For the past two weeks, I’ve talked about the importance of treating our entire self–body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Last week’s message dealt with the soul. The week before was about the body. This week, I want to talk about the spirit.
When talking about the soul last week, I accredited counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists for developing effective techniques in treating the mind, will and emotions–the soul. But, for most secular treatments, the spirit of a person is completely neglected. Only two thirds of our “self” is being treated.
But just as some people only treat the body and the soul, there are others who think that only treating the spirit will solve all of the problems with panic attacks and anxiety. I don’t agree. Treating the spirit is critical to healing, but so is treating the body and soul. Just treating the spirit may get you into heaven, but neglecting the body and soul will make your life miserable. All three areas must be considered.
So, what is our spirit? I’ve heard it best described like this: we are a spirit who has a soul and lives in a body. God is spirit (John 4:24), and we were created in his image (Genesis 1:27). Simply put, we are not human beings having a spiritual experience–we are spiritual beings having a human experience.
When you were born into this world, you were born spiritually dead. The eyes of your heart were not open to the reality of the spiritual world around you. As we learn and grow in this world, our spiritual eyes begin to open. Then, when the reality of Christ’s work on the cross pierces our heart and we turn our lives over to him, then we are spiritually born, or born again.
Nicodemus could not understand this principle. Jesus told him, “Unless you are born again, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (John 3:3).
“What? Born again? I am already born. How can I be born again?” The questions raced through his mind. His spiritual eyes were not open.
Then Jesus summed it all up in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
I encourage you to consider this spiritual element of healing. In dealing with anxiety and panic, are you treating your entire being or only part of it? Do you only address the soul and body because that’s all the world teaches you need to address?
If you’ve never committed your life to Christ, I encourage you to take that first step towards healing–body, soul AND spirit. Prayer this prayer: “Dear heavenly Father, I know my spiritual eyes are blind to the reality of your existence. I am spiritually dead. I know I am a sinner living in a sinful world. Please forgive me for my mistakes, my failures and my rebellion towards you. Please forgive me of my sin. I confess these sins to you right now. I ask that you would forgive me. Lord Jesus, come into my life and change me. Fill my heart with your thoughts and your desires. Teach me how to surrender my body, soul and spirit to you. I ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen!”
If you’ve prayed that prayer for the first time, please let me know. I want to rejoice with you, and welcome you to the Family of God.