Soul Care

What does your Soul Care look like? Each January, the Rehoboth Family turns our focus to the care and nourishment of our souls. Sure, we do so throughout the year as well, but we give special attention to Soul Care at the start of each year. Our pastors have prepared special elements for the entire month, and we will be sharing selections in each service from the New City Catechism that you can find here: http://newcitycatechism.com.

We also will take a fresh look at Psalm 119 in the messages in our worship services. Whether you have just begun to think about Soul Care or you have years of practicing Soul Care, you’ll want to join us each Sunday in January. Pastor Troy is encouraging everyone to read or listen to Psalm 119 once each week in January. You’ll be encouraged and glad you did.

Week One: Scripture

A new year is here! It is so often during this time of year that people set resolutions and goals for habits for their lives. In the church, folks tend to do this too. Often, we rightly will set goals for reading scripture, maybe even setting out on a reading plan. This is a good thing!

The scriptures, the Holy Word of God, are the primary way that we hear from God. In these precious words, God reveals himself, his desires for our lives, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the call he places on the lives of his people. He uses it to direct his church. It is vital to the life of the Christian to be rooted consistently in the reading of scripture. The one who delights in the Word of God “is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. (Psalm 1:4-4)”

As you become one who is consistently putting the Word of God in your mind, you will see God use these truths to transform you. He will also do this for us as a Church. As we renew our minds with the truths of God, we may see him begin a fresh work in our midst as he draws those around us to himself. Let that be our hope.

Week Two: Prayer

How is the discipline of prayer vital for personal renewal and corporate revival? In 1 Peter 5:5, we read that “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” What a sobering truth to consider. If you are proud, God opposes you. If you are humble, God will give you grace. Since God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble, Peter exhorts his readers to “humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:6).

Now, how are we to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand? In verse 7, we learn that a person humbles himself or herself under God’s mighty hand by “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” In this passage, prayer is the key to humility.

Let’s go back to our original question. How is the discipline of prayer vital for personal renewal and corporate revival? I imagine that we can all agree that God’s grace is essential for personal renewal and corporate revival. To receive God’s grace, you must be humble. A humble person is a person who prays, casting his or her anxieties on the Lord.

On the flip side of this, the absence of prayer is a sign of pride. We already learned that if we are proud, we are opposed by God. What a truly terrifying thought. While more is said about pride and humility in the Bible, this passage makes a profound point. In this passage, prayer is what separates the proud and the humble. The proud are opposed, but the humble receive grace. May we be among the humble who receive God’s grace. Oh Lord, renew us and revive us!

Week Three: Fasting

What is fasting? Fasting is a spiritual discipline that is taught in the Bible. The practice of fasting is essentially giving up food for a period of time in order to better focus your heart, mind and spirit on God.

In The Coming Revival, Bill Bright writes: Fasting is the only discipline that meets all the conditions of 2 Chronicles 7:14. When one fasts, he humbles himself; he has more time to pray, more time to seek God’s face, and certainly he would turn from all known sin. One could read the Bible, pray, or witness for Christ without repenting of his sins. But one cannot enter a genuine fast with a pure heart and pure motive and not meet the conditions of this passage.

How should we prepare ourselves to fast?

  • Pray and confess: An essential step before fasting is to humble yourself before God (Psalm 35:13) and confess your sins (1 Samuel 7:6). Prayer should be our sustenance throughout the fast, but it is imperative we begin the fast with a repentant heart.
  • Stay in the Word: Spend additional time meditating on God’s Word, before and during the fast.
  • Don’t announce it: Fasting is unbiblical and even spiritually harmful when we do it to show off our spirituality ( Matthew 6:16 – 18) or when we focus more on our own fasting than on the clear needs of others (Isaiah 58:1 – 11). Don’t boast about your fast; tell people you won’t be eating only if necessary. Fasting should not be done when done for false motives (1 Samuel 14:24-30).
  • Physical Preparation: It is imperative that we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the type of fast God would have us start. There is nothing in the Scriptures that demands that we do anything that would negatively impact our bodies and health. It would be wise to consult your physician prior to fasting.

Fasting is not an end unto itself, but a means of focusing our minds and bodies for a spiritual reason. Whenever you fast, do so for a motive that is declared or demonstrated in the Bible.