Last October, we were blessed to have a Leadership Conference at our Vineyard with a special appearance by Phil Strout – Our National Director of Vineyard USA. He is an excellent speaker and I immediately liked him. I remember him asking a question that stuck with me. It was a question he had been asked by one of his spiritual mentors. “How is your soul?”
It’s a question that is not answered with one word. It’s a question that takes time to consider and formulate an answer. It’s a question that echoed in my ears for a while after the conference.
Four months later I was given a booklet by my pastor. On the cover was that same question…”How Is Your Soul? a personal study for spiritual renewal. It is a small booklet- 19 pages, but those pages are graced with some very important questions that can help a person take a good hard look at their spiritual life, and for sure their soul. I recommend this booklet to all of you as a simple, yet impactful way to examen yourself.
In the very first day of my devotion with this booklet, a question drove straight to my heart. It was a scalpel that was used to surgically identify an area where I had become lost. “Am I finding my identity in my relationship with Jesus, or increasingly in my tasks, relationships, ministry, or vision?”
The words jumped off the page and took my breath. I am guilty! It’s that crazy cycle of trying to be good enough and to do enough good, but then when I get home, behind closed doors, I am that drill sargeant momma barely getting anything done. Have you ever been there?
I’m talking about a schedule so filled up with good things that it sucked the joy right out of what I am supposed to do well. My identity cannot be defined by good works because no matter how hard I try, it will never be enough. My identity can only be defined in Jesus Christ. So what does that mean?
I thought about that little nugget for a while – what is my identity in Christ? I know the basics – I am loved, I am forgiven, I am saved, I am a child of God, and all those things that you hear on Sunday morning. But I wanted to go deeper. After all, this is my soul we’re talking about.
So, I googled it! I found such a great deal of great stuff! Joyce Meyer has a list with scriptural references: http://www.joycemeyer.org/articles/ea.aspx?article=knowing_who_i_am_in_christ
Lysa Terkeurst has a great list in her book “Made to Crave” in which you can fill in the blank with your own name.
Truth is, the only way I will ever find my identity in Jesus is to be in His presence and let Him fill me. He has a purpose for me and will equip me for His work in this world. It will not fill my schedule but will be divinely appointed and require only as much as He has given me to complete the task.
So, again I ask myself, “How is my soul?” And then I realize that as long as I am in constant contact and seeking the presence of my savior, it is well with my soul.