How to Nourish Your Soul & Be Happy in the Lord
I bet your goal today (and everyday) does NOT include being wildly miserable while trying to follow Jesus. Am I right? What Son-follower does not want to be happy in the Lord?
I am super excited to introduce you to something new this week! A series I’m calling How to Nourish Your Soul & Be Happy in the Lord.
Over the course of the next several weeks, I’ve invited others to join me in answering the question: How has God’s Word nourished you? I love how different each of our stories is!
The aim of the series is to showcase a variety of ways we have permission to nourish our soul with God’s Word. It doesn’t have to be the same all the time. And it can be fun! We prepare a variety of recipes for our physical health, why not the same variety for ingesting the Word of God for our spiritual health? (Same message, same hope, same Savior.)
My hope is that you are inspired by the creativity and infinite nature of God – and His tenderness to meet us in every stage of life.
It’s George Mueller’s Fault, Really
The inspiration for this series came from hearing a quote that leapt off the page and danced in my ears – the phrase “happy in the Lord.”
I tracked my youth pastor down, and he supplied me with the entire John Piper sermon – thank you, Ron Hayes! — in which the quote was found. I devoured the pertinent part which is a fascinating section from George Mueller’s autobiography. John Piper explains how George Mueller was remarkable for his faith in his work with orphanages and called a section of his autobiography, “How to Be Constantly Happy in the Lord.” (Don’t you love that title!)
Apparently, for ten years George Mueller habitually struggled to pray every morning until he discovered why he shouldn’t start his day with prayer. In George Mueller’s words:
The point is this: I saw more clearly than ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished. ~George Mueller
George quit trying to pray first when he realized the most important thing was to read God’s word, think about it, and connect with God. His spirit needed fuel before anything was required of it, just as the body requires food at the start of the day.
Food for his soul was his main objective.
Now what is the food for the inner man? Not prayer, but the word of God; and here again, not the simple reading of the word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe, but considering what we read, pondering over it, and applying it to our hearts. ~George Mueller
George began meditating on God’s word “to get blessing out of it” and “for the sake of obtaining food for his soul.”
In so doing, he found prayer flowed naturally as a result. He was nearly always moved to talk to God, just because he was thinking about what he’d read. He wasn’t reading God’s word to preach it, share it, or check it off some list – but to ingest it.
This is how his inner man was nourished. “Now that God has taught me this point, it is as plain to me as anything that the first thing the child of God has to do morning by morning is to obtain food for the inner man.”
Because we waste away without eating – physically and spiritually. Who wants to be spiritually anorexic?
How Will You Be Nourished?
What is your simple plan for feeding your soul this summer with God’s Word? My hope is that through this series, you’ll find a “recipe” that resonates.