But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
1 Corinthians 2:14
There are times when I am baffled by how people can fail to see the thing that seems obvious to me. If I look at it long enough, it dawns on me that the thing I deem obvious has been explained by the Holy Spirit and that the understanding from which I am looking is spiritual. Similarly, there are things that I simply do not understand and the reason, I find out on reflection, is that they are natural things and do not jive well with what the Holy Spirit is doing.
Before this turns into a bragging session — and no braggadocio was ever less warranted — it bears note that natural and spiritually are a study unto themselves. The word rendered natural is psychikos (ψυχικὸς) and is defined in the concordance as “of or belonging to breath.” The idea conveyed to me is that this is a person whose being is consumed by things that are almost immediately gone, like breath. The word rendered spiritually is pneumatikos (πνευματικῶς) which is well-translated. Pneumatikos is derived from another word that is defined as “belonging to spirit” or “belonging to wind.”
Putting aside, for the moment, the obvious difference, there is a slight similarity in the words. One pertains to breath while the other pertains to wind. both are movements of air, but they are markedly distinct. Breath is something whose origin we know. Wind is more difficult to pin down. People and animals breathe in order to stay alive. The wind just is. Breath is gone almost as soon as we register its existence. Wind can come along and stay for days on end. Breath is fairly weak. Wind can uproot trees and fling houses about like a toddler does her toys.
So, too, is the difference in those who are guided by their breath and those who are guided by the Holy Spirit. We know what concerns those who are natural while we often do not know what those who are spiritually guided. We see the end of what the natural man does, but things that are spiritually directed accomplish goals we may not see in our lifetime.
Last night, I was privileged to be a part of the Holy Spirit’s work in the lives of several of my fellow believers. I know that He blessed them and I know that I was a tool He used to do so, but I cannot, for the life of me, tell you what it was that He spoke into each of those hearts last night. I accept that He granted my request that I be used by Him to bless my brethren and I commit to Him the effects of His work. Sometimes — perhaps oftentimes — those who are used by the Spirit do not fully understand what He is up to.
I have a choice: I can be guided by my breath; by what is temporal and swift to pass away or I can be guided by the Holy Spirit; driven by the wind on adventures that wait for me to arrive — good works prepared beforehand by God that I might walk in them. The choice is mine. The Wind of God or the breath of man: which will drive me?