I had a dream last night. For those of you who are new to this blog, I have many dreams. Most of my personal writing has roots in a dream I have had, this one is no different. I don’t remember much about it, but the end. I was standing at the foot of a cross. It was dark all around me. Dark orange. I was praying the prayer of salvation; only it was not for me personally. As each word was spoken, the orangeness began to fade. The further I got into the prayer the whiter and brighter I got. A light lit up all around me, and I felt free. The prayer was not for me; it was for the inner me, my soul.
As I woke up, I felt cleansed. The words came to my mind, “Soul Restoration.” I didn’t fully understand what it meant until I mulled over those words as I tried to go back to sleep. A vision of the sea came to my mind. I was standing on the shore watching the waves come in and go back out to sea. I could smell the ocean air and feel the sea breeze on my face. I looked down to the ground and saw the word “SIN” written in the wet sand. A wave made its way to shore and covered the hand-drawn phrase. The wave reached its tide boundary, then retreated. Once it was gone, I looked back down to where the writing was, and what remained was just a hint of the impression. Another wave swept over it, this time when the tide retreated there was no longer any evidence of the word.
“Soul Restoration” repeated in my mind. I said it aloud, so I would not forget. Because if I lay back down, telling myself I will remember, I won’t. Most of the time I will get up and write the dream I have had in my journal. Other times I will say a few words about it aloud. That helps me to remember if I am too lazy to get up.
We Need Soul Restoration
Then word came to me that souls need restoration. They need to get back to the place they once were. Think about restoring a car. You are trying to take something old and make it new again. You are trying to get it to look like it did back in its heyday. Just as that ’66 Mustang or ’63 Corvette need special care to produce a showroom model, so our souls need special attention if we are to get back to where we once were in Him.
I remember the day when I was alive in Christ. My days were centered on Him. My thoughts surrounded what I could do to serve. My voice sang his praises. My words were salt to those around me. Then life happened. And my day to day activities replaced the God-driven passions I had. Truth be told, it was more than life happening, it was sin happening. The reality of it is that anything that takes our eyes off Jesus is sin. Good or bad.
I believe I am better today. I read the word daily. I listen to more appropriate music than I have lately. I pray more. None of these as much as I should, but I’m getting there. I think we all are getting there. Always on a path to get better, more focused, and Christ-centered than we were yesterday. This is where our soul restoration begins; recognizing the need.
How to Accomplish Soul Restoration
We could have been Christians all our lives, but if we never allow the Holy Spirit to take over our lives, then we do not grasp what being a Christian is all about. The Holy Spirit works in us and through us. But he can only be effective if we use the resources given to us to strengthen our souls for the day we are to be used.
This comes through study of his word, not just merely reading it.
It comes through obedience, not just acknowledging what we read.
It comes through fervent prayer, not just praying before a meal.
It comes through using taking the external stimuli that we are inundated with every day and funneling it through a God-filter; what we read, the music we listen to, the TV programs we watch, all need to point us to Him.
I am not perfect. I need to practice the very things I just wrote above. Especially using the God-filter on the things I allow to reach my eyes and ears. When I do not take seriously what I am supposed to, then I am just like the half-finished car that is sitting up on the blocks. To get that car to shine, it requires the sweat of a brow. To get our soul to shine, it requires a serious commitment to the tasks assigned to each of us.
How to Use a Restored Soul
We cannot effectively show Christ to others unless we know him ourselves. If you and I are lukewarm in our faith, then we will never have the impact on the lost world that we need to be.
Our hearts need to be remolded.
Our minds need to be renewed.
Our will needs to be reformed.
Our souls need to be restored.
You can be used beyond belief when you give your heart, mind, and will over to Him to be used. Our hearts are changed through what we allow into our mind; converting our will to His. Thus, completing our soul restoration. It causes a deep inside conversion. Just like my dark orange world that faded into dazzling white, through the Lords sacrifice on the cross and our humble acknowledgment of Him being the source of of our soul’s restoration, we can be changed.
Ezekiel 36:26 promises us, “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
Romans 12:2a reminds us: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of our mind…”
Romans 12:2b challenges, “that by testing you may discern what is the will of God that is good and acceptable.”
Psalm 23:3 encourages us, “He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”