One of my favorite Focus On the Family Radio Theatre Dramas was a series they did a number of years ago when I was still in high school called, “The Father Gilbert Mysteries.”
As I recall, one of the stories that had a profound impact on my life was in one of the more creepier episodes that dealt with the role demons play in this world. While this was not exactly a second rendition of The Exorcist (a movie I do not intend to ever see!), it was nonetheless quite spooky at times. The climax of one of these episodes that challenged my thinking was when Father Lewis Gilbert, an Anglican Vicar at Saint Marks in the English village of Stonebridge, speaks to a demon that had been haunting him for many years. He asks what it is that this demon wants from him, and the reply catches him off guard. The demon responds in his devilish voice that “The prize is your soul.”
Many times since the first time I listened to that episode this phrase has reverberated through the hallways of my mind. Unfortunately, in the midst the business and trivial frustrations of life, we sometimes lose sight of fact that we have an enemy who is actively lurking about, seeking our destruction. His intent is to discourage, dishearten, and destroy.
But when all is said and done at the end of this life, all that will matter enterally is the state of our souls. Our political affiliations, denominational preferences, and petty life squabbles will mean little in the grand eternal scheme of things.
This realization should cause us to pause and ask ourselves this question that John Wesley often asked of those around him: “What is the state of my soul?” Is it healthy? Is it nurtured each day by staying thirsty for God’s Word?
There are many things in this life that can feel like major priorities. But none can even come close to that of ensuring the well being of our souls.