Of The Earth, Earthy
Genesis 1:1, 2 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
What a message there is in the two words “…God created …”! However, that is not the topic of this message, but the earth is. The word says the earth was without form and void; the meanings from the Hebrew words include; to lie waste, desolate, a desert, a worthless thing, and for void, to be empty, a vacuity, an undistinguishable ruin.
In addition, the scripture says darkness was on the face of the deep. Too often today we associate “the deep” only with the sea; but how many of you have been in a cave or mine and experienced the darkness? Have you ever been in the darkness of a valley in the morning, with a mountain to the east, and wondered how long it would take the light to get over the mountain? The Bible tells us that the Egyptians experienced darkness that could be felt in the plagues.
In a spiritual parallel, you were the earth. You were without form and void; darkness was upon the face of your deep, your heart. Paul compares Adam to the earth in I Corinthians, and differentiates him from Jesus;
I Corinthians 15:47, 48 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
Paul had gone further in comparing this difference in bodies;
I Corinthians 15:39, 40 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
Man was bound in his condition; as the earth he remained earthy, and could not change to see, or experience, the glory of the heavenly or celestial. As the earth, you could not receive in that condition;
I Corinthians 2: 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
I Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Just as the earth was, you spiritually were a desert; waste, desolate, worthless, and empty; life had no meaning, and you were helpless and without hope. But you were not worthless to God; He created you, and you are His;
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
So the spirit of God moved on you, as His spirit moved on the face of the physical earth, drawing you toward Him. Then God provided the light on the physical earth;
Genesis 1:3, 4 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
God also provided, and was, the light in the spiritual. And the light was shining on you, but in the darkness of your earth you still did not comprehend it;
John 1:1 – 5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
The Word was in the beginning; Jesus is the Word, the life, the light, the truth, the only way. But as the scriptures said, the natural man could not receive, and could not comprehend the light. The Word says the earth was dry land; it could not produce of itself. But God again spoke;
Genesis 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
In our waste, barren, condition in the natural we were the earth, and could not produce in the spiritual. But God provided a new beginning, and a way for us to produce. When scripture speaks of Jesus in Isaiah 53, He is then the firstfruit to our desert;
Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
The word translated ground in this scripture is the same Hebrew word used for earth in Genesis. The meaning of the word dry is; to parch, aridity, concretely a desert. We spiritually, the earth, were a desert; a root cannot grow out of dry ground without water, yet God provided The Way. Jesus can come into our heart as the Father draws us. If you can see your desert condition, repent of your sins, yield your life to Jesus and begin to receive in the spiritual. There is an immediate change that can transform you from darkness into light. But we need to go on from this point, for this message is to the church also.
Newness of Life
When you received Jesus in faith, and knew him, God filled your emptiness with His Spirit, and gave you hope. You became a new creature;
II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.
Then God began to form you, and shape you; He planted the Word in you, and began to expect you to be fruitful. The … root out of dry ground …will change you, as much as you allow Him to. When you receive Jesus, and obey Him, you will also begin to receive the things of the Spirit;
John 14:15 – 17 If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
And the Spirit will teach and comfort you;
John 14:26, 27 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
The Comforter will testify, and also lead you to witness;
John 15:26, 27 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
The Comforter will also convict, or reprove the world;
John 16:7 – 11 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to the Father and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
The Spirit will also guide you, show things to come, and glorify Jesus;
John 16:13, 14 Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth , is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
All these things are available to us, so why are we failing spiritually?
Desert Places That Remain
All this is available to you if you obey, and some may reach this point in their walk with God; but there is a greater walk that you are called to. Let us return to you, the earth. The physical earth has fruitful plains, rain forests, and yes, deserts. In the spiritual earth, you are the same. Even after you are saved you will have deserts in parts of your life, if you do not yield your iniquities to allow Him to change them. Every part you hold back can remain empty and void until you give it to Him. That is how we can be puzzled at the great spirituality in an individual that is contrasted by his failures; you have seen his desert. We cannot be judgmental, for we have our desert places as well. Hearing and yielding to fleshly desires will allow these deserts to remain in you.
Do not concentrate on the areas in which you are flourishing, but recognize the areas where you fail and give them to God. When you truly give your iniquities to Him, and obey Him, God can then turn your desert into fruitfulness, and cause it to blossom, and your life will glorify God;
Isaiah 35:1, 2 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.
Then the parts that are weak can be strengthened and changed (and the Comforter is available to us);
Isaiah 35: 3 – 7 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
If we obey completely, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, can lead you to The way of holiness;
Isaiah 35:8 – 10 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
What is The way of holiness? Too often we do not know the difference between righteousness, holiness, and Godliness. In the Strong’s, the definition for righteousness (1343) is; equity (of character or act); specially justification. We are to walk in righteousness, but we can still have failings due to our flesh. In that condition we cannot be holy. The Strong’s definition for holy (40) is; sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated). Perhaps it over-simplifies it, but holiness is righteousness to perfection. The path of righteousness is the way to holiness;
Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
Why do we need to find holiness? You cannot see God without it;
Hebrews 12: 14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Why do we need to go beyond righteousness and find holiness? Because holiness is an attribute of God that we must have to show Godliness;
I Peter 1:15, 16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Jesus carried that calling a step further;
Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
We have all heard the excuses “nobody is perfect” or “only one person was perfect”; these are used to justify our failings. Jesus has told you to be perfect. Jesus perfection did not come without cost;
Hebrews 5:7 – 9 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
These scriptures tell us that the man Jesus feared death as we do. He sought God effectually and fervently about it, and was heard. But though He was the Son, the child of promise, the heir of everything, He learned obedience and went to the cross for you and me. His obedience made him perfect, and He now is the author of our eternal salvation if we will now obey Him.
It is true that “I” cannot be perfect; our walk cannot be of self and our own wisdom or we will fail; our perfection is in obedience to Him, and relying on His sufficiency. We are no longer on the path of do and don’t, but the path of humble obedience that leads to holiness and perfection;
Hebrews 6:1 THEREFORE leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
To be perfect we must follow Him, for He is always right;
Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
Hopefully we have gained a greater depth of understanding that the spiritual is not in the natural. The heavenly is not in, or of, the earthly. Therefore coming out of the sea of flesh will not be spiritual if we linger in the earthly. Most of us know our desert places; we will not get victory in the physical, or in self. Give it to Jesus, and walk in His sufficiency, and you will find overcoming!