Christ's Glory, Not Mine

by science fiction author Andrea J. Graham

Face it: By nature, we’re all “those carnal Christians.”

“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

It is so easy to read this verse and think about all of “those people” who don’t understand the things of God, or rather who call our own doctrinal beliefs, personal convictions, and religious practices silly or flat out wrong. But I believe the Holy Spirit today is redirecting us from “those people” to “us people.”

We each have a body. We live in sinful, broken, corrupt flesh, in an equally sinful, broken, corrupt culture. By default, all of us reason according to those forces. If we don’t train ourselves to do otherwise, we will even read the bible through the distorting lens of our cultural and personal experiences.

Yes, us people have a “natural person.” We do also have a “spiritual person,” but we’re better acquainted with the easier-to-see natural person. That is, after all, who we are according to our upbringings at the hands of broken people, damage from our fallen environment, and our DNA, which often contains coding errors. Our spirit’s condition was so bad, we all require a spirit transplant from Jesus, and have already received it if we are of his body.

Brothers and Sisters and fellow transplant recipients, humility compels us to realize we all still live in “natural person” bodies on this earth.  Don’t shove him in a closet and pretend he’s not there. If not watched carefully, he influences how “us spiritual persons” understand spiritual things. He leads us to reject spiritual callings as being ungodly folly in our understanding. At the same time, he leads us to flip ungodly ways into holy ways and causes us to misidentify worldly wisdom as spiritual wisdom. Let us have true spiritual discernment today and seek true wisdom from God, with hearts open to receive from him.

Lord, we confess the weakness of our flesh. We have at times confused natural wisdom for spiritual wisdom and let how we are broken define us. Show us, Lord, in the spirit, who we really are in you. Strengthen us in the here and now to be more like the person your eternal eyes already see as we spiritually gestate and await our births into eternity. Open our eyes to the truth of who you made us to be. Please vanquish any corrupt desire that is preventing us from receiving true spiritual wisdom from you. We trust in you. In Jesus name we pray, amen.