Damaged Goods. We were created in God’s image – that’s good. But His image has been damaged in each of us. We are infected with original sin, we may carry baggage from our up-bringing, we’ve been wounded by others and we pollute ourselves through carelessness and deliberate rebellion against God and His ways. Our ‘hearts’ need healing but we are typically unconcerned. We disregard our need or avoid the issue due to blindness, stubbornness or perhaps denial. So life goes on; we learn to live as a damaged, undernourished soul. Are you insensitive to your real need for soul restoration? I was for a long time.
Heart. In the Bible this word refers to the deepest core of who we are. Our identity, our character, our behavior (and much more) are defined, generated and controlled by the ‘heart.’ Heart is the ‘space’ within us where vital human capacities (see the model) intermingle, meld and serve as our control center. In Christians, the Holy Spirit indwells this ‘space’ and desires to heal the damage and fragmentation which plagues our hearts. God delights in being our Great Physician. Imagine Him cleansing and enlarging the size of your heart into each of the capacities. We need His work in these deep places.
Transformation & Integration. Soul restoration includes the redemption, renewal and development of the heart’s interactive capacities. These include our 1) will, 2) mind, 3) desires & motives, 4) affections/emotions, 5) imagination and 6) conscience. The Holy Spirit will do the complex work of transforming these capacities to be, increasingly, more Christ-like. This depends heavily on ‘integration,’ God’s work of synthesizing our capacities. He’s passionate about doing an on-going work of creation and re-creation within us, forming in our souls a newness and abundance of life-in-Christ. This is progress in a Godly direction, toward maturity and ‘wholeness.’ This is what we need and God is honored and glorified as it happens.
Needing Brokenness. God designed our souls to be very needy – needy for Him and dependent on His Spirit. Our neediness, rightly embraced and expressed, invites God’s generosity. He will repeatedly pour Himself into us when we open our hearts and accept the usual starting point for soul restoration – ‘brokenness’– the topic of our next post.