Taking Care of Your Soul to Know Jesus Deeper

by | Leadership Development, Spiritual Formation

take care of your soul outdoors

A sensible man will remember that the eyes may be confused in two ways – by a change from light to darkness or from darkness to light; and he will recognize that the same thing happens to the soul. -Plato

If you’ve ever flown anywhere you’ve heard the flight attendant say something like this:

In the event that the cabin loses air pressure, please put your oxygen mask on first and then after you have secured your own mask, help your child to put on their mask.

They have to say this, especially to parents, because their natural instinct will be to help their child first. What they don’t realize is that if they don’t take care of themselves first, they may pass out and then both the parent and the child are in danger.

Ministry can have the same dilemma. It may seem like the right thing to do to care for the souls of others in need even at the expense of our own soul, but this is not the pattern we see in Scripture. It is God’s design that you first tend to your own soul’s thirst for God. Then you can attend to the needs of others with much more grace.


Let’s consider some of these passages that reflect on our soul’s deepest desires:

1. You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. -Psalm 63:1

2. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. -Psalm 63:3

3. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. -Psalm 63:6

4. The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. -Psalm 23:1

5. Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. -Isaiah 55:1

6. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. -Isaiah 55:2

7. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -Isaiah 55:10-11

8. You are my portion, O LORD… -Psalm 119:57

9. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. -Psalm 119:37


  • HOW TO SET UP SOLITUDE IN THE OUTDOORS: If you would like to use this post as a devotional for an outdoor experience, I would suggest maybe hiking for a while until your group is thirsty, then stop by a spring, stream, or well and setting up a quiet time to reflect on your “thirst” before taking a drink.
  • According to these passages, what are some of your soul’s deepest desires?
  • How will caring for your own soul help you care for the souls of others with more grace?
  • What implications do these passages about our soul’s desires have for your personal life? Your ministry to others?


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