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  • Writer's pictureJ.D. King

The Natural is Spiritual

The ancients believed that the realm of the Spirit intersected with their day-to-day lives. It is easy for twenty-first century readers to dismiss this as superstition, but we shouldn’t be too quick to reject their outlook. Men and women in the first century understood things we do not readily comprehend.

Compared to today, the ancients had a more integrated view of the cosmos. They believed that the spiritual and the natural seamlessly intertwined. Unlike our modern compartmentalization, they saw no great divide between the seen and unseen realms.

This outlook is clear in the following admonition from the apostle Paul: “It is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual” (1 Corinthians 15:46 ESV). To Paul, the observable world served as a window into the spiritual, a precursor to what lies beyond the veil of perception.

Sometimes you can detect what God is up to by simply observing the natural order. The rhythms of nature can often reveal deeper truths.

Twisting the meaning of Romans 13:14, some argue, “Pay no mind to the flesh.” But this verse isn’t saying what they think it is. God never asked his sons and daughters to ignore the entire natural order.

God wants us to see what’s in front of us and learn something of his ways. Spiritual truths are often embedded in the natural order—they are stories for the Lord's sons and daughters to uncover.

It is time to remember that the natural is spiritual.

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