My body has a first name . . . and a last name . . . but what does my soul have?

It’s easy to focus on our differences because so many times the only basis we have for figuring each other out is what we see. And at first glance, we are all very different from each other. But what we need to remember is that if we are followers of Christ, we all have one very important thing in common–we all have the Holy Spirit inside us. And if we have that commonality, no other difference matters.

Galatians 3:28 is the verse for today.

28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile,[a] slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Now, does this verse mean that once you accept Christ, you’re no longer bound by racial heritage or governmental law or gender? No. I am a follower of Christ, but my physical self is still an American with an English-Scotish-Irish heritage and God created me to be a woman. But my spiritual self–which is what this verse is about–is beyond all that. My spirit–my soul–isn’t physical at all and it isn’t bound to any of the descriptions or labels we need for a human body.

During the time that we live on Earth, we have the bodies God gave us. And He gave us the bodies we have for a reason, whether they function the way we think they ought to or not.

He gave us the families and the family heritages we have for a purpose; some of our families are more interesting than others.

And He allowed us to be born where He wanted us. I count myself blessed that God chose to allow me to be born in America, and I know I take that for granted most of the time.

And I also know that God created me to be a woman for a reason, although most of the time I don’t feel like I fit in with others of the female variety because I don’t like painting my toenails or shopping or being overdramatic. In any case, God made me female and in a physical body there are differences between men and women. Obvious differences.

But when we’re talking about souls, everything we know goes out the window. Because we don’t understand souls. And we don’t understand spirits. We think we do. But honestly? We don’t have a clue.

But what this verse is saying to me is that our souls are far and away above our concept of existence. As we are now, we have to label each other so that our differences make sense. We shouldn’t most of the time, but we do it anyway. But souls defy explanation. Our souls supercede sterotypes.

Can we wrap our minds around someone not having a racial heritage? Can we truly grasp a person that has no cultural history? And can we really understand someone who is truly neither male nor female–not the mixed up Gay-Lesbian-Bi-Trans issues we deal with in our society (which isn’t an issue of sexual equality; rather, it’s sexual rebellion).

Of course, we can’t understand any of that. Because there’s never been a person on Earth who is none of those things. Maybe people think they are. Maybe people think that they can be neither. But it’s not true. It’s impossible physically. If you’re a human being, you have a race. And you have a culture and a country of origin. And you have a gender, whether you claim it or not.

Our souls, on the other hand, were created without race–without culture–without gender from the beginning. Granted, God chose to place those souls in physical bodies with all of the limitations of humanity, but the day is coming when we shed those physical bodies and leave this existence–and we’ll go either to heaven or to hell, where our lives will really begin.

And when we reach either of those eternities, it won’t matter if your family mostly ate potatoes . . . or if your heritage embraced Communism or Democracy . . . or if your physical body was male or female . . . . All that will matter is if you know Jesus because that’s what determines your final destination. Because God doesn’t make the choice to send anyone to hell; we send ourselves.

So what this verse helps me remember this morning is that even though we may be different on the outside, our souls all have equal worth to God. Our souls are all on the same level. There isn’t one that’s more worthy than another. There isn’t one with a better family–because we’re all from the same family. There isn’t one that descends from a greater country–because our souls didn’t come from a country. There isn’t a soul that is superior either for masculine qualities or feminine qualities–because our souls are gender-neutral.

The only difference in our souls is that some are redeemed and some are still broken. Those souls who haven’t made up their minds still have time to make a choice. And those of us who have already chosen Christ need to get it through our heads that even though our phsycial bodies may be different, our souls are the same–and we need to stand united in Christ now more than ever.

I’ve been staring at my computer for 15 minutes

Maybe I’m foggy today. Maybe I’m feeling too much and thinking too much and trying to understand too many things at once. But I feel somewhat like a dry well this morning, like if you reached in for a cool drink of water all anyone is going to get is a bucket of mud. I guess there’s just a lot going on.

The verse for today is a great one.

John 4:24

24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

 And it certainly is a good thing to remember. God is Spirit.

Knowing who (or what) someone is usually determines how we respond or act toward it. I mean, knowing someone is a king means you shouldn’t run up and try to hug them or chew with your mouth open in front of them. Stuff like that.

I think about all the idols people worshipped in the past (although people worship just as many idols today). They did all sorts of ridiculous things for gods made of rock and wood and metal. Horrific things. Ghastly things that make me feel sick and wonder how people could ever do anything like it for any reason whatsoever.

It’s amazing to me that all God asks from us is trust. If you really get down to it, that’s all He asks. Trust Him. Trust Him when He says He’ll bless you, protect you, never abandon you.

It’s odd. And it’s different than any religion in the world (maybe I should say any other religion in the world, but that would imply that God is attached to a religious system; He’s not).

So it makes sense that worshipping Him might be a little different too. So many people have so many ideas about what worship is. Some people think it only happens in church. Some people think that if you haven’t got your hands up in the air, it isn’t real. Some people think that there needs to be fainting and healing and shouting for it to be real.

I’m not an expert on this, but worship is an attitude. It’s more than something you say or do. It’s how you live. It’s what you think about. It’s the reason you do anything you do, say anything you say.

My incredible friend Lance Cummins once said that worship is telling God how much He means to us. It’s giving Him the glory and the credit for everything in our lives and thanking Him for everything we have and don’t have. It’s not just singing. It’s not just doing good deed. You can worship God when you’re standing still. You can worship God when you’re singing or when you’re dancing or when you’re playing an instrument. You can worship God at church, but you can also worship in your home, in your place of work, in your relationship with other people.

You can worship when you’re having a great day. And you can worship when the day is long and cold and dark and depressing and it feels like there’s no end to it. You can worship Him when you’re sad. When you feel discouraged. When you feel alone. When you make mistakes. (I’m so glad we can worship Him when we make mistakes; if we couldn’t, how could we ever worship Him? We make mistakes all the time.)

Worship is an attitude. Worship is a lifestyle. And it’s not getting all emotional and teary at the drop of a hat. It’s not jumping up and down and hooting and hollering and screaming and falling down. It’s not chaos.

Worship is the purposeful act of directing your thoughts toward God when you don’t feel like it. Worship is trusting that God forgives you even when you make an unforgiveable mistake. Worship is giving Him the credit for the work you think you have done all by yourself. Worship is living a life for Him and not hiding it.

Worship is so much more than anyone ever thinks it is. And what you worship will give you something in return. It will either give you peace or it will eventually take it away.

So to me it’s better to trust God, knowing that He is able to make the circumstances of our lives all work together for our good and His glory, than to trust in anything else, whether it’s my job or my finances or my family or my church or my pastor or my friends or my insurance company or the government. I won’t have my job forever. I won’t be secure in my finances forever. My family won’t be around forever and neither will my church or my pastor or my friends.

God is Spirit. Worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Worship Him with everything He made you to be. Trust Him. He really does know what He’s doing, and what’s wonderful about God is that He can see the entire picture of our lives, every little detail, and He knows exactly how everything is going to work out. And it’s going to be good.