Are You “Souled Out”?

Country songwriter/ singer Aaron Tippin wrote and performed a song entitled “You’ve Got to Stand for Something” several years ago.  A key line in the chorus is “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”  So many in our nation have lost sight of the really critical things to stand for and as a result we see people from all walks of life falling for just about anything.  Even people professing to be Christians have begun to live a weak-kneed, watered-down, politically acceptable lifestyle that makes them no different than their peers.  We are so concerned about hurting people’s feelings that we would rather send them to hell than present them with the truth.  “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”[1]

 For many years we have heard the term “sold out” used to describe someone who has totally and completely submitted to someone or something.  It could be submission to a person, organization, country, or a variety of other things that people find worthy of their total and complete devotion.  When it comes to a personal relationship with God, maybe a better term would be “souled out” because it is the only relationship that has eternal consequences.  With those kind of stakes, this is the only thing worthy of total submission and worthy of our complete devotion.  Scripture tells us “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.[2]  God’s men must “fight the good fight” not only living out their faith on a daily basis but in sharing that faith so that others can come to know the saving grace of the gospel. God needs men who are willing to be “souled out’ for the cause of Jesus Christ.

So how does a man go about accomplishing this goal of being “souled out?”  Jesus gives us a simple yet complete definition when He says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”[3]  In other words, we must love God with everything we have, completely and totally.  If we are going to be “souled out” it can only be accomplished if we give God first priority in every aspect of our lives.  This is of particular importance to men since we are experts at compartmentalizing our lives.  A man who is “souled out” realizes there is no compartment in which God does not have access and our lives are an “open book” when it comes to our Heavenly Father.  An essential fact that men must remember is to “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”[4]  Satan is always working to trip us up but the man totally submitted to God gives that man the ability to resist these efforts and empowers us through Jesus Christ to send the devil running for cover.  Remember, it is not our power that makes this happen but God’s.

How do we recognize the actions of a “souled out” man?  Scripture tells us “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.”[5]  A “souled out” man is easily recognizable by how he conducts himself in all situations and under all circumstances, good or bad, favorable or unfavorable.  A “souled out” man holds steadfast to the Word of God and for this reason he appears different from other men around him who have not yet found, or who are not living out, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He is God’s man even when it’s not easy or acceptable to the world around him.  In fact, a “souled out” man will be criticized, scrutinized, and laughed at by those who are living by the world’s standards.

Often men are focused on the physical aspects of life but God’s Word tells us “For physical training is of some value, but Godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.  This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.”[6]  A “souled out” man understands the eternal implications of the present life therefore he lives his life displaying concern for the souls and eternal resting place of everyone he comes into contact with.

So, are you “SOULED OUT?”  There is no greater time than the present for God’s men to display just how “souled out” we are for the living God.  It is time for us to show the world what “souled out” men look like and how we visibly live our testimony for Christ every day.

[1] James 1:26-27 All scripture used in this article is taken from the NIV 1984 translation of the Holy Bible.

[2] 1 Timothy 6:12

[3] Mark 12:30

[4]James 4:7

[5] Philippians 2:14-16a

[6] 1 Timothy 4:8-10

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