Lesson 3: Mind. Body. Soul. // The Foundations of Spiritual Order
Several years ago, I participated in the Bible study Freedom from Church of the Highlands. I will forever give credit to this study for introducing me to the concept of living within spiritual order. Spiritual order “allows you to live with your spirit united with God, and your soul and body submitted to your spirit. In other words, your spirit, which is now one with God, calls the shots, and the soul and body follow.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Paul speaks of the blessing found to believers when practicing spiritual order:
“And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This verse explains that God created us with three distinct parts:
- Holy Spirit (2 Cor.3:16-18)- the moment we are saved, we are made alive in Christ and we receive the Holy Spirit so we have the ability to be in relationship with God.
- Soul (Prov. 2:10)- The internal parts of us created by God. Our souls’ command center is the heart, which guides our mind (what we think and reason), our will (what we decide to do), and our emotions (what we believe, feel, remember).
- Body (Gen. 2:7) - The external shell or “house” for our soul and spirit, beautifully designed by God.
Remember in our welcome post how we talked about our philosophy of rest being counterintuitive from our culture? Well, here’s one radical difference: spiritual order is based upon our bodies and our souls being guided by the Holy Spirit, not ourselves, the “Universe” or “The God of your understanding.” Let’s break the concept of spiritual order down into three parts:
1. The Holy Spirit Is Designated to Lead the Human Spirit
Think of the Holy Spirit as your DD or Designated Driver. This driver is responsible for getting you from point A to point B safely. In other fancy words, the Holy Spirit sanctifies your human spirit, rendering your soul and body to God, the ultimate source of wellness. If you were to Google “mind, body, and soul” you will find TONS of information about how we are in control of our own happiness and destiny based on our human spirit. It’s all about our effort, our performance, and our inner source of peace being something we can produce if we work hard enough, eat healthy enough, and feel balanced enough. We women are capable of juggling multiple tasks throughout our days. By nature, we are caregivers, individuals who serve others by our work and actions. The word, “capable” is defined as having the ability, fitness, or quality to achieve efficiently whatever one has to do. We have what it takes to crush our goals and live responsibly. Let’s be honest here: we are proud of ourselves and how capable we are to handle all-the-things for all-our-people. Being capable is one of our strengths, and it’s a trait that helps us power through the most difficult parts of our days. However, when evening comes and we can no longer do the tasks of our day, we still have this unsettling feeling like we are missing something. Right?
When we order our days by what we are capable of doing, we miss out on receiving what God is able to do through us.
2. God Desires To Give You Abundantly More Than You Can Give Yourself
The difference between living by what we are capable of handling and living out of what God is able to provide for us is monumentally huge. Living within the context of what God is able to accomplish through us is about receiving His ability to do great and mighty things. We are no longer bound to our own capabilities, instead we have the power, skill, means, or opportunity to do something incredible with our day. We can be incredible at our office, our place of worship, our home. We can be incredible at changing diapers, checking people out at the grocery store, or conquering the stairs during our workout. It doesn’t matter what exactly fills our time, it is more about shifting our mindset to where we order our days by God’s ability instead of our own. When we change our perspective from living out of our own capacity to what God is able to do, we are no longer holding on to our own self-worth. Instead, we are able to hold on to God and what He has prepared for us to do.
3. We are Designed to Worship God, Not Our Work
As we begin to order our bodies and souls not by our own capabilities but through obedience to God, we move away from a works-based faith and into a worship-based faith. We become aware that we were created for eternity, not just the time that we have on this earth, which takes away a lot of pressure to perform and achieve. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by our calendars, we are given our daily portion so that we focus on today, not tomorrow. Connecting with God isn’t a Christian checklist to complete for certification; it is a way for us to notice how God loves us and provides direction for our every need, longing, struggle, and dream. We start to worship God through a posture of praise, not performance.
When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into a life of spiritual order, we are living in community instead of isolation. There is great power when our bodies and our human spirit submit our cravings to be seen and heard to the Holy Spirit, who is always with us, grieving with us, cheering for us, and leading us to a greater source of Truth beyond our own selves.
Friend, living within spiritual order is truly life-changing, but change happens one small step at a time. You are not alone in your journey. We are here with you, and we will call upon the name of the Holy Spirit together.
- What do you crave physically?
- What do you crave emotionally?
- What do you crave spiritually?