My thought for today involves the intersection of two ideas. Pastor Jerry Odell taught recently about the purpose of prayer being to understand God’s purpose so we can pray in alignment with it. He sited 1 Corinthians 1:10 which reads,
“But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you. The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along.”
God shares with us through the Holy Spirit what His purpose is. I believe that when the Scripture tells us to pray in Jesus name, it means something more profound than just adding a tag line to the end of our prayer. It means to understand God’s purposes and pray that His purposes are realized on earth. It’s what Jesus meant when he prayed “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The other thought this intersects with is the role of man’s spirit. With this in mind read all of 1 Corinthians 2:7-18:
God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest–what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it–What God has arranged for those who love him. But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you. The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God–except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way. The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit–God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.
It is man’s spirit that enables man to understand God’s spirit. Without our spirit, relying only on our body and soul, we have no capacity to receive spiritual truths. Atheists are people with stunted spirits that have not been quickened by God’s Holy Spirit. By not developing their spiritual nature, they rebel against spiritual knowledge as if it is foolishness. Believers, on the other hand have spirits that have been opened to the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, you must feed and nurture your spirit so that you are prepared to receive spiritual insights. The complete person is body, soul, and spirit…the human trinity that is required for wholeness.