I'm often speechless, but hardly ever am I without words. I can pretty much always explain what I've felt or experienced through written words. When I speak the words sometimes get tangled between my brain and my mouth. However, they rarely ever get tangled between my head and my hands.
After spending time with Dr. Margaret Nagib and her unique way of ushering in the presence of God, I have been without written words. I'm still without them, but I am allowing my heart to speak because what I have experienced is hard to contain.
God has wired Margaret with a combination of intelligence, analytical thinking, emotional cognition and direct connection to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit not only spoke through her, but shouted, whispered and danced all over my heart. And I felt like the wrecked ship that I am, only in a good way.
Whole, Healthy, Happy
A little history might help. In 1994, I declared I was a whole, healthy, happy daughter of the King. I weighed 430 pounds and I was far from that. It was a prophetic statement.
I pictured the parts of me as a pie diagram with three equal sections—body, soul and spirit. Coloring in the sections with how well I was doing, my spirit was a 10, my soul, a 5 and my body, a minus 1. If that represented a tire, it wouldn't get me anywhere!
The logical assumption was to work on my physical body to get it in shape to match up with where I thought my soul and spirit were. In actuality, the deficit I was feeling in my physical body was also being felt in my soul and spirit. I was allowing my body to lead me when it had no idea of what it was doing. As a result my soul and spirit were suffering.
I was constantly listening to what my body wanted to eat, how my body preferred sitting rather than moving, what comforts my body wanted, how my body wanted to spend money on its desires. It was all about what my body wanted to do.
My body was in charge big time, but only making me sink faster.
Jump forward about 15 years and my soul, which is my mind, will and emotions, began to be in charge. I felt this was a positive change. I began to work on my body issues, cope with them, define them, accept and own them and eventually act against them and began walking out a cognitive totally thought out journey to health.
The will kicked in to finally help me do what I wanted to do rather than what I didn't want to do.1 Eventually, I was able to work on my emotions and recognize how I had been stuffing them instead of embracing them and taking them to God to help me understand their purpose in my life.
My soul was in charge which felt like a more healthy arrangement, but my sinking ship was only getting a new coat of paint.
Remember, originally I felt like I was operating at a 10 spiritually. I was not just going to church, I was active in my church. I was hearing from God. I was doing what He told me to do. I was admitting my weakness and tapping into His strength. I was using my gifts. I was growing.
However, my mind, will and emotions that I had just awakened were still in charge of me. I felt God gave me my soul, all my abilities, gifts and personality traits to serve Him, which is true. However, I was missing one major piece.
I had the picture all wrong.
We are spirit, soul and body—three distinctly different pieces of us. It's similar to Father, Holy Spirit and Jesus—three distinctly different parts of God. They are all Him, but all different with different functions.
So the picture, Margaret explained, looks more like three points of a triangle with a circle at each point representing the spirit, soul and body. The key, though, is that the one that is at the top is the one that is in charge of me.
For me, soul being in charge was working. I was coping fine with my issues and moving forward. However, what would happen if spirit was in charge? That seemed so much more nebulous. How could I fully allow spirit to be in charge and what would that look like? Although I always said I was Spirit-led, I didn't realize that might be in conflict with my soul which had gotten comfortable being in charge.
I accessed God whenever a decision came up that I didn't know how to handle. I prayed. I weighed the options. I made a decision. I was becoming aware, though, that my mind had never abandoned the control to my spirit. As a matter of fact, that just seemed irresponsible and crazy.
Trying to imagine what it would be like if my spirit, submitted to God's Spirit, was completely in charge of my soul and my body was blowing my mind. When had I ever allowed spirit to be in charged without letting my mind have the last say? My mind literally ached with the thought of giving up the top spot.
Then I realized. My spirit is now the weaker part of me. The one part of me I thought was strong, all of a sudden I saw as a slumbering spirit that needed to be awakened. If this old ship called me was going to continue on the journey, I better get the right part up front as the captain.
How do I do that?
This is where I have no words to express the bottomless pit feeling I have still. I am about to go on yet another journey of risk with a ship I'm not sure is ready for the journey. I am about to do things I know the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me, nudging me about for years. I am going on a journey completely led by my spirit in tune with God's Spirit.
It doesn't mean shutting off my mind, will and emotions because that as my soul is a part of me. It means they must be in total submission to my spirit which is in submission to God's Spirit. If there is a conflict between my mind and my spirit, I will need to go with my spirit.
Let me tell you, this feels more risky than giving up sugar and flour, than changing my mind, doing speaking or starting a coaching group. Even though I know God led me to do all of those, on some level they were also planned and processed through completely. This cognitive part of me was actually the one in charge.
To listen and follow completely the leading of the Spirit, even when it doesn't seem logical or prudent, is hard to comprehend.
Daughter of the King
Paul said, "Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God."2 Remember 1994? To be a daughter of the King, I have to be led by Him. This was the rest of that prophetic declaration, the part I never paid much attention to, the addendum ... daughter of the King.
To understand that when I am over thinking things I cease to be led by my spirit and start being led by soul, floored me. To take it further when I do that I am stepping out of my role as daughter of the Most High God.
I had never seen it that way. That means when I pray and the solution doesn't come, kicking in my mind to look at it from every angle, dissect it, rearrange it, is not the solution. Praying and leaving it in Abba Father God's hands is the not just the best solution, but the only solution. Only then can the protection and provision of my Father activate.
God's mighty power and strength dwells within me when I am led by His Spirit. When I am led by my own soul, I can only do as much as humanly possible. When I allow the leadership of an unfathomable, all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present God to take control, I can do all things3 because I'm following the God of the universe.
Again it's Paul who said, "May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality. May Christ through your faith actually dwell, settle down, abide, make His permanent home in your hearts ... and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself!"4
Today, from the depths of my being I cry out, I want my spirit to be totally led by God's Spirit, not ever once in awhile, but all the time, ever day, every hour, every minute.
I am still a sinking ship that only He can restore. That is exactly where I need to be.
I am undone.
And that IS a good thing.
Teresa Shields Parker is an author, blogger, editor, business owner, wife and mother. Her book, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor is available on Amazon in print, Kindle and Audible HERE. This story is from her blog, teresashieldsparker.com.
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