Natural Versus Spiritual

1 Corinthians 2:10-13: “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? . . . Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.”

Observation: These verses draw a distinction between the spiritual and the natural, what one can hear and know and understand when walking in the Spirit and being taught by God versus those who are primarily oriented toward worldly things.

Application: In this passage is the core of my struggle, flesh versus spirit, temporal versus eternal. Everything about my natural life has taught me to pursue natural knowledge and to hone natural skills. From earliest childhood I received an allowance that I might “learn the value of a dollar.” There was financial reward for presenting good report cards. I earned a bicycle by selling countless boxes of greeting cards. Later, I was granted scholarships for excellence in select areas. Through constant reinforcement I was taught to accumulate things and that financial rewards follow hard work. Finance has been but one of many areas of life to which similar principles have been applied.

While this has been the lesson of life, it is not the lesson of Scripture. In order to achieve the kingdom of God, I had to unlearn things I once so diligently pursued. It is hard work precisely because it required an undoing of so much. I had been groomed in one way, but I found that way went against the grain of Christ. What I gradually have had to admit is that even someone who has professed to believe in Christ can still find himself primarily attuned to the things of this world. He wants to pursue the “good” things life offers and he reasons from a worldly perspective even while trying to apply his thoughts to spiritual things.

Prayer: Lord, I repent of those times when my words, thoughts, or actions were birthed out of a worldly mindset. Forgive me for my constant tendency to treat things of this world as more important than the eternal priorities and perspective you want me to have. Renew my mind; restore my heart to Your priorities today.  Thank You Lord.

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