When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach Him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.1 Corinthians 2:13-16
Using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths: I like that. We need to be aware of our dependence on Him not only to understand the deeper things of His Word but then to communicate them. Remember what Paul said at the beginning of all this – the wisdom of man is foolishness to God and vice versa. In our smugness and self-absorption we think we have it sussed and understand it all. If things appear foolish to us then they must be foolish. Not so with the things of the Spirit. The things of the spirit must be discerned or perceived spiritually. I don’t intend in this section to approach these verses as a commentator would. I believe they are clear enough. Allow me again to add two stories. I believe human beings are “wired for stories”. One of my stories and one from Elisha.
Elisha’s story first:
One day when her child was older, he went out to help his father, who was working with the harvesters. Suddenly he cried out, “My head hurts! My head hurts!” His father said to one of the servants, “Carry him home to his mother.” So the servant took him home, and his mother held him on her lap. But around noontime he died. She carried him up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and left him there. She sent a message to her husband: “Send one of the servants and a donkey so that I can hurry to the man of God and come right back.” . . . Gehazi hurried on ahead and laid the staff on the child’s face, but nothing happened. There was no sign of life. He returned to meet Elisha and told him, “The child is still dead.” When Elisha arrived, the child was indeed dead, lying there on the prophet’s bed. He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the LORD. Then he lay down on the child’s body, placing his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, and his hands on the child’s hands. And as he stretched out on him, the child’s body began to grow warm again! Elisha got up, walked back and forth across the room once, and then stretched himself out again on the child. This time the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes!2 Kings 4:18-22; 31-35
Sometimes we are called to do strange things. (Verse 34) How did Elisha know to do that? Verse 33 tells us. Elisha prayed and I believe God told him what to do. But hang on a moment, that is shocking. Jews were not supposed to touch a dead body, let alone a priest or prophet. God may well ask you to some strange things at times before he reveals things to you. Do you know what I think we would do with the revelation in this modern world? We would start the First Church of the Lying Down. [After the experience of John 9:6 we would start the First Church of the Holy Spit.] We would want to enshrine God’s guidance and perpetuate it much like Peter on the Mt of Transfiguration. “This is the way God heals; this is the way God moves.” Rather Elisha took each circumstance and consulted God as to what to do on each occasion.
I was asked by my friend Shenol to explain the Trinity. I thought how do I do this in a way that satisfies him? I used the analogy of the three states of water (liquid, solid, gas) and the example of the orange (flesh, skin, pip) but I could see by the look in his face it wasn’t enough. I prayed a “help” prayer and asked God what to say. I had a strong impression to say “Shenol, if I were to explain the doctrine of the Trinity in human terms would that satisfy you? He said “Yes, that’s what I want”. I then said “There are some things of God that are just too deep to explain. I am happy with that. I am pleased that God has teaching that I can’t get my mind around; that boggles my mind. I think I am more satisfied with there being unexplained things of God than if I could explain everything about God in human terms. I am more content having a God who is unexplainable rather than a God who is completely explainable.” That wouldn’t satisfy me.
Shenol stayed silent for what seemed a long time and then finally he said, “Ian that is deep. I have to go away and think about that.” I would like to report that he returned and accepted Jesus as his Messiah / Saviour. He didn’t, but I believe that what the Lord had me share with Shenol was what he needed to hear and was timely. I leave the rest to God who is orchestrating his journey as he has mine.
Hence why Paul wrote:
When we tell you these things (or in Elisha’s case – do these things), we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words (do things) given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.1 Corinthians 2:13
We are most successful when we take from God’s wisdom or revelation and share it with others – moment by moment.Ian Vail
One of the best gifts we can give ourselves is time alone with God.Joyce Meyer