Read 3 John 2
God’s will for us is to prosper in every aspect of our lives—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
When a back injury left me confined to the couch, barely moving to avoid the pain, I felt as though the very breath of my Christianity had been sucked out of my lungs. I had no choice but to literally stop all my Christian activity and be. Stripped of my ability to act, I lay there feeling like I had nothing left to offer God.
As I struggled with this newfound stillness, I realized that for the first time in my life, I stopped drowning out the voice of my heart with the sound of relentless activity. I then heard a voice whisper, “Read 3 John 2.” I turned to the text: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, even as your soul prospers.”
Then the same voice whispered again, “Chris, your soul is not prospering.”
I was dumbstruck. “God, what do you mean my soul isn’t prospering? Look at everything that I’m doing and achieving for you! How could I not be prospering? The ministry is growing, my calendar is full, and we are having great success. I don’t understand how I could prosper any more for you.”
God’s response was shockingly clear: “Yes, Chris, I’m aware of everything that you are doing, and so is your body—which is why you’re lying there on the couch. I tried to get your attention numerous times to warn you about the path you were on, but you were too busy to listen.”
I had been expecting sympathy from God, but instead he was convicting me (albeit very lovingly) that there was a problem in my soul—apparently one that had been there for a long time. The Holy Spirit kept leading me back to Psalm 23:1-3: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
As I lay there day in and day out, I eventually did receive a revelation about my soul. I began to realize that if God wanted to restore my soul, then it must have somehow been distorted. I knew that only things that have been damaged, faded or defiled needed to be restored. And only then would my activities bring me the joy and fulfillment I so badly needed.
Do you feel as if you are always moving, always doing, never stopping to let God restore your soul? Time alone with God is essential if your soul is to prosper. Set aside some time just to be.