Uncovering Your God-Given Purpose: A Conversation With with Pastor Cory Rosenke

Show Notes

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Pastor Cory Rosenke on my podcast about finding purpose and fulfillment through understanding our spiritual identity. Cory shared incredibly insightful perspectives on topics like overcoming destructive habits with faith, the benefits of homeschooling children through a spiritual lens, and what the “soul” means from a Christian viewpoint. I loved Cory’s casual, laidback energy as he unpacked concepts in a way that makes you feel like you’re just talking with a friend. He has a gift for simplifying complex ideas without watering down their meaning. A few big takeaways: – We often reduce our identity to physical beings, when we have non-physical souls with unique purposes placed in us by God. – Our “soul cravings” for things like security, identity, independence, significance, and innocence can only be fully satisfied through connection with our Creator. – If we don’t understand the spiritual side of who we are, we’ll always feel dissatisfied no matter how much worldly success we achieve. Cory explains these ideas in such an engaging way using great illustrations and stories. I highly recommend giving this episode a listen if you wrestle with questions about finding meaning and purpose in life. Let me know what intrigues or resonates with you most after tuning in! Blessings to each of you.

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Cory’s Links:

Website: www.coryrosenke.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/corylrose/
X: https://twitter.com/CRosenke
Book: https://www.amazon.com/Magnetic-Heart-God-Understanding-Cravings/dp/1636981828



00:00:00 – Introduction to Consultation Services

 00:00:57 – The Relevance of the Soul

 00:03:51 – The Distinctiveness of the Human Soul

 00:07:06 – Humans Made in the Image of God

 00:10:51 – Finding Meaning and Purpose

 00:14:53 – Importance of Scripture in Christian Life

 00:16:15 – Recovering the Purpose of the Church

 00:19:21 – Shifting the Perception of God

 00:22:47 – Understanding the Soul’s Cravings

 00:29:28 – Cravings of the Soul

 00:30:11 – Marriage and Divorce

 00:32:28 – Gospel and Soul Cravings

 00:35:38 – Source of Satisfaction

 00:42:37 – Pursuing Cravings

 00:44:23 – Importance of Christian Values in Counseling and Education

 00:44:46 – Connecting with Cory and his work

 00:45:04 – Finding Cory’s Resources

 00:45:29 – Closing Remarks and Gratitude


00:00:0 – Johnny Sanders
I am now offering consultation services through faithfully engaged. If you’re struggling finding a church, dealing with a destructive habit such as pornography, or trying to find a way to homeschool your kids but don’t know where to start, come check me out. Go to faithfullyengaged.com consulting to learn more information and to see how we can get started. Well, welcome back, everyone, to another episode of Faithfully Engaged. Today. We’ve got a really neat guest on that we’ll be getting into some different spiritual concepts here and I’m sure a lot of you here in the audience are going to enjoy this. So Cory, why don’t you introduce yourself to the audience and just tell us a little bit about yourself?

00:00:53 – Cory Rosenke
Johnny, I’m delighted to be on your podcast today. Thank you so much for having me. Well, I’m a Canadian, born and raised, and moved to the Bay Area here in California about seven years ago. I’ve been a pastor for about twelve years, and recently an author. And yeah, that’s what my day is filled with, pastoring and coaching and talking to people about Jesus and more recently, talking to people about the soul.

00:01:23 – Johnny Sanders
Well, and let’s start there. So a lot of my audience, we were kind of talking about this off camera for a little bit. The majority tends to be Christian, so we’re pretty well versed in talking about Jesus and God, the Trinity, all of that stuff. If you’ve grown up in church, you’re, you’re generally aware of that. And talking about souls, it’s not like, that’s not talked about in church or Christian circles, but doesn’t seem to be the main topic. Maybe it’s like, well, we need to save their soul or something, but kind of ends there. So, tell me a little bit more about kind of your fascination there of souls and what exactly that means for us.

00:02:05 – Cory Rosenke
Yeah, well, ultimately I would say it’s all about the soul. And it’s interesting you mention that because it’s true. We talk about the soul vaguely and ambiguously all the time and we’re constantly singing about the soul. Right. Every church service, if you listen on Sunday, there’s probably going to be a song or two or three or six where, where the soul is mentioned. And so we talk about it all the time, but it’s always kind of smothered in ambiguity with next to no detail. And I think that, to be honest, I think this is one of the great causes of our confusion today as believers, because we have forgotten, just like the world, we have forgotten who and what we are and more than a brain or a body. We are souls. That is the core part of who we are. That is something that can be discussed, I believe, philosophically, psychologically, scientifically and theologically. When you read the scriptures, you will constantly find for, as an example in the Psalms, the psalmists identifying the soul of our personhood. They’ll say, soul within me, praise the Lord, or soul within me. Why are you so downcast? Right. You find in the scripture that God holds the soul responsible for sin. We read in the scriptures that Jesus came to save sinners. Yes, but more specifically, he came to save our souls. And so we talk about the soul, and yet we often, as I mentioned, leave it vague, and I believe that that is our error. And so my goal and my purpose over the last number of years has been to communicate to people what it means to have a soul, its relevance, its reality, and really its core role in who we are.

00:03:51 – Johnny Sanders
You know, when you were talking about just that importance of the soul, I. And bringing it up in more of a philosophical type of way, I was kind of thinking of that fairly recently. About, with animals, for instance. You know, if we get into just pure matter and things like that, what’s the difference between me and my dog or me and maybe even further than that, me and the desk, the chair that I’m sitting on? We’re all just matter. We’re made of atoms and stuff. So what’s really the big deal? What makes us different? If somebody goes with that type of logic or in your type of studies of having a soul, what makes us as humans, what makes our souls different? What makes us different than maybe other creations, other animals, or just inanimate objects?

00:04:49 – Cory Rosenke
Right? Well, I would say, first off, it is the presence of a soul. When we read the scriptures, we find in Genesis, for that matter, that God breathed into us and we became a living being, right? We were formed from the dust of the earth breathed into, and we became a living being that is different than any other living being. You know, I often will quote CS Lewis when we’re discussing this, because CS Lewis made a great point, and he said, creatures do not have cravings unless satisfaction for those cravings exist. And then he goes on to give several examples, right? A baby feels hunger. Well, there’s such a thing as food, right? If there were never such a thing as food, there’d be the craving for hunger. Hunger would have never developed, right? Right. A duckling wants to swim. Well, there’s such a thing as water. If there were never such a thing as water, there never would have developed a desire to swim, right? We don’t have creatures, don’t have cravings unless satisfaction for those cravings exists. But we, as human beings, we don’t just crave biological things. We crave non-biological things. We crave justice. It’s something that baboons or golden eagles or kangaroos aren’t craving. We crave identity, right? That we, the whole world. Actually, there’s a. I would say that there is an identity crisis in the world today where humanity is desperately looking for identity. And identity, I always say, asks four symbiotic questions. Who am I? Why am I? Do I have value? Do I have a purpose? We are the only creatures asking these questions because it is a non-biological craving we crave. We crave to know the distinction between a moral right and a moral wrong. Once again, that’s human and it’s not biological. And then finally, we crave eternity. We crave God. And so, as CS Lewis said, we don’t have cravings unless satisfaction for those cravings exists. And what separates us very distinctly from the rest of creation is that these cravings and these awarenesses that we have within us, that no other creature has and that cannot be forgotten. You are not just another animal. The scripture is so clear on this. You are not just another animal. You are completely different. You are made in the image of God. It was interesting, I was just at a school event for my son the other day, actually, last night, and they were discussing a book. And so really it was these kids, these young kids discussing the book, and us adults kind of just in a ring around them, listening to the conversation, hearing them learn how to think and how to debate and talk about it. And this, several of the kids came up with this idea from the book that this guy threw a bunch of garbage in the ocean and harmed the sharks. And they got it. Got to the point where they were saying the sharks are more valuable than the man, which, of course, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. You know, I stepped in to say, oh, no, you guys have to realize, there’s no. Mankind is made in the image of God. There is a massive chasm, you know, between the animal world and who we are. Unfortunately, that’s something humanity has forgotten. And I believe in forgetting that we have entered into a world of woes.

00:08:16 – Johnny Sanders
I think that you bringing up we’re made in God’s image. That’s such a massive point. And in our very lack a better way of saying this godless type of culture, a more atheistic type of culture, and we have lost that language. If we get into, yeah, matter is matter and just that, well, that’s where yeah, we can care about the sharks more than the humans or whatever it may be, but it’s just, it’s simply not true. We do have more inherent worth. I love the way that you’re, you’re parsing that out. What Cs Lewis was saying there. It’s one of those things. I talk often with some of my clients and my, my day job, I’m a counselor, talk with some of my clients that most things that we work through are generally not that complicated. Most of the issues, the anxieties, the depression, we deal with, it’s not that super complicated. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It can be very hard. These life struggles can be very hard to deal with. But if we think through it in a simple way, we oftentimes will find that answer. We just have to be disciplined in that approach. And why I was saying that is what you’re saying there with CS Lewis, it just makes so much sense. My dog that’s outside, she’s not having all these deep philosophical types of thoughts. It’s, can I have some water and food and play fetch with me? It’s. There’s not much there. And again, we know the answer. It’s pretty evident. It’s sometimes if we don’t seek God, we don’t seek that creation order there. And now all of a sudden, I’m God, we get out of whack there.

00:10:09 – Cory Rosenke

00:10:10 – Johnny Sanders
This kind of leads me to next, next kind of line of questioning that I’m interested in. I see this often with my clients. Again, depression, anxiety, a lot of that is built off of not having a sense of purpose, not having a sense of meaning. So if we are going to find meaning, find this purpose. I hear you. You told me I have a soul. Okay, that’s all great and good, but how do I find this meaning and purpose? What would you tell people to do to find that?

00:10:45 – Cory Rosenke
Yeah, well, again, that is a question that the world is screaming, that the world is desperate. I often say the earth is laced with the paths of rich and educated multitudes, all looking to try to discover purpose and meaning. Right? This is the pursuit of the world. And just think of that. In spite of all the education and everything that we have today, this is what people are searching for. And I often say this to, first off, to find meaning and purpose, you have to understand what you are and what you were made for. And once again, I think that this is something that we as the human race have forgotten. We’ve forgotten what it means to be human. As you mentioned, we’ve bought into the, I don’t want to call it a lie, but I guess at the end of the day, it is a lie. Definitely a misconception that it’s just matter, right? That it’s just atoms. You know, just to give you a brief kind of overview, my journey began in philosophy since a small boy. I was the boy asking the question of why. Why is the world the way it is? I remember specifically as a kid sitting with my dad in the living room, it was the first invasion of Iraq and under the first George Bush. And we had the radio on. And I remember we just, night after night, I’d sit there with my dad against the wall listening to what was taking place. And I remember even then asking, why is the world the way it is? Why are our people doing what they’re doing? Why is my family the way we are? And that is what really drove me into philosophy. I thought I could find the answer in philosophy. The truth of the matter is good, philosophy doesn’t answer the question of why. It just keeps asking more questions. It’s not an answer giver, it’s a question asker. And then that drove me into philosophy, right? For a long time, I was into the study of philosophy. Specifically, I was a bit of a Freudian in my younger years, and I loved Freud’s whole concept of the development of personality and the id and the ego and the superego and all that stuff. Ultimately, though, I don’t believe you find the question, the true, deep question of why in psychology. And then that kind of drove me to neuroscience and the fascination of the human brain, right? The neuroplasticity and the ability of the brain to be shaped and affected by trauma or self-discipline and the effects of dopamine and serotonin and all the chemicals that are released or withheld. Ultimately, what I discovered was the study of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. At the end of the day, it’s the study of mechanism, very similar to what you mentioned, the discussion of matter, right? It’s kind of the discussion of how things move, but what it does not explain is the source. It’s kind of like stepping in on the dominoes as they’re falling kind of four blocks in and not knowing how that first one fell, right? And so ultimately, I would say this, philosophy led me to psychology, psychology led me to neuroscience, and neuroscience led me to the deep study of faith and the soul. And what does it mean, as I mentioned, to be made in the image of God? And so, as far as finding purpose goes, we have to find that source. Why? We have to understand what and why we are. And unfortunately, very few people are asking that question. They enter it with the assumption that we’re just animals and they’re trying to find purpose as an animal. Right. And that isn’t going to work for a human being. It’s not going to work. And so first off, we have to say, what am I? Who am I? I think that’s the first step to finding purpose. And I believe this is a question that needs to be answered not just for, quote-unquote, the world, but I believe the church is forgotten. I believe that oftentimes even our theology is skin deep. It goes no deeper than biology. Right. When we are so much more than biology. The scripture is so clear on this.

00:14:53 – Johnny Sanders
Yeah. And what you just ended on that too, is scripture is clear on this. And as, like I said, getting away from the world for a little bit, just on the Christian side, we need to be able to one to read scripture and to have that be a big part of our lives and for that to be our standard, what, what informs us, our baseline of understanding and belief and structure, instead of just, well, here’s my, here’s my church life. I go to church on Sundays. Maybe I even read my scripture, but that’s its own part, piece of the puzzle. And then I’ve got my work life and I got my church life, but it’s all these own individual spots when that’s just simply not true. Everything we do is spiritual in nature. And when we have that order of events, there we are the creation of God, where we’re made in his image. Well, things start to fall into place. It’s when I take ownership of it. Yeah, I’ll give you Sunday. Um, but I’m going to take everything else on my own. It can’t work that way. It absolutely can’t. And going to kind of phrase this a little bit different, again, getting away from the, from the world. Um, but how do you, how do you think the church can more so recover its purpose and both, both as a global church and maybe as an individual church, regain its purpose and focus and have people be, instead of this? Well, what am I doing with my life more so have that invigorated feeling of like, oh, I get to, I get to serve a glorious God. Like, how does the church regain that kind of passion?

00:16:50 – Cory Rosenke
Right. Well, I think I think it will require a spiritual awakening or a spiritual revival. It doesn’t require a new interpreter, a new interpretation of scripture. Absolutely not. What it does require, though, is for us to understand. See, we have been blinded somehow, and I can’t tell you exactly when this happened, but we’ve been blinded by the biological. So the entire world around us, every commercial that we see on tv or social media, every promise given unto us by our government, is catering to the cravings of our body and our brain, our biological selves, the biological part of us, right? The whole world is saying, you are just a biological creature. You have a body and a brain, and everything caters to that. And as Christians, as believers, I think many of us have unintentionally bought into that failed philosophy, right? We’ve forgotten that we are so much deeper and that we are so much more. And so our gospel has become skin deep, right? Our theology has become skin deep. And I would even say when we read the scripture and we read things about God wanting to bring us joy, well, our immediate connection is God wants me to have biological joy, right? Clearly, that’s going to be connected to the release of dopamine and serotonin or some such thing, right? Or we. Look, God wants to bring me peace. We immediately think, okay, God wants to give me biological peace. We biologicalize everything, right? And I do believe we, God created us as three parts body, mind, and soul. So, our bodies and our minds play a pivotal role in this, but not to the exclusion of the soul. At the end of the day, our soul is the main thing. You know what? God, you know, God may or may not want to heal your cancer. God may or may not want to heal that illness that you are struggling with. But I can tell you this, every single time, he wants to heal the disease of your soul. Every single time, he wants to lift you out of the discouragement of your soul every single time, right? And so, but we tend to read the scriptures. We tend to think theologically in the realm of biology. And again, that plays a role, but it is not the main role. In fact, it is a secondary role. And until we begin to do that, what we end up doing with God, and I believe this is, if I could use the word, epidemic. It’s an epidemic in the church. Are many of us, even the good biblical theologian types among us? At the end of the day, we tend to look to God as a sugar daddy in this sense. So the world is pursuing peace and happiness and fulfillment and all the failed places and they’ve been doing it since the beginning. Power, sex, money, right? Notoriety, some sort of prestige. That’s where the world is looking. And of course, they never find it. It’s never enough. As soon as someone gets power, what do they need? Well, they realize it doesn’t make them happy, so they need more power, right? As soon as they get a million dollars, they realize a million dollars doesn’t make me happy. I need $2 million, right? And yet we Christians, we tend to pursue happiness in the same places. Only now we look to God as our sugar daddy and say, God, you’re supposed to help me find peace in all these failed places. And God says, no, no, I want to give you a joy that is beyond understanding, a peace that breaks all the rules. I want to give it to you in your soul. And I think that’s where the church needs to make that shift. There’s really a revival, a spiritual revival, truly, and I mean that literally, a spiritual revival where we begin to understand ourselves. We are not just biological creatures that God is trying to save and who will later on give us a soul. No, no. God has given us a soul now that. And it is that soul that he wants to redeem. It is that soul he wants to bring to life. That is why there’s that old saying, is a beautiful saying where it says, God did not come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people live. Right. He came to lift our souls out of that pit of trying to find satisfaction in all these failed places and bring us to a true place of revelation and connection with him.

00:21:20 – Johnny Sanders
It is important with that language that you’re using that against that top-down approach. We have that worth based on our creation there. And yes, body and mind, it does matter that there’s no doubt about that. We’ve seen some people throughout the ages and even today, that error on another side of basically all bodily matter and things of this nature is just. It’s worthless. And that’s. That’s not true. God gave us that for a reason, too, but not at the sacrifice of, of the soul. Again, that is, if. If we truly believe that we’re just mind and body, and that’s truly it, then, yeah, that’s why we would live in this way, to get as much money as we can right now, as many things as right now. Because once we’re dead, we’re dead. And it’s all, all done. That’s obviously not a biblical worldview in the slightest. And talking about revival, go ahead.

00:22:33 – Cory Rosenke
I was going to say, and I desire to help people realize, not only do you have a soul, but your soul. God placed it in you for a purpose. It’s not enough that we just go, oh, I’m a spiritual being. And once again, leave it ambiguous. Ambiguity does not help us. Right? In fact, it just. It really confuses us. So what I have been. My goal has been to say, yes, first off, you have a soul. Second off, you have a soul with a distinct purpose. And that’s why, of course, in my writing and in my talking, I talk about the five cravings of the soul and trying to identify, hey, God placed these five cravings in you that are sub-psychology and sub-biology, right? They are. They are deeper. They are in your soul. God placed them inside you for a very specific purpose, right? And ultimately, you started off asking the great question, you know, how am I going to find purpose? It’s going to come by understanding you are a spiritual being and that your soul has a purpose, and then identifying what that purpose is.

00:23:33 – Johnny Sanders
Going to. A little bit more detail about what these are. These five cravings of the soul are.

00:23:41 – Cory Rosenke
Yeah, so the first one. So I want to back up for a moment and say this. I believe the book that I wrote for those who are interested is called The Magnetic Heart of God. Understanding the five cravings of your soul. And I call it the Magnetic Heart of God because ultimately, I believe that God placed these five cravings inside of us for the purpose of drawing all of humanity back to himself. It’s like a homing beacon, right? It’s like a magnet, so to speak. If you can picture your soul in its cravings as a piece of iron and God as a magnet. We constantly have this pull because there is, at the end of the day, there is only one place where these cravings can be fully satisfied, and that is in their maker. I believe we find that again through the Genesis story. So the five cravings, I would lay out like this. And of course, I go into much deeper detail in my book. The first one is security. We are all craving security. And I break security down into two parts. We are craving physical security, you know, our. Our desire to survive, right, or survival instinct. And we are craving relational security. You know, that is to say, that we need to know that our hearts are safe in the hands of those who hold them. And that is not just a psychological craving. That is a craving in the very depth of our soul, to the point where you can have all the money in the world, all the fame in the world, you can have all the control in the world, right? But if you feel like that person you love doesn’t love you back, you don’t have peace, you fall apart, right? It’s not a biological craving, it’s a craving of the soul. So again, we’re all craving security. The second one I already mentioned is identity. Who am I? Why am I? Do I have value? Do I have a purpose? Once again, you can have all the money and the fame. You can have a giant castle wall moat around you, right? You can be known as this great legend. But if you don’t know who you are, you don’t have peace, right?

00:25:49 – Johnny Sanders

00:25:50 – Cory Rosenke
So, security, identity. Thirdly, independence. And again, I break independence into two parts. One part of it is freedom. We have this great cry in us to be free. That is to say, to at least have some sense of autonomy, which is why prison is such a punishment, right? Being confined, and not having freedom and independence is literally a type of torture, right? It is a punishment. So I break independence into two parts, the desire for freedom and the desire for individuality. We need to know that we are. That I’m Cory, you’re Johnny, we’re friends, but we’re different. And we need to know that there’s a distinction between us, right? And psychologists will talk about this oftentimes. Unfortunately, I believe it’s deeper than psychology, though. A lot of these cravings, as you well know, are well documented in psychological textbooks. But, you know, for identical twins, as an example, they may start growing up, you know, they wear the same clothing, they want to have the same haircut, they want to go to the same school, but all of them at some point will come to a place where they need something where they feel they are distinct, right? Maybe they’re the academic twin or the athletic twin, or the twin that likes Star Trek or whatever it is. But we have to know that we are distinct in some way. Fourthly, we’re all craving significance. We all need to know that not only are we distinct, but that we are special, that there is something about us that is singularly beautiful. And again, for some, for Usain Bolt, it might be he’s got to be the fastest man in the world. And when that record falls, it is going to be a tough day for him, right? For other people it’s going to be, well, I make the best apple pie or no one’s handwriting is as nice as mine. We have to convince ourselves of something, that there is something about us that is significant. And then those first four, you will find, like I said, in all the psychological textbooks for the last 200 years and beyond. I’m suggesting to you that it is deeper than psychology. It balks any notion of evolution because it does not make sense in an evolutionary sense, it is below psychology. It is in the soul. The fifth one is innocence. This is one you won’t yet find. I believe in the future you will find it in psychological textbooks. But it stands second to none of. We all need to know not only that, that we are not guilty, but that we are good. And when you think, think about it. Almost every argument or fight you’ve ever had was based upon your feelings or your assumption that someone was accusing you of wrongdoing or wrong thinking. They were accusing you of guilt. And that craving inside you for innocence rose up. And you either have to, you either fled away because you can’t be around someone who makes you feel guilty all the time, who you feel is shaming you all the time, or you fight, right? And generally, in that fight, you know, I don’t need to be totally. I don’t need to feel totally innocent as long as I can demean you and make myself feel less guilty than you are.

00:29:02 – Johnny Sanders

00:29:02 – Cory Rosenke
And so these, these innocent guilt wars begin or these are righteousness wars, right? Where we begin almost. That’s at the root of council culture. It’s at the root of almost every argument. A husband and wife. Have you sensed that someone has attacked your innocence and you fought back or you fled? So security, identity, independence, significance, and innocence. I believe at the end of the day, these are the five cravings of the soul that are the root motivation of all human activity. Oftentimes we wonder why someone is behaving a certain way and this ocean of possibility. Whereas I would say to you, we can boil it down to five things. Why won’t my sister talk to me? Well, someone says it’s complicated. Well, maybe it’s complicated, but I’ll tell you what it has to do with. Has something to do with security or identity or independence or significance or innocence. If you explore there, you will find out why your sister won’t talk to you anymore. Why do some people get driven? They just have to get married. They want to be married so badly. I’ve met people like this. There’s just a desire in this heart. I want to get married because they believe that in a marriage relationship, they will experience security and identity, that doesn’t infringe too much on their independence, significance, and innocence. And then why do so many people get divorced? Well, because they realize they didn’t find it there. In fact, maybe they found a spouse who didn’t make them feel secure or constantly made them feel guilty, or made them feel less than significant. Right. It’s the motive behind why we pursue certain careers and why we get those careers and realize they don’t make us happy. And so we move on to the next one. And so those are the five cravings of the soul that I believe we can understand all human behavior by dissecting or investigating these five particular cravings.

00:31:07 – Johnny Sanders
Within those cravings that, okay, I can’t get that met through, not only just biologically, maybe I find some great food and tastes great or find get married like you said, and that. That gives some sense of security. But at the end of the day, none of those cravings, especially as a Christian, can be met by our own. Our own actions. I can’t behave well enough to get that. I can’t be a good enough, in your example, good enough brother to get that. And even if I go deeper into the psychological world, and again, I say this as a counselor myself, I see a trend in culture where we tend to be over therapized, that if I just go to counseling, then I work on myself, I’ll figure all these things out, and there can be some benefit there, but we can’t get to that full craving. So if you’re. If you’re talking through with somebody either in the church or even more so outside the church, how can you incorporate within that soul craving? How can you incorporate the language of the gospel? And how does the gospel meet those cravings?

00:32:34 – Cory Rosenke
Yeah, I’m glad you asked that question because that is why the book is called The Magnetic Heart of God. Because at the end of the day, you cannot be the source, Johnny, of my security. And I would say to your listeners out there, your spouse cannot be the lone source of your security. They can act as a reflection of the security given by God. But at the end of the day, the only way we can experience lasting security is in the arms of our heavenly Father. Right. As far as identity goes, you are made in the image of God. That is our core identity. You will not find it. You will not find satisfaction in that craving for identity, at least not long term, in anywhere else, in a sports team, in sexuality, and whatever. All these places that people are trying to find an identity, politics, I believe that’s one of the reasons why politics has become so divisive, because it stopped being something about preference or governance, and it’s become an identity issue. So that conversation can’t even happen, right? Because once something has become an identity, we will fight to protect it. Right? It’s much stronger than preference. But God created us in his image, our soul. Craving for identity can only be satisfied at the end of the day in him. Right. I often talk about independence, and in my book, I break it down to safe independence. As we look at the Genesis account, we realize that God created Adam and Eve. He gave them stewardship and freedom. And he said, go name the creatures of the earth. And whatever they named them, that’s what they were. God wasn’t micromanaging them. He gave them freedom. He gave them that distinction. And then, in his word, what he does, because I differentiate between safe independence and harmful independence. Because at the end of the day, independence can be very harmful. Maybe remember the words, the author is failing me at the moment. But he wrote, an Englishman who wrote to those who had participated in the French Revolution, and he said, what is freedom if it is not governed by virtue? And then he answered his own question. It is the greatest of all possible evils, right? We live in a world that is constantly demanding freedom, pushing the boundaries, pushing the boundaries, pushing the boundaries to our own demise. But God, in his word, places around us these boundaries of safety. And then within those bounds, he says, you are free. Go wild. Live your life. Pursue me, pursue joy right inside those beautiful bounds of safety. That is the only place we can experience safe independence. And, of course, significance. There’s no greater sense of significance than found in the depths of God’s love for us. The God of the universe died on a cross to save you, Johnny, specifically. Wow. Unbelievable. And then, of course, as far as innocence goes, it is only through the work of Christ that we can actually be declared innocent. Anything apart from that is pretending. So, ultimately, these cravings, well, we can find, and we should find reflections in one another. As a husband, you want to reflect the provision of God’s security, identity, independence, significance, and innocence to your wife. You want to reflect that to her, but you cannot be the source of it for her. It will just. It is unfair to you and she will be let down. And this was something that was hard for me because I am a romantic, and I want to be that for my spouse. And so for me to come to that realization that I can’t be, it has to be Jesus, right? It is a humbling thing, but at the same time, it is a freeing thing. And so these cravings, they are what propel all of humanity through life and time. The world is looking for satisfaction for these things and all the usual suspects, right? As I’ve already mentioned, they’re going to say, if I just have enough money, these cravings will be satisfied. But here’s the thing. And I don’t want to talk on and on, Johnny, but just think of this for a moment. Our generation, the generations alive today, have more than any other generation in the history of the world, right? We have more access to wealth, opportunities to comfort, to leisure, to entertainment, to education, to world travel. We have more than any generation in the history of mankind. And yet virtually every study shows that we’re more unhappy than ever, right? And I believe the reason for that being is because mankind, the souls of mankind, have been pursuing the satisfaction of these cravings apart from God. And it doesn’t work. I saw an interview with Elon Musk a couple of weeks ago, a couple of months ago, maybe. And the interviewer asked him, are you happy? Here’s the richest man, you know who ever lived. And he looked. He thought for a moment, he looked at the interview, and he said, I don’t think many people would want to be me. And it’s kind of like. It’s like a knife in the heart to a certain degree, because we don’t want to hear that. We want to hear, no, I’m going to be happy when I get another $10 an hour added to my paycheck, right? I’m gonna be happy when I get that new car. And yet it’s never enough. And unfortunately, the church has followed the world into this foolish pursuit. Meanwhile, God is standing there saying, it’s me you’re gonna find joy in. It’s me you’re gonna find peace in. It’s only me that can satisfy your cravings. Because at the end of the day, I believe that’s what it means to be made in the image of God. We were made to live in dependence upon him. That’s not true of the reindeer. Reindeer can just run around the snow, right? But be happy when it gets a really good clump of grass. But we were designed to live in connection with our maker, and no other type of living will ever satisfy the soul. Not long-term. We can have moments. We’ve all experienced these moments. We’ve gone on a family vacation. It was sunny. Everything was perfect. We had this joy in this peace. Didn’t take very long. We got home and it was gone. There’s only one place where we can experience peace in any lasting measure, and that is in connection with God.

00:39:05 – Johnny Sanders
I think that’s very wonderfully put there, that. We see this all the time with people, especially pursuing unhealthy means you find happiness through alcohol, drugs, whatever it may be, and even the positive things through that relationship. Like you said with my wife and I, we love each other very much. We love our kids very much. But goodness, if we put all our hope and dreams on each other, we’re going to fail because we’re. We’re not. We’re not God, obviously. We put in drugs and alcohol. We’re going to go way downhill. But Elon Musk, who you would think, yeah, he’s got it all. Richest man ever. It’s not enough, and it’ll never be enough. And that’s what I love about you, bringing this part of the soul there, that the soul, if it is, it’s saved and it’s seeking Christ. It’s not to say that we won’t have harshness or battles. But I think of Paul this last week in my church. We’re going through Philippians four, and it’s got Philippians 413, kind of the big, big verse there that I remember having, like, a baseball poster that said, I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength. So I’m gonna hit a bunch of home runs and all that stuff that’s tended how we think about that. But Paul was talking about how he’s learned how to be content with. With little, content with a lot. And that’s that. That soul. His soul was content. He was content being a prisoner. Consent. Dying for his faith, dying for his God. You can’t get that by material worth. You just can’t. You can’t get it from.

00:40:54 – Cory Rosenke
That’s why he said, I can. Exactly. That’s why he considered, when he’s talking about all these worldly things and achievements, I consider them loss, you know, for the sake of knowing Christ. Right? And again, don’t get me wrong, we are still. We are biological creatures connected with this nonbiological self. So I will say to people, that the beautiful thing about understanding the cravings of your soul is that it’s what unites all of us in what we’re looking for. It doesn’t matter what generation, what gender, what ethnicity. You are right. It is the great equalizer. And I will tell you this. If you go into your workplace and you reflect security, identity, independence, significance, and innocence in the workplace, you will be promoted, because that’s what they’re looking for. You cannot be the source ultimately, of all that, but you can reflect the, you know, the source of Christ himself in it. But if you threaten security, identity, all those things in the workplace, it’s going to tank. If you want a healthy marriage, you need to reflect these cravings to your spouse, right? If you want a marriage that’s going to fall apart, you’re going to, it’s going to be because you, your spouse sensed that you threatened these cravings inside them. And we can just go through, I mean, why do, why do kids rush in to join some sort of gang or some sort of bad news group while they’re looking for identity, right? Even in our parenting, I think about this, I often will talk to parents or parent groups about this. Sometimes we obsess over providing security for our kids, at least physical and even relational security. We want them to know they’re loved and we want to provide them with all these things. But don’t forget to help them cultivate a healthy identity. Don’t forget to teach them how to pursue independence within God’s wonderful safety barriers. Don’t forget to help, to teach them how to pursue significance in a way that honors God and that isn’t just tearing people down, because ultimately these cravings, aren’t good and evil in and of themselves. What makes evil or good is how we choose to pursue them. You know, for example, let’s take significance, right? If we pursue significance, right by. I’m just going to talk about this in a worldly way for a moment, by actually studying and by working hard and learning to play that instrument or to create that beauty, right? That craving is a beautiful thing. It pursues us towards this upward momentum. But the truth of it is, most of us pursue, or a lot of us pursue significance not by reaching up, but by pushing others down. And that’s, I believe, where that it’s the same craving motivating us, the same craving motivating that person who just practices guitar all day and all night until they’re an expert. And that same craving is someone else who is not pursuing that craving in an honest way, who is just belittling and pushing other people down in order to make themselves feel significant in a fraudulent way. Right? So I have, there’s some, you might be interested in it. There are a number of psychologists and counselors I know who are, who are awakening to realize that as we counsel people, as we coach people, as we pastor people, we are not just pastoring biological creatures, we are pastoring and counseling nonbiological creatures. Ultimately, the core motive that is causing us to behave in certain ways, it’s in the soul.

00:44:23 – Johnny Sanders
I think that’s a wonderful concept there. And something that other counselors would do well with doctors, teachers, just people in general would do well, and especially those of you that are listening, that are Christian. You can’t, you can’t neglect it. It is a core of all of us. And as you mentioned multiple times, Cory like being made in God’s image. That’s a that’s a big deal. That’s very weighty. And we need to, not neglect that fact. So, Cory, wonderful discussion. I’m sure many listening to this either want to be in contact with you, or want to pick up your books. Where can they find more information about you after the show when they listen to this?

00:45:11 – Cory Rosenke
Well, a centralized place would be my website Coryrozenke.com. You can learn more about me there. You can contact me through the website I’ve put on there, a few places where people can buy the book, but ultimately the book is available everywhere. So if you don’t want to try to remember how to spell Rosenke, which can be a challenge.

00:45:29 – Johnny Sanders

00:45:30 – Cory Rosenke
You could just search the Magnetic Heart of God or understanding the five cravings of your soul, and the book will show up as available somewhere near you.

00:45:38 – Johnny Sanders
Awesome. Well, Cory, absolute pleasure having you on. And then thanks for joining us today.

00:45:46 – Cory Rosenke
Johnny, thank you so much for the opportunity.

00:45:48 – Johnny Sanders
Absolutely. And thank you to everybody who tuned in and we’ll catch you on the next episode.