David and the Psalmists make numerous references to the “soul” in their songs and poems in the Psalms and that is significant because your soul and your spirit are two completely different yet inexplicably intertwined entities. Your spirit is the God-breathed part of yourself that was made to commune with the Spirit of the Lord. Your soul is comprised of your heart, your emotions and your mind. The Word of God is the only way that you’ll be able to tell the difference between your human soul and your God-breathed spirit and you need that, daily, even moment by moment! “For the word of God is alive, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Numerous times in the Psalms, David and the Psalmists he raised up (Asaph and the sons of Korah) do this as they navigate life’s ups and downs: They speak to their souls. “Truly my soul, wait upon God: from Him comes my salvation.” (Psalm 62:1) They command their souls. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:1-2) They search their souls: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?” (Psalm 43:5) And they lift up their souls to the Lord, the place where the human self resides, the cause of internal battle and conflict against the things of the spirit. They intentionally place their souls into the hands of God because the soul is in need of help day by day!
“To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me.” (Psalm 25:1) Do you know why David lifted up his soul in this situation? Because it was one in which there was potential for his soul to fall down, to cause him shame, and to shame to the name of the Lord. One of those opportunities in which sin and temptation are knocking at the door of the soul. Been there! That is why David prayed “Let me not be ashamed.” He did not want his enemies to have anything to hold over his head in triumph, because his soul had stumbled. His spirit was willing, always willing. But the flesh? WEAK. You know that that goes…!
“For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.” (Psalm 86:4-5) David lifted up his soul to the Lord because he wanted to learn the Lord’s ways. He wanted the Lord to instruct his soul, strengthen his soul, deliver his soul and unite his soul with the Spirit of God. When you want “more of God” – lift up your soul. Your spirit needs to be in worship, but be deliberate about focusing your mind, will and emotions in worship as well. Think of Him. Imagine His face. Let yourself feel the emotions flow over you as you lift up your soul to Him.
“Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; for in You I have my trust; cause me to know the way I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto You.” (Psalm 143:8) When you are faced with important choices, or decisions or when you are faced with a situation in which you don’t know which way to go, take time to lift up your soul to the Lord. Get into worship and as your spirit communes with the Lord, your soul will find rest and peace and strength and ability to discern what God is leading. Get into this habit and you can be sure that you will start to see the changes in you and around you that you’ve been crying out for!
Thought for today
It is an important part of your faith journey to lift up your soul – daily! It is necessary and crucial that you develop the habit of praying for yourself, of lifting up your soul to the Lord. You pray for others. You ask others to pray for you. But you need to devote time each day to pray for yourself. You already know you need more of the Lord day by day, even moment by moment, but many of the issues you’re facing right now don’t originate in the spirit. They’re in your soul, the starting point of your human experience. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. These are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please,” Paul wrote in Galatians 5:17. Daily – every time you worship, every time you pray, every time you read your Bible – lift up your soul to the Lord and your enemies will have no cause to triumph over you. Amen!