The Bare Soul - February 3, 2013
Possessing Our Souls

Luke 21:19 (NKJV) - By your patience possess your souls.

I heard a pastor once preach on "Love is patient" out of I Corinthians 13. His premise was how the two are interchangeable. Love is the very essence of patience and conversely it is impossible to be patient without being loving. I agree with this. I believe our Savior's patience was extraordinary as He dealt in a spirit of love with everyone He met. (However, the Pharisees might have seen things differently.) Just as God is love, so also He embodies patience (I John 4:8).

When we look at Luke 21:19, we should look at Jesus' admonition as exhorting us to "self-care." In context, it is of course speaking of the last days and the hostility others will show against those who stand up for the gospel. To bring my mention of I Corinthians 13 into this context, I believe both Paul and our Lord would tell us that the best self-care comes from first loving God who dwells within us and then allowing that to overflow to others. In other words, if we are loving and patient with ourselves, we will be patient and loving with others. To go back to the context of Luke 21 once again, this will mean the difference of possessing our souls or betraying them out of fear. When we are perfected in love, it casts out all fear, allowing us to live with Godís integrity through love (I John 4:8).

Jesus asked the question, "What will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26). To possess one's soul means that we have surrendered to our Savior all impatience to do otherwise. We have come into that perfect place of sanctification where we no longer wonder if we are set apart and holy for the Master's use. The thought does not even occur to us. We just know we are imbued with a marvelous sense of His love and patience in how He is living and moving and having His Being through us. This, my friends, is self-care that will become demonstrable soul-care to all with whom are hungry for an encounter with God.

One might well ask how this paradigm shift occurs? Where we no longer concern ourselves with possessing anything let alone our souls? (Of course the paradox is that when we no longer seek to possess anything we possess all things.)  Furthermore, how do we perfect this place of patience which is imbued with God's presence and love? It is wonderful to speak in theory of being loving and patient, but how does this happen? The reminders are constant throughout the word of God and especially in Paul's letters. Paul's desire for the churches to whom he wrote his letters to "put on" Jesus Christ was a constant theme and probably a frequent prayer of his. (Romans 13:12, Ephesians 6:11, and Colossians 3:1are just three instances of more than a dozen given by Paul.) The paradigm shift is as simple as doing the "do's" and turning away from the "don'ts." When we turn toward Jesus, and allow Him to renew us according to His image, then we are allowing the possession of our souls to become a reality through Christ's love. May we patiently turn toward Him as we give more and more to Him daily.

Heavenly Father, may you show us how we really do not possess anything. Yet, You allow us stewardship over these vessels you have created for us to live in. May we possess them in Your love and patience, wholly sanctified for Your use. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

 

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