I am beginning to realize God speaks to me through my physical body; so many spiritual lessons learned through physical action. Ironically, it has taken me this long to understand something God has been doing my entire life. Years ago I was struggling, beating myself up and pretty much stuck in a funk; anyone else find themselves in this place?
I went there more than I would like to admit, and each time I tried the same things in order to overcome it. I’d try to pray my way out, make positive declarations, put on worship music, and even ask others to pray for me, but I couldn’t seem to shake it. One day a friend invited me to go and run the stairs at the local Rec Centre. When one finds oneself in a funk, usually the last thing you’d want to do is run up stairs until you’re winded, but I reluctantly agreed. Would you believe after running up and down several flights of stairs my mood lifted? At the time I found this odd. I wouldn’t have guessed running stairs would change anything. This was the beginning of God showing me connection with him through the physical.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NASB)
It is really easy to compartmentalize the different parts of our life. This part is spiritual, that part is physical, this is part is secular. I would like to suggest that it is all connected. Yes, we are made up of three parts, spirit, soul and body but these three parts are all interconnected, each affecting the other. If I bless one part of my being then the rest of me will be blessed, and the same is true negatively. If I abuse my body it affects my mind, my emotions, all of me. Wouldn’t it be nice to learn how to bless each part of our being into the wholeness God has for us? This is the journey we are on. Let’s look closer at the spirit soul and body parts of us mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
Our spirit is the life force within us. The scripture from James tell us if the spirit is removed the body dies. Indeed, just as the body without spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. (James 2:26) The spirit is what brings life to our body. When we come to know the Lord and are born again our spirit is awakened and can connect directly with the Holy Spirit. Our spirit has three parts:
- Conscience – to know right and wrong
- Communion or fellowship – to commune or connect with God
- Wisdom or Intuition – sense of knowing or direct knowledge from God
Our soul is where our personality is found and our character formed. We develop relationships with God and others through our soul. When we are born again our spirit is made new and now our soul will enter into the process being being transformed into the likeness of Christ. Our soul is also made of up three parts:
- Mind – our thoughts, conscious, and subconscious
- Will – our ability to choose, decide, or refuse
- Emotions – our feelings
Here’s the one, after all these years, I’m finally coming to understand more and more. Our bodies are the flesh, blood, bones and all the amazing systems God has put in place that sustain physical life in our temporary housing. Just thinking about our bodies, I am in awe of all the details God has created. The brain, the ability to breathe, to eat and digest, to reproduce, to heal, to run and play. The body is often at the bottom of the list when it comes to spiritual things, if on the list at all. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us to honour our bodies.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV)
All three parts of our being are valuable. They all have wisdom to offer to us. We must learn to honour each part and understand the role they play in our lives. In order for us to come into a place of wholeness, we must engage each part of our being and learn how to welcome healing and integration with our spirit, soul and body.
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2 NASB)
What is your relationship with your physical self like? Have you tried looking for spiritual or emotional breakthrough via physical activity? If not, I hope my story inspires you to try something different the next time you feel down in the dumps.
Did You Miss Our First Post?
Hi there! This post is part of our current series on our three part being; Spirit Soul Body. We’re spending nine weeks focusing on what makes up the complete package called “us.” In case you missed it, check out the first post titled Spirit Soul Body.