When we talk about the awakening of one’s soul, we often have to ask ourselves, what is it that energizes me? What gives me life? I love the symbolism used by Pastor Bill Hybels in the 1st part of a sermon series titled “Awake My Soul!” This is awesome that I get to share a part of what God had been speaking to me during the season of Lent with you today. I believe God has asked me to share with others gifts of meaning and purpose and I plan to continue to do so through my future posts. I have included the link to the sermon series here where you may select to watch or listen to the message:
The series itself focuses in on what the Psalms are telling us. The first message of the series focuses on Psalm 1 where his symbolism is rooted in the Truth, the Word of God. Will we become like a TREE? Or like chaff? We have a choice to make in this life as to where we will go. If we want the best life, I believe we shall desire to become like a TREE, one who does “not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers” as the Psalm reads. As Psalm 1 continues, we find that those who choose not to follow the wicked, sinners or mockers, will “delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like TREES planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”
The others, the wicked, “they are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly.”(Psalm 1:4-5). Would you rather become chaff? My hope is that all of us in this life would choose to be like TREES! Where do you stand?
Unfortunately, many of us live a life that leads us to become more like the chaff(see definition), because our lives center around activities that are like chaff. They are dead, they carry no life, and as a result we become the same! What I believe it means to live in the light of becoming like a TREE is that we center our lives around activities that bring life. In college I spent 5 years partying the college way which centered around activities that were like “worthless chaff“. I think back to the times where many laughs occurred and spending time with friends was what I thought was the best life! I believe these components, laughter and time with friends, are very important to our lives, but the way we go about it makes all the difference in the world. The activities were not life giving, as a matter of fact, I spent many mornings after a college party feeling like death. So did the activities themselves bring life?
After a weekend of celebrating with friends at a bachelor party in Chicago back in 2009, God spoke to me in a powerful way. I had enjoyed the party scene a bit too much that weekend, and on my 5 hour drive home on Sunday I was kicking myself because I chose to drink to excess. It had been a while since I had made this choice and it was tough to face but in this drive, I learned about repentance, about turing away from the old life into the new life. I knew that the decisions I made that weekend were not a part of who I was deep in my heart, nor who I wanted to become. At that point I took it to God asking for forgiveness, and for His help with changing the trajectory of my life so that I would never fall into that temptation again. There was freedom after the pain. I now live in a whole new light.
This is what I challenge you to think about as you listen to the message or consider what Psalm 1 is saying. What are you doing that brings you life? Awakens your soul? Energizes you? And what are you doing that deadens the soul? Takes life out of you? That is like “worthless chaff”? Think about how you invest your time and feed your mind! In doing so you may realize that your life centers around activities that are not helping you become like a TREE. From the weekend parties, to the tv watching, to the music you listen too. I constantly feel as though I need reevaluate what I do that helps Awaken My Soul so that I can truly live out what God has called me too, which is to inspire others to live into the life that God has created them to live! I find that in order to do so, I need to listen to messages like that which Pastor Hybels prepared while driving to work or while on the road bike. I pray that you will open your mind and heart to take time out to listen to a message that will help you become more like a TREE! Maybe today is the day you will start to involve activities that bring you life, so you can become like the TREE God as created you to be!