Everyone is knit together with a specific design in mind. We are born with embedded genetic instructions carried within the DNA of our bodies. These DNA codes (genes) determine our biological traits of development, features and functionality. More importantly, we have been predestined with a Spiritual DNA code designed by our Creator. Our Spiritual DNA is our divinely embedded design for personal development, spiritual identity and function—in other words, our life mission.
The function of our body serves as an amazing example of how God has designed the development and functions of His Body on Earth. There are countless molecular functions that work interdependently to build upon a person’s DNA structure. In biological terms, the DNA sequence of genetic instruction is duplicated through RNA nucleotides (transcription), which then makes a matching protein sequence (translation). In a very simplified example, it can be compared to constructing a building. There are multitudes of construction workers (RNA) bonding together in unison to communicate and follow the blueprint plan (DNA) in order to multiply and carry out those instructions using the proper materials (proteins) to complete the structure. Our macromolecular process is a beautiful example of how God has designed the Body of Christ to function as illustrated in Ephesians 4.
“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God… Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future… Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ… He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”
Ephesians 4:1,3-4, 12-13, 16
We could spend many hours diving into the significance illustrated in this passage, but for now I want to focus on our “special work”—our spiritual identity and life mission. How can we really know what our calling is? Our biological DNA becomes evident through our physical traits, such as, the color of our eyes, hair, skin, our height, and many other physical features and functions. But our unique spiritual identity seems to be much more difficult to recognize. How do we get those specific “DNA” instructions for our “own special work”—life mission?
Before something is constructed it must have a secure foundation, otherwise it will collapse under pressure. Purpose serves as the foundation for all missions. So we must first understand that our personal mission is built upon our comprehensive purpose—intimacy with God. Since we know our spiritual cosmos is to live from the inside-out.
Purpose is then fulfilled according to its ordained principles. These principles are the very same instructions given to us for our comprehensive purpose found in God’s Word which is God Himself! This is where we must begin, continue and end as we pursue our divine romance and personal mission for Christ. Wow, this all sounds really spiritual, but how does it become relevant to our lives which are full of pressures, obligations, distractions, relationships, pleasures and problems? How do we move beyond the stress, complications and confusion and make our personal eternal impact of significance in the world around us? Why does it seem like so many are not getting any clarity or feel they are not making a significant difference in this world? Let’s start by taking a step back to reflect.
Take a deep breath and try to relax as we walk this through… What happened to our world? I thought all this technology and access to information at our finger tips was supposed to make life easier and more efficient. So, why are we more stressed and overloaded than ever? Why does it seem like we must do everything we can to keep from falling apart, much less accomplish our life mission? Let’s look again to our own bodies. Even though your biological DNA carries pre-ordained instructions to fulfill, that process can become distorted or mutated when exposed to environmental influences that break down its original plan. This causes disease and deformity, thus the need for medical research to construct remedies to heal and repair these infected cells in our body. So, as life attempts to break us down, how do we renew and realign ourselves to restore our Spiritual identity? The answer is simple. It starts by stopping. This is the instruction and pattern that God established from the very beginning.
“God’s promise of entering His rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you may fail to experience it. For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announce to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God,
as the people of Israel did, we will fall.” ~Hebrews 4:1-2, 10
Basically, the writer of Hebrews is laying it straight for us just in case we think that the Sabbath Rest is an Old Testament law that is not relevant for today. There are 27 passages in the New Testament that reference the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a part of God’s divine order in creation. Not only does God establish this pattern from the very beginning by resting on the seventh day, but He established rhythms of life throughout all creation. This is clearly illustrated in how our bodies are designed to function—our heart beat, breathing, sleeping cycles, hormonal functions. We see it all throughout nature—plants and animals, rotations of day and night, four seasons, etc. Rest beats are what make music so pleasing in how the rhythm flows, unless you’re into death metal that pounds your brain with hardcore screaming and distortion until your ears bleed. Get the picture? For so many, our lives are screaming at us with the distractions and distortions of “busy-noise” and demands.
You might be tempted to think that all you need to do is not work on Sunday (or Saturday) and then everything will fall into perfect order for your life mission. Nice try, but it does start with centering yourself and all you do in Christ. We get off course when we are the center of our efforts, hoping that Jesus tags along for the ride. The concept of a Sabbath is to stop striving from our labors and surrender ourselves to rest in God. A great example of Sabbath Rest is the ancient discipline called the Daily Office, a form of mini-Sabbaths. This has given us a valuable counter-culture strategy. The Daily Office or Daily Opus—meaning work of God, was instituted by the early church to be more personal that our typical quiet time or devotions. The Daily Office as exercised by the Trappist monks, was not just the work of Bible study, prayers, and serving, but was practiced multiple times throughout their day to experience God’s presence—spiritual intimacy. It keeps them aware of whom they are doing the Lord’s work.
I remember my early years of fulltime church staff ministry that demanded all of my available time to either serve, or prepare to serve, and teach members of the congregation. Although, I was working for the Lord, I would go weeks not having deep experiences in the Lord’s presence. There was little personal intimacy with Jesus, while doing a lot of studying, planning and serving. It is a lot like a marriage that stays busy raising kids, working to pay the bills, yet not very romantic and loving. God is a jealous God and wants to spend personal time with us, if we allow Him to. You may feel that there is just not enough time to stop and clear our schedules and minds for quality time in the Lord’s presence. It reminds me of the principle of tithing—if we don’t have enough money to keep our bills paid, how are we able to tithe? As so many will testify, when we are faithful to put God as our priority and source of life, He always provides! It’s all about love, trust and surrender. When we limit ourselves to our own resources we will surely break down. Remember it’s the Shepherd who makes us lie down in green pastures and by still waters that restore our souls.
It is in these intimate moments when we take the time and make the effort to silence the distractions and interference of our culture and surrender to His presence we can hear God speak to us. It requires intentional sacrifice to make this happen, but this is where the Living Word comes alive within our soul to restore us and guide us with His specific personal instructions. This is the place where our Spiritual DNA becomes restored to its pre-ordained functions and allows us to fulfill our special work—Our Life Mission.
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…” ~ Isaiah 40:31a
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you,
which is good and pleasing and perfect.” ~Roman 12:1-2 (Emphasis mine)
[Next Issue will identify how our “wounds” can become an opportunity
for greater Kingdom Dominion or a coop for Satan’s strongholds.]