The Rule of the Heavens (continued)
God's Focal-Point of Interest
It is with that "new man" that God is concerned. All His interest is in that. What He is after is to develop that and to bring that into a state of maturity. He knows that He can deal with the rest of the man through that. The soul and the body, while having their place in redemption which is in the Lord Jesus, God begins with the spirit, the new creation man, and works out through that to the rest of the man to bring his natural man into captivity. It is with this new man, with a new set of faculties, that God is concerned. The natural man has his faculties of reasoning and understanding and feeling, of expressing himself, of acting, of choosing, all these things are connected with this outer man. He has none of the spiritual faculties until he is born again, born from above, and the new man comes in. This new man is endowed with a whole new set of faculties which the natural man has not got. He has a faculty of understanding which is spiritual understanding. He has a new sense of value of things Divine. The Lord's attention, by the Holy Spirit, is given to the development of those faculties. The writer to the Hebrews speaks about our "child training" which the Father of our spirits brings us into and brings upon us. It is in order that we may have our senses exercised thereby to discern good and evil, but those senses are the senses of our spirits - to bring our spirits to full-grown manhood.
Having seen this, we are able to understand a good deal of the Scriptures. "We walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit." "The mind of the flesh is death, the mind of the spirit is life and peace." That is one of the great governing principles in guidance, how to know whether a thing is of God or not. If you are walking in the Spirit, you decide whether a thing is of God or not by whether you have life and peace, or whether you are without it. If the thing is not alive, and if you have a good deal of unrest about it, you leave it alone. But, if walking with God, you have peace and life about that, then you have the mind of the Spirit. It is not the reasoning of the natural man as to whether it is right or wrong. It is because the Holy Spirit is resident within your spirit giving life. It is more than an enlightened conscience it is the Holy Spirit bearing witness to the things of God.
What Spirituality Is
Spirituality is that which is signified by the heavens, and it is that which governs. The measure of spirituality is the measure of finality, certainty, definiteness and power from God's standpoint.
What do we mean by spirituality? We have met so many people who have thought that when you speak of being spiritual you mean that you are other-worldly, unreal and only imaginary; that you have become an abstraction and have lost all that is practical. It is NOT that. It is a very practical thing indeed. There are others who think you are only using another term for mysticism. But there is a vast difference between mysticism and spirituality. It is a dangerous thing to use the word "mysticism" and we ought to make it clear what the word "mystery" when used in the New Testament means. "Mystery" in the New Testament only means a thing which up to a certain point was covered and a secret, but which has now been brought out to light. "Mysticism" is another thing entirely. It is always trying to find some hidden, psychical reason for things, getting back behind things that appear just to give them some kind of suggestion that is not apparent. Many a saint has been called a mystic, and it has spoiled his ministry entirely. It is a different thing entirely from spirituality. It is often on the imaginary side of things. Spirituality is real. One is purely a soul thing. You can have "mystics" who can produce the most beautiful presentations of things, and they may be evil to the core of their moral characters.
(continued with # 30)