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[Music] good morning I can say it I can keep saying it as long as I need to good morning I'm so glad you're here welcome to those of you watching online we're glad you're here it's finally summer I can't believe it I believe it may be until 3 o'clock or 6 o'clock or so let's keep watching I became a I'm boaster I'm pastor to sup ship by the way I became a runner under just duress I was taking care of my husband at the time I was his caregiver and I needed to get out and so I would go out for a walk and I would kind of immerse myself in the beauty that essential Oregon and the more and more difficult that got for him to be alone the faster I went and so at some point I found myself running the view instead of walking the view and I discovered that I really loved it and but I I have in the last year really fallen off the running wagon I just a lot of other things took its place like Netflix and potato chips and stuff a lot of things can really are fun too and I just got away from it I was super busy with meaningful things as well but I decided this spring I've got to get going again I've got to get out there and no matter what I tried I just could not get myself to get up and go and even when I did go I just lollygag I just like walked and looked at things and dish I always like not producing any good effect in my life and so I remembered something I had read by Henry cloud and he had said if you know what's right to do and you find yourself unable to do it that's the time to hire help you need outside help to make yourself do it and so I bought an app and I put the app on my phone and the app really gets me going and it tells me I can't stop and it pushes me to stretch beyond what I want to do you know what I want should do and it's cool and I needed the help and he needed to connect my limitations as a as a human and as a runner to a mentor and some motivation that would keep me going that would channel my desire to run and make it bigger than my desire for donuts it was really simple it ended up being really simple but but what it keeps reminding me of and I have found I've run into this so many times as I get older we are really limited as humans we are limited in almost every way and we love people who seem like they defy the limitations we love an athlete or a jeopardy contestant who seems like they are never gonna be stumped by a hurdle or a question but then they run into a problem they can't solve they run into a question they can't answer they run into a hurdle they can't leap and we remember we're limited we're just we're filled with limitations except in one area there's one place where humans are limitless and it is in our desire to need our long we have limitless longings I've ever felt that like I am a little bit bono I still haven't found what I'm looking for they're just always looking and longing we're by nature people who want to want more we have unlimited needs John Ortberg and his book soul keeping says this we always want more more time more wisdom more beauty more funny YouTube videos this is the soul crying out we never have enough the truth is the soul's infinite capacity to desire is the mirror image of God's infinite capacity to give I'm going to say it again because they don't want you to miss it the soul's infinite capacity to desire is the mirror image of God's infinite capacity to give what if the real reason we feel like we never have enough is that God is not yet finished giving the unlimited neediness of the soul matches the unlimited grace of God the unlimited neediness of the soul matches the unlimited grace of God this is really good news this makes our limitless longing make some sense instead of feeling bad that we're always wanting more we can understand that this is the nature of the soul to need and so what will we with that's the big question the question is not can I deny all the desires in my life the question is how will I fill them in a way that brings fulfillment and satisfaction to my life think of the best meal you've ever had or the best food you've ever tasted as good as it was don't you secretly suspect that somewhere there's something better like there's a better steak somewhere there's better French food somewhere I mean it you always feel that there's gotta be more and I love the Oregon coast I love with every time I go there the first night that I'm there I am glued to the window watching that worgen Coast sunset like just the colors and the way the sky changes and I just think this is so beautiful and I am filled with so much gratitude but also this weird aching longing for more what else is out there what what is there to be found CS Lewis called this kind of ache inside of us sin sucked it's a German word that translates as an innate longing a pining or a desire in a wider sense it means intensely missing it's this idea of having an intense missing for something and you don't quite know what that's how we're created and it can sound like really bad news in his book till we have faces Lewis says this it was when I was happiest that I longed most I was it was on happy days when we were up there on the hills and the wind with the wind and the sunshine and because it was so beautiful it set me longing always longing somewhere else there must be more of it since it does hard-wired into humanity it's a longing that can't quite be filled so how does humanity respond to this if it's always been in us if it's always been a need how do we respond well we see one response was hedonism hedonism is to fill all the desires to take care of yourself first do do all the things that make you happy it's a school of thought that argues that the pursuit of pleasure is the primary or most important goal of life a hedonist dry to maximize net pleasure which is pleasure - pain cuz you know pain ruins all the pleasure in life and but however upon finally gaining said pleasure happiness may remain listen to this word stationary happiness can't speak out in fact we find in statistics that people will strive and strive for more money and think more money is the next best thing for them I need a better house or a better boat or a faster car or a car that doesn't use gas or whatever I need me need more and more things but research shows that our happiness grows and grows and grows with our income until about seventy five thousand and then we're done then no matter how much more you work for even if you make seventy five billion you're not gonna be really statistically any happier in fact you could lose your seventy five thousand dollars worth of happiness striving for the seventy five billion and so happiness can remain and stationary even when we get more stuff in fact America one of the richest most resource nations on the planet is rapidly falling in the world happiness scale lots and lots of Dumber nations are more happy than we are I didn't sit in the last one lots and lots and also an almost unprecedented thing happened this year this year our country one of them again one of the most rich and resource nations in the world has a shrinking life expectancy it's never happened in the history of the world that an advanced nation shrinks in their life expectancy has a decreasing life expectancy and so researchers begin to study it to find out what's going on and Jeffrey Sachs published a great big report on it you can read it in the world happiness report online you can find it all over the place he says one of the primary culprits is addiction he says this in his report addictions come in many forms from substance abuse to gambling to digital media the compulsive pursuit of substance abuse and addictive behaviors is causing severe and Happiness can we just take in the irony for a minute that that because America is so rich our ability to get more and more gadgets more and more drugs more and more things is killing us it's making us unhappy it is doing the very opposite of filling the need inside our souls we're doing it wrong and somebody's got to wake up and see this longing that we have cannot be connected to the wrong substance it can't otherwise it doesn't do anything to fill us another way humanity has responded to this deep in a need is monasticism the monks decided early on early church 1st century AD that the more and more spiritual you become the less and less you acknowledge the desires that are outside serving God that are that are not just serving him and so you deny all the pleasure of the world especially the fun ones put put them on the shelf don't do it but pretend they don't exist and cloister away and and only be silent and serve God that's monasticism if you want to give it a try let me know how it goes I won't be trying that one another idea is Nicci's formula for human greatness it's the Latin is amor fati it's love your fate so just embrace what comes and as what will come and love it no matter how happy or heinous and deny or don't look for pleasure and don't deny pleasure just let whatever happens happen and call that pleasure or at least call it beneficial that's another idea we could deny or we could fill or we could do any of those things but really I think if it's the nature of the soul to need then perhaps our longings could lead us to a deeper happiness than we've ever known perhaps our longings are here on purpose to lead us to the right source to lead us to the right well and and in finding the right well maybe we'll find a lot of other happiness as well so we have to acknowledge that we need we acknowledge that we have the inability to meet all our needs on our own we can't meet the needs of our own soul and we are the keepers of our soul but we aren't the owners of our soul and so you remember a couple of weeks ago when we started this we wasn't weeks ago a couple of months ago and we did a series on soul keeping pastor Steve launched that series with the story of the keeper of the stream and he told you the fable of an old man who was hired by a village to keep all the sticks and rocks and toxins out of a stream that would then feed the springs of the village and they decided we've got better things to do with our money and they fired him and soon they found they weren't feeling well and they were getting sick because everything in the stream sourced the rest of their happiness they weren't healthy because their stream was poisoned and so they hired this keeper of the stream back and that is you you are the keeper of your stream you and only you no one else is gonna protect what goes into your soul and what happens in your soul and the healing for your soul Jesus will partner with you on that but it's up to you to say I'm gonna be the caretaker and manager of my soul my soul is what keeps my will integrated with the will of God and so when my soul becomes dis integrated from the will of God because of wounds or sickness or whatever is going on inside of me then I have it happiness is difficult fulfilment is always gonna be really difficult then I'm gonna fill up with all kinds of other things and this limitless gaping need is gonna always remain there making me feel achy and sad and why isn't my life gone better and where circumstances better and maybe I need more money or maybe I need a better date or maybe I need a better spouse or maybe I need I need I need a better meal all of these things come into play when we start to redirect our soul to other sources so how do that how do we become a skillful soul keeper in our lives how do we become someone who can recognize what's going on and fix it I have three points I have a good three-point sermon for you this morning I feel pretty good about it and and the first one even has a literation which is cool and it kind of rhymes so okay this is a good one Oh elevate to evaluate first we have to get out of the circumstances that we're in we get out of step away from your own emotions for a minute and look down on your own life and say what is going on in that moment when you feel that need or you feel the ache or you feel sad or a longing or despair ask your soul what's happening David said in for Psalm 43 why my soul are you downcast why so disturbed within me put your hope in God for I will yet praise him my Savior oh my god David is stepping outside the realm of his emotions here and checking on the condition of his own soul my mother is one of the strongest women I've ever known she is like 4 foot 11 and teeny tiny and can move a piano she's like really crazy that way and she has a really high pain tolerance and a really strong emotional fortitude and you cannot get that woman to complain and so a couple of weeks ago she had back surgery and I stayed with her in the hospital and she had some complications so she was there a couple of days and throughout every day and every night a nurse would come into her room about every 60 or 90 minutes and she would ask her two things how are you three things how are you and my mom would always say guess what fine she's not she's in excruciating pain and I know it but my mom is just always gonna say fine and the nurse would say okay what's your pain on a scale of one to ten and so then she would have to think okay how do I really feel how is my pain what's going on and then the nurse would say is there anything I can do for you what do you need so how's your pain and what do you need and I watched my mom be forced into admitting when things weren't feeling well and it was good for her she needed that but I realized that my soul needs that nurse my soul is the nurse that will come in every 90 minutes and go hey how are you doing how's your pain level right now what do you need you might need to get out and have a break you might need to take a nap your soul might need to apologize to someone right now what is it how does your soul feel we've got to get out of the emotion and the the warring demands and all the things for a minute and evaluate the condition of our own soul and we as Americans are really good at being self obsessed but not so good at being self aware and we have to become more aware of our own condition because there aren't very many nurses in our lives who will come in and look at it for us so to say how am i how am i feeling how am i doing um a couple of years ago I had a bad bad day at work and I love my job here but it was a bad day and I left and I was having some words in my car with God and I was saying you said your yoke was easy and your burden is light and you lied to me because this is not easy and it is not like and I am NOT good at it and I cannot do it I cannot be a pastor and I knew it was really bad because I drove these Starbucks on my way home to get coffee and I wanted to also ask for an application so I guess seems like a happy place to work smell of coffee and the green apron and the stuff so I went home and I tried to call a friend to complain to her about my day and she didn't answer which was good and so I have always been a journal and honestly I do feel like journaling is a way to check on the condition of your own soul and so I got my journal out and I decided to write down everything I had done at work that day to see what was it that was causing this awful icky feeling in my heart that I can't do this job and so I'm looking at all the things on the list and I had a couple meetings and I study for some things and I taught a couple classes nothing really that's outside my capability nothing I mean all the things that I basically enjoy so I started looking at what had happened in between all of the things that I had done that day and I narrowed it down to one conversation that I had had in the hallway with one co-worker where I had said something about another person that was true but it was mean and it was motivated by fear and I knew it and I saw it and I just knew it and in that moment I realized my job is not too heavy for my soul to carry my sin is too heavy for my soul to carry it's my sin that's slowing me down it's my own fear and my own inability to be kind that is is causing this struggle inside my soul right now this longing inside my soul is the longing to be more like Jesus and I wasn't and I can take care of that right now I can ask for forgiveness and move on from it and it was such a good moment for me while I felt badly about what I had done and I made the phone call and said listen to the person I had the conversation with and I felt badly about what I had done but I didn't feel shame anymore about it and shame will kill your soul and I would have just had I not done that I would have just buried it away and buried it away and carried it with me into my next day at Westside and my next month is Starbucks and my marriage and my parenting and my other friendships and it was a moment of soul cleanup that marked me and it was important but you have to step out of your situation and look at your soul and say what is it this making me feel like I am NOT good enough right now what is that so elevate to evaluate next one is speak to your soul you have to listen to your soul when you evaluate and then you have to speak to your soul you want to be the one that that can feed right thoughts and good things into it so another story about running because this is where all my learning happens recently just a couple of weeks ago I woke up overwhelmed with my life overwhelmed with things to do I had an assistant waiting on an article for a website I had Westside waiting on sermon notes I had an agent waiting on a book proposal I am in the process also trying to plan a wedding and it was just so so many things and and but one thing on the top of my list has been stay in shape because I don't trust to fit into and so I have to go for a run I just have to go for a wine I have to it's good and once I get out there I really like it I never want to go but I get out there and I like it and it's good so I went and I got out there and I got on the river trail and I start running and it was terrible it was terrible I hated it I was like this is so sad and I hate this and my legs aren't working and my lungs aren't working and I why do I have to do all this and there was so many things and at one point I just took the earphones out of my ears and made the app stop yelling at me to keep running and I said Holy Spirit I just want to walk with you that's all I want to do that's all I'm gonna do I'm gonna put aside all my thoughts of sermons and articles and weddings and I'm just gonna be with you for a minute but what I found was it's very difficult to put all those thoughts out without putting something else in like have you ever tried to not think about something that's hard and so I started looking around at all the beauty on the River Trail and the roar of the Deschutes and and the birds that had been annoying while I was running were suddenly just chirping lovely like Cinderella and and I started to say you are beautiful I mean Jesus you a beautiful look at what you've done here look at this place you are beautiful and as you are so you do and so then I started saying you are beautiful and your plans for me are beautiful you are beauty and your plans for mere beauty your beauty and your plans for mere beautiful you are good and your plans from your you are grace and your plants from your grace you were restoration and your plans from your restorative you are kind and your plans from your kind and I just kept saying it just over and over all of these things that God is and God does in my life and it started to sink into me and started to sink into my soul and help me understand how good he is an out of the blue out of nowhere this thought came into my mind it was like a picture that flashed through my mind of the whole battle that my family fought when my husband died and all of a sudden it was like stick in the wheel uh-oh I don't know if you're good I don't know it was a stick in the stream that just was in my soul all of a sudden all of these questions I didn't expect that I didn't see that coming that's not how I thought a good God would behave all of these things started circling through my mind and then I thought no wait a minute you were confusing and your plans for me are confusing that's not a very good soul statement and so I started thinking but all the things God has done for me in the last five years cannot be explained from this stage and the way that he has held me and carried me and cared for me I can't even begin and so then I thought how can I say that in an intellectually honest way because I'm not going to call God confusing and so I said you were deep and your plans for me or deep you are eternal and your plans for me are eternal you are omniscient and your plans for me are beyond my knowledge that's all I know for sure but I know that it's true you are beauty and all your ways and all your plans and all your thoughts towards me are beautiful and I kept filling my soul filling my soul filling my soul and my to-do list was still there at the end of my run but I felt entirely differently about all the things that were MyPlate to do speak to your soul the goodness of God when your soul is longing for something remind your soul what you already believe remind your soul what you believe to be true about the grace and goodness of God and it changes that ache and that need into something that is to your for your good and for your benefit speak to your soul the last one is deal with the dissonance we are all caught in what scientists call cognitive dissonance actually it's the work of a scientist called Leon Phet singer who discovered and named this this Tennessee that humanity has to hold two opposing viewpoints in tension and often while believing strongly about one act on the other yes I really really want to be in shape that's a strong thought a strong viewpoint that I have but I really really also want the donuts when I didn't want to run it wasn't even that I didn't want to run I did want to run I did want to be in shape I just wanted other things more and cognitive dissonance is that that feeling of conflict that we have when we believe one thing and do another when we act in a way that isn't in accordance with our core values and it trips us up and it makes us unhappy it's natural but Paul said it in Romans 7 for I have the desire to do what is good but I cannot carry it out afraid do not do the good I want to do but the evil I do not want to do that I keep on doing now if I do what I do not want to do is it is no longer I who do it but it is sin living in me that does it my soul is in full what a wretched man I am Paul calls himself wretched actually he's pretty regular we all are caught in the dissonance of wanting to do right and constantly wanting doing wrong doing the wrong thing when we know the right way and that's not abnormal but what is troubling is when we do it thinking there will be no consequences thinking there will be it will work for I can believe one thing and consistently do another and still be happy and successful I can spend without getting into debt I can lie without getting caught I can let my temper fly without damaging my relational life I can have a bad attitude at work and still get promoted I can avoid disciplining my children without them getting spoiled I can neglect time with God and still know God while two ideas may be warring for attention inside of our souls it's up to us to choose the better way it's still up to us the ideas are gonna war this is in fact scientists have looked this at this to find out if it's universal if it's true of every culture cognitive dissonance and it truly is it plays out a little differently in different cultures but it's true of every human we are hardwired to be able to hold these ideas in opposing I know we're gonna all be distracted for a minute so I'll wait till you're back with me so we hold these ideas and then we want to do the one that's better and so how do we do that how do we how do we lean hard on what we know to be true and good and right I think what Henry cloud said is an important thing he said get help get outside help when you know what's right to do and you can't do it get help get a mentor get get an accountability partner get someone who will help you make the right choices deal with the dissonance by choosing to feed your soul good things deal with the dissonance by sharing your struggle and your desires with someone who will help you make the right call and deal with it by stirring up a divine vision of who you can be when you start to fill your soul with the thoughts and ways and words of Jesus it makes a difference we over the next few weeks are gonna be talking about this idea of limitless this gaping emptiness and the possibilities for deeper satisfaction than we've ever known we're going to talk about how do we deal with the desires inside the heart of mankind I believe that you could be more fulfilled than you ever imagined if you access and care for the deeper needs of your soul a few years ago it was way before my husband got sick probably 2008 or 9 I was wanting to study joy there were just some things going on in my life and I wanted to know more about joy from the Bible perspective and I decided I am gonna study every Scripture in the Bible and joy even if it takes me all week and six months later I emerged from my joy study 458 scriptures on joy in the Bible and I came out of it understanding a lot more what joy is and what it isn't and one of the things that I think that I had taken on from a lifetime inside the church is this idea that really Jesus is the only thing that should give you joy that's where all your your attention and affection should be centered and when I read the Bible on joy that's not true the Bible gives you lots of things that bring joy God it has a good work ethic he created lots and lots of ways for you to experience joy the Bible says there's join a good marriage there's join a good friend there's joy in a good child there's joy in a good day's work there's join a good meal hallelujah there's joy in lots of places there are all kinds of wells that have all kinds of joy in them but then I ran into this one little scripture in Isaiah and I loved it so much Isaiah 12:3 because this scripture is not a threat it's a promise with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation with joy you will draw water it doesn't say that there are no other sources of joy it doesn't say that Jesus is your only source of fulfillment or satisfaction it does however promise you that Jesus is the only well that will always always have something in it because as wonderful as your spouse is there are those days when you're gonna drop your bucket in the marriage well and here in thunk on the bottom and there are those days when the kid who used to be the light of your life breaks her heart and there are those days when you take your bucket to the money well and there is nothing there they're all every other well is unpredictable but it's still valid but the one well to which we can always go where we can always take our thirst and our longing and our wonders and our questions and our why's is to the well of relationship with Jesus where's Sam coming again today to draw water from this well I'm finding other wells are there but they're not enough you are it today so a few weeks ago we talked about hallways how to survive them and at the end we talked about how home base there's this home base like when we were kids and we'd play tag there's just one place you can go to be safe home base is I need you and that's the exact same point we're ending on today the very same one when we're talking about the longing of our soul this limitless need the pining of who we are the sin sucked where do we take it will we start with I need you I need you in the places I can see I need you in the places I can't I need you especially in the places I don't want you to see I need you in the places I don't want to need you I want to be good enough to do that on my own but I need you I need you in the money while I need you in the marriage while I need you in the Kidwell I need you in all the spaces and as we turn our longing and connect it to the mentor that is the word of God and connect it to his love and his goodness and his limitless capacity to fill us we begin to find the way of Jesus alive and at work in our lives and that is freedom so Jesus we love you and we give you glory for who you are God for everyone today who has brought longing into this room feeling like they know the one thing that would turn it around the one thing that would change their mind today the one thing that would make them leave happy but I pray that you would be that one thing you would be the word you would be the answer you would be the yes to their question father we love you and we worship you we give you the deep longings of our hearts trusting that you are more than enough we know that stored up in your kingdom is great treasure we haven't yet access so we pray not for the longing to go away there for it to be directed toward the things that really matter we give you glory for who you are and what you do and your name we pray amen hey I have a couple more things to tell you real quick one is the prayer team is available for you if you would like to connect with them and pray this morning and they are gonna be under the wall that's marked prayer it's kind of cool another thing is do you know what they didn't do today what got missed entirely in our whole thing from up here and I have been tasked with it the turn and greet I'm an introvert and so I typically kind of arranged my time so I missed the turn in Greek but today I get to make you turn to your neighbor and say to them I'm leaving now so just that so turn and greet someone on your way out of here I love you have a great weekend [Music]

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