SoulBreaths

Combat Zone Series: Part 1—Your Soul

 

Connected upward, yet pulled downward.

That is the battle within your soul.

But it’s for a purpose. And it’s good.

 

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

Combat zone series is the foundational post for soul basics.

 

READING TIME: 3 MINUTES.

 

Italians might wish a newbornbenvenuti alla lucewelcome to the light—but whenever I see a baby, one of my first thoughts is “Welcome to the battlefield.”

 

The dynamics have begun. Within that little body lies a great commission . . . its soul’s journey, purpose, identity.

 

It won’t be easy because the soul-body (a uniquely fused form for physical/spiritual life) will engage in a no-holds-barred tug of war vs. resting in a holy balance.

 

I know that battle well. More than likely, you sense it too. It is, after all, the stuff within all of us residing on this side of heaven.

 

IN A BEGINNING

 

Mine, that is. One word kept popping up through my life: soul. And it’s been unshakably linked to my longtime awareness of God and my relationship with Him.

 

My earliest recollection of God’s presence . . . hearing Him on some level and having a deep desire to be with Him (and return to Him) . . . started around age four. I’d think of Him, spend time in quiet places outdoors to be with Him, and sometimes lie across the bed for an afternoon nap, asking if I could leave this world to be with Him.

 

But every time I’d wake up from those hoping-to-be-with-God naps, there I was. Still here. I’d get sad and cry because He hadn’t taken me.

 

I believe that was my young soul reaching for what it instinctively hungered for: Him.

 

But it’s been a long and

w

i

n

d

i

n

g

road since then—with a hiatus or two (or more) from that earlier panting for Him.

 

A seriously real spiritual battle had pulled my soul in various directions, trying to eclipse Him and derail me from His plan and goodness, from the Light of the world.

 

But then . . . He stepped in. And the deep-dive into my soul’s restoration in Him began—again.

 

Those back-and-forth soul struggles can get frustrating, right? Understanding what’s going on behind the scenes of your soul’s battle can help.

 


 

So here’s the game plan for this series:

 

1. Scan the perimeter of what’s warring within and without.

2. Step into the soul-body matrix—and your soul’s three nuances.

3. Learn five rules of engagement to finish your race well.

4. Consider the soul dynamic within a Fellini film—via a film noir lens.

 


 
 

 
 

WHAT’S WARRING WITHIN

 
 

Let’s discuss basics—some pretty amazing basics at that.

 

Your soul is breathed from God. It holds the identity of what God made you to be in Him vs. the illusion that whispers to you from the world and other sources.

 

An unseen God and an unseen soul. Both real, tangible in a unique and mysterious way. Both hidden, yet sensed, felt, and evidenced in this physical world.

 

Your God-breathed soul is called upward to Him—but its visible vessel, the body, is made from the earth (dust to dust) and is tethered to this world.

 

Like in a theatrical production, both players (soul and body) move downstage. The power struggle begins. The soul’s battle-heavy glory work ignites.

 

And a cast of characters join in and muddle your soul story with a gazillion subplots—many opponents on many soul-body battlefronts, spiritually and physically:

 

(1) the world—earthly, mundane, carnal, temporal pursuits

(2) your DNA

(3) outer impacts—cultural/environmental

(4) relationships—family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, congregant members, etc.

(5) life encounters/experiences

(6) your since-the-beginning-of-time adversary, satan

 

And let’s not forget free will. After all, humanity’s plan (way of thinking, choosing, thinking)is what got us in trouble to begin with—i.e. the Garden of Eden.

 

It doesn’t take much to stir up an inner battle that impacts your life with others and with God—instead of doing what the soul-body should be doing: stirring up its entire being to love and serve Him.

 

(1) our hearts (the seat of our emotions and thoughts) are deceitfully wicked—and so God searches the heart, tests the mind to give us according to the “fruit of our deeds” [Jeremiah 17:9, 10]
 
(2) standing before God’s holiness, our most “righteous” acts are like filthy menstrual rags. Our sins (missing God’s holy mark) cause us to be withered like a leaf, carried away like the wind [Isaiah 64:5(6)]
 
(3) our imaginings (rooted in our hearts) are evil from youth [Genesis 8:21b]
 
(4) none of us are righteous [Ecclesiastes 7:20, Psalm 53:3-4, Psalm 14:2-3, 1 Kings 8:46, among many others]

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

 

Plenty, actually. But let’s take it gently, get more understanding, and start with the nuances of the soul based on what the Hebrew reveals.

 

READ PART TWO NOW. COMBAT ZONE SERIES: PART 2—SOUL NUANCES

 

CREDITS: Canyon crevice photo by Joe Gardner on Unsplash.com

[Combat Zone is a foundational post for this blog. The original article was created/posted in 2009, but for easier reading divided into four posts much later.]

Combat Zone Series: Part 2b—The Body Factor

 

The soul. The body. Let the games (and battle) begin.

 

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

Combat Zone is the foundational post for soul basics.

 

SUGGEST READING THE SERIES IN ORDER. COMBAT ZONE SERIES: PART 1—YOUR SOUL

 

READING TIME: 2 MINUTES.

 

U nlike the soul breathed from God, your earth-derived body has a different agenda. It has an appetite and cravings for our physical world/natural realm. (Hello, Garden of Eden debacle.)

 
 

As noted by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz—teacher/author, famed for his edition of the Talmud:

 

“The body is blind . . . it has the physical power but doesn’t have the understanding, the inner side . . . the soul, on the other hand, has all understanding [my note for clarification—it’s not visible but sees spiritually], but it doesn’t have the physical power to do it.”

 

Steinsaltz says the soul-body combination is powerful, being able to do everything: feeling, thinking, saying.

 

But it’s not that simple. He says with the creation of man, a lump of matter, of earth, God inserted a soul. That resulted in two different and separate entities whose usage later is far more complex—and in daily life takes on a more “symbiotic coexistence of two elements.”

 

Symbiotic in that the soul and body are working together and influencing each other . . . creating a type of combined entity.

 

You, me, today: This soul-body union can cause us to travel a rigorous obstacle course.

 


 

The question remains, will the soul get its earthly partner (the body) to look upward—or will the God-breathed soul be duped or falter and be pulled downward, eyes off God and His ways?

 


 

Introducing perhaps a more familiar term: In Judaic fashion, Jesus/Yeshua used the terms soul and body—as in Matthew 10:28.

 

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

 

New Testament writers [followers of Jesus, the Messiah], like pharisee-turned apostle Saul Paulus, later called the body’s world-tethered component the flesh—referring to the physical body and its self-driven characteristics.

 

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion [degrading, vile, lustful], evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” —Colossians 3:5 (ESV)

 

“For those living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit [of God] set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit [of God] is life and peace.
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it doesn’t submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” —Romans 8:5-8 (ESV)

 

But I say, walk by the Spirit [of God] and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Galatians 5:16-17 (ESV)

 

The dynamic-duo struggle, body and soul, is real. It’s part of the refining, spiritual, and God-designed journey down here.

 

But does it have to be so chaotic, such a Wild West ride? Depends. And that brings us to part three of this series—how to navigate the battle within and without.

 
READ PART 3 NEXT: COMBAT ZONE SERIES: PART 3—RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
 

Combat Zone is the foundational post for soul basics. The original article was created/posted in 2009, but for easier reading divided into four posts in 2020. Judaic scripture number references used

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