For the past couple months, Matt Jones, Kolton Ballance and myself have been working on a personal evangelism study based on the book of Mark. In this study, one of the major points we are hitting on is that we need to be focused more on the spiritual world than the physical world. This is a concept that most of us understand and agree with if we are religious, however, applying this thinking and letting it control our thoughts and actions is, I would argue, the most difficult thing for a person to achieve.
This teaching is littered throughout the pages of Scripture. In Mark 2:1-12 we see this concept really come to life in the account of a paralyzed man. The friends of this man go through an amazing amount of trouble to get this paralyzed man to Jesus. They lugged their friend up on the roof of a house, dug a hole in the roof, and lowered their friend through the hole so Jesus could heal him. After years of being completely immobile, the paralyzed man is finally in front of the only man who can make him well. What does Jesus say? "Your sins are forgiven." Imagine the disbelief and the disappointment when Jesus responded this way.
This man and his friends went through so much trouble to have physical problems taken care of, but Jesus was concerned with the spiritual health of this man. Sometimes the same happens with us: we go through so much trouble for physical problems, and we pray our hearts out for physical "needs" to be met, just to be let down. You see it's not that God can't provide us with physical needs or that God doesn't care about our physical needs. It's just that to God our spiritual health is more important than anything in this physical world.
Being more concerned about the spiritual than the physical includes everything from health to finances to relationships. Our whole entire lives revolve around meeting physical needs: we go to school so we can go to work, we go work so we can meet physical needs, we retire when we can get by and then we die. Look at the news today: when the physical coronavirus compromises the physical health of people, the world shuts down. EVERYTHING IS PHYSICAL!!! (Please don't get me wrong, we do need to go to school, go to work, and social distance.)
How does this thinking manifest itself in the lives of people?
FIRST OF ALL - If you aren't a baptized member of the Lord's Church, text or call me at 405-426-0384 and, using the Bible, we can talk about how to become a Christian.
Please answer these questions honestly!
1. What are your #1 goals?
- If our first thoughts have to do with money, houses or cars, etc, then we may need to think about whether we are more concerned with the physical world or the spiritual world.
2. How much time each day do you spend praying and studying?
- there is no way to say "unless you are spending X hours a day in prayer and study then you are not spiritual," but simply answering this question may cause us to do some self evaluation.
3. What percentage of your paycheck goes to giving to The Church or to people in need?
- similar to the last question, there is no way I could say "unless X% of your paycheck goes to helping others, then you are not spiritual." However, this may cause us to do some self evaluation. In the Old Testament, God required 10% of everything to go back to Him, perhaps this is a number we could shoot for.
I want to challenge you to train your mind to think spiritually rather than physically. When you do, say or think anything, ask "what for?" What are you saying, doing, or thinking that for? Will this further you spiritually, or is it solely to help you physically? If I point a finger at you, I have three pointing back at me. Let's all work on these things together.
- Nate Miller