Joy in a Sanctified Soul
By Joseph Chambers
The Holy Spirit truly touched a powerful thought when He said, “for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10b). Living without joy in one’s soul is a miserable way to live. An abundance of things or wealth has no bearing on what any person feels in their soul. The soul will be as empty or as full in a beautiful mansion as it will be in a small cabin. Nothing outside the inner person bears on the poverty or wealth of the soul.
Our soul is the seat of our person. Our personality is manifest in our soul and gives attention to the body and its happiness and to the spirit of life and our fellowship with God. The soul is the real you. The soul is also the center of our Adamic nature. The sin of Adam left a disease in every soul. If those sins are not cleansed by the blood of Christ, the soul is helpless to rise above the sinful disease. This is why an otherwise wonderful person can fall into grievous error. A wonderful wife or mother can suddenly become unfaithful. A great father can quickly lose himself in some lustful relationship and never recover. There is a possible prodigal in every living person.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is man’s hope in escaping from the prison of sin and its destructive power. The great statement of Christ quoted millions of times is simple, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”(Matthew 16:26). Nobody but you can decide the fate or fortune of your soul. It is usually impossible to look at someone and decide which way they will ultimately rise or fall. Free will is truly an awesome responsibility.
The soul has a conscious. Jesus Christ, the great Master, called it your “eye.” He was not speaking of the eye of the body, but of the eye of the soul. This great conscious is God’s special gift to the soul but it’s your responsibility to nurture it. It was first the responsibility of your parents, but if they fail, you must take up the task. Even their success leaves every person with grave accountability. I love this eloquent lesson the Son of God gave us. “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23). This truth is the foundation of greatness. A dad and mom that flood their offspring with “light” in the soul are destined to be proud of their accomplishment. Every one of us, regardless of our background has the capability to stop, take stock of what kind of light is absent or within and change our future.
Excuse making is one of the destructive characters of the unchecked Adamic Nature. The blame game is equally dark. There are many reasons people give for neglecting their soul. Our generation is deeply affected by striving for success or being fearful of being different. Your soul is too important to be left to chance. The real you is waiting for you to step up to the challenge.
The result of a sanctified soul is breathtaking. Apostle Paul wrote about it to the Thessalonians, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (I Thessalonians 5:23-24). If your soul is full of darkness because of a dysfunctional family or if you have walked the low road yourself; turn around. The Adamic nature left unredeemed is destined for heart break and eternal hell. Being “Born Again” is still Biblical and you will have a recreated soul. You will be a new creature.
Now, comes that joy, unspeakable that the Bible talks so much about. It is impossible to be joyful for any other reason on earth. Pleasure is not joy or those seeking pleasure would not need drugs or strong drink. Joy does not arise from circumstances or from plenty. Joy is a heart matter and the soul is the seat of our heart of hearts. John the beloved disciple said, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (III John 1:2).
Your soul is the real you. Right now your soul is reading these words. You are either truly thirsty after Jesus Christ and His abundant life and joy or you are complacent and full of your own Adamic self. Jesus holds out the invitation. “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38). Those “Rivers” are “Rivers of Joy.”