For what great purpose do we “sell out our soul?” Robert Johnson was an American blues musician in the 1930s whose singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent influenced generations of musicians. The legend is that in order to achieve success, Johnson sold his soul to the devil at a crossroads in Mississippi. Tragically, he was poisoned and died at age 27. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. As I was reading about his short life, which appears to have been lived solely for the pursuit of musical fame, I wondered if he would say that “selling out his soul” for music was worth it.

Although “selling out your soul” typically means selling your eternal life, I’ve been challenged by God to not “sell out my saved soul” in pursuit of my earthly passions. I wasted so many years pursing goals of the flesh and pride and ignoring the truth that those things pass away! “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John‬ 2‬:16-17‬)

I never made a deal with the devil to sell out my soul, but I used precious, irretrievable time pursuing wisps of mist which fade almost as soon as they appear.  

God gave me the lyrics to Don’t You Know to remind me that anything I pursue outside His will is basically selling out my soul because I’m trading “the nothing” of the world “the everything” God has given me. “Don’t you sell out your soul, they got nothin’ to give you, that your Father don’t already have. Oh child, oh child, don’t you know that He loves you?” (Chorus of Don’t You Know?) God grows in us the desire to make all that we pursue be in His will. He loves us more than we even understand! How can any of us comprehend the love of God who gave His own perfect Son so that we might have life? Don’t sell out even one day of life for what won’t last beyond the grave—God has much more to give! 

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