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Jul 31 2007

Soul Satisfaction: The Key To Preparing Your Soul To Preach

Author/Pastor John Ortberg writes on the topic of preparing your soul to preach in CT’s Leadership Journal.  A snippet:

We were made for soul satisfaction, so we cannot live with chronically dissatisfied souls for long. If we do not find satisfaction in God’s goodness to us, we will look for satisfaction someplace else.

It’s soul dissatisfaction that always has the effect of making sin look good. Any time you see somebody in ministry who has fallen, you can be sure that person was living with a chronically dissatisfied soul. What’s really sad isn’t just the ditch he or she ends up in; what’s really sad is the months and years they were living with a dissatisfied soul. It eventually has the effect if making bad look good.

When someone asked Dallas Willard, "How many times have you seen a person in ministry fail morally where it was not caused by a dissatisfied soul?" he replied, "Never."

What always drives us, at the soul level, is that if I believe that I cannot trust God to care for the satisfaction of my soul, then I will take my soul’s satisfaction into my own hands. I may not acknowledge that even to myself.

Carving out a satisfying and joyful life with God is a fundamental discipline for all of us who preach.

Jesus exhibited this kind of total freedom. He was free to help people, and he was free to confront where they needed confrontation, and he was free to comfort when they needed comfort.

This is fundamentally crucial in preparation of the soul. If I’m to preach to people effectively, I must be freed from my need for their approval and applause. As long as I am chained to that need, then my preaching will really be trying to fill up something in me that I can never fill.

Life in the kingdom means living in freedom and in the reality of truths like "The Lord is my Shepherd." If the Lord really is my Shepherd, than I shall not want. And then I won’t have to be driven by the desire for more applause or more approval. I’ve got someplace else to stand.

Standing in the presence of God.

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