Kingdom Principle: Discipleship is an act of love which overcomes fear and releases power.
|Genesis 21:8-21||Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17||Romans 6:1b-11||Matthew 10:24-39|
In the news we can and do see lives, homes, and the earth itself destroyed in mass by natural disasters without warning or respect to preparedness. I have not suffered in this way, yet when I see the destruction my heart sinks and grieves for those who have lost everything in a moment’s notice. What amazes me is that so many choose to have this very destruction thrust upon their lives, they are choosing the destruction of their body and soul. The body and soul can be destroyed and there have been multiple posts laying this foundation in this blog. (some tagged below) Here we will look at why people choose destruction and what prevents many of us from overcoming Blind Spots (fear) and pushing through Breaking points (powerlessness).
Do we need to discipline the body? Yes, because we are to be no longer ruled by sin, rather we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and nothing of this world shall be master over us… but unfortunately many never discover this because they avoid breaking points.
Do we need to develop the soul? Yes, because we are no longer to be driven by the passions of this world, rather the Fruit of the Spirit is to be our character and anchor for our soul… but unfortunately many discover this because their lives are filled with blind spots.
Abraham avoided breaking points and Sarai had a huge blind spot. The result of this was raising a child rooted in a blind spot and comfort and control. Ishmael lacked a developed soul (he mocked) and neither did he have a disciplined body (he did not carry the food or water). In his brokenness (he cried out) God answered to his mother, “take him by the hand” (direction) and he learned becoming a archer (disciplined body) and he became a husband (developed soul). There are many deep theological implications of this passage evident in (Gal. 4:21-5:1, Romans 9:6-9, 16) but here we are drawing on the practice expression of discipleship. Further, contrast how David views his up bringing (Psalm 86:16)
Being aware of our (especially parents) need to be disciplined and developed is important to our holistic growth. Some may be quick to conclude if we are free, and not bound to this world, then to discipline our bodies or developing our souls is to place our focus on this world. I declare – Certainly Not! Rather it is just the opposite, for as Paul says “shall we go on sinning?” this is the equivalent movement. In dying with Christ, we live with Christ. This life is for abundance and freedom, rather than living as slaves to sin. The discipline of our body and the development of our soul is at the direction of the Spirit of God to be prepared to live a life that truly pleases God. (Romans 8:1-8) In This pursuit we are plagued by our Blind Spots and Breaking Points. These are the places where we must press on and overcome, or else we will cower in fear and powerlessness.
Blind Spots refer to the abundance of fear in our lives which hinders of the development of our soul. This is an act of development in self-awareness in regards to the formation of our character and discovery of our values. We don’t know what we don’t know, and in the development of our soul, our wounded-ness and pain masks (to us) places where our soul is not in alignment with the roots and fruit of the Spirit. In a Blind Spot we hurt others or ourselves (often unintended) and we walk away from the situation focusing often on blame, shame and guilt. Anger and Fear become our driving emotions. For blind spots to become known we must develop the soul in accountable relationships where we are vulnerable to the truth that our Blinds Spots are overcome with revelations of grace. This process is revealed through the repeating patterns of our lives. Only when we live in relationships with others over a longer period of time are these patterns uncovered. And only when we cultivate our relationship with God through the power of the Spirit are these patterns redeemed.
Breaking points refer to the lack of power in our lives which hinders the discipline of our body. This is an act of discipline of our lives in the areas of exercise, nutrition and finances. Unfortunately, many have learned to encounter a breaking point, because we don’t have to:
- When we are exhausted or broken (lacking strength), we often use drugs (caffeine and sugar are often used, but not viewed as drugs) to overcome, rather than giving our body the healthy habits of sleep and exercise it needs….
- When we are sick or broke ($$$), we often chose to defer the pain by the use of credit cards, debit and eating comfort foods, rather than depriving the body of unhealthy habits which it needs to be free from…
Jesus tells us (Matt10:26-31) – (1) nothing shall remain hidden, the concealed will be revealed, (2) take your focus off this world, for it is temporary (3) Your Father will lifts you up in your greatest time of need – He Loves you! And that the sword he brings (the Word of God) pierces and divides the body, soul and spirit. (Hebrews 4:12)
In this we learn that attempts and desires to avoid discipline and development are counter-productive. Often I see people working 10x harder to maintain an unhealthy lifestyle than the redirecting this effort to move in the direction of peace and prosperity. For example; spending hours talking to a fool, trying to convince them of truth, rather than simply seeking God’s Wisdom, and praying for their conviction to grow. (I too have been guilty of this many times) To choose the latter, you grow in being Spirit directed, your Soul is developed in patience and the relationship is not pre-maturely ended… People create all sorts of systems to cope with pain, sorrow and anguish; taking pills, cutting off relationships, creating elaborate lies and deceptions, and even wishing evil upon themselves so as to not have to be confronted by the deeper pain that lives within. All this is work, and draws from the energy and direction of the enemy, rather than moving in the flow and favor of God. It is for this reason that we are called to Love God more than all others, for this act of love, frees us to truly love and live, rather than existing in a lie or being tied to this world.
Therefore let us take up our cross, which is not a call to pain and suffering – rather it’s a call to liberation and identity with Christ. Read More: about faith and this process of discipleship, the role of resting in the Spirit.