When I was a young girl, I longed to be free of the rules and seemingly confining authority of my strict parents. I wanted to prove I was mature before I needed or had to. I thought freedom was having no boundaries. I used comparisons of those I knew who had parents not at home, not aware or just plain clueless as well as what the media portrayed as the happy life. I was not content. My parents seemed to always say “not now” or “no”. They always chaperoned and weren’t ‘hip’ (but you couldn’t tell my Dad that!). And I wasn’t hip either. I always had to ask for permission and I couldn’t/wouldn’t question them. My mother often reminded me of ‘how dumb’ I was. That flared up my pride. Those years through my twenties, I thought the adults were the dumb ones. It was evident they weren’t happy or living ‘the dream’.
How blinding pride can be leading the young (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually) to think inexperience can outperform/outdo experience without wisdom, correction, protection and encouragement. After years of living independent of my parents and God not happy or living the dream, I came to Jesus as I was. I finally understood the principle of obedience and submission. Young hearts, obedience and submission are not to be demeaning but for protection and accountability. Aren’t the mature accountable and responsible?
During pre-marital counseling, I was assigned to write letters to each parent and share the emotional distress I believed originated from my youth. This exercise was to reveal things I needed not take into my marriage. I wrote and wrote and wrote pouring it all out – writing what happened and what didn’t happen in my childhood. The notes were not disrespectful or distasteful pointing fingers and accusing. It relayed a child’s limited perceptions and feelings and how they manifested in a grown woman. The exposure of my thoughts and feelings brought sadness and trepidation. I announced with accomplishment to Pastor at a future session “I did it. I mailed the letters.” Pastor doesn’t usually show double take facial expressions during counseling but this time his brow lifted a little and his eyes widened a bit and he smiled saying calmly, slowly “Daughter, you weren’t supposed to mail the letters. The exercise was for you to capture those things from your past you hang onto.” WHAT?! Oh No! Wait!!
Now I get excited at opportunities to sit or hang with my mother, father, aunts, uncles, grands and until recently my great grandmother. I now try to ask and listen to as much as I can. I don’t have all of my children grown, married, college educated, in church homes active. My mother does. I am not a debt free home and land owner. She is. I am not married to the father of my children for 45 years and counting. She is. And her mother (my grandmother who is still living) has a greater witness and testimony. It wasn’t their youth, being happy all the time or pride that has sustained them. I AM the dumb one. Believe you me, there are no pride flare ups now to call me dumb. (SIDEBAR: Women Walking In Victory classmates – remember the Matthew 5:22 discussion? No pride either when called an idiot. Good times.) Those letters would read so differently now. Not because what I wrote wasn’t true, but because time, grace and mercy have given glimpses where my mother was and although technology and tools have changed…there is NOTHING new under the sun. Maturity (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually) takes time and development. Freedom from obedience is confused with freedom from interference. We don’t want to miss out on the interference. We want bliss – no restrictions, not have to be sober to deal with the past/present, no limitations, no consequences, no sacrifices, get it now, fit my attitude. We know this isn’t real. Or rather it is real chaos whether the struggle is trusting, knowing, or heeding to God. See Romans 1:21.
Genuine (=Biblical) and wholesome (=balanced) spirituality is the goal of Christian life, Christian living.
Biblical is maturing in the Word.
Balanced is growth and development in the Word.
Spiritual is pertaining to the spirit.
Ephesians 6:12 – We aren’t fighting against human enemies but against rulers, authorities, forces of cosmic darkness, and spiritual powers of evil in the heavens.
• Spirit beings are distinct from human
Romans 7:14 – We know that the Law is spiritual, but I’m made of flesh and blood, and I’m sold as a slave to sin.
• God’s law prospers the user
I Corinthians 15:44 – It’s a physical body when it’s put into the ground, but it’s raised as a spiritual body. If there’s a physical body, there’s also a spiritual body.
Romans 1:11 – I really want to see you to pass along some spiritual gifts to you so that you can be strengthened.
1 Corinthians 12:1 – Brothers and sisters, I don’t want you to be ignorant about spiritual gifts.
1 Corinthians 14:1 – Pursue love, and use your ambition to try to get spiritual gifts but especially so that you might prophesy.
1 Corinthians 10:3-4 – All ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. They drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.
Colossians 3:16 – The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by signing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Colossians 1:9 – Because of this, since the day we heard about you, we haven’t stopped praying for you and asking for you to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, with all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
The secret place of the most high is in the Word.
1 Corinthians 2
2 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I didn’t come preaching God’s secrets to you like I was an expert in speech or wisdom. 2 I had made up my mind not to think about anything while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and to preach him as crucified. 3 I stood in front of you with weakness, fear, and a lot of shaking. 4 My message and my preaching weren’t presented with convincing wise words but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power. 5 I did this so that your faith might not depend on the wisdom of people but on the power of God.
Definition of wisdom
6 What we say is wisdom to people who are mature. It isn’t a wisdom that comes from the present day or from today’s leaders who are being reduced to nothing. 7 We talk about God’s wisdom, which has been hidden as a secret. God determined this wisdom in advance, before time began, for our glory. 8 It is a wisdom that none of the present-day rulers have understood, because if they did understand it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory! 9 But this is precisely what is written: God has prepared things for those who love him that no eye has seen, or ear has heard, or that haven’t crossed the mind of any human being.[a] 10 God has revealed these things to us through the Spirit. The Spirit searches everything, including the depths of God. 11 Who knows a person’s depths except their own spirit that lives in them? In the same way, no one has known the depths of God except God’s Spirit. 12 We haven’t received the world’s spirit but God’s Spirit so that we can know the things given to us by God. 13 These are the things we are talking about—not with words taught by human wisdom but with words taught by the Spirit—we are interpreting spiritual things to spiritual people. 14 But people who are unspiritual don’t accept the things from God’s Spirit. They are foolishness to them and can’t be understood, because they can only be comprehended in a spiritual way. 15 Spiritual people comprehend everything, but they themselves aren’t understood by anyone. 16 Who has known the mind of the Lord, who will advise him?[b] But we have the mind of Christ.
1. Wisdom (:1-8) comes from God
2. The Spirit (:9-16) is given to us by God
God speaks through His Holy Spirit