Today at Port Au Prince Fellowship Pastor Dan challenged us after we sang "It is well". He asked us to look at our hearts, our souls, our walks with Christ AND to dare to ask our Father if it really IS WELL with our souls. Are we in right standing with Him? Do we need to confess anything or walk away from anything to have our souls be well. Are we connected to the vine? Are we worshippers, resisters or religious? We began the chorus again and over and over sang....
IS IT well, IS IT well
With my soul, with my soul
IS IT well, IS IT well with my soul...
That song will never be the same for me. I will always ponder that question when I hear it. Is it well? Sometimes we get into the motion and sing empty words. Live good lives on empty. I'm thankful for a pastor in this season of our lives that calls that out in himself, and in the rest of us.
He invited us to pray into those dangerous and truth-seeking words, and encouraged us to truly dive into the truth of IF our souls REALLY ARE WELL. In the day in and day out, in plenty and in want. On the highest mountain tops and in the most desolate and ache filled valleys.
I've thought about it off and on all day. To be honest, I couldn't answer yes. It's not fully well with my soul.
I'm prone to wander.
You see, I love Jesus. With all of my heart I love Jesus. I know I do. But, I tend to stray off onto my own and do things in my own strength and power. I'm a fighter, I always have been. It's one of my many double-edged swords. There are times when I'm stripped back down again, and my need for total dependency on Christ smacks me upside of my own plans for life. My own sense of fight and justice. I know that the things I'm passionate about are OF Him. But, WITHOUT Him....I'm going to get to the end of myself pretty quickly EVERY SINGLE TIME. My personality is all or nothing and it sometimes becomes a trap for me. An assault on what should be the most important relationship I have.
I know that when I asked my Father today if it IS well with my soul, He answered no. God loves me fiercely, this I KNOW for certain. I also know that He is JEALOUS for me. For my time. For my focus. For my all. I can fight injustice, feed the hungry, care for orphans in their distress and set the oppressed free, but apart from His 100% dwelling and my 100% dependence, it's merely works. Filthy rags.
In my wandering, I see an increase of sin in my life.
I speak things I shouldn't.
I get angry and make choices I regret.
I hurt with my words and with my tone.
I talk about things and people I shouldn't.
I choose food and Facebook over Jesus and family.
I justify my sin.
I Martha. (Luke 10:38-42)
The list could go on, but those are the majors for me.
I have love, joy, zest and purpose in my life. There are many beautiful things in my present journey. But, I also have a lack of some spiritual fruit. The fruits of the Spirit-filled life are:
These things are the evidence of a Spirit-filled life. If I look at my above list of sin in light of God's list of fruit....it's evident that my soul is not as well as it could be. We can look really good from the outside.Social media makes it even more challenging to see if it really IS WELL with someone's soul. The work of our hands and the smiles on our newsfeed can paint different pictures than our soul speaks to THE ONE who DOES KNOW. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in a deep dark place today. I'm in an honest place. Is it REALLY well with my soul? With me. With my relationship with Christ.
Today I was challenged more than I have been in a very long time. This pondering has stirred something in my Spirit. Something in my soul. I feel a deeper desire today to just be near to Jesus. To just know and understand HIM more. His goodness, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, love, joy, peace, & patience.....I want those nearest and dearest to me to be impacted by a Spirit-filled wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. I want the work of my hands to be about Christ and HIS manifest presence in my soul. I want to know Him deeper. Know Him more fully.
I feel a revival brewing in my soul.
To be able to honestly sing "It is well with my soul", I had to be bold enough to ask "Is it well with my soul?", and brave enough to listen for an answer.
It's not a list of things I have to do or not do to make my soul well. It's not about religious duty. It's not rules or regulations. It's a connection to the ONE that makes it well. It's an honest look at my life, my heart & the words & actions of my life that those closest to me see. It's laying on the altar the dried up fruit. The dried up fruit that's been waiting to be immersed back into LIVING WATER. It's there and it so desires to blossom forth again into a plentiful harvest.
Is it well with my soul?