“The family who prays together stays together – right?” Hmmm then why are so many praying families falling apart? We must learn to function in both practical and spiritual realms if we are to awaken our God-given potential. This is essential to every area of life.
Gen 1:1 In beginning God created the heavens & the earth. NAS
Which came 1st? The heavens came first which makes it our first priority. Matt 6:33 says we are to seek the Kingdom of God first! There is a spiritual realm and a practical realm and we must engage in the spiritual realm first!
Paul talks about the natural and the supernatural in 1 Cor 15:44. The chapter before that he’s talking about praying in the spirit and praying with understanding! Jesus prayed for God’s Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.
We see two realms revealed in many words that translate from the original languages of Scripture. Agape is a love that is divine and unconditional while Phileo is a brotherly love. Rhema speaks of a word from heaven while Logos speaks of more of a completed word of logic. Epignosis is a higher knowledge while Gnosis is an earthly knowledge. Zoe is eternal life while Psuche is a temporal life. When the Bible describes a man uniting with a prostitute it uses the Greek word “Kollao” yet the word for a man who cleaves to his wife is “Proskollao” speaking of a higher form of intimacy.
Interestingly we are referenced in the Bible as the salt of the earth. Some people are more spiritual about life while others are more practical about life. Salt is a combination of Sodium Chloride. The interesting thing is that Sodium alone will kill you and Chloride alone will kill you but without the two combined you will die. When religion reduces God’s Kingdom to merely spiritual things or to merely practical things religion destroys lives. When we understand that God wants our practical lives to be spiritual and our spiritual lives to be practical we will truly begin to live!
We are told to love God and to love others. Loving God is a very spiritual relationship. Jesus came to demonstrate this in the physical realm. This opened the doorway for us to be empowered on every level of loving God and loving others.
Nathan, Renee and their four children are close friends that have become family to our family. Their daughter, Aleah, has had to see specialists to address a physical condition she battles. In one instance they’d traveled to Baltimore for a week of treatment. The temperature outside was cold and the entire situation was inconvenient and uncomfortable. Aleah, age 8 at the time, was frustrated by the trip, procedures, weather, etc. On their way to their appointment she was voicing her frustration for having to be doing what they were doing. Something happened that day that completely changed her perspective. During her treatment she met another little girl who had had an accident where a swing set had fallen over landing on the back of her neck paralyzing her from the neck down.
Aleah befriended the little girl and began serving her trying to make her stay for the treatment as pleasant as possible. Suddenly the inconvenience of her trip, the weather and the procedure didn’t seem so bad. It was this other little girls suffering that was greater than Aleah’s that seemingly rescued her from her own frustrations. It was very impacting when they returned and her daddy, Nathan, shared this story. His words continue to remain in my heart to this day. “Jesus delivers us from our sin. Our willingness to participate in other people’s suffering delivers us from ourselves.”
The common teaching about how works won’t get you to heaven is typically born from Paul’s writings in Ephesians:
Eph 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. NIV
The interesting thing is that we stop reading there once we’ve made our point. The very next verse actually speaks of the importance of works.
Eph 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. NIV
The Bible actually speaks of two judgments. There is the judgment of salvation found in John 5:24. Then there is the judgment of works found in 2 Cor 5:10. These two judgments require very different responses. You can’t use works for the salvation judgment but you also can’t use salvation for the works judgment.
The Kingdom of God addresses needs both in the spirit and in the natural.
James 2:15 17 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action is dead. NIV
Knowing what we need to do is one thing. Doing what we know to do is another. May God grant us both revelation and wisdom to fulfill all He has in mind.