“and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul [life], and with all your mind [thought, understanding], and with all your strength.”
What is the soul? When Jesus said that life is more than food, he used this same word (Luke 12:23). It is also used to speak of the immaterial inner self and the seat of moral sentiment. The soul is the eternal part of our being that remains when the physical body perishes. It is the part of our being that experiences either reward or punishment when we depart from this order of things. For believers, we joyfully await the moment when the soul is transplanted from the physical body to the glorified body.
Being the place in which our morality resides, God calls us to allow Him to instruct us regarding right and wrong. As we do this, we begin to see sin for what its worth. God is then in control of the rudder of the soul, guiding its direction. It is easy to understand why a man would seek control over his life, his essence and his consciousness, and guard it vehemently. But as Jesus instructs, he who tries to save his life [soul] will lose it (Luke 17:33). This speaks specifically to giving God control of our innermost being.
Our lives, our souls, do not belong to us; they belong to God. Loving God with a whole soul means submitting the inner self, the seat of consciousness, to the instruction and direction of God. We can do this only by conforming our eternal selves, the most intimate and personal part of ourselves, to His morality and His will. Father, continue to sanctify us so that our souls are wholly submitted to You and prepared for the eternity that awaits us.