The soul, most experts say, is your mind, emotions and will. You could also take it as thoughts, feelings and actions. A lot of Christians will hear a sermon that says, “Act like this”, so they’ll try to change their behavior. However, their thoughts and feelings are not on the same track. This is what James was talking about when he wrote, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:6-8, ESV).
We must be convinced in our soul of what we’re doing. Well, how does that happen? It’s more difficult than many of us think.
I think the average stay of a length of a New Year's resolution is eight days. How many diets start and stop? How many commitments to read the Bible start and stop? Well, everything we do has to have a ‘why.’ I don't read my Bible to earn brownie points. I don’t have a devotional life because I fear I'm not going to get into Heaven otherwise. I study scripture because I want to know and love Jesus. When my ‘why’ is big, my mind is made up, my emotions are convinced and my will has impetus to it. My soul is resolute.
If any one of those three are not present in your life, you'll probably fail. Paul wrote about how we avoid failing here: having the mind of Christ. “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. …Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:1-2,5).
How do we obtain the mind of Christ? “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2, ESV).
When I find myself drifting away from my resolutions to obey and follow God, I return to scripture and prayer so that God can renew my mind, my soul, until it reflects Christ’s.