Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Naturalness of Living Supernaturally

These scriptures precede the following thoughts, they are here in 2 Kings 2:3, 5, 7, 14, 15-16; 4:38-41; 6:1-7, and Romans 8:20-25, 1-2, 6.

Its interesting how many of us can see so clearly one moment (day) and the next, seemingly forget any and all that we were so certain of before.
So many of my (our) perceptions are founded upon our natural perception of reality, perhaps a “reality” based solely upon the natural senses, and as God says, the natural man detests rejects that which is spiritual, or, he cannot receive that which would open up before him a whole new reality of endless possibilities.

I so appreciate the following thoughts here from T.A. Sparks, I trust you will like wise be richly encouraged.


We pass from Romans to Corinthians: "Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged." That is death: and when we try to handle, analyze, pierce through heavenly and spiritual things with these minds of ours, this natural reasoning, we come to a deadlock, we come to an impasse, and we move in a realm of spiritual death.

These very men had seen what happened. They saw Jordan cleft; they had knowledge of the risen and ascended Lord, but they were not taking their own position in an experimental way upon it. They wanted to have a certain confirmation in the realm of sense. Oh! how the natural man longs to get confirmation through his senses. He longs to see something, feel something, to have evidences. Beloved, one of the marks of resurrection is that so often the whole thing goes on without any evidences in the realm of our senses. Do you think that the people who live in the power of His resurrection are always conscious of being simply overflowing with Divine life? Very often, like Paul, they feel as dead as anything can be in themselves, and yet the miracle is that there is that which is not of themselves enabling them unto the work, carrying them on. They are conscious of weakness, emptiness, dependence, and yet there is something of God which carries them on. If they were to stand still and say: "I am not going on any longer until I know in every part of my being, and in every factor of my life, the overflowing of His resurrection," they would not go on. The Lord does not meet us on that ground at all. These men showed immaturity by wanting evidences in the realm of the senses. Elisha shows how utterly he represents the principle of resurrection life by standing against all that is merely sentient. The flesh must have its proofs, and its evidences along its own line, but the spirit sees through and acts in another realm: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6).

So these sons of the prophets sought to take hold of resurrection life and draw it down to the limitations of man's doubts. If you and I do that, we shall fall out of the realm of that ministry and testimony to which the Lord calls us. It is a very great temptation all the way along to want evidences of the spiritual in the realm of our feelings and of our natural knowledge, instead of going on and knowing quite well that the going on is not by our own power; that it is impossible so far as we are concerned, and yet we are going on by reason of Him Who is our life.

Looked at naturally, all those who have known and lived on the principle of the risen life of the Lord Jesus would appear a very poor lot indeed. If you could gather all the men and the women of this New Testament dispensation who have lived wholly upon that principle of life triumphant over death, and you looked at them as men look at people, you would say: "That is a poor crowd." Take Paul! Some people would get a big surprise if they could see Paul as he was. We have all the romance of nearly two thousand years of the effect of Paul's ministry. We have all this volume of literature on Paul, his life, and letters, and work. If Paul were able to meet us as he was then, and we had no spiritual perception, but simply saw him as a man, we should say: "Is this the man who created all this literature, and caused all this talk, who has stirred the world to its very depths for nearly two thousand years? I do not see anything in him!" But there is a deeper side. So you ask him: "Paul, did you know all the way through your life, when you were in this great work, such resurrection power that you never had an ache or a pain, and never felt tired, and never knew what it was to be depressed, to feel fears, to be anxious?" He would answer: "I knew them all as few men have known them, fightings without and fears within. I knew what depression was; I knew what it was to be tempted to doubt; I knew what it was to go through dark patches where ultimate questions arose; I knew what it was to despair of life." We may take it that there were many, many occasions when Paul was not conscious pre-eminently of the power of His resurrection, and yet he was living on it, and that accounted for everything.

That which is real and that of which we are conscious may be two different things. All that we know at times is that we go on in spite of ourselves. What is it that carries us on? It is that other "something" that is deeper than thought, deeper than understanding, deeper than feeling; it is the Lord going on in us.

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