While society shouts “feed your ego,” I hope God’s man can avoid this cultural trap by learning how to “feed your soul.”
We are all vulnerable to the “cultural trap,” because we live in this world, and this world is not for us, it’s against us. When you feel trapped, often it’s the dabbling in drugs and alcohol that crash your house of cards.
God’s man needs to know about the trap, and how to avoid it. The key is to “feed your soul, not your ego.”
Think of your soul as a bridge between yourself and God’s spirit. Your soul is who you are - which is a mix of history and mystery. Your soul is made of your past and present. Your soul combines what you know, with what you have yet to learn. It’s who you are, at a core level.
So how do you feed your soul?
Ironically, the best way to feed your soul is to take the focus off yourself, and onto God. I think the most important skill to avoid the cultural trap is to feed your soul by learning how to love God. If you know how to love God then you’ll know how to love yourself, love others and ultimately how to feed your own soul. Jesus said it is the greatest commandment, and I believe it’s the key to avoiding the cultural trap.
In Matthew 22: 37-39, Jesus answers his critics’ test when asked “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Here, Jesus lays out a counter-cultural plan to avoid the trap that society sells.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “
So, if we love others like ourselves, then we need to know how to love ourselves, and the best example to model is to love God. And, this verse says to love God with all our heart, soul and mind.
I think that’s worth examining. So, how do we love God with all our heart, soul and mind?
Our heart is a physical and emotional organ. To love God with all our heart, I believe we are called to love God physically and psychologically. In other words, we should love God by honoring Him with our body and emotions. Loving God with all our heart includes eating healthy, exercising, getting enough rest, and looking to Him to heal our emotional wounds.
Loving God with all of our mind requires dedicating our thoughts, memories and internal life to Him. Reading the Bible, memorizing scripture, thinking about God’s work and discussing His way occupies our mind with a good plan, His plan. To love God with all of our mind, requires an intentional focus on learning His word and knowing Him.
Loving God with all our soul is perhaps the most challenging, yet it’s the most important. It’s a yearning to know God and to worship Him for who He is, with all you know and who you are. It’s impossible to surprise God, but loving God with all your soul, may surprise you with feelings of immeasurable peace, joy and ... faith.
It’s simple, really. Avoiding the cultural trap takes your focus off yourself, and onto God. Loving Him with all your heart, mind and soul not only accomplishes the greatest commandment, but gives us a model for how to love our selves, and others. If this is our passionate pursuit, there’s no room for drugs and alcohol. The “high” comes from a spiritual awakening with the Almighty God. That’s how to avoid the cultural trap.
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In case you missed them:
Every Man Ministries was founded by Kenny Luck, men’s pastor at Saddleback Church. Kenny created the Sleeping Giant program as a way to give men the tools and resources to make the most of their own men’s ministries and make the most of their walks with God. Watch Kenny’s teachings at EveryManMinistries.com.