16 Ways to Satisfy Your Soul

16 Ways to Satisfy Your Soul

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The wind-swept mountain offers little reprieve, and I claw my way up the vertical granite rock face. I’m alone at 11,000 feet, and it hasn’t occurred to me that this might be a bad idea.  I’m young and invincible, and all I want to do is seek the next summit – encounter the next thrill.

A cascade of small stones slides down the mountain as my foot pushes off of what I thought was a secure foothold. I focus on keeping three points of contact with the mountain at all times.  A gust of wind sweeps the bandana off my head, and my long hair whips wildly in the wind.  I don’t bother trying to retrieve the bandana.  It wouldn’t be safe.

An hour later I finally reach the summit. It doesn’t disappoint.  To the north, the Grand Tetons tower on the horizon, thirty or more miles away.  To the south, the small town of Pinedale glistens on the plains below.  It feels like an escape to the top of the world.

I lie flat on the beige rocks and let the sun warm me while the wind pounds. I reach for my water bottle, disappointed to find only a small sip remaining.  High above the tree line, there’s no hope of water until I descend at least a thousand feet.

I’m in a season of longing for adventure, longing for thrills, and longing for grand achievements. I’m twenty.  I’m certain I’ll find the answers I crave about life and passion and purpose if I keep climbing mountains, so I ascend every summit on the skyline.  What I don’t realize is that none of this has a thing to do with mountains or physical heights.

Just as my thirst has me parched on this mountain, my soul is thirsting for God. My flesh is yearning for him.  I simply don’t fully realize it.

Seventeen years later, life is vastly different. I haven’t climbed to a summit over 2,500 feet in close to ten years, and I’ve realized I’ll never find what I’m thirsting for through worldly pursuits.  Psalm 63:1 reads: “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

What I truly craved on that mountain, what I truly craved when I searched the world for something to satisfy, what I truly crave now, is an encounter with the Living God. I thirst for him.  I long for him.  Only an encounter with him will satisfy me in a lasting way.  But how do I encounter the Creator of the universe?

I’ve been pondering it often, and I’m sure there are a million ways. Here are 16:

    1. Open the Bible. This is the first and best way to encounter him. Every other encounter needs to line up with the truth that’s found in these pages. It’s literally a love letter from the One who made us. We ought to take these words seriously – to let them be our source of life.
    2. Pray. Pray like you’re talking to your closest friend. Pray like he’s sitting beside you. Tell him what’s on your heart.
    3. Listen. Prayer isn’t just talking. Prayer is listening for quiet nudges that line up with his written Word.
    4. Give thanks for everything. Make lists. Count your blessings.
    5. Join him in serving others. Look for opportunities to put others first.
    6. Step out of your comfort zone and bless others extravagantly with your time, your resources, or your talents.
    7. Look for him in the eyes of everyone you meet. Whatever you do for the least of these, you do unto him (Matthew 25:40).
    8. Choose to trust him with your plans, your life, and your loved ones (Proverbs 3:5-6).
    9. Ask him to search your heart and confess your sins to him (Psalm 139:23, 1 John 1:9).
    10. Forgive others. 
    11. Slow down. Cease from striving (Psalm 46:10).
    12. Step into his natural world (Psalm 19:1).
    13. Stay in community with other believers.
    14. Watch for him in everything.
    15. Believe what he says about you (Song of Solomon 2:16).
    16. Worship him with songs of praise.

 

 

I’m thankful I made it off the mountain that windy June afternoon. I’m thankful I’m not still searching endlessly in empty cisterns for the One thing that will satisfy me.  But when I’m brutally honest, I’m not completely satisfied every day of my life.  There’s a longing in me that won’t be fulfilled until I reach heaven.  Until then, I turn to my list of reminders and seek him as fervently as I c

an in this life.  What I encounter is Living water for my thirsty soul.

~~~

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About Stacey Pardoe

Stacey Pardoe is a wife, mother of two young children, writer, Bible teacher, and mentor. She is most passionate about walking closely with Christ and sharing his love with a broken world. Find out more about her at her website.

Comments

  1. An excellent list. I plan to refer to it every few weeks and see how I’m doing.

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