Over the last little while the Holy Spirit has increased my awareness of how entrenched I have become in this world. I hear that electricity is due to increase by 50% over the next few years and I wonder about by income. Food prices are sky rocketing and I think about how I will feed my children. Our school lives on the edge of financial success and failure and I wonder about the future. These are all normal reactions, for the flesh, but I no longer belong to the flesh. "Wait a minute now," some people may say to me, "let's not go too far overboard. It's normal to be concerned." That's the problem, it has become normal because I am entrenched in this world instead of walking in the security and freedom of the Spirit.
Most of us do not live differently from our neighbour because we have not known or accepted that difference. Some will talk about our difference of morality, but you know, I have meet a lot of moral unsaved people in my life. The difference must include morality but it must also go deeper. It must go where it affects our heart and mind. It must affect our perspective and priorities. It must affect our security and joy. It must affect how we love, live, and laugh. Truly, this world has nothing to offer us and there is a problem if our security comes from this place instead of Jesus Christ. We have to allow the transformation to bring about a new creation, with new hope, security, perspective, joy, love.
Nicodemus had a problem when he went to see Jesus. He was a natural man, living in a natural world trying to understand spiritual things. The Word tells us that without the Spirit we cannot understand spiritual things:
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Nicodemus' reaction to Jesus' statement that a man must experience a second birth in order to enter the Kingdom is a classic "Huh?": "How Can this be?" he asked Jesus. How can a man be born for a second time? Jesus asked him how he could claim to be a teacher if he could not understand this and then he made a statement that rings the clarity of truth down through the ages to this present time:
"I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?" (John 3:11-12)
So many people who warm the pews can't figure out life here, how will they ever figure out the spiritual truths that should be governing us? Let's twist around a popular saying to express the truth of our age: We are so earthly minded that we are no heavenly good. We are so caught up in the worries and concerns of our life that we fail in our relationship with Jesus. We, the spiritually re-born, fail to throw off the shackles of the flesh, fail to soar far above it all, fail to put on the new garments, and instead live a failed and miserable life, fully entrenched in the natural. We fail to trust him, to believe God's promises, to walk in security and the authority he has given to us. We are no ordinary people, we are powerhouses of eternal power, of the resurrection power.
We know what Jesus said about giving flesh the priority:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?" (Matthew 6:25)
"If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:30-33)
Don't lie to yourself, you know how much time you worry over these matters and its because we do not realize who we are and whose we are. We have not allowed our relationship with Jesus to transform us, even though we are a new creation. We are a new creation trying to live by the old familiar rules. We are refusing to attend the school of the Holy Spirit to be taught the new way of living which brings glory to Jesus. It goes beyond worry and includes everything we need victory over, including depression, self-image and even relationships.
When we live by the flesh we are only interested in things about us, that affect us. When we live by the Spirit we are only interested in living to bring glory to Jesus. When we live according to the Spirit we are able to discern and understand all spiritual matters, understanding the Father's heart and his plans. There is a major significance in the difference between the spiritually minded and those who are led by the flesh, the natural world. We are not natural creatures any more because we belong to the supernatural. We are not ordinary we are extraordinary. We are not illegitimate children because we belong to the faithful Father of promises.It is indeed time to rise up from the gutters of this world, stop acting as victims and walk as the princes and princesses that we are.