Lately I have been studying 1st Corinthians. I am only part way through chapter 3 but so far a resounding theme keeps coming back and that is the power of the Holy Spirit. This is a subject that many churches tend to leave alone but Paul talks about the Spirit frequently in the opening chapters… particularly chapter 2:9-13
But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
I love this passage because it shows us the power of the Spirit. Through God’s Holy Spirit we have access to the very thoughts of God in order understand the things that God freely gives us. We have the ability to understand truth found in the bible. As we seek to draw closer to God we become more intimate with his thoughts, his perception, his will. As I see it, we are the only things that get in our way. We willingly sin or are disobedient. I believe this blocks the Spirit within us. Moving from chapter 2 into 3, Paul addresses the church at Corinth about living in the flesh, being human with arguments and disagreements such that they are not ready for anything more than spiritual milk… certainly not deeper spiritual truths. Living in the flesh stunts our spiritual growth and inhibits the work of the Spirit. Even if we are not stuck in willful disobedience, sometimes we compartmentalize our spiritual life in a way that it is like the verse in James 1:23-24 where it says “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.” We read our Bible, attend church, pray, and maybe attend a bible class or a home group but once we are done we put it away and immediately forget. We don’t think about it, dwell on it, or even remotely try to apply it to our life. I think for the Spirit to be alive in us we have to listen, keep or connection to God’s word, apply to our lives by keeping it in our hearts and minds. “I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You” Psalm 119:11