Saturday, June 16

The Natural Man

When folks think about the Bible they get all mystical and even more so when they think about God. It’s hard to get practical application when your mind is thinking about spiritual truths in a mystical sense. Consider this verse:

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness

to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor 2:14

Alright now what does this verse mean? Let’s break it down. What is the natural man? Ever heard the phrase, “I’m just doin’ what comes natural man!” That’s when you are acting at the instinctive level, the lowest common denominator, with the natural tendencies of a dog. So you’re out chasin’ a little tail, getting’ your grove on, enjoying life without a care in the world or a thought for how your actions affect other people. You’re doin’ whatever feels good.

Now the verse goes on to say that the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God. Well why not? One reason listed here is “they are foolishness to him”.

Why is that? Well if I’m goin’ around havin’ a good time, I’m not takin’ any thought or care for anyone but myself, why would I waste my time thinkin’ about God or the Bible? You “naturally” give your time energy and thoughts to whatever you are engaged in.

As a Christian it’s easier to gravitate toward the spiritual things in life because we recognize the importance of God and His Spirit’s guidance. Once we came to Christ and saw how faith in Him changed us for the better the things that once gave us pleasure in the flesh weren’t nearly so appealing. When from high to high to high and constantly crashing or bed hoping and never really feeling your emotional needs being met it doesn’t take long to discover that something is missing in your life.

So the first step in understanding the Bible and ultimately God is to slow down long enough to consider who He is and why He made us. The Bible has the answers, but such things are foolish until you’ve reached the end of your partying lifestyle. Kind of like the kid that eats an entire bag of candy and feels miserable from all that sugar, indulgence will always get you down eventually.

True satisfaction in life comes from slowing down, considering God and then when you are in that place of quietness God can talk to you. You can discern spiritual things once you aren’t stuffing your face with meaningless treats and indulging in every appetite your body desires. There’s nothing spooky or mysterious about it. God isn’t withholding spiritual knowledge from you because you are being bad. You just aren’t in a place to be able to receive anything from Him because you aren’t taking the time to receive from Him. Kind of like the kid who says he wants to spend time with his dad, but never has time and runs around from this ballgame, to that party, to some other event instead of slowing down and asking dad what can we do for fun.

In God’s line of work fun is taking you to someone who’s been deathly ill for 20 years with no hope in sight and having you pray a simple prayer of faith for healing and watching that person totally healed and set free. Things that are totally impossible to imagine can be done through you, but only if you slow down enough, spend time with your Father and hear from Him. There’s a much better high that awaits those who wait on the Lord.