Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Out of Whack

Ahhh, the chiropractor. Have you ever been to one? I first experienced the joy of a spinal adjustment in high school after I injured my lower back playing basketball. I was experiencing sharp, intense pain in my back when I sat in my school desk and it became too much to endure. My parents ended up going the chiropractic route for treatment...and I was hooked! It was working for me and I became a huge fan! I still love learning how all the organs, functions and systems of our bodies are connected to our spine. Amazing! Anyway, after a few months of treatment, my back was totally better, had restoration of motion and everything. I was about fifteen years old and I felt great! Funny thing was, I didn't stay that way. I found that as I exerted myself in sports, my back would get out of alignment again and again. I had to keep getting adjusted so that my body would function properly... Hmmm. What a correlation.

Something I have been learning is the connection between body, soul and spirit - and the order in which God intended for them to work. If you have been around me for long, I'm sure you have heard me talk about this subject. It is so essential to living fully and living in the flow of God's plan for you.

The Scripture gives reference to our being having three parts: a body, a soul and a spirit. (I Thess. 5:23, Is. 26:9, Heb. 4:12) The reference in Hebrews 4 even mentions that the Word of God is able to separate between soul and spirit. We were created in such an amazing way by a detailed, loving Creator. We are made in His image. There has been much speculation, debate and frustration over that statement, but I'm buying it! I believe we look like our Creator, but our being is like Him, too. He is Triune - three in one - Father, Son, Holy Spirit. I have learned to perk my ears up whenever there is a pattern in Scripture or in God's dealings with humanity. Groups of three are important. Don't you think it is interesting that we are also triune beings? Body, soul, spirit. Not an accident. And if it's not an accident, then all those parts are important. And all those parts have a function and an order.

We all know what a body is. That is probably the one part of us we truly "get." We see it, we feel it, we manage it (or not) and it interfaces us to the world and the world to us. It is a complex system, but it is not who we are.

Our soul is made up of our will, our thoughts, our emotions. It is the inside place where we process our world. Where we evaluate, contemplate, structure, reason, feel. This part throws us for a loop because we think this is who we are. We think that we are what we know. We think that we are how we feel. If it's in my mind, then it must be true. If I feel this way, then that's how it is. Well, to borrow a phrase from the esteemed Bob Hamp, "What if it's not? What if that's not true?" We'll come back to this in a minute...

The spirit - this is the real you. When you were physically born into this world, you were born dead. You had a body and a soul that were working quite well, but your spirit was stillborn. Because of the curse that came with the first choice of death in the Garden of Eden, all of us were born dead. This is what grieved our Father! His expansive family that He planned from the beginning would all be stillborn...unless He intervened. And so He sent His only Son into this place to make a way for us to have life. The moment you believed on Jesus and gave yourself to Him, God's breath (the Holy Spirit) brought life into your spirit. That is when you began to TRULY live. If you think back, I'm sure you can remember how things began to change for you - certain things were no longer appealing to you...certain people made you feel strange all of a sudden...and you had a new appetite for things of God. Your demeanor changed, your attitudes changed, YOU changed. There was a new person inside you that perfectly filled in the shell of who you were.

God's intention is for alignment. That firstly, life springs from the deepest part of us, our spirit. Our spirit is where we connect with the Holy Spirit, where we hear God's voice, where we sense and discern and deal in spiritual things. His order for our being is spirit, soul, body. The spirit is supposed to be in charge, driving the soul and the body to accomplish what the spirit chooses. MOST of the time, we don't operate that way - it is too easy for us to let our soul take the wheel and steer us off a cliff. That is the path of least resistance if we are left to ourselves! After driving myself off an emotional cliff the last time, I started to realize there was a better way...I knew there was a sweetness to life that I clearly was not experiencing in my mangled state of wreckage. I realized that I cannot trust my emotions or even my own thoughts! Without the life that flows from the Holy Spirit into my spirit, and without my yielding to that life, I will be deceived and will end up a wreck in every situation. I must force my soul to yield to my spirit. I must silence my natural thoughts and feelings to hear what God is saying to me about my situation. I must crush the old self - or like the Scripture puts it - I must die to self. Self is not welcome in the seat of authority any longer! My thoughts, will and emotions will take a back seat to my spirit and I will keep slapping them back in their place until it becomes a habit and my spirit doesn't have to struggle with them any more. Then, when my soul is accustomed to its new seat, all of a sudden it begins to function properly! It is transformed under the direction of my spirit, connected to the Holy Spirit! My thoughts are changed and my feelings line up with the truth. And THEN, my body can fall in line with truth from the top down.

The principle of alignment is so vital. Just like your physical spine must be in alignment for your body to function properly, so must your being be in alignment for you to function properly. If one vertebra moves even slightly out of line, your body experiences intense pain and individual systems start malfunctioning. If you sever your spinal cord, you lose mobility altogether, if not your life. Do you see the correlation to the idea of spirit/soul/body? If your soul shifts over and gets out of whack, you suffer. If your allow your body to rule you, you are out of alignment. The way God intended for you to live is UPRIGHT - standing tall, with the spirit in charge, the soul and the body falling in line, all in agreement with the Truth.

Are you tired of being out of whack? Give your spirit the keys and drive on up to get yourself an adjustment! Here's your prescription for maintenance:

1. Present yourself to God
2. Listen to hear what He is saying
3. Get a heavy dose of His Word
4. Pray the Word back to Him
5. Praise Him
6. Repeat often

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