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Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
 Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)





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08.21.2020 - The Shell
As I lay in the bed, sleeping in on this Friday morning, I was still in bed because I felt terrible. I made a recent trip to the doctor's office complaining of lower back pain, fatigue, dizziness, and just feely lousy. I have to give them credit, they were very thorough. An x-ray, steroid shot, and 10 vials of blood later I received a phone call from the doctor's office a few days later. Mr. Edwards, we know why you have been feeling so bad…your blood work came back and you tested positive for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and by the way, you have a fractured L1 wedge. Ok, not what I was expecting but it explained a few things.

As I lay in bed praying it was impressed upon me that my body is just a shell, nothing more. What's important, truly is what's inside. The thing we probably think the least about is the most precious. Our spirit, the valuable cargo, the thing that is the real us, that will leave the shell and live forever is where we should be focused.

Our spirit is the seed. Our bodies are merely the outer shell. I also saw that the shell has to be broken for the seed to be planted. I realized that my body, the shell, is broken, but that's okay, because what's important has the opportunity to grow as a result. God uses broken things.

As I lay there spending more time praying and praising than I had in a while I realized how true this is. I realized that my priorities were out of order and needed reprioritizing. I have been so focused on dressing the shell, making the shell comfortable, making the shell stronger, that I have missed the point. Take care of your body sure, but it’s the seed, the spirit that needs to be the priority. "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience."

The bible tells us that we must increase the Spirit and decrease the flesh. The world we live in puts the focus on the flesh and tries to discredit spiritual things as kooky or a myth or somehow naïve. Of course they do! This is the devil's lie. He knows that the battle is not of flesh and blood but a spiritual one. The armor of God is not physical armor it's spiritual armor. So if we are so blinded by this deception that we take great care of the shell but prevent the seed from growing in us then we are defenseless in a spiritual battle. The shell is us, the seed is the spirit of God. The enemy's message is that we don't need any armor. How convenient for him. I'm not buying it.

We have to become more spiritually minded and less fleshly focused. Anything that is seen is temporary. What is not seen is eternal. Either the Spirit or the Flesh becomes stronger and they counter each other. When we surrender fleshly desires to the will of God, the tide changes and the balance shifts. One gets stronger and one gets weaker.

Where is your focus? If you had to give a percentage as to where you put your focus regarding the flesh or the spirit, what would it be? Wow, that thought really put it into perspective for me. I like to think of myself as a spiritual person but by this standard my flesh is stronger than my spirit. Not something I like to admit but something I know I need to change.

My prayer is that God will increase and that I will decrease. That His spirit will increase and that my flesh will decrease. God's way, not my way. Focused on what's eternal and getting us all ready for eternity.

I believe in aliens, how about you? The bible tells us that we are the aliens. This is not our home. We should be pitching a tent here but building up treasure in heaven. My goal is to not be so caught up in this world that I lose sight or deprioritize what is the most important. We need to keep the main thing the main thing. We were put on this earth and given a mission. We need to be spiritually strong to fight fleshly desires, not so fleshly minded that we disregard spiritual truths.

My shell is broken, so what? God will put me back together and I will be better for it. Too many people blame God for broken shells. Every good and perfect gift comes from above. My body will heal and as a result of this time I will have a new perspective. God takes what was meant for evil and turns it into something good. How am I? My spirit is strong.

During this time I have taken great comfort in a song by Elevation Worship called Graves into Gardens. (Paraphrasing) I searched the world but it couldn’t fill me. You came along and put me back together. Every desire is now satisfied here in your love. There is nothing better than you. The God of the mountains is the God of the valleys. There's not a place your mercy and grace won't find me again. You turn mourning into dancing, you give beauty for ashes, you turn shame into glory, you turn graves into gardens, you turn bones into armies, you turn seas into highways, you are the only one that can. There is nothing better than you.

Wow, I sense the Holy Spirit every time I hear this song. All true and very powerful.

I pray that this helps someone today. A body can be broken but God is good and his love endures forever. Trust in him and don’t let the distractions of this world cause you to take your eyes off of Him. There is nothing better than Him!

One final thought. The bible is not a buffet where we get to pick and choose what we should believe and what we can ignore. I made the mistake of thinking that I did not really need to rest on Sundays and this one simple thing has led to a number of consequences. If it's in His word, it's important and there for a reason. Trust Him and trust His word.

Have a great day!