So here is an oddity about the way we are made. Life’s essential functions happen without our input. The things that are needed don’t need me! I have to breath every day, every moment. Without me telling them to do so, my lungs fill with oxygen about 15 times a minute. Then my heart takes over. It beats automatically, flowing oxygen-enriched blood to each hungry cell in my body. Behind all of this is a continual stream of instructions from my brain commanding the sustenance and growth of my being. There is no conscious control - it just happens. So as I say; it’s an oddity. The essentials of my being allow me to be passive.
You can think of reasons why it is better this way. If I am concentrating on a perplexing math problem, there is no room in my brain to coach my body in the basics. “I can breath or pass this exam - I can’t do both!” Likewise, it would be shame if I ceased to be, simply because I was too distracted by a TV program to rule my heart. A faulty memory could be fatal. I don’t want my final words to be, “I forgot to breathe!” You may chuckle, “Who would forget the fundamentals of life?” But it happens all the time - especially with our souls.
The functions of our soul are not automatic. They are not the product of an unconscious process. But they are no less vital to us. In fact, the needs and responses of spirit are required, not simply for life but for eternal life. Yet, these capacities do not happen on their own. I have to initiate them. I must remember to pray. I must return my attention to God’s nearness. I choose to follow and obey. My Bible doesn’t feed me by itself. I must read it. The essentials of soul are not passive.
God could have designed us differently. He could have implanted a constant impulse for devotion and holiness. That would seem more efficient. Prayer would take place like breathing. Love would be expressed with every heartbeat. My thoughts would instantly and continually honour God. We would grow in Christ as our bodies increase in stature. Certainly a passive mode would have been more efficient. But we are not designed for efficiency. We are designed for love. Love is never an unconscious response. I choose to love God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. And once that choice is made - I must choose it again, in the next moment, the next day, the next situation. We are not robotics with a switch turned to godliness. We are not just organic beings whose functions are self-starting and self-regulating. We are embodied souls with a will. We can choose life in Jesus and then choose to live in Jesus. That may demand more from us. But it performs more in us and returns much more to God. So today - make a choice.