I started doing yoga in college. It helped my flexibility and it truly relaxed me. I even participated in a yoga class twice a week until recently when I was told that I could not do it anymore. This all started when I gave my students a group project. As a history teacher I must follow the curriculum for World Studies which includes teaching about the world’s five major religions. Needless to say, I dread this unit for obvious reasons. This year I assigned each group of students one of the religions and the students had to create a poster and present information on their assigned religion to me and the rest of the class.
During the presentation on Hinduism, one of the students stated that yoga is a Hindu religious practice. I said “WHAT?! That’s not true! Where did you get that from?!” As I picked up my red pen ready to slash points from their grade for presenting inaccurate information, the students showed me their research which was from a reliable source and went on to explain the origins of yoga. I apologized to the students and put my red pen down but that messed me up for the rest of the day.
Even after seeing their research, I was still not convinced so I did my own and came up with the same thing. Since the kids’ presentation, I heard the Spirit saying, “It’s true, you must stop doing yoga!” To be totally honest I ignored the Spirit and even went to my yoga class, BUT GOD! My spirit would not sit still, I could not get comfortable in class, and every time the instructor called out a pose my spirit screamed, “NO!!” It got to the point where I just left! I got in my car and asked God why. “Why can’t I do yoga? Lord, you know that I don’t do it for religious reasons; I’m sold out for you! Other Christians are doing it and its fine for them, why can’t I do it? EVERYBODY ELSE is doing it!”
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV)
YOU cannot do what everyone else does!
“But God, it’s just stretching, and I’m not doing it with the heart of someone who follows Hinduism, I follow you.”
“Abstain (avoid, run from) all APPEARANCE of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
I had to stop questioning and fighting and submit. What we must understand is that God, “…knows the plans he has for us…” (Jeremiah 29:11a) God wants each and every one of us to reach our fullest potential in Him. In order to do that we must be SET APART! We cannot do what everyone else does, EVEN fellow Christians. We must submit to God’s will so that He can use us to build the kingdom of God to the point where when we talk about living for God, we’ll be able to proudly proclaim, “EVERYBODY’S DOING IT!”
Thank You for setting us apart. Thank You for the favor You have on our lives. Thank You for loving us so much that You don’t allow us to be comfortable outside of Your will. Please forgive us for the times that we ignored You and did our own thing in order to be a part of the crowd. We ask that You strengthen our spirit of conviction like never before. We desire to be completely sold out for You. We Love you and appreciate everything you are in our lives! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to pray and seek God for the areas in which He wants to set you apart. Understand that I’m not talking about sin. These things are not usually sin but can and WILL hinder you from reaching your destiny and can and WILL hurt your witness for God. “Everything is permissible—but not everything is beneficial, everything is permissible but not everything is constructive…” (1st Corinthians 10:23 NIV) In other words, just because it is not necessarily sin does NOT mean that we should be doing it.
Ms. Katrina Richard is an up and coming professional residing in Chicago, Illinois. She strives to incorporate knowledge and life-skills to teenagers in her profession as a high school history teacher. Katrina is very active in her church community where she serves in the prayer ministry as well as in the nursery. She has a passion for serving in the lesser known areas of ministry because she believes every facet of ministry is important to kingdom building and spiritual development of the believers. Her favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”