We live in a very physical, tangible world. For many of us seeing this physical world comes easily. We wake up in it. We go about our daily lives in it. Everyday we touch things with our physical hands. We see people, animals, structures with our physical eyes. We smell things with our physical noses. In fact being physically present in this world is considered to be fairly normal healthy behaviour. So where does spirituality in God fit in the physical norms of this world? God is actually incredibly spiritual. He is a God who spiritually impacts this physical world. To God, being spiritual in this physical world is normal. He is not restricted to our normal human physical bounds.
At times I can be very physically bound. I can live my daily life stuck in the physical. Stuck in the everyday dramas, busyness, nothingness, it’s highs and lows. Bound to my own physical body’s limited sight. Allowing it to form my opinions, dictate my emotions and actions. However, being physically bound is no longer something that needs to be my normal. I am actually a spiritually reborn person. This means I know this enormous God, the one who created heaven and earth; who has authority over every living thing (man, creation and the spiritual realm). He is strong, mighty, victorious, and has an endless supply of love, mercy and compassion. He is my Father, my best friend, my helper, my lover. Knowing that spiritually I have access to God, it doesn’t make sense to physically restrict myself to living in the limitations of my own flesh. In truth there is more to be had in this life then what I see with my own physical eyes. Living beyond my physical limitations is actually where God desires me to reach in daily life, not just in special ‘set apart’ bits like devotions, prayer, praise and worship. God is interested in the good bits, the boring bits, happy moments and sad, the daily interactions, brokenness, work, dreams, in fact all of it. But what is it that takes us from being bound to the restrictions of the physical, to living in this physical world, spiritually alive and making a spiritual impact? Is it just a problem of not seeing the spiritual things?
When I was younger and struggling with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), because of the nature of DID, the spiritual world often interfered with my physical world. Seeing demons was about as normal as seeing the teacher at school or my parents at home. There was very little separation between the two realms. My head was noisy with many voices and my night-times were haunted with demons. I had many moments where I could pick up on things that I just couldn’t explain. As I got older, I learned to just keep this spiritual realm oddity inside the network of DID. Most people around me saw what their own physical limitations allowed and anything beyond that was just deemed odd. When I had DID I lived in this uncontrolled, non-discerned state of spirituality. While I saw beyond the physical realm, it was by no means what God intended. I was able to see into the spiritual world with absolute clarity. However, I was spiritually confused, in an unhealthy place and was very unstable. I had a tremendous amount of religious vigor, but no actual discernment, authority and definitely no ability to access the power of God. Spiritual openness didn’t lead me to a positive spiritual transformation or God impact. In fact it was quite unhealthy. I needed help.
I have often heard the words, “Spiritually minded but no earthly good”. In fact if I am honest those words terrified me and in some ways bound me to keeping my spiritual word hidden. In context it can sound fine, however, it isn’t whole truth. The saying is in reference to those people who live in a ‘spiritual cloud’ and there is a feeling to this statement that it is better to be physically ‘normal’. The truth is God wants us to be spiritually minded, physically present and earthly good.
Post-DID my struggle was the opposite. I moved from struggling with the spiritual realm, to struggling with the physical world. I had learn how to do ‘practical everyday things’ without unhealthy spiritual interference. It was a bit of a learning curve working out how to do things without ‘the others’ helping me. However, in my pursuit of being practical (or more physically and logically grounded), I discovered that not seeing what God sees and remaining limited to my own physical senses is also not a healthy state of being. In fact, remaining limited to my physical senses actually results in very similar unhealthy symptoms as I had with DID. By becoming physically bound, my ability to discern, pray effectively and hear God reduces. While it is incredibly unsettling to see demonic spiritual activity and be spiritually powerless, in my opinion, it is just as frightening to be so physically bound that you don’t discern enemy involvement. Both situations are incredibly damaging. Just as my mental and emotional clarity in everyday life was affected when I had DID, I discovered that remaining in the physical bounds can also have the same detrimental impacts. Sometimes I can perceive things to be truth when they are not actual God-truth. I have faced situations that have been distressing and have required spiritual discernment. If I remained within my physical bounds I would have missed God’s revelation of the real source of the infliction. I have learned that being limited to my own physical senses opens me up to being led by my brokenness, wants, pride, shame, anger, love/lust and a whole lot more broken, unhealthy things. Being physically bound, without spiritual intimacy and spiritual sight is not healthy. I may appear to be ‘physically present’, but I am in fact emotionally, mentally and spiritual struggling. I may appear ‘normal’, but I am not healthy.
The truth is every person has been made to be connected to God. God has given us the capabilities to see what he sees and to join with him in what he is doing. Even if we don’t know God, having some form of spiritual connection capability is innate in us. The moment we discover him, believe and receive him our spiritual connection to God becomes alive. How God reveals himself or speaks to each of us is unique and personal to how he made us. God has this desire to share the spoils of his son Jesus’ victory over the enemy with us. A part of this victory is God’s ability to move powerfully in and through us beyond our own physical limitations. When you look at the life that Jesus led on this earth, you see a guy who for all appearances appeared ‘normal’. What was incredibly different about him was his deep connection with the Father God. Jesus had the ability to move beyond his physical limitations and into the realm of his Father’s Kingdom. He had this tremendous oneness with his Father. Jesus could discern the presence of the enemy, he had the ability to hear the thoughts of man, he would even go to a certain place to meet a person based on his Father’s leading. He could heal infirmities, speak prophetically, teach new spiritual truths, lead people and showed no fear in the presence of the enemy. Jesus, when he came to earth, set aside his glory, power and position. He humbled himself to become just like us: human in form, yet without sin. He experienced what it was like to be human and had the same physical limitations we have. His ability to move beyond his physical limitations didn’t come from his own personal power source. Jesus’ power and authority came from who he was in God. He was a child of God or the Heavenly Father’s son. It was his position and relationship with his Father that gave him the ability to move beyond his physical restrictions to his Father’s powerful spiritual ability.
Jesus was both physical in form and spiritual in nature. He made a Heavenly spiritual impact on the physical world around him. He had an absolutely beautiful relationship with his Father. He knew his Father’s love, he knew his Father’s heart and drew his spiritual strength and guidance from his Father. He didn’t seek his own glory or his only will. He came to reveal the Father’s love, the Father’s glory and to do his Father’s will.
Like Jesus, I am a child of the Heavenly Father. I am no longer of born of the first man, Adam. Therefore I am longer of Adam’s bloodline and lineage. I am spiritually born, a new creation. I was bought with a price through Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection. Through Jesus I have been adopted into God’s family. I am now of the lineage of Jesus. In truth this means I have moved out of being physically bound and restricted, into being able to access the same power and authority that Jesus had. It also means that God can reveal to me what he sees and lead me to where he is going. In experience, moving in my God-given authority and power has proved to be a steep learning curve. Often I have had the desire to see beyond myself to what God sees, but I have lacked God’s insight to what has been inhibiting myself from seeing it. The teachings of my childhood restricted me to the mechanical nature of the how to be a good Christian, but they didn’t give me the spiritual freedom Jesus fought for on the Cross. I was a ‘good Christian’ who was full of pride in how well I could follow the rules and meet the leaders requirements. What actually brought me to a place of true spiritual freedom and on the road to accessing my God-given power and authority was my unraveling, brokenness and need of God and his response of love.
Jesus while on earth was the true example of how to live physically present, spiritually alive and spiritually impacting. The reason he was able to do this was because he knew who he belonged to and who he was. He wasn’t insecure and needy. He was complete in belonging to his Father, being of his Father’s Kingdom and being the Father’s son. He knew that these things gave him so much more then anything the enemy or this physical earth could ever offer. Jesus lived from this state of completeness. When we get bogged down in physical norms or get lost in the un-discerned spiritual, we miss out on the fruit of this truth. Our spiritual and physical health gets impacted and we function as very dysfunctional children of God. Having a healthy physical well-being, spiritual power and authority, and a healthy spiritual freedom doesn’t come from what we do or some unhealed source. It comes from our belonging to God and who we are in him. In truth, our physical nature and our spiritual nature cannot be separated from each other, they are in fact linked. Our physical health is impacted by our spiritual health and vice versa. God wants us to be physically present, remain spiritually alive and be spiritually impacting. Even though we may live on this earth, we are in fact the Heavenly Father’s children capable of making a Heavenly impact on earth. Our belonging is not to this world or the enemy, it’s ruler. We therefore are no longer bound to the rules of this world or it’s ruler. Our belonging to the Heavenly Father places us in his Kingdom. Therefore if through Jesus we are made spiritually alive, then like Jesus our ability to move spiritually in this physical world comes from the same source, our Heavenly Father. When we look to Jesus, our example, we find that he chose to live surrendered, humble, real, and vulnerable. His source for everything was his Father. To Jesus, his relationship with his Father was intimate, essential, non-compromising, and as a result his spiritual impact on this earth was life-changing.