Don’t Forfeit Your Soul

From Paul Tripp Ministries

He was possibly the most dissatisfied man I had ever met.

He owned possessions and experienced opportunities that you and I could only dream of. His family looked perfect from the outside. He attended a solid church, too.

But the one thing he hadn’t achieved yet was personal happiness. As I counseled him, bitterness colored every word. He was shockingly dissatisfied. One day he diagnosed his depression without even knowing it. “How could it be that I have it all and yet feel so empty?”

His wife would laugh and say that he wanted more and would probably die trying to find it, but biblically, it wasn’t a joke. These words of Christ kept crashing through my brain: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).

Chances are you don’t have the wealth of this man, but you are on the same life quest. It doesn’t matter who your parents are or what your personality is or what your life experience has been.

It’s because you are a human being.

God created those in his image with the capacity to be amazed. Think about all the “awe gates” that you have—eyes, ears, nose, fingers, tongue, nervous system, brain. He simultaneously designed an awesome world, intentionally loading it with pleasures to leave you astounded.

Therefore, living in a daily pursuit of things that will leave you in awe is inescapable. But here’s the disclaimer: awesome stuff never satisfies. Nothing in this world can give rest, peace, identity, meaning, purpose, or lasting contentment to your awe-craving heart.

As you participate and rejoice in the awesome display of creation, you must understand that these awesome things were not intended to be ultimate. They were not made to be the stopping place and feeding station for your heart.

There is only one thing that can satisfy the awe that your soul seeks. And it’s the One who created your soul.

Are you feeling dissatisfied and frustrated? Sure, in many ways, this is part of living in a fallen world that groans for redemption (Romans 8:22-23). But perhaps these feelings are rooted in a deeper heart issue, driven by where you have looked for awe.

There’s a severe spiritual war raging in our hearts. Awesome things in the creation have risen to a level of greater importance than our worshipful awe of God. And if you misplace your awe, you will be perennially dissatisfied, just like the man I wrote about at the beginning.

So why don’t you commit to fighting the battle with me today?

Let’s be aware that in every way, the pursuit of awe will shape our thoughts, desires, words, choices, and actions in the mundane situations and relationships of everyday life.

Let’s confess to the sin of misplaced awe, put creation back in its proper place, and cry out for the grace to worship the Giver, not his gifts.

And let’s spend more time gazing upon the awesome beauty of the Lord (Psalm 27:4). It will deepen your love of your Redeemer and leave your heart rescued, satisfied, and glad.

God bless,

Paul Tripp

Reflection Questions

1. What is one possession that you would love to add to your life?

2. What is one opportunity that you would love to experience?

3. How can you enjoy, participate, or pursue these things without making them ultimate?

4. Have you misplaced awe recently? Is there evidence in your life that shows you need to put creation back in its proper place?

5. How can you put Psalm 27:4 into practice this week? What will it specifically look like for you to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord?


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Don’t Forfeit Your Soul •  New Hope Presbyterian Church

Bridgeton, NJ

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