In Genesis 1:26 God said, " . . . Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness . . ." (NASB). In some respect we are like God, an image that corresponds to His likeness. When we look at ourselves we see flesh and bones. When we look at God what do we see? The bible says, "God is spirit . . ." (John 4:24 NASB). The bible also says, " . . . for a spirit does not have flesh and bones . . ." (Luke 24:39 NASB). Therefore, we cannot see God as we see ourselves. That is, in a physical sense. We can only see God through our "spiritual eyes." When we learn more about God and what He looks like, we learn more about our spirit nature. As we compare ourselves to God, it becomes more evident how mankind perverts his own spirit, (Ecclesiastes 7:29).
From the above passages we can understand that there is more to mankind than flesh and bones. There is a side to man that is spiritual in nature, real, and more important than the physical side.
Consider this; the inner person (soul, spirit) is eternal; the outer person (flesh) is temporary, (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). From this, the value of the inner person goes up far beyond the value of the outer person. True, it is a matter of faith that we are composed of both spirit and flesh. Nevertheless, it is the most reasonable.
Though the inner person is invisible, there are signs of its existence. For example, when somebody dies we say they are dead. What does this mean? The body is no longer animated. It does not function. At their funeral service we do not say that the body is gone, for we see that it still exists, (either the body in the casket or the ashes in the urn). What we do say is that the person or the life is gone. Something definitely is missing; but this person or life or something, you cannot see with the physical eye. The bible teaches in James 2:26, " . . . the body without the spirit is dead, . . ." (NASB). Death is actually a separation. In this case, the separation of the outer person and the inner person. Another example of a sign of inner existence is reason. Would anyone dispute the existence of reason, even though we cannot see it with the physical eye? We can see its effects when the body is functioning but we do not physically see reason itself.
The bible speaks of how the spirit of man has NEEDS. When we look at the worldly goods around us, we individually say, "I need this, I need that." Jesus said, "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." (Matt. 4:4 NASB). Our needs go beyond food and clothing. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 NASB). "Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, . . ." (1 Peter 2:2 NASB).
We know that when a baby is born, in order for it to exist for a time on this earth, it will have to have the proper food, nourishment and diet. Why? Because if it does not eat, it will die. But if it does eat the proper food and gets the right nourishment that it NEEDS, the normal baby will grow, become strong and healthy.
There are spiritual needs that we must desire and earnestly get. In this way our minds and spirits may grow to become healthy and strong, instead of being stunted, weak and ill. This cannot be done without God. For God made us and God knows exactly what we need. Just as He provides for us food and clothing, He provides for us a spiritual feast of blessings.
Concerning the word of God the Bible says, "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB). The word of God can equip us with everything we need to engage in every good activity that will please God and will benefit our souls. For us to long for the pure milk of the word in order to grow, we must use the inner man, the soul, the spirit, and the mind. There are acres of spiritual information in the bible, ready to be harvested and enjoyed by the laborer of learning. It is through the words of God that we may grow or be built up, "And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified." (Acts 20:32 NASB).
However, the table of the Lord stretches out beyond just words. The feast does not end with words only; it is only the beginning. Words are vehicles or a means to an end.
Famine is typical on ground like the dried parched earth that beckons the clouds above for rain; but instead a wind drives them away.
Likewise, the soul of man who hears the words of God and does not obey them, is still destitute of the further true knowledge of God. The difference of the soul of a person in spiritual poverty and those who have become spiritually rich, removing the pains of spiritual hunger, is found in the soul who trusts this invitation, "And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." (Rev. 22:17 KJV).
There is an old saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." Something is wrong with the instincts of a horse when dying of thirst it will not drink. Something is wrong with the thirsty soul of man who is dying spiritually and will not obey the words of God. Jesus says, "And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall." (Matt. 7:26-27 NASB, bolding mine ACW).
Paul said, "So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." (Eph. 5:17 NASB bolding mine ACW). Our will must align with the Lord's will. First, His will for us is to obey His words. This is why Paul prayed for the saints in Colossae. He said, "For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;" (Col. 1:9-10 NASB). Knowing the will of the Lord is like the "first course" of our spiritual feast. It is necessary to know the will so that if we are willing to obey, we "may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord."
Obedience to the will of the Lord is like the "second course" of our spiritual feast. Walking in a manner worthy of the Lord is necessary to "please Him in all respects." Walking in a manner worthy of the Lord is necessary to bear "fruit in every good work." Walking in a manner worthy of the Lord is necessary to increase "in the knowledge of God."
Therefore, when the bible says, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;" and that God "has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him" (2 Peter 1:2-3 NAS bolding mine ACW), it becomes evident that we can satisfy our spiritual needs by acquiring the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ through His words, and our obedience to them. It is not enough to acquire only the knowledge of God's will.
Sometimes the physical body of man is found deficient of some vitamin or mineral because the body is not consuming them, which may contribute to their physical ailments. Many of our spiritual ailments are a result of being deficient of God's blessings because we simply do not obey His will. "But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does." James 1:25 NASB).
The spiritual provision has been given; will you feast at the table of the Lord? Read and study your bible daily. Everyday obey God's words. As the physical side of mankind needs food, so does the spiritual, or else it becomes sick, weak and unhealthy. If on a starvation diet, you will die spiritually. Take in the nourishment, which God provides freely. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3 NASB).
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