How’s Your Soul? (Thomas Nelson, 2016)
Judah Smith, lead pastor of City Church in Seattle, WA, recently authored How’s Your Soul? Why Everything That Matters Starts with the Inside You. Pastor Smith observes that we tend to avoid soul-searching questions because we’d rather be superficial than vulnerable. Consequently, deep down we feel we’re not okay. As a result, when we doubt our internal stability, we need to rest in the arms of God. God’s greater than our turmoil and bigger than our souls. In addition, the Holy Spirit inspired a handbook for a healthy soul: the Bible. Also, a healthy soul is paramount to a healthy life.
Judah continues by listing four elements of a healthy soul environment- rest, responsibility, restraint, and relationship. However, the author cautions, the first three elements fall flat if we fail to include relationship. In the context of relationship, we often find inner fulfillment, peace, joy, and health though doing the exact opposite of what we feel like doing at the present moment. Although feelings come and go, our God remains the same. Furthermore, God fulfills our universal and timeless innate need for stability. Yet, in the middle of a storm, the option of escape tempts us. Rather than anchoring our souls in Jesus, we search for Helicopter Jesus.
When we need Jesus most, we must trust Him. During our walk with Jesus, the point isn’t the journey. It’s being with Jesus. Throughout this journey, our souls cannot survive without love. Therefore, Pastor Smith states it’s imperative we understand the paramount nature of love and define it in a God-inspired manner. Real, authentic God-love describes how love functions all the time. For love knows no limits and endures all things. Defining love in this manner enables you to cultivate a calm and quiet soul. With inner calm and quiet, you recognize you’re not in control as you create a God-category, level yourself, and rest in the arms of Jesus.
In conclusion, Judah notes that God gives identity to your soul as He changes you from the inside out. Remember, embrace and live consistently according to your identity in Christ. Walk steadily, at a regular pace. What God began in you at birth, He plans to bring to completion. A truly effective life begins with an effective, healthy soul. Maintain a healthy soul as you focus on the reality of eternity with Jesus. Pastor Smith explains:
“Eternity . . . inspires you to awaken, to dream again, and to take risks . . . shaped . . . by the glory of God and the reality of heaven.”