Your Soul Regimen: Find Freedom from Emotional Grime
Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin, (Psalm 51:2, KJV)
Every day we have our routines and regimens — everything from showering to brushing our teeth. For some reason we’re very good at keeping a regimen for our external bodies, but so often we neglect our soul which is the core of who we are.
I cannot imagine climbing into bed without showering. It’s unthinkable. Taking the dirt and grime of the day into bed with me is not an option — especially in my profession as an RN. I’m sure many of you could say the same. The luxury of being clean is a beautiful thing. I sleep like a baby and wake up refreshed.
What we may not realize, however, is that we accumulate emotional grime every single day from which we need to be cleansed. Likewise, this soul cleansing affords us rest, comfort, and peace. We are renewed and refreshed. But how to we do that? I’ll tell you — by making it a point to meet with Jesus Christ not only before bed, but throughout the day.
I’ve found that there are days when I come home from work like a different person than when I left that morning. Can you relate? I am exasperated, fatigued, and emotionally spent. I’m agitated, frustrated, and overwhelmed by the stresses inherent to the medical industry. Every one of us in our own right accumulate emotional grime just by living the life God has given us. Regardless of who you are, where you live, or what you do for a living — you’re going to get ’emotionally dirty’. That requires a soul regimen. But how many of you are taking your emotional grime to bed with you every night?
The discipline needed to maintain a healthy body is no different for maintaining a healthy soul. It requires diligence and consistency. It requires a regimen.
If you’re going to be emotionally healthy you need a soul regimen.
Your Soft Place to Fall
For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me, (Psalm 51:3, KJV).
Every one of us need a soft place to fall. And that means more than your bed. That can only happen in the arms of Jesus Christ. When life gets the best of you and you feel like you’re falling apart, you need a safe and soft place to be raw and unravel. Allow Him to untie the knots and untangle the web. Allow Him to speak into those areas where you’ve been confused, hurt, frustrated, angered, betrayed and broken — as well as where you’ve sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom, (Psalm 51:6, KJV).
I’ve found that journaling does wonders for me. Thoughts can freely exit my mind and heart without any hindrance. I’m no longer restrained by a filter. I no longer need to be censored. I can unravel, let go, and get raw with God. Sometimes I’m surprised by what I find there on those pages. What is lurking within my subconscious mind and the deepest realms of my heart suddenly finds a safe passageway into an objective point of view. It’s very liberating. And God often reveals hidden things by bringing them to light. Taking 20-30 minutes to journal is truly therapeutic. And although it’s very practical, it’s equally as spiritual. Perhaps that’s why so many successful healthy people have practiced it faithfully for centuries. Not only does it afford you a safe outlet, but it also brings enlightenment, spiritual alignment, and it keeps you on track. When you want to stay on target in life, your journal affords you a very accurate record of your soul.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow, (Psalm 51:7, KJV).
Sometimes I don’t know what or how to pray until I’ve journaled. If prayer is difficult for you, consider journaling first. It brings things to the surface. Prayer is about being honest and real with God. Believe me, He can take it. And would it surprise you if I said He wants it? He wants all of you – the real you. When we stuff things we become falsified and emotionally altered. We’re not ourselves. Don’t ever stuff it with God. Get it out. When we can offer ourselves to Christ in all of our weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and sin He is granted an access He would otherwise never have. He wants to free you in those areas, but you must invite Him. Open up in prayer and say what needs to be said. When you do, you’ll be surprised at how near He becomes just to meet you where you really are — instead of where you pretend to be. God is always drawn to truth and authenticity.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me, (Psalm 51:10, KJV).
There is nothing that brings the presence of God like intimate worship. But worshiping can be difficult if we’re emotionally and mentally cluttered. That is why I find that journaling is often a good therapeutic practice that prefaces prayer and worship. We worship in Spirit and Truth. Sometimes we cannot offer Him the truth if we don’t know what’s in us, and that is where journaling can help unlock that door into our deepest soul. Worship cannot always be about pretty music. You may have no music at all. Worship is about our hearts. This is where you open up and invite Him in. He is drawn to spirit and truth. This is where we surrender and receive.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me, (Psalm 51:11, KJV).
Christ loves to redeem. He’s all about salvation. Whatever it is you need, He can deliver. I’m always amazed at what He can accomplish in so little time — if I will simply offer that time to Him. His presence is not only powerful, but it’s tender and sweet. His presence is always healing. It’s always restorative. He always brings rest, truth, life, light, and liberty. Where Christ is – the kingdom of God has come upon you. Receive what He has for you. You merely need to invite Him and grant Him entry into your heart.
The Word of God
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit, (Psalm 51:12, KJV).
Christ said the Word of God is spirit and life. He is the Word made flesh. As you begin to present those areas to Him that need cleansing, the emotional grime and build-up literally drain away. He speaks to us by His Spirit and through His Word. Listen carefully. Hearken diligently. For those who have ears to hear, the Spirit will speak. The Spirit will bring to remembrance those words you need in that moment. Passages you’ve forgotten about will suddenly sharpen within your mind. Let the Lord lead you in His Word. Routine bible reading is great, but allow Him during this time to lead you into other areas that are specific to your need.
Developing Your Regimen
O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise, (Psalm 51:14-17, KJV).
Develop your soul regimen. Don’t neglect your soul. We all collect daily emotional grime. Don’t take it to bed with you. When you come to realize that you need Him every moment of every day, you won’t even let it go until bedtime. You’ll begin to seek Him all the time. I liken this to washing my hands. Throughout the day we touch things, engage with people, and encounter circumstances that get us momentarily dirty. We simply need to wash our hands. Your emotional life is no different.
So, develop your soul regimen. Do it. Wash your hands throughout the day. And before you fall into bed, be sure to fall into Christ’s arms.
Cheers & Shalom,