Where Psychology Fails
We must be careful that, in recognizing the fact that the soul has been seduced, led captive, darkened and poisoned with a self-interest, we do not regard it as something to be annihilated and destroyed in this life. This would be but asceticism, a form of Buddhism. The result of any such behavior is usually only another form of soulishness in an exaggerated degree; perhaps occultism. Our whole human nature is in our souls, and if nature is suppressed in one direction she will take revenge in another. This is just what is the trouble with a great many people if only they knew it. There is a difference between a life of suppression and a life of service. Submission, subjection and servanthood in Christ's case, as to the Father, was not a life of soul-destruction, but of rest and delight. Slavery in its bad sense is the lot of those who live wholly in their own souls. We need to revise our ideas about service, for it is becoming more and more common to think that service is bondage and slavery; when really it is a Divine thing. Spirituality is not a life of suppression. That is negative. Spirituality is positive; it is a new and extra life, not the old one striving to get the mastery of itself. The soul has to be taken in charge and made to learn the new and higher wisdom. Whether we are able yet to accept it or not, the fact is that if we are going on with God fully, all the sou's energies and abilities for knowing, understanding, sensing and doing will come to an end, and we shall - on that side - stand bewildered, dazed, numbed and impotent. Then, only a new, other, and Divine understanding, constraint, and energy will send us forward or keep us going. At such times we shall have to say to our souls, "My soul ... be thou silent unto God" (Psalm 62:5); "My soul ... hope thou in God" (Psalm 42:5); and "My soul, come thou with me to follow the Lord." But what joy and strength there is when, the soul having been constrained to yield to the spirit, the higher wisdom and glory is perceived in its vindication. Then it is that "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour" (Luke 1:46). The spirit hath, the soul doth - note the tenses.
So that unto fullness of joy the soul is essential, and it must be brought through the darkness and death of its own ability to learn the higher and deeper realities for which the spirit is the first organ and faculty.
No; do not live a life of suppressing your soul, nor despising it; but be strong in spirit, so that your soul may be won, saved and made to serve your fullest joy. The Lord Jesus desires that we should find rest unto our souls, and this, He says, comes by way of His yoke - the symbol of union and service.
The soul, like some people will find its greatest value in service, not as a master. It wants to be the latter, but it is blind to the limitations which God has imposed upon it. It thinks that it can, but God says it "cannot." But, in its place, with the self-interest lying under the ban of Christ's death, it can be a very useful servant.
(continued with # 9 - "The Nature of Sanctification")