Reposturing Spirit Part II

 

This second post relating some of what I shared in Reposturing Mind, Spirit, Body event back in April is going to look at two spiritual “postures” we find ourselves in…bowed and sitting. These are good postures, but there is another that isn’t. How many times a day do you find yourself slouched or bent under the weight of life? Although this is something that is normal and very human, it is not a good posture to be in. The good news is that this is where God meets us and reminds us that we are His sacred daughters – and admonishes us to reposture.

The Lord prompts us to keep “reposturing” a very present thought; because He desires us to have a posture spiritually that shows us God’s glory! (Re-read the last post for a refresher on His glory.)
During daily prayer and Biblical meditation we may be postured in many spiritual positions.

We start our time bowed in humble quietness before Majesty Himself as we pray bringing our adoration, personal concerns and desires, before Him reading small bite-sized pieces of scripture and chewing on it slowly (meditating) we begin digesting what is there for us personally for where we are at that moment.

We are bowed in humble quietness before Majesty Himself waiting for Him!

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

The psalmist says that wonderful things happen when we wait for the Lord. BUT, waiting for the Lord is one of the hardest things to do. Part of that is our own impatience, but I also believe that Satan knows that when we truly wait for the Lord to act and do in our lives – great and mighty things happen! This scripture tells us that waiting for the Lord makes us strong and gives our hearts courage.  That is why the evil one does his best to keep our minds and hearts stirred up, fretting…planning…preparing… anything but QUIETLY WAITING!

Let me share a very long waiting period in my life. I won’t go into a lot of detail other than to say that no one in the Western medicine arena nor in the alternative medicine arena could figure me out medically! When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had five primary tumors simultaneously in one quarter of one breast. This was so unheard of that my doctors agreed that a lifetime of digestive problems must have something to do with this. I was run through a battery of tests and – they found something that very much explained this somewhat bizarre diagnosis. However, as the days, weeks and years went on – it was apparent that they had only found a piece of the puzzle to my health problems. I prayed for healing, I had others pray for me for healing and I trusted God to heal me, but it didn’t happen. I waited another 23 years following cancer to get the final pieces of the puzzles. And they came at a time when I was bowed before God, telling Him that I was willing to keep waiting on Him but really didn’t think we would ever get a resolution. I had resigned myself to this possibly being “a thorn in my flesh” to keep me relying on God as He taught me in the midst of pain and discomfort. It was at that exact same time that a new alternative provider was recommended to me. Like I said, I really didn’t have any strength or desire to investigate any further…but after praying about it, felt I was to make an appointment. Within about 20 minutes of me going into the appointment in late January of 2017, this practitioner made a supposition about what was wrong with me – AND, with some testing she was proven correct. Now, a year and a half later I have been free from digestive pain much of the time and also seen several other health issues get much better. Why I had to wait so long, I don’t know, but even when I had pretty much given up, the Lord continued to encourage me to wait on Him. As I bowed before Him He stepped in and directed me.
After we have bowed, prayed and waited on the Lord, we move to learning and feasting on the truths of the Bible, or perhaps studying a Biblically-based book or doing a Bible study lesson. This is a sitting position – and God, again meets us there! He is Almighty God and His Word reminds us that sitting is a good posture to have spiritually.
* Ezekiel was sitting when God showed him the vision of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37: 1-28
* Mary sat at Jesus’ feet in Mark 9:36-37
* Jesus asks his disciples to sit in the Garden of Gethsemane before he separated himself to pray in Matthew 26:36

Sitting denotes intimate fellowship and it connotes not being in a hurry

When we are in a posture of sitting we can have intimate fellowship with whomever we are talking to. It is easier to be engaged, and stay engaged in whatever we are hearing when we are sitting. Think about when you are being told something uplifting and wonderful. Do you quickly walk away from that conversation or stay engaged, hanging on to every word? OR, if you are being given detailed instructions… and you begin to move mentally to the first step of the instructions instead of listening and focusing carefully on ALL the instructions, it is much more likely you will not be able to follow the instructions properly. That is how I see the position of sitting spiritually.

Between 1986 and 1994 the Lord kept teaching me in a spiritual lesson. That spiritual lesson was that He loved me. He couldn’t love me more and He wouldn’t love me less. It was a wonderful lesson, but because I thought I had learned this lesson thoroughly I tried to move on to other lessons. It seemed to me that I should be moving onto other – MORE PROFOUND spiritual lessons. But, He would not let me move on. He kept me right where He wanted me continuing to whisper “I Love You” each day and at every crossroad.

It was at the end of those eight years that I was diagnosed with cancer. He knew I needed to know He loved me without a shadow of a doubt for the journey I would be taking…so, he kept me sitting, having intimate fellowship with Him. When it seemed that I should be moving on to standing, God was saying “not yet”. I have often described my cancer journey as a romance with God – not because it was an easy, enjoyable time, but because I KNEW HE LOVED ME beyond a shadow of a doubt and would see me through whether that was as a cancer victor… or in glory.

Here is one more thought on the posture of sitting spiritually. Sitting is a prerequisite to standing. No baby has ever stood without first sitting up for many months. That is because sitting develops our spines enabling us to not only stand, but to stay in a standing position for long periods of time. In my next post I will focus on the posture of spiritual standing and running.

Until then, are you are bent beneath the load of life? I would encourage you to exchange that posture for one of being bowed low in God’s presence: waiting and sitting intimately with Him. Time spent in bowed position before the Lord brings about reposturing spiritually. …and best of all, He does the work! It is just our job to be still.

Reposturing Spirit

I am back after being AWOL for the past several months during preparation for a day-long workshop called “Reposturing Mind, Spirit, Body”. I have shared that word… reposturing, with you several times over the past couple of years and felt I needed to create an event that would address the three parts of our beings and how this word relates to those parts. The culmination was a three-session workshop that was unique, relaxing and uplifting. I was able to present the workshop on April 28th and the feedback has been quite a blessing. I have always said that if the Lord uses my words to speak to one person, then it was a success. It has been so exciting to hear how some of the stories I told reached out so personally to women in ways I could not imagine.

Although I am not a stranger to feeling less than prepared when I speak, this time I was ten-fold more unprepared than I wanted to be. It wasn’t for lack of wanting to be prepared. I began this study in January of 2016 and actively began writing the sessions this past January. It also wasn’t for lack of tenacity when I was writing. LIFE simply stole my time over and over in ways that were unavoidable. I won’t go into that in this post because I want to get to part of one of the sessions… suffice to say that some major roadblocks did their best to completely run me off the road.  That is why I KNOW that what the women have been sharing with me about how they were touched has nothing to do with my speaking skills, but rather with my desire and willingness to share what God places on my heart. Several of the personal stories I shared that day were things I had not planned to share. However, each of those stories have been the very thing that spoke directly to someone. God used me as an unprepared, but willing, storyteller. What a thrill!

The next several posts are going to be some parts of what I shared that day… I know that God will continue to use my words to speak loudly where they are needed most.

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In mid-March our pastor, Shawn Peterson, preached on our church’s prayer for this year, Exodus 33:18 “Please God, show us your glory”.  It was such a powerful message! At the beginning he mentioned the Five Solas, something I had never heard of before. I looked them up and want to share them with you. Although each builds on the other so that none is more important than the whole, we are going to look at the last one, the one Pastor Shawn taught on, in depth.

History: The five solas came out of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. The Reformers were guided by the conviction that the church of their day had drifted away from the essential, original teachings of Christianity. The Reformation sought to re-orient Christianity on the original message of Jesus and the early church. The Five Solas are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Reformation to summarize the Reformers’ theological convictions about the essentials of Christianity. Here we are five centuries later and these essentials of Christianity are still as needed (no…needed more) AND are just a true.

They are:
Sola Scriptura: (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
Sola Fide” (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
Sola Gratia: (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
Sola DChristus: (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
Sola Deo Gloria: (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.

In 1994 I was diagnosed with 5 primary cancerous tumors all in just one quarter of my right breast.  I have often said that following that diagnosis I had a real love affair with the Lord. By that I mean that, although my faith was already very strong, I gained a new prospective regarding God being omnipotent and fell so much more in love with Him. This was a time in my life that there was NO denying that God was completely in control of my life because I was totally out of control. I can remember one day shortly after my cancer journey began thinking, “AND, why would I want to be in control during the fight for my life. Do I want it to all be up to me to make the right decisions at exactly the right time? No! God is in control, has always been in control – and I am SO GLAD!”

This was a fresh prospective for me regarding Sola Deo Gloria. In the midst of a potentially deadly disease it was all about His glory!

Four months after that diagnosis, following my first mastectomy and beginning chemotherapy, I nearly died from an allergic response to the chemo drugs. My spinal cord was shutting down from the very drugs that were to save my life. I would have been dead in 24 hours had my temperature not spiked to 105 degrees alerting us that something was very wrong. That fever was the result of a staph infection in the incision where they had taken the lymph node sampling… in other words, God saved my life with a staph infection!

I can remember lying in ICU with tubes going every which direction thinking “wow, once again I am reminded of how out of control I am and that God is in control”. I was living for God’s glory. Not through anything I was doing or not doing but simply by His power showing through my life circumstances.

Every moment of every day we, men and women of faith, live for the glory of God alone!

What does “glory” really mean? It is a hard word for us to fathom because we tend to think it is tied to what we do for God.  Maybe a good way to think of “living for the glory of God alone” is in terms of spiritual posturing. What does this posture look like? It is a posture of bowing in awe and reverence because He is eminent; He is of the highest renown and He IS GOD!

When we are bowing, we are quiet spiritually, meditating – waiting – trusting. We cannot be meditating on our problems when we are bowed before our gracious Lord meditating on Him and His Word.

This gives us a word picture for first part of Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night…” We are meditating on God and His Word day and night when we are in a bowed posture.

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I will end this post with a challenge, like I often do. Spend some time thinking about how bowing before the Lord looks for you personally. For me it is generally during early morning hours when the house is quiet when I too can be quiet praying, reading scripture and meditating on that. Often that time is spent focusing on the attributes of God using phrases from songs or parts of Bible verses. Let me give you an example: “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!” OR “I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” – Psalm 139:14

Will you accept my challenge? Ask God to show you His glory in fresh, new ways…and prepare to be blessed!

 

Resposturing According to My Sacred Identity

sacred-identity-logo-best     Why is it that every few days I am reminded of my word for 2016 “reposturing” and realize that, once again, I have improper posture? Today, during a quiet moment, I was praying and thinking about how great God is. The next moment I realized that, although I KNOW deep within my spirit that I have a sacred identity (as a Christian) with God – I had once again slouched in my chair, as it were, instead of sitting up straight in THE JOY OF THIS IDENTITY!

So, this post is a review for ME, but I trust it will bless you also.

What does it mean to have a sacred identity with God? Let me break the two words apart and look at them separately. That is the best way for me to understand it.

If some thing is Sacred it means:
It is worthy of respect because
1. it is Holy and has a special connection to God, and
2. because it is regarded as too important to be changed or interfered with

Identity has three great definitions:
1. a set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known. This “set of characteristics” is defined by its uniqueness because the same set of characteristics is not held by any other person or thing.
2. a relation that holds only between any entity and itself. In this case the “entity” is me, and “itself ” is God.
3. the condition of being asserted, declared, made known or openly avowed.

I have many “identities”. I have gender identity, a personality identity, a financial identity a familial identity – and the list goes on. AND, in each of these identities I have a sameness of essential character because I am the same person, just in different arenas of life. As a Christian, I also have a sacred identity.

My sacred identity means that I have a special connection with God that is too important to be changed or interfered with!
And, God has openly declared or avowed that I have this connection with Him.

Why then do I so easily move away from the reality of this identity and begin to slouch in my chair under the daily stresses, concerns, responsibilites and relationships? Because I am human! Now that is profound, isn’t it? But, no really – it is because I am frail human, whose humaness oozes out all over things on a regular basis.

It is only as I meditate (stay my mind) on this identity and desire God’s spirit to work in me during all moments of life, not just the quiet ones that I can sit up straight knowing it is Him and not me who is doing the supporting.

Life is ongoing reposturing! May I hunker down in my sacred identity with God my father, the savior of my soul and the comforter of my spirit! My sacred identity is ALL I NEED!

Reposturing Body, Mind, Spirit

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I am back to it! That odd word…REPOSTURING!

It just keeps coming back to me, and every time it does – I feel even more passionate about what it means and how much it relates to our lives in every way.

The Bible tells us that we are multi-dimensional, but unfortunately we often don’t act as if this is true. It seems the world has a better grasp on this, even if they are “off-balance” – so to speak.

This word has so captured me, that I began Googling to see what I could find on this subject. I didn’t expect to find anything with spiritual connotation, and I didn’t. However, I was fascinated and intrigued with a handbook about how to address the “mistakes” in our posture that are probably affecting our health. This handbook teaches how to reposture and therefore improve health. I purchased the book and have begun studying how every part of our body, from our muscles to our spines to our myofascia affects posture – good and bad. This is “reposturing – body”.

The mind, and reposturing go hand-in-hand. It has the duty of keeping us on task for our jobs, family responsibilities, social events, volunteer commitments, extended family obligations…and the list goes on. Proper sleep, nutrition, quiet times of relaxation and/or fun, and balanced hormones all play an important part in keeping the mind properly postured. If we are sleep deprived, or overly stressed we have poor “mind posture” and find ourselves needing to re-focus.

One of the ways the Bible counsels us to re-focus is to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). The Lord desires us to use each of our senses to maintain/return to good “mind posture”.
1. fresh, simple foods from the garden to satisfy our palettes, hunger and nutritional needs
2. beauty in botanicals, landscapes, oceans and mountains for our eyes to behold
3. fragrant odors to titillate our noses making us desire more
4. songbirds singing and crickets chirping are just two of the wonderful sounds that give pleasure to our ears.
5. soft skin of a newborn baby, velvety flower petals and a family pet’s furry neck to throw arms around bring comfort and joy when we touch them.
This spa for the senses is available to us all day everyday… and this is  “reposturing – mind”!

I have previously written a few posts about the spiritual aspect of reposturing, but it is important to look at again. Without good spiritual “posture” we cannot have spiritual health! Daily we slump, slouch, twist wrong, etc, spiritually speaking. The only way to get back to correct spiritual “posture” is to reposture; using the Bible as our guideline. The Bible tells us to meditate on the Lord day and night. Spending quiet, uninterrupted time praying, meditating on the attributes of God and reading scripture is “reposturing – spirit”.

It is my desire to always have correct posture as it relates to body, mind and spirit – but that isn’t ever going to be the case. LIFE causes misalignment – period! Reposturing of body, mind and spirit must be ongoing.

A friend I had tea with today shared Luke 2:52 with me as we discussed this subject:
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” – ESV  This speaks to Jesus’ mind, body and spirit AND it says all three of these increased! This verse should be a very important reminder that our bodies, minds and spirits are all important to God and thus in our humanness need to be repostured daily through the work of the Holy Spirit.