My Chief Duty
Everyday is to make sure my soul is happy in God.
These are the thoughts of George Muller, that wonderful man of faith, renowned for his work with orphans in the Victorian era. Latterly the New Frontiers church leader, Terry Virgo, has made them his own.
The soul may be said to comprise the mind, the will and the emotions. And it strikes me that there is great wisdom in what Muller said. For example, my mind may be troubled by anxious thoughts; my will may be weak, not even desiring to pray much; and there may be many reasons why my feelings are all over the place.
Very well, then, says Muller, before you do anything else, get your soul (mind, will and emotions) happy in God. Get your soul fixed on God’s presence and his promises; get your mind in tune with what God says in his holy Word written; recognise that emotions can be trained - isn’t this what David is doing in Psalm 103:1-5? Sing worship to the Fairest Lord Jesus; speak in tongues; rest silently in his delight of you.
I don’t at all think this denies the validity of sorrow or grief or pain. We all go through storms; we face bereavement and debilitating illness; we feel keenly our isolations. But in all these, we must anchor our souls behind the curtain ( so to speak) - ‘behind’ what we can see and feel, locked into the good pleasing purpose of our Sovereign Lord.
I am all too aware of those days when I have failed to make sure my soul is happy in God how quickly it is to get sidetracked, or fall into sin, or just be grumpy.
But get this right, get this training to be godly in order and the difference is immense. I sense the angels are singing and God is pleased that I am learning to walk by faith and not by sight.
I commend both the thought and the practice!