Listen Up, O Soul! – A Word by Judy Jacobs
Do you need encouragement, healing, or strength today? If so, I want to encourage you and share with you what I do when I feel like that too!
Let’s look at Psalm 103:1-5 first. This passage says:
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
It seems almost ridiculous to talk to yourself.
But, then again, sometimes it is a good strategy when you’re in a very tight place and you are feeling lonely. There have been plenty times in my life when I have had to get in front of a mirror and remind myself of who I am as a daughter of the Most High God. (I’ll give some examples below.)
In the Bible, people were often people are forced to talk to themselves.
In this particular psalm, David is finding himself in need of being reminded of what to do when He wanted God to come through for him. The psalm isn’t just for David, though. It is also for you and me. It’s an example of what to do when we need to remind our very souls of who our God is.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE A SOUL? WHAT DID DAVID REALLY MEAN WHEN HE SAID, “BLESS THE LORD, O MY SOUL”?
Your soul involves your thoughts, emotions, inspiration, feelings, eagerness, zeal, warmth, spirit commitment, and a whole lot more. So, when David was saying, “Bless the Lord, O my soul,” he was saying “Bless the Lord” with all of his emotions, inspiration, feelings, spirit, zeal, and his entire being. He was saying, “I will bless the Lord with my emotions, my intellectual energy, my rationale, or with my feelings of intensity.”
The greatest example of talking to yourself is when David encouraged himself in the Lord in 1 Samuel 30.
The disgusting Amalekites had come in and had stolen David’s wives and children. They had also stolen David’s men’s wives and children plus everything of value they all owned. David was at a place he had not experienced before with the 600 men who followed him.
The Bible says in 1 Samuel 30:6:
“David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”
Ohhh, don’t miss this! These same men that came to David in their time of need have now turned on David SO MUCH that they are speaking of stoning him. (Stoning was one of the ways used in ancient history to punish the most notorious criminals. They would regularly punish people by stoning them to death.)
But look at David’s demeanor and position. The Bible says that he “encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”
Make no mistake: sometimes life will bring you to a place where there is no one else to encourage you but yourself.
It is at that time when you must remember and NOT FORGET how good the Lord really has been to you. It’s at this point when you remind yourself, “If it had not been for the Lord on my side.”
When you have to strengthen yourself in the Lord, you are reminded of the past–and how ‘the past’ has PASSED–so therefore you can say, “Listen up, O soul! Hear the Word of the Lord, and be free and joyful! Be thankful that your God is a good God; that He is a faithful God; and that He is a prayer-answering God!”
THAT’S how you encourage yourself in the Lord!
When you begin to see how God dealt with you not according to what you deserved, but according to His grace and goodness and mercy, it’s then that you can say:
- ‘Listen up, O soul! You have nothing to complain about!
- ‘Listen up, O soul! Be reminded of all that your God has done for you!
- He forgives!
- He heals!
- He redeems!
- He crowns us with His unsearchable glory!
When you feel like your sins are not forgiven …
Or if you are suffering in your body with sickness or disease …
Or if you feel hopeless …
Remember there was a great king who also felt these same ways before.
King David was not a perfect man, yet he knew where his strength was and he had a heart for God. And like King David did, it’s in those moments when you feel so far from God that you have to remind yourself of:
- how very near He really is to you;
- how very much He loves you; and
- how He always has your good in mind.
The woman with the issue of blood had a similar experience speaking to herself.
The Bible says that she said within herself, “If I can touch the hem of His garment, I will be made whole.” This woman’s only hope was in this Man, Jesus, about whom she had heard. She had heard about all the miracles that were being performed by this Man from Galilee, and she was convinced that–if she could just get to Him–she would be healed.
So, as she went, she began to talk to herself.
Have you ever been in that place where you needed to talk to yourself? I have, many times.
I have found myself in those places many times when I was in need. I’ve had to say to God and myself:
- “God, I don’t know what to do about this situation with my finances. I know your Word says that You ‘would supply all of my needs according to your riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.’ So therefore, I declare that today all my needs are supplied by Jehovah Jireh, the Lord my Provider.”
- “Lord, You know I need healing in my body (or my husband’s body or my girls’ bodies), so therefore I declare the healing-working power of Jesus right now! He is Jehovah Rapha! Now soul, you just be at peace and worship. Watch my God come through for me.”
- “Father God, Your thoughts are not my thoughts and my thoughts certainly aren’t Yours. I don’t know how You’re going to work all of these details out, but I’m going to trust You in the process. So soul, you just have to settle down and be still. Be still, O my soul, and believe and trust our God. He has never failed us yet!”
In Psalm 103, David is saying that there is no possible way you can forget all the Lord’s benefits if you focus on Him.
When you realize how awesome our Father God has been to us, and how He protects and shields us from all danger and harm, it’s amazing that He is mindful of us little ol’ human beings.
So to recap all the Lord’s benefits:
HE CARES FOR US AND FORGIVES OUR INIQUITY.
What is iniquity? An iniquity is gross injustice, an immoral act or sin, or wickedness. Iniquity includes all the nastiness of sin–and that is exactly what Jesus has forgiven us for.
If that wasn’t enough …
He heals all of our sicknesses and all our diseases.
PRAISE THE LIVING GOD! There is no sickness or disease that He doesn’t know about, or that He is not willing and able to heal. If you have ever been sick, and then been healed by the supernatural power of Almighty God, then you know how much you want to bless the Lord for healing ALL OF YOUR DISEASES!
“He redeems your life from destruction.”
That’s enough to shout about right there. Do you even realize how many times throughout the day the devil has tried to destroy your very life–and the lives of those you love? I think it would probably shock you to know! But God has redeemed you from destruction in the here and in the now!
He crowns you with His lovingkindness.
The Bible says that He “crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies and even renews your strength so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” WOW! If that isn’t a reason to bless the Lord, then I don’t know what is!
My friend, do you need to encourage yourself in the Lord today?
If you’re having trouble in your emotions …
If your body needs the healing touch of the Holy Spirit …
If you need the Lord’s provision and watchcare right now …
Then begin to bless the Lord with me!
Today–right now–begin to recall the times God has given you benefits; forgiven you; healed you; redeemed you; crowned you; satisfied you; and renewed you.