Spiritual Life

In the spiritual life, we are like babies: Ever-changing and growing
In the spiritual life, we are like babies: Ever-changing and growing

In the former chapters, we mentioned that God created everything both visible and invisible through Christ, His Son.  And that when Adam sinned, Man was “cast out” of the invisible, spiritual world into the visible physical world. We will call this life the life of Natural Man. However, as we are born again through our faith in Christ Jesus and the reception of the Spirit of Sonship, we begin to have access to God’s presence and His spiritual reality. We will call this life the life of Spiritual Man.

God is good at using the natural to teach us things in the spiritual. To a child of God, most of our understanding and wisdom are learned first in the natural, then the spiritual.  It’s helpful, in this light, to understand how we grow in natural wisdom for the spiritual life we grow into.

Life of Natural Man

When we are in our mother’s womb, we are formed into a baby with organs ready to use.  When we come out of the womb, we instantly begin to face a new world. This means more than just embarking into a new reality, it means transforming in many ways.

Envision the life of plant for a moment. It takes quite a long time for the life within the seed to be released. It must break out of the shell and then take root, gentle and fragile as it is in the beginning.  But it starts the journey no longer as a seed, but a plant.  Still, it takes a long time for it to grow strong enough to come out the ground and embrace the world of sunlight and breeze. God orders seasons and weather so perfect that this amazing process almost slips past normal eyes. Yet each step of process is a miracle and triumph.  The transformation and release is a wonder that combines more than the breaking of the shell of a tiny seed, but also the emergence from the ground. And through it all is the promise is the life of an aged oak, firmly planted by the river, giving shade to a sun-beaten passer-by on a long pilgrimage, or offering perches to wearied birds in the middle of a distant migration.

In a sense, a newborn baby is a miracle and triumph.  Some observations on a newly emerging baby:

  1. A baby begins the process of the opening of the senses which will be fully utilized in a world full of wonders and new possibilities.
  2. The baby begins to develop into a life of intelligence, knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
  3. Suddenly, the baby’s method of physical provision is completely altered: It no longer can depend on the mother’s womb to automatically feed it anymore. It is fed first with milk, then, and as it grows, with solid food.  Over the first few years of life, it begins to feed itself rather than depending on its parents.
  4. It is no longer isolated. Now it grows into diverse relationships with others with its emotional and mental capacity developed as well.

As the baby grows in physical stature, he will eventually grow into a man, with full capacity to cope with the natural world and natural reality. He will use his knowledge, skills, and talents to fulfill all kinds of tasks.  He’ll learn and create, and take on all kinds of responsibilities.   Most importantly, he knows how to receive love and express love in a way that he had no clue of when he was in his mother’s womb.

We’ll continue this discussion over the next week or so.  If you think others should join us, please share this post with them.

This is _Part 1_ in the series The Gift and Work of the Holy Spirit: Resurrection Power and Eternal Life.  To continue with this series, click on Pt 2.  To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series.

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