What Is Soul Purpose and Why It Matters
Welcome back to Redefining the Wilderness where we follow a trail of grace along a meandering path through a chronic life. We are searching for hope, joy, and peace. We long for the presence of our Wilderness Guide, Jehova Raah: The Lord My Shepherd.
The Lord Is My Shepherd, he leads over rocky terrain, holds us back when we near the edge of our metaphorical cliffs. He catches us when we topple over the edge.
2019 was a year of crushing blows. One after another. My heart bruised and my faith battered. Grief and joy tightly weaved; sparring one another for pieces of my heart.
I pressed pause.
The presence of Christ and being present in His presence has been my soul (yes, soul) purpose for the past weeks.
I’ve come to know when life pinches and the wilderness tumbles us around, God is asking for our undivided, undistracted heart and soul. He desires our presence with a listening heart. The tug was not to be ignored.
There are seasons in one’s life where soul-scaping must be done. And quiet contemplation. Listening. Reflecting and looking back on God’s faithfulness.
My swift pen filled journals. Watched new mornings break over the horizon. Sat in the darkness surrounded by twinkling lights. Pondered The Light. Contemplated the trail behind.
I picked up knitting needles. Baked more than one loaf of Banana Bread. And, consumed plenty with evening coffee. A bad habit I’m sure. The evening coffee that is, not the banana bread.
As a former runner, and spurned on by the Apostle Paul’s words, I’ve marked the miles.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1 (ESV)
Here’s what I know; the bulk of my life now lies behind me and the future, well the future feels weighty, the miles fewer.
I pose the questions:
What do I want to be known for?
How can I make the last miles count for the Kingdom?
Am I to continue the pause and rest my fragile body?
The Shepherd, He posed his question of me:
What will you do with the miles ahead?
My “Soul Purpose” began there.
Somewhere around mile sixteen, maybe eighteen, just as your head needs to get in the game. And your heart, there’s an internal battle taking place.
Generally, in a real marathon, your legs won’t give out. However, your mind begins to tell you differently. The pull to quit overwhelms and the will to move forward, it is still hanging out at the last water station.
What do you do when you want to quit, take a free pass and sit this one out? How can you move forward when you’ve run out of oomph and the Shepherd is still calling?
In this case, we again turn to Apostle Paul’s wisdom:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2Timothy 4:7 (ESV)
Our Soul Purpose?
To continue the race. Hold tightly to our faith. And finish strong by leaning on the Shepherd.
“for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” Philippians 2:13 (ESV)
It’s not my own strength with which I run.
Rather, it is with Jehovah Raah, The Good Shepherd, poking and prodding, leading and guiding.
Beyond the poking and prodding, He will carry us when our legs quit and our heart wants to give up.
He boils my soul purpose down to this:
One word: Go
“Go to the fields
Go to the mountains
Sweep out the shadows
There’s good news to tell”
All Is Well
“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few”
Matthew 9:37 (ESV)
“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation”
Mark 16:15 (ESV)
Dearest Reader, I am entering a new year, a new decade, with a milestone birthday.
On February 16th, I will turn 60. Yes, yes, I’m a bit shocked myself. Time has flown by. The miles ahead are fewer than the miles I have traversed. So I pose the question to myself and to you as well:
What will we do with the miles before us?
The Good Shepherd’s directive has been clear for me:
“Go and tell the good news. Run your race well. Finish strong. When your strength fails, remember, Dearest One, I’ve got you.”
Yes, I will run into the new year, the new decade, the milestone birthday with renewed strength and God’s Presence ever before me.
I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness. You can comment below or send a private email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Wilderness Guide,
*Next week we will pick up with Ezra, chapter seven. Until then, you can catch up here.
*Scripture quotes are from Bible.com
PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today.
“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word