Courtesy: Daniel Bramlett
How’s your soul? Really. When everything is peeled back and all the junk is exposed, how is the most basic part of you; the part of you created to feed your faith, lead you to conviction, raise awareness to the presence and voice of the Spirit, and let you taste eternity? How is that part doing?
When you look at your life do you see a lot of the pieces affected by the state of your soul? What I mean is, when you really take stock of all the different areas of your life, do you come up with a healthy soul that is seeking God or do you come up with a shriveled soul that is barely surviving?
Soul health begins and ends with God. There is nothing in you that can cause that part of you to thrive. Only your complete submission and faithful obedience to the Spirit of God will cause your soul to be refreshed. Its nourishment comes from the Word of God. It will always wake up in the presence of God, it always recognizes the Spirit’s voice, and it’s always satisfied when you choose to submit to that same Spirit.
My soul has been weary lately. Can you identify? I want us to look at a concept that might point us to the reason for a weary soul. Is this something you are willing to look at with me? I’m going to make a statement and then I want us to unpack it: WE’VE MADE OUR GOD TOO SMALL. Here is what I mean. We have invented this version of God that is just a little higher than us. This God makes us feel better when we are sick, keeps us from absolutely face planting when we are weak, but otherwise stays out of our way…until we ‘summons’ him. He is strong, but not too much stronger than us; smart, but not too much smarter; creative, but not too much…you get the gist. Here is what happens when we live with a small view of God: we become little gods ourselves. If God can only do this, I can do almost as much! And so goes the process of elevating ourselves and bringing God down.
Let’s unpack this some more. Just say we have a small view of God. Where does that stem from? As best I can tell it stems from a treatment of salvation like a contract. Here’s the idea: I have a problem. I go to Church and hear that Jesus can take care of my problem. All I have to do is say a prayer and boom, my problem is fixed. Right? Wrong. Sometimes I think we look at salvation like our giving plan: “10% and I’m done, maybe an occasional plea puts me over that, but for the most part don’t ask, I’m done.” Listen, salvation is NOT a contract that can be signed and put away for a rainy day. What Jesus is offering us in the Gospel is a relationship with Him. He is offering to wipe our souls clean at the root. He is offering to repaint our landscape, but that requires faith. We must admit that we are messed up, believe that He has the ability and desire to recreate us, and trust Him to do the job. Now listen, the job isn’t complete until we get to Heaven! I don’t want to ever communicate that we reach a point of stopping to grow in Christ, like we’ve arrived. We must continue to re-evaluate ourselves on a daily basis, consistently seeking the heart and mind of Christ for our lives. This journey is a progression of faith, never crossing the finish line until we get to Heaven. This is why I say each week at the end of the sermon “Now is our opportunity to respond to all that has been said.” Never grow weary of walking in Christ, Church!
You say, “I’ve done that!” The immediate follow up question is “How’s your soul? Have you ever tasted the Brightness of the King? Have you ever been refreshed by the reading of His Word? Have you ever heard the convicting voice of the Spirit and confessed a broken part of your soul? Have you ever done something outrageously bold in response to the direction of the Spirit?” These are things the Christ follower will experience over a lifetime. They probably won’t all happen at once. There will be many days when we are wearied, walking around in the dumps, but that isn’t the norm. God is the Lifter of our heads! He is our strength and our song. How is your soul today? Do you need to surrender the state of your soul to its Creator?
You may be fearful, however wearied, of fully submitting yourself to God. What if He takes you somewhere new like Phillip? What if He asks you to do something weird like run alongside a chariot and speak to a stranger? What if you end up baptizing them in a roadside pond? (Acts 8.26-40) I can tell you He probably will! But God’s weird things are so much cooler than our normal. Don’t fear what you don’t understand. Trust God to hold you fast and pull you together when you step out in faith. He will never let you down! Your soul is safe with Him.
Courtesy: Daniel Bramlett