Saturday, June 13, 2015

Nine Steps to Maintain Your Spiritual Health

Aslan Ministries' present home is in Mississippi, a state which has become famous for a number of health issues. Admittedly, I probably have contributed to one major issue. Mississippi is currently the most obese state in the union. Politicians from the White House to the Statehouse are wringing their hands to come up with solutions. It seems when our physical health is threatened the government calls out the EPA, NIH, CDC, and sometimes even the Military to protect its citizens- even if they do not want to be protected. In addition in a recent study Mississippi beat out Louisiana to be the most corrupt state.

It seems the government, while focusing on physical health, ignores the spiritual health of the people. Our spiritual health is not only important to our well being but also may be a contributor to physical health problems.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the visionary Jesuit priest, wrote in the 20th century: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience".
As human beings we are designed by our Creator to live with the ability to touch two coexisting environments; spiritual and physical.

Spiritual hygiene is important to our welfare and must be part of a regular regimen. We have provided nine spiritual actions which will aid in maintaining our spiritual health.

1.     Take Spiritual Showers

After a shift at work - hospital, office, factory, or church dealing with infective situations we will often become unclean. The first five books of the Old Testament, the Torah identify many things that make a person unclean and prescribe remedies such as ritual washing. When we have been slimed and are unclean it is time to take a spiritual shower. We may want to combine this with a physical shower.
First pray, "Lord, wash me clean, you are the Living Water.  Wash away all of the junk that has come into me from the world today. Wash me clean from all the gory details we have encountered at work or on TV." 
We are washing away things that have stuck to our human spirit. We are not supposed to hold on to the burdens of others. God asks to minister to others in His power and authority and to pass all the pain and hurt up the line to Him. We often may become defiled as we hold on to what we should be passing through.
We need to also pray, “Lord, take this burden from me. Your burden is not oppressive but I have made it so.”

2.     Acknowledge the Lord’s presence

Before we enter into a difficult meeting, hospital room, an unpleasant task, or a ministry situation it is
important to acknowledge that the Lord is with us. We can celebrate that presence in prayer. Pray that He will place Himself between you and your task and be a holy filter to protect you. His presence is a reality, not something we just conger up in our mind, but we have to choose to be aware of His presence as we meet each situation.
Pray "Lord, don't let me think, do, say, feel, etc. anything that would dishonor You.  Let me be in tune with You."

3.     Cleanse the atmosphere

The spiritual pollution is all around us. Before we begin to work we need to spiritually cleanse the area in which we are going to use.  This brings up the question, “Do we have spiritual authority to safely cleanse a place?” When we have ownership, we have the authority. If we are working in an area where we have no authority, someone else’s home, a hospital room, or a public place, it is more effective to pray and ask the Lord to cleanse the space. 

Spiritual warfare is not chasing demons around, but taking the light of Christ into dark places. The intensity of our light is a function of our relationship with Christ. When we are closer to Him, our light shines brighter.
“Lord, we ask that you bring the light of your spirit into this place to replace the darkness.

4.     Take regular breaks from work or ministry

For many years I looked down at monks who spent so much time alone in prayer and devotions, locked in a monastery away from people. In my immaturity, I felt they could better serve God ministering to God’s people out in the streets. Then I read somewhere that you cannot really understand the needs of the world until you get away from it for a time. While we are in a spiritual environment with which we are familiar, we become desensitized to the needs of that environment. If we get away to a place of prayer and meditation, we will be able to hear God clearer and when we return to our place of ministry we are more sensitive to both good and evil.
We need to physically exercise regularly to release stress and heaviness.

5.      Maintain our Sabbath.

            Make sure that we set aside a day each week to rest.  God made us with the need for a Sabbath day. Otherwise we become vulnerable for defilement.  We become vulnerable in a very negative way when we take on more than God has called us to take. And we lose our sense of balance and our discernment.  We are not protected because we are not rested. And we are not in tune with God's plan for us.

6.       Do not take on more than God assigns us.

            There are many good things that need to be done that do not have our name on them. Allow others to have the blessing of serving.

7.       Do not let your devotional life die.

           Remember to have your prayer time, if possible, each day.

 8.     Keep your relationships in good order. 

9.     Do funny things. Have humour in your family.

The above is partially excerpted from my book "Physician, Heal Thyself; the Oxygen Mask Principle."

Bill Johnson

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