Of the flesh
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:1
In the past you likely may have heard the word “carnal” defined by words such as: sensual, erotic, lustful and lascivious. However, looking at this word in today’s scripture it simply means of this physical world. Paul is telling the Corinthian church that instead of seeing life from a spiritual perspective, they are still living by what they see in the natural, physical world. That is why they still have emotions like envy, strife and divisions in their lives and in the church. Paul is stressing to them that they are living like baby believers instead of growing in their faith as he had expected them to do.
This speaks to me because, I totally get it. It is so easy to go through life focused on what is going on around me. If I didn’t purposefully set time aside each day to talk to God and consider His ways and His plans, I would be caught up in my own thoughts and feelings. As it is now, I often find myself hurt or offended because of what someone else has said or done.
Yet the church in Corinth was fighting over things such as who was more spiritual based on who they were learning from. After hearing what Paul has to say about it, your spiritual strength has nothing to do with who you are listening to, it has to do with who gives the increase. All the pastors and teachers you read and listen to are only planting and watering the seed of God’s word in your heart. It is the Holy Spirit that gives the increase of strength and grows our faith. These feelings of envy, strife and divisions are really signs in our lives of areas that we need to grow through into a mature child of God. To stay parked with hurts and offenses simply means your are not growing, but are still behaving as a baby.
The solution is in cultivating your relationship with your Heavenly Father through His Spirit that lives inside you. There are many ways to do this. Prayer, is probably the most effective way to press into God. Just by spending time talking to Him and asking Him to show you things. Ask Him what scripture you will need for today. Open up the Word of God and spend some time getting to know Him better by what He has already promised. Praying in the Sprit and meditating His Word will also bring you much insight and grow your walk of faith. Mostly, making a concentrated effort to connect with Him each day will impact your walk with Him in a positive way that will lead you to love more like He loves.
Today I want to encourage you examine your spiritual walk. Are you looking at life from an eternal perspective, or do you see things as if this world is the only factor to consider? Set some time aside today to talk this over with the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and guidance. Make a plan with Him to grow you relationship with your Father in heaven and gain an eternal perspective in every area of your life. Put away the childish hurt feelings from offenses, and grow up in the love of God so you can step into the purpose you were created to walk in.
Today’s scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 3:1-4