The Trumpet Sounds: ‘Soul Detox’

By Barry Pettit - Religion Columnist

When times become difficult or chaotic, it’s easy to lose focus. Like the disciples tossed to and fro by waves in the middle of the sea (Matthew 14:24), we often fear disaster. We quickly question the trajectory of the ship, forget to row, cry out in fear instead of faith, and fail to look to the one who can calm the sea. Storms can consume us, distracting us from the state of our hearts, the gaze of our eyes, the words of our mouths, and the actions we should be taking. Before we know it, we are likely in serious need of a spiritual detox — a cleansing, recalibrating, invigorating soul-treatment.

To detox my soul, I love to read through the Psalms. They’re raw, relatable, beautiful, and deeply convicting. There are so many truths to meditate on, prayers to borrow, promises to declare, words to memorize — it can be just the place to begin a detox in key areas of my spiritual life. This week we will cover the 1st.

I believe we must all detox our heart. My heart is always the first thing in desperate need of a detox. I have learned that we can’t effectively fight the Lord’s battles in the world while neglecting the ones in our hearts. Countless times I’ve tried to advance in self-righteousness, not realizing until later that it’s my own heart that I’m fighting. I must go to my knees to stop, repent, and reset. When times are tumultuous and emotions high, we must be particularly vigilant about sin creeping in.

As the psalmist pours out his soul, I’m encouraged to do the same as I search my heart before the Lord. “Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind” (Psalm 26:2). Ask the Lord to examine, prove, and try your heart and mind, as if testing metal to determine value and genuineness. We are prone to be partial to ourselves, making allowances where we should not.

“Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!” (Psalm 19:12–13). Our greatest temptations come not from without, but from within. Our heart’s sins give birth to almost every evil deed and gradually enslave us. Sin disguises itself: pride can be seen as conviction, self-sufficiency as industriousness, fear as attentiveness, skepticism as discernment, timidity as humility, and the list can go on and on.

“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name” (Psalm 86:11). Ask that the Lord teach us to live and act in accordance to his truth, pursuing his will. We need him to join all the purposes, resolutions, and affections of our hearts into a singular purpose to worship, obey, and honor him. Every day, every hour. If our hearts are divided, all will be wrong.

What’s chipping away at your soul? What’s getting in the way of you becoming the person God created you to be? Sometimes we need a “Soul Detox” from the things that are hindering our walk with God and others. For the next few weeks at South Side we will explore how we can neutralize damaging influences and embrace clean living in “Soul Detox.” Be sure to come out. We have an amazing children’s ministry and a wonderful nursery. Fresh coffee is available before worship. Worship begins at 10:45, and we would love to see you there! For more information check us out under “southsidewch” at your app store by downloading our church app.

In Christ,

Barry Pettit

Lead Pastor

South Side Church of Christ

By Barry Pettit

Religion Columnist