Scripture: 1 Corinthians 3:1 NASB “Learning From The Spirit”
“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:1
Here is one frustration of living in the end times. People do not seem to have much of a spiritual sense. This includes pastors. What I mean is that not many people seem to have “an ear out to the Lord.” They are not listening to God. They are not trying to hear that “still small voice” (cf. 1 Kings 19:12, KJV; “gentle whisper,” NIV; “sound of a gentle blowing,” NASB).
“Religion” is running rampant. And “religion” will reign in the last of the last days (cf. Rev. 17). Religion is “man seeking God.” Christianity and the Bible is the story of God seeking man. Religion arises from man’s sinful nature (cf. Rom. 7:18, 25 NIV; “flesh,” NASB).
“Men of flesh” in our verse are referred to as “carnal” in the KJV, “worldly” in the NIV. What qualifies someone as “carnal”? I would think two characteristics would stand out for carnal people. One is that they act just like unbelievers (thus “worldly” in NIV). They just don’t mature. They don’t change. Their character is the same five or ten years after they are saved as the day they are saved. It might be normal for someone to still be carnal or worldly right after they are saved but there is no excuse for not developing over years of having the Holy Spirit indwelling (cf. Rom. 8: 9). The norm for a Christian is to be changing from “one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor. 3:18, RSV) as we are conformed to the character of Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 3:18, “are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit).
The second way a carnal Christian is different from a spiritual Christian (v. 1, “spiritual men”) is that they don’t listen to the Lord. They may have been to seminary and learned a lot of things that fill their heads but they have not learned from the Holy Spirit. We call that having “head knowledge” instead of “heart knowledge.” But they also do not have Spirit knowledge. We are commanded by the Lord to follow the Spirit (cf. Gal. 5:25, “keep in step with the Spirit, NIV, ESV) and to learn from Him (1 John 2:27) through the Scriptures (cf. 1 Tim. 3:16).
Listening to God through the Word and by the Spirit is to be spiritual.
Are you spiritual?
If you are, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Learning to hear from God is like learning to walk. Perhaps that is why the Scripture likens spiritual maturity to babies maturing. Paul says in our verse that not maturing means we are still acting like “infants.” Peter tells us that we should long for the Word like a baby craves milk (cf. 1Pt. 2: 2). But the writer of Hebrews rebukes his readers for not moving from the milk to meat (cf. Heb. 5:12-13, “strong meat,” KJV, “solid food,” NIV, NASB)!
What are you doing to make sure you are maturing? Are you attending a solid church? Are you reading Scripture every day or almost every day? Are you reading spiritual books? Are you developing your spiritual senses (see blogs Sensitivity To The Holy Spirit, Spiritual Sensitivity, and Sensitive To The Spirit)?
If you’re not doing these things, there’s no better time than now to get going. Can you commit yourself to learn the Word and to listen to the Holy Spirit (see also blog Fly Straight, Praying In The Spirit, or A Toi Story).
The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog: Attacked!