Have you ever heard one of those object lessons that uses a three-legged stool as its example? Everything from team building to politics, finances to psychology has been explained using the humble three-legged stool.
The example seems so worn out. Surely a more interesting analogy can be found to describe anything with three parts. Then again, its power and simplicity in illustrating a point is what makes it so common. Like steering wheels, there’s a reason every car has one; it gets the job done better than anything else.
That being said, I can’t think of any better way to illustrate our newest series than to use the object lesson of the three-legged stool.
Welcome To Our Newest Series
Spirit Soul Body is the title of our newest series. We’re spending the next nine weeks focusing on what makes up the complete package called “us.” We humans, created in God’s own image, have three facets to us. Just as God is a three-part being comprised of the trinity, we are a three part being comprised of our spirit, soul, and body. Whether you think of yourself in these terms or not, understanding that there are three parts to us is vitally important.
Maintaining Healthy Balance
That three-legged stool is so effective at its job of supporting the weight of a person. Sure, you could get by with one or two “short legs”, and many of us do as we’ll soon discover throughout this series, but just getting by isn’t what we’re created for. We’re created to excel. We’re created to be the best versions of ourselves as possible. We have been entrusted to steward these vessels we’ve been given by God. In this analogy, that means having three individual legs that are equal in length, strength, and work together in perfect harmony.
Spirit Soul & Body
Paul, in his letter to the ‘God-fearers’ of Thessalonica illustrates this perfectly by blessing them to be sanctified in their entirety. To paraphrase if I may, Paul basically says, “May God himself, not your own doing, purify every single part of your existence on this earth. That your spirit, your soul, and your body be found spotless when you stand before our Lord Jesus Christ.”
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)
Over the next nine weeks, we are creating podcasts, blogs, and weekly emails that focus on our spirit, soul, and body. What role does each one play in our day-to-day lives, which one should be in charge, and which one shouldn’t but often is. We’re diving into the specifics of each and how they’re meant to work together in perfect harmony. By the end of this series you’ll have your own owners manual for the proper care and feeding of your three part being. How great is that?!
So far I’ve introduced two themes. One, there are three distinct components to our makeup. Two, while we may feel as though we can make pretty good improvements under our own strength, it’s ultimately God who brings about true transformation. This is where Spirit Soul Body, as well as the mission of Cultivate Connection come into play. How do we come and “walk humbly with God” while He brings about true, lasting transformation?
Where Are Your Weak Spots?
What happens when we purpose to learn where all of our weak spots exist, and once discovered place them on the alter as an offering to the Lord? To pray a prayer of “God, I give You these weak things so that You can come and have Your way in me.”
It might be a hard pill to swallow, but most of us, myself included, cling to the comfortable things that actually hold us back. In our comfortable weaknesses we’re actually keeping God out. C.S. Lewis put it this way; it’s like a child with a toothache who would much rather be given something to make the pain go away, when God is more concerned about removing the entire tooth, i.e. the root cause of the pain (pun intended.)
We walk humbly with God because we cannot bring about real change in our lives without Him. It is all a free gift from a loving, heavenly father. We don’t have to pay a single cent for any of it because someone has already done that for us. The only thing we can do is acknowledge our dependence and receive this gift of a life transformed. Simple in theory but oh-so-hard to carry out. Or is it?
Let’s Grow Strong Together
This series along with several others, both past and soon to come, are something we’re developing out into teaching content. These will eventually become modules taught at retreats as well as available online as courses.
We’re encouraging you to interact as a community; asking questions, sharing stories, bringing fresh perspectives, and helping one another see the blindspots we each have. Whether that’s through commenting on each week’s blog or Facebook post, there is power in sharing; especially in personal stories of overcoming. You have authority in the areas you’ve experienced victory in. Your victory is faith on loan for someone else to make a withdrawal from, eventually claiming victory for themselves.
To the thousands of listeners of our weekly podcast, thank you! We’re excited to journey with you over the next nine weeks as we ourselves learn so much, growing in relationship with God while sharing our love for Him. What a gift!