Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Has Your Soul Been Hacked?

Has Your Soul Been HackedHaving your website or computer hacked is like a thief breaking into your home – while you’re there – and then spray painting your nice furniture like an alien purposefully coming against you to do great harm.

We hate being hacked, and we usually take corrective action quickly because our computer files or website content are so important.

I believe our souls can be hacked in a way, and, thank God, our souls can also be restored –– sort of like a computer being reset to its default or a tattered photograph being restored.

Like a computer hacker, there are many things that desire to do us personal harm. Here’s a list of a few alien things that can sometimes make their way into our souls:

*Temptations from friends and others to engage in activities we know are wrong.
*Ungodly and evil themes we let into our minds via the Internet, books, TV and movies.
*Personal sin struggles like greed, addictions, hatred, bitterness, lust, jealousy or gluttony.
*Direct attacks of evil from the enemy including depression, anxiety, illness or confusion.
*Being hyper-busy doing “things” for the wrong reason and not focusing on the vital and necessary areas of life.
*Pressure from neighbors and friends to buy things and do things that are not in alignment to our values.
*What motivational speaker Zig Zigler called “stinking thinking”.
*Restoring our soul to its God-made design is similar to restoring an old photograph to its original beauty.

Being hacked in our soul means that thoughts, opinions or beliefs come into our mind that are foreign and don’t belong and as a result, our spiritual and personal growth becomes stunted or, at best, stagnant.

So how do we cure this ill of being hacked in our soul? I’d like to offer two thoughts:

1. Restoration of Truth: First, I believe we must restore the truth. In the IT computer world, you “restore” the computer or settings to the factory default and in the process you eliminate the illicit code placed there by the hacker.

Has Your Soul Been HackedRestoring your soul’s ”hard-drive” to its original state is only done through the purifying process of becoming like Christ and includes confession to God admitting our role in some of the hacks that occur. As a Christ-follower, this will re-set our soul to what God says we truly are. We rest in the truth of what he’s already told us – while not perfect by any stretch, the truth is – we are saints, we are holy (in our spirits), we are made in God’s image, we are loved completely, we can’t earn any more love from God, we are His beloved, we are carried along by God’s strong hand, we are His loved children, we have value simply because we are made in His image and have been redeemed. This is our factory restore position.

2. Establishing Barriers to Evil: I believe we should erect strong barriers around our soul to keep threats from coming in. Barriers to protect your soul might be an active belief of the truth held in the Bible, a moment-by-moment dependency on the Holy Spirit’s power and protection, a deliberate desire to avoid temptation, being part of a small group of men or women who can encourage and support your true identity, dismissing unfair criticism, praying earnestly for God to protect your heart and to give you spiritual eyes and ears so you don’t walk into the traps of the enemy.

Has Your Soul Been HackedScripture tells us the following about how we can have our souls restored from an outside hacker: (emphasis added)

Psalm 23:1-4 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Joel 2:25-26 ESV: I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you. “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Psalm 51:12 ESV: Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Acts 3:19-21 ESV: Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

Galatians 6:1 ESV: Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Bill Stark is a Greenville, Mississippi native who graduated from Ole Miss in 1983 with a BA degree in Journalism. Bill married his college sweetheart, Starwyn Strickland, of Brazil, Mississippi, and they have three children, including twins Mary Catherine and Ellen and son Will. He currently resides in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Email Bill Stark at bill.stark@cloudwalk.org

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