I am sure you have heard someone pray something to the effect of: “Lord, please bless him/her body, soul or spirit.” Perhaps you have prayed it for yourself: “Oh Lord, forgive me, …… bless me body, soul and spirit….”
The trouble is, no matter how good we are or how hard we pray for this, it will not happen; indeed it cannot happen. Quite simply, the request is unbiblical, and for sure, the Lord will not bless that which is contrary to His Word. The Lord holds His Word very highly, for as Psalm 138:2 says:
“I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your loving-kindness and for Your truth’s sake; for You have magnified Your Word above all Your name.”
Yes, the Lord magnifies His Word over His name and as such, we should be at pains not to misquote or misconstrue the Word of God, even unintentionally. We should be at pains to comply with the Word of the Lord, but careful to avoid the errors of the Pharisees and the legalists, remembering that the letter of the law brings death, but the Spirit brings life. I pray abundant life now, into your life!!!
Before we look at what the Bible says, let us be reminded of the words of First Corinthians 15:46 which says: “But not the spiritual first, but the natural; afterward the spiritual.” Let us have a look then first at this idea in the natural – that which we see with our eyes and feel with our fingertips.
Putting ‘body’ first, is a fairly worldly view of things. It puts us first and foremost, just as if the world revolves around us. We control our body – generally speaking anyway – but we usually have little apparent thought or control over our soul or spirit; even if they actually ever come to mind. When we say “bless him/her body, soul or spirit”, we are really asking to see changes which will first manifest themselves in the natural; things we can see and appreciate. We are making God our servant! If you think about it for a while, you will recognise that this is not even the way our world actually operates.
If you want to arrange a worker to dig a large hole for you (or any such manual labour), you don’t first call the man with the spade! Instead you call the boss and agree terms. The boss will then tell his manager to arrange the digging and eventually the labourer will dig the hole. The same is true for all companies and organisations. The boss, the middle man, the worker. The army works that way; when the General says “jump” the Private jumps saying “How High?”
Now, let us look at what the Bible says. In First Thessalonians 5:23 Paul says:
“And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blamelessly at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
There it is: ”Spirit, Soul and Body.” Born-again Christians are believers who have a relationship with Jesus Christ, rather than a religion called Christianity. When we believe in Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, one of the things we need to do is to lay down our will and let Him have control over our lives. In truth, we cannot be a Christian and have control of our own lives. Christians are bond servants of Christ; they let Him lead! Therein is the rub. Therein is the problem for mankind. We need to recognise that the indwelling God speaks to us through our spirit and our spirit conveys the instructions through soul, via our mind, emotions and will. They control the body. If Jesus is the Head of our lives, then we need to let Him have first have control over our Spirit, then our Soul, so that ultimately we give him our bodies, and eventually we live our lives as love offerings to Him.
If we cannot even get into our mind the correct order of the authority over us, how can we possibly ever be a dutiful servant? If we want our bodies to control our minds and get them to do what we “think” our spirit is saying to us, what we “think” the still small voice of God is saying to us, then we have it all round the wrong way. Instead of being servants, we are making ourselves equal to God; not intentionally perhaps, but practically. We are living in the flesh, and our flesh is ultimately ruling our bodies. For Christians, that flesh needs to be crucified and brought under the will, not of us, but of the Spirit of God, which indwells us.
I trust you now see that there is a large difference between “Body, Soul, Spirit” and “Spirit, Soul, Body.” Each Christian must understand it, so that we can willingly and intentionally comply with Romans 12:1 as Peter says “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.”
One problems with living sacrifices is that they tend to crawl off the alter of submission. This will happen to us very easily of we are not fully and correctly submitted to Lord Jesus, such that He and He alone, has control of our lives.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Blessed are You above all things. All praise and glory belongs to you and to You alone. Forgive me Father, for I have put myself first so many times, instead of bowing to Your will. Forgive me that I have set myself up in opposition to Your sovereign will for my life. Forgive me that I have fought your will and sought to establish my will, in my life. I stand ashamed Lord and acknowledge my guilt. Please forgive me. I repent of my past ways and I now willingly ask you to be in total control of my will and my life. I willingly submit my spirit, my soul and my body for you and your use. I ask you to please lead me now, such that you and only you, will be my guide. Let Your Sovereign destiny be fulfilled now in my life, such that I shall be made small and you shall be magnified and glorified by my life.
In the might name of Jesus Christ I pray.
Amen and Amen and Amen.