Nov. 19th – Spirit/Soul
Review Series…looked at our “mind” and the emotions God gave us, but when we “stuff” ourselves with them, we cross over into dysfunction. We looked at our bodies…and again, it’s about an honest evaluation of ourselves and are we making progress, not perfection. Today is SPIRIT…
Our Spirit is eternal. It is actually the “Real me”…it empowers our thoughts and animates our body.
Scripture says “God breathed into us our Spirit.” (OT – Ruach, NT – Pnenua) it literally means breathe, which is what brings life and powers all things.
When our brain (our rational mind) says… “it’s over, hopeless, it make no sense”, Our spirit cries out “press on, don’t stop, believe” When a building is on fire my mind says… “Run out” but my spirit says “go back and help that stranger”
Our mind calls us to reason, our Spirit calls us to faith!
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
3 John 1:2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
In scripture Spirit, Heart and Soul often share the same qualities.
Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus replied: ‘ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
Mark 12:29-31 (The Greatest Commandment) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Developing a relationship with God is no different than developing any other relationship. It is going to require time, conversation, openness and a willingness to change and grow.
Wesley “How is it with your soul?”…John Wesley’s “Holy Club” at Oxford…22 Questions each week.
Concept of “Spiritual Dryness”…reminds me of this…
THIS NEEDS TO BE EDITED, and MAKE SURE IT’S THE BEST VERSION.
Soup for the Soul Speaker – “this is what depression looks like”…spiritual dryness doesn’t always show itself on the outside.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
How did we get there?
10 Things That Can Lead to Spiritual Dryness…and some ideas on how to overcome that.
Grief is a process that we avoid, and I think feeling distant from God is a natural part of grief. Of course we can flip over into dysfunctional grief, but really…so much of that comes from when we ignore the process or fight it.
Ecclesiastes 7:2 It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Beth Stewart’s Statement…
2. Other wounds
Things such as betrayal, neglect, abandonment, other loses such as divorce, lose of physical function, lose of a pet, lose of a friendship…these things actually put us into the stages of grief, and again…we can get stuck.
Bitterness and resentment will drain your spirit. You can spend so much energy being angry, trying to understand why, and so on, that you stop living the life that is actually in front of you.
I can’t tell you how many times I have let what someone else has done to me slow me down. They have taken up too much space in my mind. And honestly, sometimes I don’t want to let go of wounds cause I feel like it will mean what happened was “okay”.
This week, on two separate occasions, someone shared this passage with me, having no clue what I was wrestling with…they shared about the story of Joseph and how after all his brothers had done to him, when they came to him for help this was his response.
Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.
Stop fighting the process and open your self up spiritually to see what you have to learn, and how you can grow.
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
3. Pleasing people over God/People-pleasing
“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” –Galatians 1:10
Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Psalm 62:1 Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
Sin is “missing the mark” but ignoring the fact that we are “missing the mark” gets us stuck in patterns and cycles…in ditches that we have decorated.
Matthew 12:34-35 For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
What is really going on does reveal itself. When these passages talk about “heart” it is about the spirit/the core of who we are.
James 3:11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
We can fake what we think people want to see, but eventually the truth shows up.
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
You strive to do everything on your own. You’re independent. An “I do it myself” mode? (like a toddler)
Ezekiel & Dry Bones
Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1–14) came to him after God had directed him to prophesy the rebirth of Israel in chapter 36. God announced, through the prophet, that Israel will be restored to her land in blessing under the leadership of “David, My servant [who] shall be king over them” (Ezekiel 37:24). However, this promise seemed impossible in light of Israel’s present condition. She was “dead” as a nation, deprived of her land, her king, and her temple. She had been divided and dispersed for so long that unification and restoration seemed impossible. So God gave Ezekiel the vision of the dry bones as sign.
God transported Ezekiel in a vision—to a valley full of dry bones and directed him to speak to the bones. Ezekiel was to tell the bones that God would make breath enter the bones and they would come to life. Ezekiel obeyed, the bones came together, flesh developed, skin covered the flesh, breath entered the bodies, and they stood up in a vast army.
The reviving of the dry bones signified God’s plan for Israel. The vision also showed that Israel’s new life depended on God’s power and not present circumstances. Putting “breath” by God’s Spirit into the bones showed that God would not only restore them.
When you make yourself the god over your life it distances Him. It also limits what can be done in your life because you, on your own, are limited.
When you are feeling “spiritually dry” it may because you are trying to do things in your own power, or your own way.
“What can God do for me?” vs. “What can God do through me?” The focus has to shift off of self. When I start allowing God to work through me I learn more, grow more and retain more.
Self-sufficient can also become self-focused.
If I find myself being spiritually dry, I need to help others. Rediscover joy and passion through their eyes.
7. Not surrounding yourself with healthy people.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
8. Religious traditions, just going through the motions.
“For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” –John 4:24
Like anything else, “keeping it fresh” helps. Don’t let it be the same old same old.
Ex. grab a new book, if you’ve been doing a quiet time inside – go outside.
9. No Spiritual Discipline.
Nothing replaces consistency. In order to be great in anything it takes practice. This is a principal that can be applied to anything- sports, music, public speaking, etc. Why don’t we view our spiritual discipline as the same, if not higher?
What are the habits in your life that build up spiritual strength? What is in place when things are “okay” that grow you spiritually for the times that are coming that will not be “okay”? Do we find ourselves only “digging in” or seeking counsel when things are bad? Do we only reach for the Bible when we are at the bottom?
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
“Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
Well then you have to take time to be still and you have to turn on the lamp if you want it to work.
10. No Mentorship/Counsel
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” –Proverbs 15:22
Matthew 28:19-20 Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’
Our mind calls us to reason, our Spirit calls us to faith!
Great Questions to Ask Yourself…
- What are the things that I’m doing that are putting a wedge between God and myself?
- What are the things that I’m engaging in that bring my (heart, soul, spirit) closer God?
- What are things I’m engaged in that are draining the life out of my soul?
- What are the things that I’m doing in my life that really make my (heart, soul, spirit) shine brightly, flourish and empower faith?