When the soul grows short

By Dave Henning / February 23, 2015

“They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom.  But the people grew impatient along the way.”- Numbers 21:4

“Nothing in man seems to intent upon God as the soul. . . . The soul seeks the Might One as though he is the soul’s own home, as though it can only be at home with him. . . . The soul is hidden in God’s creating hand.”- Waaijman, “Soul as a Spiritual Concept”

Today John Ortberg concludes his discussion of five indicators when a soul lacks a center (Chapter 8, Soul Keeping).

3.  A soul without a center lacks patience.  When the Israelites grew impatient with their long wilderness journey, the text in Numbers says that their “souls grew short.”  Samson’s soul grows short from the persistent nagging of Delilah.  Being in a hurry to be somewhere else is an indicator that the soul has not yet found its home.

4.  The soul without a center is easily thrown.  Pastor Ortberg notes (from experience) that the key to riding a mechanical bull is to stay centered and sit loose.  Rather than clamping on tight, one needs to be flexible.  Life gets complicated and stuff happens.  John states: “If your soul lacks a center when life comes at you fast, you will be thrown off the bull.”

5.  The soul without a center finds its identity in externals.  When our soul is not centered in God, our temptation is to try to control our life.  The Bible speaks of this in terms of the lifting up one’s soul.  It is the opposite of faithful dependence.  When we define ourselves by external things, we lose our identity.

Today’s question: Which of John Ortberg’s five indicators are most applicable to your current situation?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Souls centered on God”

About the author

Dave Henning

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