I am Stephen Gibney. I have pastored for over 20 years of my life and been preaching for over 30 years. I felt God’s call on my life to preach the gospel at eight years old and started preaching in churches when I was sixteen.
There are many concerns we have about the church and the times in which we live. People and their leaders seem ominously unaware and unprepared for the trials ahead. Over the years it has been my desire to help Christians in their time of adversity. I have found is that trials will come, and they must endure them but recovery seems to be a missing element. There is nothing rewarding about going through trial but the reaction to and lessons learned from the trial that are everything! Part of that is recovering from trial with beauty and grace.
Christ is the only true Soul Doctor and we are vessels of his healing presence. This implies people are not only spiritually unhealthy, in need of a physician. Thomas Watson said, “Christ heals with more ease than any other. Christ makes the devil go out with a word (Mark 9:25). Nay, he can cure with a look: Christ’s look melted Peter into repentance; it was a healing look. If Christ doth but cast a look upon the soul he can recover it. Therefore David prays to have a look from God, “Look Thou upon me, and be merciful unto me.” (Psalm 119:132).” It may be that this day, Christ will look upon you, dear one.
I have discovered that soul work is hard work. This involves the rigors of preaching the scriptures as God’s Word to people. You have to have the tenderness of a mother and the strength of a father. There is the sense of diagnosis and exposure of disease in confronting sin through the scripture and then the offer of healing and medicine for the soul. We need both the wine and oil of the Word. Any real man who really has the courage to preach undiluted scripture today, their words would be like melted steel on tender skin. It is not easy, but necessary.
One has to be dependent on the Holy Spirit for such a task. God asks, “Am I the one they are hurting?” asks the LORD. “Most of all, they hurt themselves, to their own shame.” (Jer 7:19). The sword of the spirit is often like a scalpel that cuts through vain imaginations, proud and lofty speculations and sinful rebellion. Unbelief is like a patient who has been poisoned and refuses the antidote and therefore it is absolutely necessary that we depend on the Holy Spirit who can break down man’s will and opposition to his own salvation with the same power that made Jericho’s walls fall flat.
Christ also speaks words to repentant hearts that heal the soul. His truth is as sharp as a surgeons scalpel but he mends the heart and leaves no scar but a fresh heart, renewed mind and abundant life. Christ is the Great Physician and the Soul Doctor. In many of our churches faith, hope and charity have evacuated and people are spiritually sick. Thank God these virtues can find an open door it would seem in the hearts of the what the church sees as the worst of sinners (Matt. 21:31). Only Christ full of truth and grace can pour in the wine and oil to our wounds (Luke 10:34). It is my prayer that real healing, real salvation will come to you through the genuine proclamation of the Bible!