December 15 I Sunday
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, my God.” —Psalm 42:1
What does our soul pant for? In the Old Testament, we find the word “soul” mentioned over 750 times. The Hebrew word for “soul” is nephesh meaning “life” or “possessing life.” The New Testament equivalent of “soul” is psuche, which literally means “breath of life.” Whether or not we are aware, we are all made up of a body and a soul. Although our body and soul are closely connected, there is a difference between the body and the soul. Our body is in a terminal state of decline that ends with death while our soul is distinct because it outlives our body.
God created humanity with something inside of us that recognizes there is more to life than what we can see, touch, feel and smell. Solomon writes, “…He has also set eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
In every human heart is a homesickness for God. There is a search for intimacy and communion with God because we are intended to be known and to know the creator of the universe. This is why the psalmist writes, “Truly my soul finds rest in God….Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him” (Psalm 62:1, 5). We find what our soul longs for in God. Even if we do not acknowledge there is a God, we do not lose the desire to know God; rather, we attempt to fill the void by using other methods. In other words, we transfer that appetite to earthly things, seeking to satisfy what can never be fulfilled outside of God.
The Bible makes it clear to us that our soul is in peril as Ezekiel 18:4 tells us, “…The soul who sins shall die” (NKJV). Hence, Jesus warns us, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). Even though a person can kill our body but not our soul, God has the ability to destroy both. This is why Jesus asks, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:26).
Some of us may be so bent on material, physical, earthly and human things that we eventually exchange our eternal soul for a temporary thrill that will not thrill. The things of this world will only disappoint us, which is why we must remember that we are made to be in communion with God. May our soul pant for communion with God as a deer pants for streams of water.
Prayer: Everlasting God, my soul pants for You as I desire to commune with You forever. Thank You for setting eternity in my heart.