When August Rolls Around

Meet the God Chicks—a wonderful group of women I have the privilege of teaching a couple of times a year.  (I’m the one in black in the front row at the right of the photo, next to my sister, Sharon Bass, in the gray blazer.)  Some of the women are holding “pillowcase dresses” that they sewed for little girls in Africa.

 

Hope for the Journey – By Mary Zigan

Feelings often change when August rolls around, as the lazy-hazy days of summer are almost over and it’s back to the routine. So my thought is…how does routine look for you? Are you heading back to school, closing up the cottage for the season, getting back into a schedule of things you do more consistently and consciously than you do the other months of the year?

Routine for me consists of being more aware to balance myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but not necessarily in that order. Indulge me to explain. I facilitate a group called God Chicks every spring and fall. This fall’s eight-week study is on the Holy Spirit’s function and purpose in our lives. The Holy Bible is our roadmap.  However, I have gleaned much from Watchman Nee’s study on the Holy Spirit through his search of Scripture.

Watchman Nee was a native of a province in Southern China. As a young man he proved himself to be a very intelligent and promising individual. He was consistently the top student in his classes, achieving an excellent academic record. He, of course, had many youthful dreams and plans for a successful career. Nevertheless, in 1920 at the age of seventeen, he came under the hearing of the gospel, and after some struggle, he received Christ as his Savior and Lord. Since then, the ministry of Watchman Nee has been one of the most significant and spiritual influences to emerge during the Twentieth Century. His labors had a profound effect upon the spreading of the gospel and the establishing of hundreds of local churches throughout Asia, while his many books and spoken messages have become a rich supply to believers throughout the world.

In Watchman Nee’s book, The Spiritual Man, I have gleaned a greater understanding of how important it is that the spirit within us is alive.  With the Holy Spirit before our physical (body) and soul (our emotions/personality), we can become fully alive. The Biblical new birth occurs in an area far deeper than human body and soul; it is where we receive God’s life through the Holy Spirit. The writer of Proverbs tells us that the lamp of the Lord searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being.” (20:27). Our spirit is used to communicate with the spiritual world, and the body with the natural world, so the soul stands between the two and exercises its power to discern and decide whether the spiritual or the natural world should reign.  In order for the spirit to govern, the soul must give its consent; otherwise the spirit is helpless to regulate the soul and the body. When our heart or spirit is filled with the Holy Spirit…we have truly come home to who we were created to be. Jesus doesn’t work on the old man or the old nature of sin within us. Instead, when we are born again, we become a whole new creation, the old nature is gone. When the Holy Spirit moves into our hearts, he pays off the mortgage of sin and builds us into a new structure that is unrecognizable to the uncleanness that once ruled within us. We are now “Under new maintenance”. Our home/body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our purpose is to partner with the Lord Jesus Christ in character, conduct, and conversation. How liberating!

Thanks be to God.  Amen!

~ Mary Z