In 1986 the words of Jesus on the cross, “into your hands I commit my spirit” caught my attention and ever since I have been on an odyssey of meditation to discover the reality of his own humanity and mine.
Intrinsically and culturally we have an obsession with our physical stature. We have a fixation on our bodies that covers everything from exercise to sexuality. The market is saturated with our mania. Coming in a distant second is our awareness that we have a living soul and bringing up the rear is the rare notion that we are created at the core of our being with the breath of God…a human spirit.
We live our everyday lives from the natural and legitimate needs of our body and soul, but we have sought to meet our legitimate needs in illegitimate ways. Our selfish indulgences have become a Tsunami caused by insecure comparisons of who we are not and what we do not possess. They have further been enabled and empowered by an advertizing strategy (known as the religion of Babylon) that highlights our inadequacies, but guarantees our personal triumph if we just…buy it, get it, go for it, grab it, etc (Revelation 18).
The results are that we have a soul (sometimes a body) the size of a sumo wrestler and a spirit that is little more than a stick figure. Our humanity is a vagabond (drifter, hobo, wanderer) of spirit and yet the gospel has made us princes, but we live as paupers.
The diagnosis we are seeing has serious symptoms showing up as epidemics in our everyday lives: emotional stresses, financial pressure, out of controlled habits of sex, drugs, alcohol, wounded and fragmented relationships, fatherless families, ADHD, ADD, overrun prisons, school shootings, multiple marriages, health crisis, eating and other disorders and phobias that keep growing and being invented weekly.
Where were all these labels that we put on people when I was growing up?
Yet the human condition seeks to manage the pain by psycho-therapy, or regression counseling or positive thinking, or prescription medication or by virtual reality via television, or through denial hoping it will go into a state of remission so that we do not have to deal with it or ourselves. Even much of the so-called church has has succumb to the idea, “that’s just the way I am.”
In the church now more than ever we strive to create teaching to focus on the mind (intellect, knowledge, information), the emotions (needs, desires, defects, wounds), or practical living exercises (behaviors, customs, practices). All of which are directed toward the reconstruction of the soul or the healing of the body and all of them a necessity!
However, we have rarely taught the church anything about the enormous capacity of our human spirit. What does it mean that he/we have a spirit? A spirit that is uniquely distinct from the Spirit of God, yet inhabited by the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead!
My deepest desire in these blogs on your human spirit will be so that you can be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit from the inside out. Furthermore, that you will grasp a glimpse into the beauty of your own humanity and be overwhelmed at the wonder of Jesus living as God among us with and through a truly human spirit.
I am not attempting to disregard or marginalize the need to minister to the body or the soul, but I think we have already done a large body of work in those areas and should continue to do so. I am simply wanting to bring about the promise of the gospel that we can be made whole…”May your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thess 5:23b