It astounded me to read a poster on the wall of the Lowe’s Family YMCA in North Carolina that stated their purpose as helping to bring unity to body, mind and spirit. The poster had Christ’s words from His prayer in John 17. Most non-profits began with Christian ideology…few retain those principles. As I reflected on the ‘rightness’ of their purpose, the evidence of lives not in unity pierced my own heart. Even secular studies confirm that as much as 90% of illness comes from wrong thinking and failure to give our physical bodies what they need. We have authority in this world over our own minds and our own bodies. We exercise that authority by placing ourselves under the authority of the God of the Bible.
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one–as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. John 17:21
Unity. We do want it…but we usually want it on our terms which immediately puts unity out of reach. Unity can’t happen until we welcome Jesus into the details disrupting our peace. Problems aren’t our problem. Jesus already overcame the world. Our problem is not allowing Him to be the way to Peace.
That sounds sort of good…and sort of judgmental, doesn’t it? I promise you, it is all good. Jesus has done for us what we cannot do for ourselves: open the way to abundant life. He is the way, and if we examine His life, we realize the way is not easy. It is ‘simple’ but incredibly difficult and requires embracing suffering.
Embracing suffering is NOT being a martyr. Martyr’s choose where they will suffer based on their own preferences and for personal reasons: meeting their own needs in the name of sacrifice. Christ did not do that. He sacrificed Himself to restore us to the Father–because that is what the Father wanted!
Unity comes when we are as passionate for the desires of the Father as Jesus is!
While Jesus willingly did what we cannot, He will not do what we can do! We have responsibility for our earthly lives. Our minds and our bodies are ours to surrender. We must choose thoughts that line up with God’s…and activities in line with His laws. When we don’t, we don’t have peace. We don’t have health. Our bodies will break down and our emotions run amok. Check out this definition of amok…it astounded me in its accuracy and the fact that is in the DSM as a psychiatric disorder.
Running amok, sometimes referred to as simply amok or gone amok, also spelled amuk, from the Malay language, is “an episode of sudden mass assault against people or objects usually by a single individual following a period of brooding that has traditionally been regarded as occurring especially in Malay culture but is now increasingly viewed as psychopathological behavior”. The syndrome of “Amok” is found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR). The phrase is often used in a less serious manner when describing something that is wildly out of control or causing a frenzy (e.g., a dog tearing up the living room furniture might be termed as “running amok”.)
God is passionate for unity. He not only allows our lives to press us toward Him…press us toward life…He designed us to need Him. He is unity and peace and life. If your world feels like it has run amok, ask Him where His priorities have been set aside for your own. Choose God’s priorities and He will do the work, you will find the rest you seek. If you choose your own priorities, you will suffer and struggle as you try to do what you feel is right and good.
Where is your mind or body running amok? What do you need to change: your view, your actions? Ask God…ask a friend for ‘truth in love’ and accountability. Peace is possible.