There’s a place where many people have never gone. If you have ever journeyed to a new and unexplored destination, you might be surprised at what you find when you reach it. Some people arrive and don’t see much. Others come, but don’t like what they see, and never return. In one episode of “Avoiding a Shallow Life”, Pastor Colin talks about why only a few people come to know this place well. This place is: the inside of who we are. For some of us it can be intimidating to visit this place, to get to know ourselves. We avoid it at all costs, out of fear that we might not like what we see.
How can we get to know ourselves? If we don’t like what we see, what can we do to preserve our secret self (our soul) from falling deeper into despair?
What can we do to save our soul? If we gain the whole world, but then lose our soul, what will we ultimately obtain? One day God will give us a new body, but right now, in this life, His focus is on our soul. His very goal is to save our souls. So, clearly it is important to know what’s going on in our souls. The soul is the very center of the action that really counts in this life. We need wisdom and discernment to get to know ourselves. Colin Smith says, “True wisdom—all the wisdom you need in life boils down to two basic things. One is to know God and the other is to know yourself. And here is the catch; you can’t know one without the other. You’re made in His image. If you’re made in the image of someone you don’t know, how can you know yourself? And in the same way, if you don’t know yourself, then how can you know God? For this reason, if you’re away from the truth, you can’t come to God.”
The Word of God tells us repeatedly to guard our souls. Our soul is always under the attack of the enemy; there is a battle going on against our souls, and the soul goes through different conditions and experiences.
How do we manage “guarding our souls” without pushing the good things in life away?
Our emotions and feelings can overwhelm us at times. But fortunately, God has given us the answer in the Bible. Wisdom evaluates our “Why, How, and Where”. The book of Proverbs and Psalms of David in the Bible are filled with knowledge of good judgment, insight, and common sense.
[Proverbs 4:23-27] clearly warns us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.”
When we surrender to God, He is gracious to save our soul, and If we keep practicing what God says, we will slowly and surely find ourselves standing in a better place than where we stood yesterday. The practice of getting to know yourself and God in your tough journey may be a scary, slow walk of faith, but as it has been said, “No matter how hard the truth may be, kneel down and listen to the heartbeat of God. Then, and only then, can you gently hear from the house of love into the house of fear, from God’s sanctuary into the depth of your being. After you embrace His love, then you can speak to others from that place.”
It is intimidating for some of us to know who we are. We try to avoid knowing God, whom we do not allow ourselves to hear. But if we take a look at the itinerary, the route of our migration to that place where “our soul” resides, we are able to get to know the One who created us in His image. We will come to understand our journey in life – A life free from enslavement to sin, and a life lived in peace with self, God, and others.
Let us encourage one another in our calling to be the unique image bearer of God that we were created to be in as we journey…