Greetings from our God and Father, and from our Lord, Jesus, the Christ. This letter is an updated version of an article I originally posted in July 2013, pertaining to the foolishness of the acts and ways of the Spirit. Yet, it is according to the Spirit of God, that Christians are commanded to be led.
WHAT DOES NATURE TEACH US?
Romans 1:20…For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…
I was at a zoo not too long ago where I took the picture of the tiger you see here. Thankfully, there was a “very” thick glass separating us. This tiger, like the crocodiles and the many other animals I saw that day has a strength that far exceeds mine. Without the glass separating us, I simply would not stand a chance in a physical combat (if there is even one to begin with). Yet I thought
“Men were able to lock this tiger in a cage. Men also caged all the lions, the crocodiles, and even the elephants in that zoo. Some men (and women) did all this so that others can come and look at them“.
Then I thought, “what is it that we, human, have that allows us to dominate all these animals?” A mind of course! We can think, we can reason, they cannot.
Then I thought
“if only he could, I am sure this tiger would give up all its strength in a heartbeat just to get a piece of my mind”.
WHY? BECAUSE NO MATTER HOW STRONG HE IS, HIS POWER CANNOT BE COMPARED TO THE POWER OF MY MIND.
HOW MUCH MORE POWERFUL IS THE MIND COMPARED TO THE BODY?
Well, we can’t really tell because the mind and the body are on completely different scales, the mind being evidently on a far superior one. NO AMOUNT OF BODILY EXERCISE CAN DEVELOP A MIND. EITHER ONE HAS A MIND, OR ONE DOES NOT.
WELL, THINK OF THE SPIRIT! IT MUST AT LEAST THAT MUCH MORE SUPERIOR TO THE MIND
Isaiah 55:9 – For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God is Spirit so His ways and thoughts are spiritual. The mind of a man is really what defines him (Proverbs 23:7), so his ways and thoughts are of his mind, his intellect. That is how he reasons. Here in Isaiah, we see that the ways of God, which are Spiritual are far superior to our ways, which are the ways of our mind.
Just like with bodily strength compared to the power of the mind, NO AMOUNT OF MIND EXERCISE WILL EVER DEVELOP A SPIRIT OR ATTAIN TO THE POWER THAT THE SPIRIT AFFORDS.
Now, as we will see with the two examples below, the ways of the spirit can be so different than the ways of the mind that actions that originate from the Spirit may appear downright foolish to the mind. That is how incapable the mind is in trying to understand the spirit.
ACTIONS OF THE SPIRIT
1 Corinthians 2:14 – But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
Understanding the context of this verse, a natural man is one who does not operate with the Spirit of God. To the best of my understanding, by “natural man”, 1 Corinthians 2:14 refers to anyone who does not have the Spirit. The natural man is one who operates solely from his mind (or worse, his body). God says that such a man “cannot” accept the things of Spirit because they are foolishness to him. He “cannot” even understand them! Wow, what is so special about the Spirit that even the smartest among us cannot understand his things?? It is just the same as the tiger who cannot explain by its brute strength, how he found himself caged by humans.
SPITTING ON DIRT TO HEAL BLINDNESS
John 9:6 – When He (Jesus) had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went away and washed, and came back seeing.
1) spitting on the ground, 2) making clay out of it, 3) applying that clay on someone’s eyes who is completely blind, and then 4) sending that person to go wash in some pool is hardly an acceptable recipe for healing blindness. This is an act of the Spirit. And for the mind, this is pure foolishness!
WALKING AND SHOUTING AS A MILITARY STRATEGY
Now the whole record of the battle of Jericho under the leadership of Joshua is a bit long (Joshua 6:1-27). But essentially, God instructs Joshua and his military officers to march around the city of Jericho for six days. And on the seventh day, they were supposed to march around the city seven times, blow the trumpet, and shout. The expected outcome? The wall of Jericho – a fortified city – was supposed to fall down flat! Well, Joshua and his men did it, and the wall did fall flat!
Joshua 6:20 – …the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city.
This strategy continues to puzzle many a military pundit, simply because they are trying to explain by the brute strength of their intellect. But it was an act of the Spirit, not of the mind. And so are, the partying of the sea with Moses, Jesus walking on water, people being healed from Paul’s handkerchief, or Jesus feeding thousands of people starting with five fish and a piece of bread, and many more.
BUT PERHAPS THE MOST PUZZLING WAYS OF THE SPIRIT ARE FOUND WHEN CHRISTIANS ARE MIRACULOUSLY WILLING TO ENDURE BOTH MENTAL AND PHYSICAL ABUSES
2 Corinthians 6:2-10 – See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 3 We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, 4 but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5 beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; 6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, 7 truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; 8 in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
To the rest of the world, suffering to this extent hardly makes any sense. We serve a God we cannot see, get instructions from Him to live selflessly, to suffer so other rejoice, and endure, sometime unto death, having a hope that our mind cannot grasp.
Ephesians 3:20 – …to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine
The most brilliant mind will still never understand the ways of the Spirit. As Christians, we are told to put on the mind of Christ, that is…to operate on a Spiritual level, not at the level of our mind.
Philippians 2:5 – …Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus
Then, and only then, can we effectively contribute our share in the great commission of reconciling people to God, of sharing the burden of our brothers and sisters, thereby honoring Christ.
Zechariah 4:6 – “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts…
It is futile for the tiger to think that he can accomplish with its physical strength what can only be accomplished with the mind. Likewise, it truly is futile for us to think that we can accomplish with the mind those things that can only be accomplished through the Spirit. We need the Spirit of God to accomplish the tasks God has given us. We need the spirit of God and we should dictate our own mind to subject itself to the immensely superior power of it! It is only then that we will see the acts of the Spirit. A mind that is subject to the spirit is a mind that acts upon the directives of the Spirit instead of its own directives.
We may look very foolish at times to outsiders (Jesus certainly did when he spat on the ground), but Spiritually speaking, we would be moving mountains, raging blows to the Devil’s army, freeing those who are oppressed by it, with the freedom that only Christ can provide.
May His Name be praised. AMEN.