The topic of soul ties can be very difficult to understand unless you are aware of two basic principles:
- The Rightful Order of Creation
- We are Like God
1. Rightful Order
There are two realms: a physical realm and a spiritual realm. We have a tendency to put more faith and confidence in what we can feel, touch, and see in our physical existence. The more apparent and substantial something is, the more we trust in it.
It is easier to trust in a chair that we can see and test for sturdiness than to trust in the fact that there is a realm we cannot easily see. Even though we know the Bible is true and we confess that it is true, for many of us it is hard to believe in a whole other world; the spirit realm which we cannot easily interact with. The word of God says:
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3 NKJV)
All things were created by God from the unseen or invisible which is the spirit realm. Which is greater, the thing that is created or that from which something is formed? The physical is not as powerful as the spirit realm from which it was created. Thanks to movies and television shows, we think of spirit beings like ghosts, insubstantial and ineffectual in the physical realm. The spirit realm is portrayed as dismal, indistinct, and unsubstantial.
This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Angels are spirit beings created by God to be His servants. Each person has a guardian angel (Psalm 91:11, Hebrews 1:14) and other angels visit the Earth as directed by God. People are dazzled by the appearance of spirit beings when they fully reveal themselves. These beings most often say, “Fear not.” This is because they bring God’s presence from the spirit realm and the sense of power that comes with them causes others to tremble in fear because of an overwhelming sense of awe.
2. Like God
We were created in the image or “like” God. (Genesis 1:26) Just as He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we have three parts to our being:
- Spirit – our inner being that connects with God’s Kingdom in the spirit realm. Many times, we are unable to see or feel this part of our being with our natural bodies.
- Soul – our mind, will, and emotions
- Body – our physical selves
In the Bible, “man” is often used in the genderless sense, meaning all of humankind. In this context our spirit is referred to as our “inner man” or our “heart.” God is a spirit, and like Him, this is the part of humanity that lives forever. In scripture, Paul confirms that we are this tripartite:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV)
It is instinctive to place in order of importance and power, that which you can see and feel at the top of the list, however, that would be wrong. Are we more powerful than God? The part of us that is like God should be the most powerful part of our beings.
What is a Soul Tie?
The term “soul ties” refers to something that is connected to us by a bridge or a rope in the spirit and is anchored to our soul; our mind, will or emotions. Jesus shows us how these connections may be developed. After telling His disciples to focus on achieving things for the Kingdom of Heaven, He says:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21 AKJV)
A treasure is something of great worth. It stirs up our soul: we think about it, we desire it, and it stirs up our passion. When your soul is continually stirred up, what you focus on, your spirit (heart) will be tied to that thing. Most often when we are speaking of a soul tie, it is to a person. The Word of God shows us one way these are formed. Starting at the beginning of 1 Samuel 17, we see David introduced as a mighty warrior drawing even King Saul's attention to him. Then, this happens:
...that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. (1 Samuel 18:1 AKJV)
Soul ties were formed when Jonathan became aware of and awed by David’s ability as a warrior. Because he valued the relationship, there was great emotion and love, which formed a tie with David. In the following verses we see that Jonathan dedicates himself to David; from his robe, a sign of status, to his weapons. This dedication formed the soul tie between them. There are both good and bad soul ties described in the Bible. This article will be devoted to the benefits of soul ties.
There are three types of dedications we can make and three distinct effects that a soul tie may have upon us. These can easily be seen as levels of devotion and levels of benefits.
Level 1: A Friend Brings Strength
Let’s define a friend as anyone who we have great emotion for but not in a sexual way. Like David and Jonathan, there may be admiration or any other type of deep passion for someone. Twins that share a womb often have this type of connection. A result of a soul tie is sometimes a “knowing” when that person needs help.
And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went into the woods to David [at Horesh] and strengthened his hand in God. (1 Samuel 23:16 AMPC)
Jonathan knew that David needed help. The Hebrew word yad is translated hand, however it means, “indicating power, means, direction.” The purpose of a soul tie with a friend is to strengthen us and point us to God in our time of need.
David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). Nowhere does it say that the bond between David and Jonathan was bad. This means there can be good soul ties, but we must remember when this occurred: before the fulfillment of the Law in the Old Testament.
In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit could only come upon someone when God needed them for a purpose. At this time, a strengthening by a good, loyal friend was the best a person could have.
And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever… (John 14:16 AKJV)
The job of a friend is to comfort and strengthen us. The sacrifice of our Lord paid the price for us to receive the Holy Spirit as our Comforter to be with us forever! The Holy Spirit is our Friend who will always point us back to Jesus:
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me… (John 15:26 AKJV)
This is what Jonathan did for David, he pointed him back to God in his time of need. Unlike Job’s friends who spoke wrongly of God, when we trust in the Holy Spirit, He will speak rightly to us about God. Our Comforter also strengthens us:
For he that speaks in an unknown tongue speaks not to men, but to God: for no man understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries…. He that speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself… (1 Corinthians 14:2-4 AKJV)
This unknown tongue is also called, “praying in the Spirit” or our “heavenly language.” To edify means to strengthen. When we let the Holy Spirit control our tongues, He speaks directly with God and this strengthens our spirit. There are negatives that come along with these ties that we will discuss in the next article.
This is the very first level of our relationship with God. When we accept Jesus as Lord we receive the Holy Spirit as our Comforter. When we now have the option of perfection, why would we want any other tie to our soul other than the Holy Spirit? These ties can provide much deeper levels of support.
Level 2: A Leader Brings Power
The story of Elijah and Elisha demonstrates that devotion to a leader can bring power and anointing. Let’s look at the key point of this relationship:
And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave to the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered to him. (1 Kings 19:21 AKJV)
Like other soul ties, it begins with the recognition and admiration of the man of God. Elisha slew the oxen that he was working with in the field. These oxen were of great value and helped provide substance. A soul tie to a leader begins with a great sacrifice of our material substance to acknowledge a man of God. This is followed by providing for that person’s needs and ministering to them. Today, many men of God require this of their flock. The people who follow such customs believe that they will receive the anointing or mantle from that person.
Elisha had a ministry and miracles that were much like Elijah’s. This is an effect of the soul tie and mantle passing from one person to the next. We begin to operate in the anointings they do and in the way they do it.
These things may look good on the surface, but we have been given so much more!
But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you. (Acts 1:8 AKJV)
When we are ready to work for God, the Holy Spirit will bring our mantle to us. Jesus is our High Priest under the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:10). He is the one we should dedicate ourselves to, not man. Why would we want to receive something that would have us imitate man when the Bible tells us:
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD. (2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV)
We should be more like our High Priest, Jesus, who is perfect in every way. Every man has his own set of faults and sins. I do not wish my soul to be tied to any man, only to my Lord.
Level 3: Marriage Brings Oneness
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall join to his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 AKJV)
My soul follows hard after You: Your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:8 AKJV)
The Hebrew word dabaq is used in both verses as “join to” and “follows hard after.” It means to be lovingly devoted to, according to Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon. The one thing that God allows only inside a marriage is sex. When our bodies are joined in this most intimate act, it creates a soul tie. It was God’s design that we should have only one spouse.
Continued intimacy brings a melding of behaviors in our physical lives: our flesh. Have you ever noticed how a husband and wife become more alike through the years? What we are lovingly devoted to, we become more like.
You shall fear the LORD your God; Him shall you serve, and to Him shall you hold, and swear by His name. (Deuteronomy 10:20 AKJV)
Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our stayed with him. (John 14:23 AKJV)
The process of creating a bond in our soul to another person is the same one used for entering into a relationship with our heavenly Groom, for we are to be His bride. The Hebrew word yare' is translated fear, but it means to be in awe of. The phrase “to him you shall hold” is the same word used for cleave, dabaq.
The New Testament confirms this process with our Lord:
- We love him
- We keep His words (love him)
- The Father loves us
- God comes to stay and an intimate relationship begins
Our Lord should be first in our lives. However, when we take a vow of marriage it is before God.
What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mark 10:9 ESV)
God will never go against what He has already said or done. When we take vows before Him, He expects us to keep it. He knows all things and will never lead us to harm our earthly spouse or our relationship with them. Yet we should yearn for and seek after our heavenly beloved. He should be first in our hearts and minds and He will keep us from damaging our relationship with our spouse if we will listen to Him.
New Testament Soul Ties
The Old Testament is a good source for learning. In these treasured books we find that some soul ties have benefits. This was before man had access to the Holy Spirit. Through the sacrifice at the cross, we can be tied directly to God through Jesus and His Spirit. As a result, we now have something better than man who is not perfect; even Moses and David had sin in their lives.
Our soul should be tied to the Lord at all three levels.
- Comforter: The Holy Spirit strengthens us and directs us towards God.
- Leader: Places Jesus as our spiritual leader where we receive all our anointings and gifts from Him.
- Marriage: We enter a covenant agreement with Him and an intimate relationship begins where we become more like Jesus.
This is what our Lord desires for us. There are added benefits beyond these levels. Think of your soul like a conduit, the more branches attached to it, the less flow each branch receives. Removing all other ties to our soul allows the Holy Spirit to flow more strongly through us and into the lives of others.
The goal of every Christian should be to remove everything but ties to the Father, Son and Spirit. In the next article we will discuss bad soul ties and how to remove ties to our soul
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Many people think of boot camp as a place you train for combat. Any veteran will tell you that basic training is about three things:
- Knowing what weapons are available
- Learning how to use those weapons
- Receiving orders and following them
Believer’s Boot Camp series is a collection of books which teach us how to hear more clearly from God with the goal to ready ourselves for a face-to-face meeting with our Lord, Jesus. The series reveals the “weapons and tools” God has given us and how to use them, so we can bring God’s kingdom to Earth. Each book in the series focuses on a single topic to clearly define one tool or weapon from our Heavenly Father.
The series uses the Word of God to reveal all that He has given us through Jesus. The Bible is our instruction manual and the Holy Spirit is our guide to understanding it.