“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14
The “failings” in our lives get us to a point of intersection with the Lord’s truth: the truth that my physical body, my sin nature/carnal man and my soul are nothing! The carnal man is to be crucified with Christ, no longer living and drawing life from the first Adam.
In Galatians 2:20, it reads, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (NKJV). The word translated as “crucified” in English comes from the Greek word “systauroō” (soos-tow-ro’-o), and it means, “to crucify together; to crucify along with; one with another; together with; join together in tight identification” (Strong’s 4957). This definition speaks of oneness. As we long for oneness with Jesus, we must remember that it starts first with our oneness in His death. We must cease from using human effort and soul power to try to “deny ourselves” when all we’re asked to do is join Him by faith. Joining Him in the oneness of His death releases His wonder-working power to join us to His resurrection life! Once again, it’s all by His FAITH and because of that, no man shall boast. In fact, it will be utterly impossible for anyone to boast!
When you are led by the Spirit, there is great joy in being nothing. Nothingness is completely liberating! Your eyes are illuminated by the revelation that you exist entirely for the sake of Another: Jesus Christ. When we struggle in denying ourselves and becoming nothing, we cannot see the difference between soul and spirit. Only the power of the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit, can penetrate between the two. If you are dominated by the soul, nothingness is painful, hurtful, and some would even say cruel to think of. Watchman Nee refers to this as being “useless,” since God cannot use anything based in our souls. Sadly, this is why people that live by the natural man will never be able to receive the things of the Spirit and why it seems to be foolishness to even many professing Christians. They are so out of touch with God, and what He has done, and who He is, that they cannot get past thinking that He exists for them. How we have been greatly deceived by the spirit of this age and its so-called “wisdom”! (I Cor. 2:6). It’s like a germ that everyone has come in contact with and only a deep cleansing will be able to flush it out. So many are influenced by leaders in the church who teach self-focus and have not allowed this deep cleanse to take place in their own lives. In so doing, they leave their people vulnerable to this sickness of self! In truth, we have all been sick with self and in need of the Great Physician. We all face this struggle against self, and we have all come short of the Glory of God. But thank God He hasn’t left us there!
The greatest honor ever bestowed upon mankind by the Living God is our identification IN His Beloved Son! In 1 Corinthians 1:30, Paul says, “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God…” This wisdom in His Son reveals a great pursuit. The book of Proverbs charges us all to “Get wisdom! Get understanding! Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Prov. 4:5, 7). When you surrendered to Christ, you received “The Getting,” a deep desire for Christ. He is the only One to get, He is the only One to have. May the wisdom and revelation of Christ deepen our understanding so we can see Him rightly! Only those who choose to let Him mature them will receive the wisdom of God in a mystery. If we fear the Lord, and continue our pursuit of Him as a Person, even when we don’t understand (putting to death our human wisdom), He will unfold these mysteries by His revelation, which transforms us into His image. And only those who are transformed by His revelation will enter His glory. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 refers to this when it speaks of “…the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” They could not see that oneness with His death was the gateway to oneness with His glory, His very life! The revelation of Jesus Christ should be our heart’s cry continually and should never be satisfied with anything other than Him. Just as King David prayed in Psalms 17:15, “…I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.” Praise You God for revealing all that You have prepared for those who love You! Jesus plus nothing means we are part of that equation! We are nothing so He is ALL!
Jodie Brown, along with her husband Ben, is an elder and leader with Lionheart Fellowship. Jodie and Ben have a passion for God and to see His purposes fulfilled in the earth. They also have a heart for God’s people and to see them rightly related to the Good Shepherd.