Over and over and over I have said that as a Christian, we think and act differently. Yeah, yeah. I know that is not new to you, but really, do you know it? Paul went so far as to say that to the natural mindset, our faith is foolishness. Ouch!
No, really. Since 1979, I changed. My values changed; my desires changed; my behavior changed. Oh, not immediately, but as I grew in my faith I began to move into another dimension, if you will allow me to say it that way, of living. From the moment I came to the Lord that late Friday night/Saturday morning, a seed was planted and over the years, day-by-day, it grew and now, all those years later, I am much different. My language is different and my attitudes have changed.
I have always attempted to share my faith, to try to introduce non-believers to my Savior. I started in with my family and friends, but also to those I worked with or met on the street. I wanted to help them to see how great my new Father was and to experience a new life of victory and joy that came through surrender and faith. That theme — recognizing my Father for He is, and how we should offer Him the worship and honor He was due, became my life-passion.
I grew to understand that to actually “know” Him, first required a renewed relationship to Him (which took some time to acquire. It didn’t just “pop” into my heart). But it also required faith and a growing knowledge. Both of which He gave to me, but I had to apply my energy and to allow it to grow. And, because there is no way for any of this to happen without His Spirit drawing and illuminating our hearts, we have to welcome Him and allow Him to indwell and possess our hearts. No, people don’t like you saying things like that. You know, that the Holy Spirit must possess your heart, but that is indeed what He will do if you give Him the opportunity.
But here’s the thing. If you even attempt to make sense of our faith; to try to rationalize our faith, you will fall on your face. If you really think you can maintain your faith without acknowledging the Cross, you will experience, what Tozer claimed to be the “strange paradox of love.” The power of our faith lies in the antipathy against our former life; the way we lived; the way we thought. Your new faith can never agree with the lifestyles and attitudes of an unbeliever. It just can’t happen.
Unless you can discover the differences between the two natures, you will never understand the power of our Lord’s Cross. Not only that, your witness to the world will fail. Nope, your power will be displayed when you learn to declare instead of attempting to explain. The Gospel can never be understood through a man’s reasoning, but only through the revelatory work of the Holy Spirit. Think about it. If something can be proved, then it wouldn’t require any faith! Our faith relies completely on the character of our Father and is never at the mercy of a laboratory or logic.
Nope, the power of our Lord’s Cross boldly stands against anything the natural man can throw at it. Everything about that Cross contradicts everything the natural mind tries to create. That is why Paul was able to admit that preaching the Cross to an “unrenewed” mind is foolish!
The unspiritual man simply cannot accept the matters which the Spirit deals with—they just don’t make sense to him, for, after all, you must be spiritual to see spiritual things. The spiritual man, on the other hand, has an insight into the meaning of everything, though his insight may baffle the man of the world. This is because the former is sharing in God’s wisdom, and ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’ Incredible as it may sound, we who are spiritual have the very thoughts of Christ! (I Corinthians 2:14-16)
Yep! It is impossible to find any common ground between the message of the Cross and the mind of your unsaved friend or family member. Every attempt you have made fell on empty ears, haven’t they? You were attempting the impossible. Sorry. But . . . people, even ministers, keep trying, don’t they? This is why we now have a meaningless message about the Cross, and a powerless Church!
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