Loving God with Your Soul
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” (Psalm 42:1, NIV)
We’ve been looking together at the different ways you can love God. You can find these ways in Mark 12:30: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (NLT).
We all love God in all four of these ways, but each of us tends more naturally toward one than the others. God has shaped you primarily to be a talker, a feeler, a thinker, or a doer. Talkers most easily love God with their hearts. Feelers love God with their souls. Thinkers love God with their minds. Doers love God with their strength.
Today we’re going to focus on the feelers -- people who are strongest at loving God with all their soul.
The world can’t get by just on communication from talkers, consideration from thinkers, and contribution from doers. We also need the compassion of the feelers who love God best with their souls.
The word “soul” is used many different ways in the Bible. But most of the time, it’s used as a synonym for emotions. You see this a lot in the Psalms.
Psalm 42:1 says, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God” (NIV).
Every emotion known to humanity is in Scripture. The Bible talks about souls that are downcast, disturbed, satisfied, yearning, troubled, forlorn, joyful, bitter, thirsty, hungry, rejoicing, and delighted. Can you hear the passion in those words? Soul people feel their emotions.
Can you guess who else feels emotions? God. He gets angry, happy, sad, and everything in-between. You have emotions because you were made in God’s image.
God is passionate, and feelers represent that part of him in the world. They care deeply about issues, about people, and about knowing God. They can empathize with other people’s pain and problems.
They’re great examples of Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (NLT).
Feelers offer God’s compassion to the world. But, just like every other personality, they have their weaknesses. Feelers tend to be manipulated by their moods. Instead, they need to let God lead them.
The Bible says, “Let the Spirit direct your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires of the human nature” (Galatians 5:16 NLT).
When feelers are led by God’s Spirit, they still have feelings -- but they’re not controlled by them. They let God’s Spirit lead them in deciding which feelings to follow and which to resist.
If you’re a feeler, be a Spirit-led one. Let God guide you to share with the world the passions he’s given you.
Talk It Over
How has God used a feeler -- a soul person -- to minister to you?
If you’re a feeler, what can you do this week to be more Spirit-led rather than controlled by your emotions?
If you’re not primarily a feeler, what steps can you take this week to love and worship God with your soul too?
Premium Resource: S.H.A.P.E. Study Kit
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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