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Monday, October 9, 2017

I need another example!

People who do not have God’s Spirit do not accept the things that come from his Spirit. They think these things are foolish. They cannot understand them, because they can only be understood with the Spirit’s help.  (1 Corinthians 2:14 ERV)

Have you ever stopped to consider why someone who hasn't asked Jesus into their life yet really doesn't understand even some of the simplest truths found in the scriptures? It is most likely because the Spirit of God is responsible for helping us to no longer look at these truths as foolish or nonsense. Until the Holy Spirit takes up "residence" in our lives, we might just find ourselves discounting God's values, truths, and expressions of loving care more than we realize. Think of a good old-fashioned radio for just a moment. As we turned the dial, some stations would come in kind of garbled, barely heard, and with a whole lot of static - we hear, but we don't always catch every word. As we fine tuned that dial a little more and pulled out the antenna, what happened? The station came in loud and clear! The Holy Spirit is like the fine tuning knob and antenna in our lives - he helps us to recognize truth, making it clearer and clearer to us until we finally understand it loud and clear.

If you struggle with a new truth God may be asking you to accept as fact, it isn't that you don't have the Spirit of God within you. It may just be that the eyes of our "flesh" haven't seen the truth in a way that makes sense yet. The good news about truth is that God goes to great lengths to helps us "get it". When my kids were coming up through school, there were times when I thought they should get some simple lesson they needed to understand in order to move on with their studies at school. They'd bring home loads of homework, all because they weren't "getting it". I found myself in a position of having to figure out how to help them "get it" somehow. Often I'd use some other illustration that would help them because they could connect that illustration with the abstract concept they were having to learn. Sometimes the Holy Spirit uses the simplest stuff to explain some of the hardest stuff for us to understand!

For a long time I thought some things in "church" were foolish. I didn't really see the point in what was being expected of me. The fact of the matter is that we often don't realize the value in the boundaries set by scripture until we go outside of those boundaries. We push up against the boundary and don't feel any great pain or discomfort as we do. That makes us a little more curious about what is on the other side of that boundary. When we push past the boundary and head further away from it, we most likely find the purpose for the boundary. Fences are built for a reason - either to keep something within the boundaries of the fence, or to keep something outside of those boundaries. God isn't just about rules, but when 'rules' are there for us, such as don't let the sun go down on your anger, we do well to listen to the Spirit of God reminding us of the 'rule'. Anger that isn't dealt with has a way of festering into full-blown bitterness and resentment - both very damaging emotions for US, not so much for the one we harbor those things against.

We need understanding - nothing is more futile than to make foolish decisions, dismissing truth just because it is hard to understand. We need the Holy Spirit within us to help us understand truth. If we don't understand truth, we need to ask for his help. We may not 'get it' with the first illustration he uses, but trust me on this - we will 'get it' because he is constantly working to connect the dots for us until we do get it! Just sayin!