In a previous post, I put forward the idea that God knew you before you were conceived and born. A discovery anyone who practices meditation in God’s Word would have made is that it leads to serial insights that are linked and often never-ending. This is a byproduct of meditation. You get to discover things you weren’t looking for or didn’t set out to find.
TIP: One way to meditate effectively is to ask simple questions such as why, how, when, and where when you read the Bible. These ordinary questions stimulate your mind and pique your curiosity thereby creating a fertile environment for the Holy Spirit to reveal mysteries and teach you deep truths.
Now, as a byproduct of my meditation on the concept of predetermined purpose, I was stirred to pursue another line of thinking from Jeremiah’s text.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV)
How did God know you before you were formed in the womb? How does God know YOU before He formed YOU? God is dividing Jeremiah into two distinct yet whole elements – the spirit and the body. In Genesis 1:27, God made man in His image and likeness. We know that God is a Spirit therefore He made the spirit of man. In Genesis 2:7 however, He formed the body of man from the dust of the ground. The body became a living being when the spirit entered the body. The body is formed but the spirit is created. Jesus also made a very clear distinction between the body and the spirit in Matthew 26:41 when He said, “The Spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
To answer our pertinent question; How did God know you before you were formed in the womb? God knew you as a spirit; your spirit was with God long before your body was formed in the womb. God is the father of spirits and He relates primarily with our spirit. He doesn’t relate with the body. Your body is merely a house and its dispensation is transient meanwhile your spirit has existed long before your body and will continue to exist long after the body. By extension then, the real you is your spirit.
As we know, man is tripartite. We are primarily spirits but we live in a body and have a soul. The real person is your spirit and not your body. We picked up a body when we were born or when we were being formed in the womb and would drop the body when we transition. Some call it death. The real you, your spirit, continues living and returns to be with God.
In Ecclesiastes 12:7, it says, “For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.” The spirit’s return to God implies that it originally came from God. Jesus also confirmed this at the cross and right at the moment He died when He said, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!”
If you were a body, God would not have known you before you were born as He told Jeremiah. Our life on the earth today is simply a result of a spirit in a body. Once the spirit leaves the body, the person is said to be dead; but more accurately asleep. The body without the spirit is dead. Jesus at the cross yielded up his spirit according to Matthew 27:50. He could only die by doing that; He basically exited the body.
The body came from the earth and would return to the earth. The spirit came from God and would return to God – a tidy arrangement in which everything returns to its original source.
Taken the time and detail to establish the firm truth that the real person is your spirit and not your body. The aim then should be to ensure that we are conscious of this and live as spirit beings as opposed to mere flesh and blood.
In our world today, much emphasis is placed on the body and our physical appearance. The make-up and cosmetic industry alone has a market size in the hundreds of billions of dollars. We spend on gym memberships, hair and make-up, and even food. We rush to a doctor at the slightest hint of a physiological issue and sometimes even emotional issues to get treated. We take this seriously. Much is done to cater to the body above the spirit mainly because we are more in touch with our bodies than our spirits. We can see our bodies in the mirror, we can touch and feel with it hence it is way more tangible for the average man than the spirit.
There is regrettably little to no emphasis on the spirit. We demonstrate a complete neglect of spiritual health while we obsess over our physical bodies. We need a mirror that reflects the state of our spirits. If the spirit is the real person, why then do we treat the body as the all in all? I am not opposed to looking good and being physically healthy. That is very important. I am however attempting to correct our priorities. How healthy, alive, good looking and fit is your spirit? Have you ever considered that?
It is very critical because a properly developed spirit has control over the body and by extension greater control over our lives. The spirit can heal the body but the body can never heal the spirit. The spirit can control the body and subdue it. Vigor of spirit is what distinguishes two people who face the same challenges and one person comes out of it while it practically destroys the other person. If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Two things we must do: Be in tune with our spirits as we are with our bodies, and we must train the spirit to become strong, healthy and vibrant. The real you needs to be healthy.
You can train your spirit to become more alive by drawing strength from the Father. God is the source of spirits and our spirits can be recharged by being plugged in to Him. When your battery is running low, you need to plug into a power source to get some vitality. First one must be born again at which point the spirit man becomes alive, sensitive and responsive to God. Next, the priority becomes to feed the spirit with healthy food. Habitual bible study, constant prayer and fasting will help to strengthen your spirit. In addition, attending church or spending time in fellowship with fellow Christians, reading spiritual books and listening to sermons also feed the spirit.
I have often said that no amount of energy drinks, steroids, physical or emotional conditioning can repel a spiritual problem. The best of men crumble hopelessly when slight spiritual issues come their way because the best of men is still a man at best. They are just not equipped for it. However, a strong spirit can pull you through any spiritual, emotional or physical challenge you may face. Shalom.