Of course, many people know the gem that is Watchman Nee’s ‘the Spiritual man’ but sometimes when you are reading parts they jump out as full-on prophecy. Like any other sceptical 21st century believer, I am very hesitant to call something prophecy but read this and tell me that God wasn’t speaking to Nee:
A Christian must be delivered from every misconception with respect to spiritual life. He often surmises, before he enters the spiritual sphere, that if only he could be as spiritual as his brother how happy he would be! He visualizes the spiritual odyssey as a most happy affair; and so he contemplates spending his days in perfect joy. Little does he know that the opposite is the truth. The spiritual path does not yield any enjoyment to the person himself; it is instead a life of daily fighting. To remove warfare from a spiritual life is to render it unspiritual. Life in the spirit is a suffering way, filled with watching and laboring, burdened by weariness and trial, punctuated by heartbreak and conflict. It is a life utterly outpoured entirely for the kingdom of God and lived in complete disregard for one’s personal happiness. When a Christian is carnal he lives towards himself and for his own 11 spiritual” enjoyment. Of little real value is he in God’s hand. Only as he dies to sin and to his personal life shall he be able to be used by God. (http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/nee/sprtmnv2/1969c4p4.htm)
Is this not what most believers believe? Is this not loaded with such timely truth?
I pray that God would open our eyes and remind us that we do not belong here and this is not our home. After all… We are aliens.
- My dear spouse, why do I find it hard to receive biblical perspectives and teachings from you?
- Why do my family and friends always discourage me from my heart’s desires?
- Why are my family and friends not as excited about my prospective mate?
Do some of these questions hit home? For Bible believers, they are tied together quite intimately.
Last night I was starting to sleep when my wife woke me up and asked me, specifically why it is that when I present my spiritual opinion or my biblical perspective on a theological topic to her that she immediately opposes or doubts it, instead of trusting and believing it.
My response that spewed from the depths of my near REM sleep was:
- the Spirit of God is living in you, so He is safe-guarding you against deception
- all men are liars and God only is true
- I am your husband and you’ve seen a track record of imperfection, hypocrisy and failure
As I reviewed my knee-jerk response in the morning, I was actually pretty surprised at the truth therein. But the cherry on top was that when I opened my Bible for my daily Bible-in-a-year cycle for the new testament, lo and behold I found myself one day ahead of schedule and landed upon Mark 6. As I read the section I couldn’t help but get excited about how God has been speaking so directly to me lately. Last week it was a friend from the other side of the country He spoke through and today it was His Word but in the most clear way I have seen yet. Here is the excerpt with my underlines added:
And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing [him] were astonished, saying, From whence hath this [man] these things? and what wisdom [is] this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them]. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. [Mar 6:1-6 KJV] 1
Friends! Family! Flesh!
The un-spiritual trinity (lol?)
But seriously. The only place in the new testament that I can find where Jesus could do no mighty work was in his home town where his flesh was raised. Now check this verse out:
Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more. [2Co 5:16 KJV]
I’m guessing I don’t have to expound too much on anything here. The answer to my wife is simple: she is my friend, my family and she knows my flesh, too. I cannot think of anyone in the entire world who could possibly have a harder time trusting my spiritual insight, direction, theology, etc, than my wife. She has to fight all three. And so, my new response and suggestion to her would be this:
- get even closer to God and subdue the flesh and submit the soul entirely to God
- although you have experienced my fleshly humanity, try to view me as an eternal spirit and a resident of God’s kingdom passing through this troubling life
- do not *know* me after the flesh. Know me after the spirit
- increase time in prayer together – somehow – anyhow
The last one is for some reason the toughest.
Friends and family, although they mean well and care, often times are unable to view their family and friends as spiritual beings but merely as earthly souls. Hey – they did it to Jesus so don’t expect better from your friends and family.
That’s why the church is so important. It’s the spiritual family – the one that travels into eternity with us.
Hope this little chunk of insight from God is useful to someone out there, not just Wayne Out There.