God wants us to know Him fully. We were created to be one with Him. Our spirit, our soul and our body function best when reunited as one, receiving His Life. Our soul’s transition is from self-reliance to reunion with our spirit. Just as our body’s natural state of locomotion is walking, not rolling, or crawling, our soul’s natural, normal state is to be in a moment by moment relationship with God through our spirit. We are returning to our original state of being, and are finding rest, contentment and authority.
One of my favorite teachers, Walter Beuttler, told this story that has made a huge impact on my life.
For a time early in his ministerial career, Walter was pastor at a small church, and there was an annoying woman that had been involved at that church forever. Before every service, she would tell Walter how to conduct the service, don’t forget this, make sure you do that, what songs to sing, all kinds of things. This happened every service for months on end, and Walter finally got fed up with it and asked God why He didn’t do something about her — if she had all the ideas on how to run the church, why didn’t He make her the pastor of the church? He was very frustrated and at the end of his rope, and admitted that she was really “getting my goat”. God’s answer was priceless, as usual.
“If you didn’t have a ‘goat’, she couldn’t get it.”
Walter realized, as do we, that God puts us into situations and circumstances to reveal trouble spots within us, whether it is a lie we’re believing, a wound that needs to be healed, or a character flaw that God is working to change.
Thankfully, we serve a loving and gracious God. Just as in Walter’s Goat example, if we let Him, God reveals our goats in private circumstances. He is not out to embarrass us or use public humiliation in order to get us to change.
Instead God Himself makes the change, and reveals our need for change according to His timing. He does not want us ignorant of what He is doing, for this is how we learn His Ways. Odds are good that if He is letting this problem come to the surface, He has already been working to correct it, and He wants our acceptance, cooperation and gratitude as He finishes His work.
This is also one way we can judge how we are doing. I’d bet that over time Walter could see his annoyance with this woman wane, probably giving way to tolerance, then gratitude and even appreciation.
If Walter had resisted this change, God may have had to resort to revealing Walter’s shortcomings on a wider, more public scale.
Let’s be sensitive and responsive to God’s working in our lives even in the smallest of things, before they become big. And let’s be grateful that He first deals with our Goats in Private when we let Him.
Lord, thank you for bringing to my attention the Goats that you’ve removed, things that used to irritate and frustrate me that no longer do. Thank you for your kindness in bringing those things to my attention in private, and even making those changes in private. Are there any other Goats you have removed that you’d like to bring to my attention at this time?
Lord, I give you permission to reveal and remove all of my Goats. I don’t want to be vulnerable in any area. Are there any other areas where I still have a Goat that you’d like to bring to my attention at this time?
Thank you Daddy!
If you are going to learn to live as an overcomer, you are going to engage in warfare of different kinds. Don’t take this too seriously, and don’t take it personally. It is what it is, an opportunity to learn how your weapons and armor work, and how to fight alongside your fellow warriors. Even better, these attacks may reveal your wounds and vulnerabilities, which is great, that’s how we get them healed. Don’t seek out your adversaries, but don’t cringe before them either. You have already overcome.
Start where you are. Leave the past behind, accept where you are, but don’t dwell here. As a spirit being, your past has no claims on your present or future. Start here with gratitude and a willingness to build.
Becoming Whole Spirit, Soul and Body
God wants us to take full advantage of every resource He has paid for in this life to restore us to completeness in Him, resulting in both soulical and physical healing. In order to do this, we must learn to look to Him, to depend on Him first for healing, life and freedom. Here’s a quick overview of the resources and process God has made available to each of us:
1. Recognize that God wants you whole now, spirit, soul and body.
2. Learn to recognize your wounds, and teach others how to recognize their wounds as well.
3. Identify the reasons you’re not being healed.
4. Identify and overcome the hindrances to getting healed.
5. Recognize and express gratitude for the results of getting healed.
6. Recognize and embrace the warfare involved in exposing and overcoming your enemies.
7. Identify and strategize a plan of attack to overcome the world system in your own life, starting with evaluating each area of your life, how you spend your time, your personal and professional goals, how you relate to others, etc., through dependence on the Lord.
8. Identify and strategize a plan of attack to overcome your flesh, starting with identifying and embracing your temperament, strengths and weaknesses, through dependence on the Lord.
9. Identify and strategize a plan of attack to overcome the devil, starting with overcoming your fears and identifying your unique battlegrounds, through dependence on the Lord.
Recognize that Healing is a Continual Process, and will (probably) be on-going throughout our lifetime. Our ultimate goal is not to learn how to avoid being wounded, but to overcome our fear of being wounded, knowing that when we are wounded we can go to the Lord Himself for complete healing.
As we get on the same page as the Lord, we will be drawn into greater dependence and intimacy with Him. We will enjoy the freedom, contentment and enthusiasm for each new day as He continually reveals Himself to us and through us.