9. The Soul's Restoration: "He restoreth my soul"

Psalm 23:3a

March 10

What is the “soul” and why would it need to be restored? The soul is a part of the “human trinity” of my body, soul, and spirit. 1 Thess. 5:23 says that all three need to be sanctified and preserved completely. “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Good Shepherd does not restore the souls of those who do not belong to Him. He only returns what was once at a better place, close to the Shepherd’s heart. A person who is not saved cannot have a restoration of soul, unless he first is saved. 

    I spoke with a brother in Christ today who was clearly and admittedly agitated and irritated. What's worse, I was the cause for his irritation. What was even worse than that, I saw myself and my easily troubled and unrestored emotions of irritations in him. In fact, if truth be told, the worst of all is, I have acted far worse than he did and I told him so. My soul, even though saved, needs to be restored from time to time. But God cannot restore something that has never been stored in the first place.

My soul can be redeemed or reclaimed by God from danger, either physical or spiritual harm (see Ps. 49:15, 34:22, 55:18, 69:18, Ps 71:23). It can be instructed (Ps. 13:2, 19:7, 139:14) and is the seat of my appetites, desires, emotions, and personality. Therefore my soul can be “cast down” (Ps. 42:5-6, 11) or sad (Ps. 35:12) or happy (see Ps 35:9, 86:4) or vain (Ps 24:4, Ps 34:2) or patient (Ps 33:20).

A shepherd counts and looks for his sheep not only because they wander off, but because they can often become physically cast down and unable to get back up. Without the help of a shepherd, they might never upright themselves and die within hours.

Shepherds are not the only ones who look for cast down sheep. Predators do as well. Jesus said to “beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.” Paul also spoke of wolves entering into the church. Acts 20:29 “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.”

A restored soul will journey beside restful waters on a righteous way and that is why the soul’s restoration is placed between two commands to follow the leading shepherd. Let God and God alone lead your mind, will, and emotions.

Heavenly Father,
Thank You Lord for saving my soul,
Thank You Lord for making me whole
Thank You Lord, for giving to me
Thy great salvation so rich and free

All this month we are looking at the most beloved psalm and the most quoted chapter in all of the Bible, the 23rd Psalm. If you would like to subscribe daily, put your email in the upper right box.              

*Words by Bill and Gloria Gaither


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