I was going to continue this series with The Power of a Smile, The Power of Sin and perhaps the Power of My Brother Seth. However, since those posts seem slow in coming I’ll summarize by saying they’re all three quite powerful, in their own way:
Smiles can make old people look new; Sin can make new people look old; and Seth can speak 3 languages, run a thousand miles, and makes me laugh perhaps more than anyone else I know.
So far, in this series we have:
- The Power of Stick Shift
- The Power of Space
- The Power of a Song
- The Power of a Story
- The Power of Serenity
- The Power of a Sentence
What do they all have in common? They all have impact on and can affect a human being. Cars transport our physical bodies, songs affect our emotions, sentences affect our thoughts, and stories affect our lives as we contemplate the examples of others. And “space” is symbolic of all things limiting to us.
What is a soul? Webster says, “The immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life.” Basically, our soul is US, our LIFE. The word in the New Testament for soul (psuchē) is even often translated life.
Here is the first time soul is used in the Bible:
Genesis 2:7 says, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
The concept and definition of the words soul and spirit overlap, but as I understand it the word soul (as used in the Bible) seems to be broader, often referring to the “life” portion of a human being (some say our mind, will, and emotions) whereas spirit seems to be used more specifically in reference to the non-material counterpart to our body. The word spirit is pneuma in the Greek which literally means breath or breeze.
Whether a human has an immaterial, immortal soul/spirit or is rather completely material has been cause for much debate. The view of Philosophical Materialism (that matter is all there is, and any perceived consciousness is merely a result of matter acting on matter) dates before Christ to big-name Greeks like Epicurus and Democritus. In more recent times Karl Marx is well-known for having broadened and refined the theory. Even Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe humans have a soul.
For reference, here are some verses that use the words soul and spirit.
So here is the culminating point to this post and series:
The power of a soul is that it can impact God.
Through entering into relationship with God.
Relationship is mutual communication. If I’m not communicating with someone, I’m not in a relationship with them (I know this). When we communicate with God, this is called prayer.
Through prayer we can actually impact God!
Not by force, (because he’s a ka-jillion times stronger) but by influence, as his friend.
I’ll leave off with these thoughts from James:
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:16-18)