stop and help.

The first year my husband and I were married, we camped on the river with another couple and with plans to canoe the following day. In the early hours of the morning, an unexpected storm blew through our camp. The water was so heavy, the tent collapsed. It was cold and miserable.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior, (Isaiah 43:2-3 AMP).

The next morning we gathered what was left of our campsite, packed up and made our way to the river to spend the day in the warm sun, canoeing. The sudden rain caused the river to rise substantially, and the water rushed past at a faster speed than any of us had experienced. Halfway down the river, we came upon a father with his young son.

They were trapped in the rushing water.

I remember the concern on the father’s face, and the fear on the little boy’s face. Then the relief and thankfulness after my husband and his best friend freed them from the tree branches and pulled them safely back to the bank.

There are seasons with little rain and our life ebbs and flows gently. Then a great storm comes along—sometimes in the middle of the night while you’re camping—and turns everything in your life upside down. Your first response might be to panic as the water rises to overtake you, but rest assured, the Lord your Savior, promises to be with you. He promises the waters will not overwhelm you and you will pass safely through as you hold tight to Him.

“If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream.”

Francis Chan

Spiritual Sight

On my 21st birthday (years ago), my mother gave me the wedding ring my dad had given her. It was both the engagement ring and the wedding band. It wasn’t soldered together, but I wore it in two pieces. It didn’t really matter to me what the ring looked like, and it was beautiful, but it held sentimental value.

One afternoon I looked down and discovered the ring was missing from my finger. I searched the entire house. I looked for days. I looked everywhere. I even got down on my hands and knees and combed the shag carpet with my fingers, inch-by-inch.

No matter where I looked, I just didn’t see it!

I prayed and asked the Lord to help me find it. I had even asked a few friends and my husband to pray and agree with me for it to turn up. Two weeks passed and still—no ring! I was running the vacuum sweeper and happen to look down to see the ring—both the engagement ring and the wedding ring together. Over the last two weeks I looked in that exact spot too many times to count. My husband and my sisters helped me look as well.

And He said to him, Go, wash in the Pool of Siloam—which means Sent. So he went and washed, and came back seeing (John 9:7 AMP).

In that particular moment, my eyes were opened and I was able to see the ring in the shag carpet. Whether I was blind to the ring up to that moment, or if angels found the ring and dropped it there, I really didn’t care. I was thrilled to have what was lost, found.

Many times in my life I remained blind to God’s truth until He restored my spiritual sight. I don’t want to miss anything God has for me. I pray He opens my spiritual eyes to understand Him more each day.

“Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”

~John Newton, 1772