The Word is My Life
Monday, December 11, 2017
My Words are life to those that find them . . . . Prov. 4:22

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October 2016 My Soul's Salvation

From My Life’s Journey                                                                               August, 2016

Topic:  My Soul’s Salvation

How is your soul?  Take time to think.  Do your emotions get the best of you? Are you anxious about life? Do you have fear that won’t turn loose? Has a recent incident filled your soul with unease?  Consider this: The Word says, “God has called us to peace” (1 Cor. 7:15).

My friend, you have a soul, and that soul – as well as your spirit – will live eternally.  When we receive Jesus as Savior (salvation), our spirit becomes alive in Christ.  The Bible says, though, that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12).  After salvation, why do we still have something to “work out?” I’ll tell you.  We are instructed to grow in our knowledge of God, speaking truth and peace to our soul until it aligns with the Spirit of God within.  This process results in “receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1: 9). The outcome of active faith in God and His word is the salvation of your soul. 

I’ll share my experience here.  I am an adjunct professor with Regent University.  As an adjunct professor, I teach as I am assigned classes.   Thank God I’ve been fortunate to teach for them consistently since getting my doctorate in 2012.  Both the university and I have freedom, though.  I have the freedom to accept or reject teaching assignments, and they have freedom to offer or not offer courses to me.  Now, regarding my soul … 

Each Spring semester, I expect to teach two online courses.  Well, I received an email asking me to verify texts to be used in one of the courses.  What about the other course?  When I asked, I learned that the course had been shifted to another professor.  That resulted in a “gut punch” but I quickly recovered.  I reminded myself: “I’m free and the university is free. I’m just glad for the opportunity to teach at all.”

Guess what? A month later, I received another email about a Spring course change, and this time, my soul took a direct hit.  I thought to myself: “What’s going on here?” Is this the “writing on the wall”?  I was shaken – my soul was vexed.  Ladies, I’ve finally learned what to do when my soul takes a hit: First, I gather myself and focus on truth. For example, I know God has called me to peace (1 Cor. 7:15), not fear (1 Tim. 1:7). 

As I focus on truth, I begin to speak.  A pastor once preached that we can speak to our soul and instruct it – our soul is not to rule us.  David spoke to his soul: “Why are you downcast, O my soul” (Ps. 42:5)?  I spoke to my soul and reminded it of Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11 (God knows His plans for my life), Matthew 6:33 (Seek first the Kingdom of God and live rightly; then God takes care of the natural), and Phil. 4:6 (Don’t worry about anything; pray and the peace of God will guard my heart and mind).

In this situation, my eyes were opened to something.  Frequently, I confide in my mom about things, but God allowed her to be out of town during this time so I wouldn’t be tempted to speak any pity talk – only Words of faith that open doors by which the Spirit moves.  In Luke 1:20, God made Zacharias mute so he wouldn’t thwart God’s plan to bring forth John the Baptist (Luke 1:20) through Elizabeth, his wife.

Lastly, I simply prayed and asked God to order my next steps (Ps. 37:23).  I was led to email the Dean of the School of Education.  It took him a couple days to get back with me due to travel.  During those two days, I had to make a conscious decision: Where does my help come from? Is my source God or Regent?  I declare today that MY help comes from the Lord (Ps. 121:1) for He is my Shepherd, and I shall not (Ps. 23:1).  Ladies, as we direct our souls to receive the Word, rest in it, and live it out, we are involved in the working out of salvation that is God’s plan of peace for our lives. 

The rest of the story is this: Two days later, when the Dean got back in town, he told me that the one course that was handed off will be returned to me the following Spring.  He also said nothing will change with the second course; I am still the professor.  To take the place of the transferred course, he asked if I’d like to teach another course this Spring.  He ended with this: “You are a highly valued adjunct and we appreciate all that you do for us.” After reading his words, peace washed over me.

I thank God for this experience because I learned that the fluctuations of my soul – the roller coaster of emotions – don’t mean anything.  If God says I’m blessed, I’m blessed.  If God knows the plans, they are already established for my life.  All is well with me no matter the shifting of the soul.  Still, neither you nor I should allow the emotions of our souls to run willy-nilly because truly prospering in life requires the prospering of the soul: 3 John 2 says, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

Author and Pastor John Ortberg shares these powerful words: “The main thing God gets out of your life is the person you become. The main thing you get from your life is the person you become.” The well-being of your soul plays a key part in the person you become.  Let’s return to David and the instruction he gave his own soul: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance” (Ps. 42:5).  Continue to put your trust and hope in God as I know you are doing. Your hope is an anchor for your soul (Heb. 6:19). Think on these things!

Ever onward, ever forward~

Dr. Iris Barrett

“The Word is My Life” Training Ministry