John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel. (Luke 1:80 NLT)
John right from his childhood lived up to His motto, “He (God) must increase and I (soul) must decrease!”.
The “I” he knew was his soul, which is his self will, emotion and intellect – these he made sure decrease; meaning these will not be strong enough to overcome his decisions and purpose for his life!
For this reason, he forced himself to live in wilderness where there is not much appetite for his flesh and until his soul (self will, emotions and intellect) submits to his calling.
As soon as he dominated his self, his spirit became strong by the power of God’s Spirit and His word – sharp enough to discern and pinpoint accurately the Lamb of God Jesus Christ, the Messiah to the whole world!
A great preparation was needed for that great calling and the great life of John the Baptist, it wasn’t automatic because God said so. Are we getting ready?
You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.” Luke 1:14-17
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God! (Psalms 43:5 NLT)
There is nothing powerful than our spirit that is awaken by believing in the finished work of Christ on the cross.
The soul is so uncontrollable at times; raging emotions, flooding thoughts and stormy willfulness – as a result we hate ourselves, lose all credibility and find ourselves so foolish.
Yet, all the while, the renewed spirit in us wait quietly trusting the Lord to comfort, bring the understanding and calm us down.
If there is no prayer that could comfort us, let’s say the name of Jesus repeatedly – this will make us fall in love with Him. His perfect love then will cast out all our fears and quiets our soul!
Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me. Psalm 131:2
“Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns. Jeremiah 4:3
The first thing to prosper in our lives is our soul.
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2
Soul is the one entrapped in lies, doubts, depression, jealousy, anger, lust or pride. Our will, emotions and thought process (intellect mind) which makes our soul is the breeding ground for all filthiness.
Can you imagine the freedom you can bring to yourself by freeing you from your self/soul!
Listening and putting God’s Word into practice is the real freedom. If we aren’t able to obey God’s spoken Word, we are not free.