I discovered something last year that revolutionized my life. It made me see God's kingdom, it inspired me to live in joy, and it guided me towards authentic prayer. I discovered my soul.
I discovered a little bit more of that "inner being" that the Bible talks so much about, the place where the heart and mind meet to become the very essence of who we are. I discovered more of what the Bible means when it says, "Love the Lord your God with all you heart with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:5)
How did I discover my soul? What even is our soul? And how can you discover this inner being as well? (So many questions.)
- the spiritual part of a person that is believed to give life to the body and in many religions is believed to live forever
- a person's deeply felt moral and emotional nature
- the ability of a person to feel kindness and sympathy for others, to appreciate beauty and art, etc.
Our soul is the mystery of our being, the core of our existence. It is not physical nor loud, yet it directs our ways. From our soul we derive our identities and respond to the truer things, the eternal things, the deeper things. Through our inner being we see the invisible, take joy in the unthinkable, and understand the incomprehensible.
God is as work in our souls. He brings to our souls conviction, peace, passion, and restoration. "He restores my soul." (Psalm 23:3) In our soul He teaches us the things that our heart cannot feel completely, our mind cannot comprehend fully, and our strength cannot complete in this world.
But how do we discover our souls?
In searching for the answer to this question, I have found three ways to understand our souls and then use that understanding to praise God.
1. Soul Sessions
I started a weekly time where I sat down in the quiet and wrote. I wrote out a long prayer of sorts where I reflected on what God taught me the past week. I looked for ways that God moved in my heart. I watched for how the world influenced my identity. I call these times Soul Sessions. David thought about soul matter too, like when he wrote "Why are you so downcast, O my soul?" (Psalm 42:11) Soul Sessions brought me to a greater sensitivity as to what went on in my inner being, and they helped me to live more purposefully for God's kingdom.
You can have Soul Sessions by setting aside a certain time weekly to think, journal, talk aloud, or just pray. Tune in with sensitivity how God works in the little things. Tune into some soft worship music if that helps.
2. Encouraging Community
I didn't start truly thinking about my soul- apart from singing "it is well with my soul"-until I read Simply Tuesday by Emily Freemen (read all about the book in my review). In the book she talked so much about matters of the soul that I felt inspired to think about these things for myself.
Surrounding yourself with other people who seek to live life on a soul level creates accountability and inspiration to follow God with all of who you are. Some people that inspire soul thoughts include Amanda from Scattered Journal Pages, Erin from Accoustic Erin, Aaliyah from Growing in His Image, Grace from Totally Graced, Abbiee from Abbiee Music Blog, Olivia from Summer of 1999, and so many more!
3. Worshiping Jesus
John Piper says "To see Him and know Him and be in His presence is the soul’s final feast. Beyond this there is no quest. Words fail. We call it pleasure, joy, delight. But these are weak pointers to the unspeakable experience."
When we take our eyes off of ourselves and fix them on the glory of God, He restores our souls. He created our souls to worship Him and revel in His beauty. That is the true joy our our being, the deepest pleasure of our souls.
"My soul finds rest in God alone." (Psalm 62:1)
"Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being praise his holy name." (Psalm 103:1)
Understanding our souls and how God works in them, directing them towards Christ, and worshiping God with our inner beings gives life a new dimension. Living life on a soul level brings with it joy, humility, peace, and love. This journey of soul discovery will take you upon waters of grace and paths of obedience.
"My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice." (Psalm 34:2)
How have your discovered your soul? Do any verses or rhythms help you?