January 18, 2018
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A strong foundation keeps you from topplingEvery person is created with an integration of physical, emotional and spiritual realms. When these three realms are healthy, then the person can withstand incredible pressures and trials. But if any of them are weak, then the whole person suffers. If the physical part is the top of a triangle, then the base (emotional and spiritual) are the foundation. Like a sailboat, if the foundation (keel) is not working properly then it takes little to topple it.

God has designed us to live in healthy balance, physically spiritually and emotionally.

Personhood in Three Parts

Healing prayer is immediately confronted by three inextricable realms of the person. Consider any one of the stress related illnesses prevalent in our society today, for example. It manifests itself in the physical realm, perhaps as an ulcer or hypertension. The root of it may well be an emotional condition, perhaps a feeling of unworthiness. It could be a spiritual matter from a life of bitterness due to an unforgiving heart. True wholeness is available, but it must address each realm. Anything less would be unsatisfactory.

Physical

Physical Emotional and Spiritual realmsThe physical realm is the most obvious because it consists of the material parts of our being. We can see, feel and touch these things. That means it can be measured and compared, usually by doctors or their medical staff. A great deal of attention is given to symptoms, and inferences are made about what might be the root cause. A remedy is sought from the material realm.

Emotional

The emotional realm is somewhat obvious because it consists of thoughts and feelings within us. We can not see or touch these things, but they usually can be felt. They tend to be subjective, so measuring and comparing them is difficult. Psychologists and counselors are the specialists in this area, and they concern themselves with traumas and disruptions to healthy emotions whether in the past or present. A remedy is sought from the emotional realm with some urgency, because the track record is clear that untended emotional issues will result in physical symptoms as well.

Spiritual

The spiritual realm can be even more elusive. It consists of immaterial parts, and in contrast to the emotional realm, some spiritual influences come from outside the person. It takes understanding and faith to address the spiritual. It is no wonder that it tends to be the domain of religious people, such as pastors and intercessors. The unseen influences are not to be trifled with, nor are they to be taken in isolation at the expense of the other parts of the person.

When Challenges Come

Challenges come but do not topple usWe were talking with an oncologist the other day, and he introduced this concept to us. Dr. Jason Mann is a highly trained and skilled doctor. He cares a great deal about each of his patients and is meticulous about his research and treatment plans. But he confessed to us that he only works with that top part of the triangle – the physical part.

“If someone does not have a strong foundation, that is emotional and spiritual wellbeing, then the smallest physical problem can topple them. But if the foundation is strong they can overcome the greatest physical problems.” He said.

Then he shared an account about a patient of his that had pancreatic cancer, but also had a strong foundation. Her family and church helped her have emotional and spiritual wellbeing, despite the pain and suffering of her physical condition.

“She died healed.” He added: “Thirty years from now her family will still be healed. They won’t be struggling with the physical pain she went through when she was dying.”

Treating the Whole Person

It is God’s design that we have a healthy balance in these different realms. He made it so our emotions would show up in our physical bodies, and our spiritual condition would affect every other part of us. We can not separate the pieces and hope to have wholeness. Each person must integrate all the parts.

Amazingly, we see Jesus in His ministry addressing people in a wide variety of ways. He demonstrated with the Rich Young Ruler that wholeness must come from the spiritual realm first. He showed us through the woman with the issuance of blood that wholeness can come through emotional healing first. He also did healings for physical problems before that person was whole emotionally or spiritually – such as the blind man at the temple. My interpretation of this is that wholeness is delivered according to the needs of the person, and there are not hard and fast rules that must be observed.

Not by rules, but by logic, I prefer to address the spiritual condition first. The ramifications of a person’s spiritual condition have eternal impact on them. Next, I prefer to address the emotional condition because the root cause of their discomfort may be from lie based thinking. When that is the root problem, the physical manifestation will continue until it is cleared up. Then it is time to address the physical issues – remembering that it is better to lose a hand or eye than to lose heaven.

Conclusion

God desires us to be perfectly whole. He has made a way for us to be healthy in spirit, emotions and in our body. Pray with one another, and encourage one another with these words.

 
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