I remember the first time that I heard Janet Thompson say that she was saved. We were sitting in third period Math class, and she sat in the desk in front of me. Everyone knew that something about her had changed. Janet’s mother was an entrepreneur when it wasn’t all that popular for a woman to be one. She sold cosmetics and jewelry. Janet and her two older sisters were notorious in school for having extremely long, beautifully manicured nails; adorned, no less, with two or three rings on each hand. It wasn’t the real stuff, but pretty just the same. They loved their jewelry, so when Janet came to class without any on, and no makeup, everyone took notice.
After three or four days without her usual embellishments, one of my classmates asked Janet if she had gotten saved. She responded, “Yes, I got saved.” I had been in church all my young life. Being born-again I knew, but ‘saved’ meant something different at that time. At fourteen, I had learned to do what I saw a lot of other people do. I had learned to compartmentalize. I placed my faith in one compartment, and pulled it out on Sunday’s. I put the rest of my life in a compartment that allowed me to pretty much do as I pleased the rest of the week. I always had a certain sense of do-rightness, and I didn’t stray too far from it, but on the occasions when I did, I felt that God would give me a pass. To be honest, I just didn’t think that He was concerned about small details.
We all have those awakening moments in life, most of them brief and far between, that call us to a higher level of consciousness. They serve as markers, and measure how synchronized we are to the destiny God has called us to. My sisters and I had never missed Sunday School, so I knew about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I didn’t quite understand it, but the knowledge that he gave his life for us was etched in my mind. However, that he would require anything from me, or anyone for that matter, was foreign to my thinking. So, the visual of Janet’s sacrifice coupled with her confession, “I got saved” rattled my senses.
Why was she giving up something she loved to be saved? This is a question facing many people that are in abusive relationships. Saved and born-again are synonymous, but Janet’s willingness to let go of something in order to gain something greater resonates with me to this day. Her example changed the trajectory of my life. It spoke to my higher self, and planted a seed that would lift me out of forgetfulness and cause me to remember a love that never hurts, never condemns, and never fails. The love of Christ is our rescue. Some of us learn this quicker than others, but it took me quite a while to learn that a love that is real and true never hurts
1Thessalonians 5:23 (NLT) tells us, “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.” In this verse, Heavenly Father informs us that He is a God of peace, and He wants to make us holy in every way. He also gives us another very important piece of knowledge when He tells us that there are three parts to our total being; spirit, soul, and body.
In Genesis 1:26 (NLT), He lets us in on the dialogue that He’s having with His Son and the Holy Spirit. He said, “Let us make human beings[a] in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth,[b] and the small animals that scurry along the ground.” Heavenly Father created us in His image. The Godhead is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; three persons, three functions, one God. He created us to be three parts as well, spirit, soul, and body.
When Jesus Christ was in the earth, one of the Holy Spirit’s functions was that of helping Christ stay connected to the Father. This is how Christ, as a human being, was constantly infused with power and received communication from on High. The Holy Spirit helped Jesus Christ to accomplish the mission that God appointed him to carry out. The Holy Spirit helps us in this same way. John 3:6 tells us that the Holy Spirit gives birth to our spiritual lives. Through the Spirit, God endows us with power, strength, and ability.
Our souls house our minds and hearts. Our souls allow us to respond to God and to one another. They also receive information from the Spirit. Your body is a house. It is the temple that God calls ‘home’. 1Corinthians 6:19(NLT) tells us, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,” So the body is incapable of receiving information directly from the Spirit. He, the Spirit, communicates to the soul. The soul, then, communicates what it hears from the Spirit. This is an incredibly precious and powerful connection, and God has given it to help us live the life of peace and love that He wants us to have.
Jesus Christ doesn’t require us to give up things that benefit us. It delights the Father to see us looking and feeling good, but the more we grow in Him, the more we will want to surrender the things that injure our souls and keep us from responding to the Father with peace, joy, and gratitude. The more we love ourselves through Christ, the more eager and ready we are to release anything that blocks the soul from receiving and giving out a Christ kind of love. It is a journey that we can begin at any time. The important thing is that we understand how overcrowded our souls become with internal and external noise. We need to make space for the love of God through Jesus Christ, and we can do it by getting quiet in prayer with the intention to perceive and receive what we need from the Spirit. ■
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
“Spirt-Soul-Body Connected” written for Overcoming Domestic Violence.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!