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Soul Signals   

I was once advised to “listen to my body.” I believe it to be good counsel. When hunger pangs strike, don’t ignore them. Our body is craving energy. If we struggle to keep our eyes open, it is time for a nap. (Sometimes you take a nap - sometimes the nap takes you!) The pains of our bodies are not meant as a problem, but a warning. Our nervous system is sending us a message! Heed it. Our body does a good job telling us what it needs. God has built into our physical makeup certain signals that we are wise to follow. If we deny them, we may experience problems; not necessarily right away, but eventually.  

Our souls have a similar warning system. It is more subtle than our sensory system, but undeniable. For example, the whisper of our conscience is a message from the soul. Guilt, like pain, tells us something needs attention. We may experience an internal restlessness that a change of scenery, task or acquaintance does not resolve. Soul thirst is just as real as physical thirst. These symptoms of soul are common in all of us, but we are not very adept at reading them. Why? We are at home in a material world where we learn our physical symptoms best. Our nervous system is more immediate than the warnings of our soul, so it gets attention first. It is easier to satisfy the body rather than the soul. Hunger is readily sated. Love and longing are not. Most of all, as mentioned, the signals that come from our depths are subtle - but they are not silent. They may take longer to surface, but they are persistent. Ignoring them will harvest trouble, perhaps not immediately, but inevitably.  

All this is background to Isaiah 55:6. The prophet calls us to “seek the Lord, while He may be found.” Isaiah is not suggesting that there is a time when God cannot be found, as if He were to refuse, run and hide from us. The verse is not about God being elusive, but about us being deaf and dull to our soul’s alert system. God speaks to deep places of heart. We may sense His invitation but not answer. If we ignore these internal promptings or tune down the volume of His welcome, it’s like neglecting our blood pressure. We grow accustomed to our state, until we reach a place where repair is not easy or possible. Isaiah is warning us about becoming callous to the signals and signs of God’s arousal of our soul. God will not stop reaching out to us. We may become immune to His appeal.  

It doesn’t have to be that way. We can train our soul towards God. Simply say “Yes” every time God says “Come.” Saturate yourself with a diet of prayer and Scripture. Acquaint yourself with your soul’s state. Learn the whispers God places within your heart. Listen to your soul as you might listen to your body. Know that God is always calling you.