Years ago, a colleague of mine and I were commenting upon a mutual acquaintance. He was a brilliant physician but was unable to settle down with any medical group. My friend shook his head and lamented, “Yup. He’s a lost soul.”
Deep down, I thought I understood what he meant, but I still queried him, “Why?”
“He’s a lost soul!” throwing his hands up in the air and shrugging his shoulders. “Doesn’t know what he wants or doesn’t want!”
For many years, I thought about that comment. Yes, a soul would be lost if it had no direction. But at the heart of my pondering was the nagging question, “What is the soul?” Theologians and scholars have debated the meaning of the soul for years. One of the more satisfying definitions was given by Dallas Willard.
“You have a soul, made by God, made for God, and made to need God, which means you were not made to be self-sufficient....What is running your life at any given moment is your soul. Not external circumstances, not your thoughts, not your intentions, not even your feelings, but your soul. The soul is that aspect of your whole being that correlates, integrates, and enlivens everything going on in the various dimensions of the self. The soul is the life center of human beings.”
We may delude ourselves into thinking we are the master of our souls, but this is not what God says. A lost soul is one that is not grounded in God. A lost soul is continually looking for direction and is confused because it is led by emotions and physical desires rather than submitting to God’s leading. And while fumbling and stumbling for direction, at a moment we least expect, God may require your very soul. And a soul that has not found God will be lost forever.
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘ What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops? ’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘ Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be? ’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.
Luke 12:13-21 (ESV)
It does not have to be this way. If we confess our sins, repent, and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our souls will no longer be lost. But it is not by our efforts, it is only because God reached out to us and saved us, by His mercy and grace.
Are you a lost soul? Come to Jesus Christ, the keeper of our souls.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.