What Is A Soulshift?
by Steve DeNeff & David Drury
A SoulShift is a seismic change deep in our being. They are far below the surface so that no one can see them at their start. They are like the earth’s tectonic plates—always moving, always shifting, but rarely do people on the surface think about them.
Only when there is a major shift in tectonic plates do they alter anything on the surface. Earthquakes have the power to completely change the landscape. People who were once unaware of the shifting plates are confronted with evidence that is real and overwhelming. In a similar way, a SoulShift is a mostly subtle, sometimes revolutionary change that God makes on the interior of our lives and which alters everything else about us—from our habits to our personality to our tastes and preferences.
A SoulShift is not typically an abrupt change ushered in by a simple decision to follow Christ. These changes happen later. They begin in a day—sometimes in a moment—but they are not completed in that moment. They are often reflected in an action, but they are not the same as that action. They are deeper than that. They are movements or evolutions. Sometimes they are as dramatic as an earthquake and at other times as subtle as the rising of the sun. Sometimes they are evident to everyone, and sometimes they are evident to no one but God and us. But what all of these shifts have in common is this: They are deeper and even more permanent than a habit; they have repercussions that take time to work out; and they are a turn away from our culture toward the culture of Christ. They disentangle us from the world even as we remain in it. Yes, they affect the way we act, but they are more about the way we are wired. Embracing a SoulShift is a major step forward for those who want to be different but don’t want to change.
In this book, we address seven shifts that will help you move beyond wanting to be different to experiencing genuine change.
We have been asked many times why there are only seven shifts and not twelve or three, since these numbers are equally important in the Bible. Actually, we considered using the biblical number forty, or even 144,000, but it seemed like a lot of work. Seriously, we have tried to cover as broad a spectrum as seems wise for a person to engage in, aiming to be comprehensive but not cumbersome. These are seven of the most crucial and often neglected changes that must be made in a transformed life.
However, we do not pretend that this is an exhaustive list. You might have three or four that you’re thinking of right now. This is only a way to get started. But we do believe that growth in these seven areas could mean, for most of us, a very different kind of life. We also don’t pretend to have invented these areas of transformation. As you will see, they are found everywhere in Scripture and have been the core of how people change to become like Christ even since Christ himself walked on the earth.
At the same time, SoulShift is no ordinary discipleship program. It’s not a mold of some spiritual Charles Atlas that you’re supposed to squeeze into, no leopard-skin swimsuit and no beach full of people to impress. Instead, each one of the shifts looks different when you lay it over your personality. For instance, the shift from Consumer to Steward will look quite different for a teenager than it will for a corporate executive. Each shift is made within your life—the only one you have—not someone else’s. In fact, you’re already making these shifts in your life in many ways, but maybe you just didn’t know what to call them.
A SoulShift is like baking bread. As a shift rises in your life, it performs the function of the yeast. It’s not the pan. It doesn’t force you into a mold that you got from someone else (the pan); it is the catalyst (the yeast) of the future you. It takes the form of whatever culture or of whatever circumstance you are in, and it blends with your personality and causes you to rise to your potential in Christ.
By beginning with the future you in mind, it might seem daunting. You’ll need a starting point. The way to begin is to partner with what God’s Spirit is already doing. As he walks around the interior of your life looking at the problems but also at your potential, you must work in tandem with him by choosing the forces that influence you. He will work in, and you must work out (Phil. 2:12Ð13)—always in that order.