Living fully in two worlds.
Our friend Kim and her son Ben have been going through some tough days lately. Ben, a high school senior has a diagnosis of lymphoma and along with our Family have been believing the Father for the manifestation of healing for Ben’s body. A few weeks back Kim, concerned that she was doing everything she could do to see healing take place, asked some of us this question: “if we go ahead and do all this chemo-therapy, doesn’t that show a lack of faith and which will keep God from healing Ben?” My answer to that question was this: “we live in both the natural and the spiritual world and so we want to do everything we can in both worlds to see Ben healed.”
They continue to walk it out in both worlds and the Father is operating to bring healing through both.
We exist in two worlds and we are responsible for our actions in both. We get inspiration, purpose, direction, wisdom and many other things from the Spirit but all of these have to be worked out in the natural world we operate in. This is the way we were created. It is why we are left to live on the planet even though we have a seat in the heavenlies. (see the letter to the Ephesians)
Error comes when we give emphasis to one side over the other. I just came from having coffee with Kelly, a man I knew a little, when I was a pastor here in this area. Kelly had heard me speak the other night and wanted to know how I could go from preaching what I used to preach to now preaching with an emphasis on the fullness of the Spirit. He was wanting to know how I was able to live in both the natural and spiritual worlds after having functioned primarily in only one for so many years.
I use to say things like this: “if you get it right in your mind you will get it right in your life.” This statement, while it contains some truth, is not the whole truth. I was full up on knowledge and had a very good grasp on the truth but I didn’t always get it right in my life. I was not a whole person. I knew the Word but I was not open to the Word the Spirit wanted to implant, moment by moment as I walked through my day.
When we have an extreme emphasis on the rational, natural side of life we tend to have trouble receiving anything from the Spirit. When our focus is solely on study and aquisition of information we are not always conscious of the Holy Spirit speaking, leading or revealing and we miss that moment by moment direction the Spirit wants to give us.
The natural and logical are important dimensions of our life and must be trained and used to function in the natural world but our spiritual senses need training as well so we can receive from our spiritual side as well. Paul prayed that we would be sanctified (made pure) entirely, body, soul and spirit (1Thessalonians 5:23). God never intended us to deny or reject any of these essential parts of our nature. The message of the gospel is redemption, redeeming of our entire being. If our minds are the only thing redeemed we will miss much of what the Father’s intentions for us, are. The Father’s intention for us is that we live in touch with both the natural and the spiritual world.
Because most of my life was lived primarily in touch with the natural world at the expense of the spiritual world I have a lot of ground to cover to catch up. I am not going to get out of touch with my natural side but I am going to give a lot of attention to my spiritual side. I want more and more of the Spirit and will gratefully and boldly take anything and everything He wants to blast me with. However whatever that is must be worked out in the natural.
I plan to do some writing on how we can live out our maximum potential in the Spirit while we walk it out in the natural. Check back, it could be interesting.