Created to Shine

God created man in His own image, with the main difference being that God is Spirit and man is flesh and blood.  More accurately, God created man as triune being; spirit, soul, and body; allowing for connection from the Spirit of God to man’s spirit.  Man’s soul, composed of mind, will, and emotions, permits the individualism for autonomy, while the body is the physical vessel that functions according to its endowments, talents, etc.  God’s original plan was for Spiritual communion that would influence and direct man’s soul, which would in turn direct man’s body.  Unfortunately, man’s use of the amazing gift of soul autonomy and choice has been getting in the way of God’s perfect plan ever since Adam and Eve.

Amazingly, God did not scrap His design for man and start over.  He foreknew that the same attributes that made man like Him with independent thought would also permit man the choice to be in charge of his own destiny.  Yet, there was one choice that really mattered to God: for man to voluntarily love his Creator, because mandated love is not love at all.  Knowing that choice and willfulness would most certainly lead man astray, God ordained that He would live among men through His Son, Jesus, to teach man about His eternal Kingdom, and provide the way to redeem man and restore him to relationship with a Holy God.  Receiving Jesus as Savior actually jump-starts man’s spirit, making him totally alive in God.

By combining life in Christ with the profound historical and spiritual knowledge of the Bible, we should be living our best lives, right?  If that is so, why are stress and anxiety rampant, depression controlled with medication, and our families in distress and disarray?  Why do so many of us feel we are barely surviving, or stuck in unproductive or destructive cycles?  If Jesus came to give us abundant life, then where is it?

Pain and discomfort often prompt people to seek counseling to try to understand what went wrong and how to correct it.  Sometimes, man’s wisdom through counseling is effective in providing course corrections.  Other times, it is more of a temporary fix – what some psychologists have even labeled as “tolerable recovery.”  So, is “temporary” and “tolerable” good enough?  How do we reconcile that with Jesus’ words, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”? (John 8:32)

The prophet, Isaiah, shares an encouraging word from God: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.” (Isaiah 60:1-2)  If it is God’s Presence over and in us that makes the difference between light and darkness for us in this world, then He is our Solution, and the approach to freedom is spiritual, rather than intellectual, or physical.

This biblical view of God and His created ones is embedded in our approach to our clients at Cross-Purpose Ministries.  We see each individual as specifically created by God with characteristics, gifts, talents and desires – all designed by God to equip each person to fulfill the significant purpose for which He created him/her.  Our enemy, Satan, (also Jesus’ enemy) has purposed to sabotage God’s plan of Kingdom significance in any way he can – in Jesus’ words, “to kill, steal, and destroy.” Then the Lord continues, “I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)  By addressing life issues (personal and relational) from a spiritual starting point, we arrive at the root of the problem, are able to dig up bitter and diseased roots, and ultimately replace them with Spiritual Truths that set captives free.  Seeing ourselves reflected through Jesus’ mirror, encourages and strengthens our spirits in Him.  Our souls comply with that Truth, and our bodies cooperate with our minds to put belief into action.  It is an incredible honor for Cross-Purpose Ministries to partner with our Lord in facilitating this discovery of true identity.