Early this morning I was awakened with the thought about when I became a believer in Jesus Christ and realized where I began is definitely not where I am today.  It all began on an Easter Sunday at the age of seven when I decided I wanted to be baptized.  As the Pastor made the call for people to come to the altar and receive Jesus Christ as their Savior, I chose to go.  However, my young mind made the decision not for myself but because of my parents.  When I think back on that day, I still can remember what my thoughts were.  I wanted to have the same Jesus my parents had.  The same Jesus, I felt made them so dedicated to the church and the same Jesus I heard them talk about all the time.

Even though my intentions were good at seven, I do not think I fully understood what I was doing.  Because I would later come to understand that I only received Jesus as my Savior but not the Lord of my life.  It was only in adulthood when I began to understand what a commitment to Him really entailed. Then I was able to grasp the knowledge of my purpose which was to be of service to Him and my fellow man.  I was to be a vessel for Him to bless and minister to others.   My childhood was filled with hopes of pleasing God.  However, after reading some journal entries I had written as a teenager, I got the sense that I did not want to displease God.   But it was not out of love or relationship because at the time I had not fully understand of His love and forgiveness towards me.

It was not until I entered college and had to make my own choices.  I saw many school mates do crazy things when they were out of the presence of their parents.  And usually, their decisions had nothing to do with a relationship with God.  However, for me the distance from my parents forced me to make a choice of who I wanted to be.  And when I decided I wanted to have a deeper relationship with Him, I developed an inner hunger. 

I began to desire the abundant life in the Bible and I wanted my choices in life to be in alignment with His will.  However, I had to get rid of my authoritarian view of God.  I had to learn to see Him as a loving Father who wanted the best for me.  And I had to let go of the misguided thought that He was in heaven waiting for me to do something wrong so He could punish me.  Little teaching of the Holy Spirit was taught in the traditional church therefore, my understanding of His grace and enablement to make righteous choices was limited.  But along my journey, God allowed me to be around mentors and teachers who helped me understand.  And I learned that I am not bound to the evil thoughts which run through my head.  I have power and authority, Jesus has given to me to live as an overcomer and grow to do great and mighty things.  (Matthew 28:18-20)

Sometimes I feel a little disappointed and wonder if at a younger age, I really could have understood there is a great exchange with salvation.  You die to your old life and are born again to a new life with Him.  In this new life you become a part of His family and develop a relationship with Him.  You can hear Him speak to you in many ways.  He is not distant anymore.  He lives in me and I can pray and communicate with God.  And in my journey with Him, He will lead me on a journey of discovery.

During my lunch hour today, I heard a teaching by Pastor Robert Morris who was speaking of our call as followers of Jesus Christ.  He reminded me of two scriptures that I have become very familiar. 

Matthew 4:23 “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”

Luke 9:1-2 “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure disease.  And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.”

Pastor Morris said, we are spirit, soul, and body.  Jesus came to heal us in every area and He has called us to do the same.  There are many scriptures which reference our call to overcome our own challenges in order to help others.  However, I believe, 2 Corinthians 1:4 says it the best.  “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”  Jesus came as a living example of being complete in spirit, soul, and body.  He is Emmanuel which is God with us.  “By His strips we are healed”, in our spirit. (1 Peter 2:24) And He gave us the power to overcome the enemy’s attacks in our soul which is our mind, will, and emotions.  Therefore, we are able to be healed in our inner man which then manifests in our body. (3 John 2)

As a believer, I am called to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and exhibit it through my own life.  Jesus sacrificed His life that I may live eternally and be a joint heir with Him in His kingdom. (Romans 8:17) He came and restored what was lost by Adam and Eve.  We start to live eternally now because we have the understanding that when we are no longer alive here on earth, we are with Him in heaven.  He left us a comforter, teacher, and advocate in the Holy Spirit who will guide us in this new life as we are becoming. (John 14:26) Therefore, we go through a process of transformation more and more each day.  It reminds me of the same process of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.  It is a hard process but something beautiful comes out of it.

This is what I am speaking of when I speak of the journey to the healthy place.  The process of becoming at peace and being whole in Jesus who is our Lord and Savior.  The place where we are on a continuous journey to fulfill our call and look forward to the celebration with Him when He returns to rule and reign here on Earth.  This promise gives me faith, hope, and joy to know even if life seems difficult now.  I know I will live in eternity with Him where there is no sorrow, sadness, sickness, or fear.

I am so glad; I came out of the deception of this world and received the truth of Jesus Christ in my life.  It has been an adventure so far and it will only get better as I grow in Him.  As we journey together, we can see how our spirit, soul, and body connect.  Each of these areas are intertwined and we need to care for each part.  However, we must understand the proper order.  I had to have my spirit born again so I could be the new creation spoken of in His word.  When I believed in what Jesus did for me, I was able to be reconnected to my Father in Heaven and receive the Holy Spirit.  (Romans 10:9-10)

It is extremely difficult to successfully navigate through this life without Him.  If I could, then I would never have been in this mess in the first place.  I am so glad He is patient with me on my journey and I know as long as I stay connected to Him, I will see the reward.  Thank God for Jesus because without Him I would be nothing and I could not help you get to your healthy place.  I would encourage you to think about your relationship with God and truly surrender all of yourself to Him.  For this is a necessary step to move forward and begin your journey to the healthy place.

Read and meditate on Ephesians 3:16-20 (AMPC) and John 1:1-5, 12-18 (AMPC)

Be on the look out for “Journey to the Healthy Place: Coming out the Wilderness (Part 2), later this week.

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