I believe there are two worlds. The natural one and the supernatural one. The natural one is what I see with my eyes and experience with my senses. I live here, in this place where I interact with others and the natural environment. Day to day decisions, my thought patterns, and my feelings, all make up the natural world in which I live. My soul either thrives here or shrivels up depending upon the things that happen to me. I am comfortable with this world because it is familiar to me. It is not always consistent, but it is predictably unpredictable which makes change the norm. I live here and have spent my life walking through this world and trying my best to manage things so that I have the best outcome possible for myself and my family. It is what I do. There are differences of opinion on what that looks like for each person which cause division among us. What I believe is best for me, may not be what you believe is best for you. The discord that results shows up in our political system which is known for its constant struggle. I participate in it because I want control of my surroundings.
There are many people who don’t believe in the supernatural world, but I am not one of them. I have seen and felt too many unexplainable things in my lifetime to say the physical world is all we have. The supernatural is unexplained by scientific understanding and operates beyond natural laws. It is the spiritual realm. It is where my spirit interacts with God. It is not something I can touch or feel, but it is more who I am. It seems mystical to some, yet I sometimes feel it is more real than reality. An unseen God. A Spirit who leads. A Son who lived in both worlds to show us it can be done. All of that seems quite unbelievable, and yet I believe it. Different people have their own versions of this supernatural world and the differences of opinion cause great strife. Men have set up religious systems to try to explain this spiritual place, and the passionate arguments between them have led to unending conflicts about what peace looks like and who God is. Once again, controlling my life is the goal, and I reach for any system that will allow me the illusion that I can alter things which happen along the way.
If life has taught me nothing else it is that control is unattainable, and therefore should not be the goal…in either world. Instead of control, love is the objective. Not seeking it for myself, but giving it away. This requires some countercultural thinking. In the natural world, I am fighting politically for what I deem to be the truth. Ultimately, I believe that my way is the best way for everyone. When put like that, it becomes a bit clearer the arrogance of my position. Pride is a supernatural foe which operates in the natural world. Its goal is to keep me fighting you. To do so, it makes me think it is imperative that you take the same position as me. No matter what, I will not lay down what I believe as a matter of principle. I stand on my truth and dig my heals in. I am ready for a big battle.
But what if I am using the wrong weapon? What if, instead of using my pride I choose humility? What if I take a modest or low view of my own importance? In this day and time, I do not hear many speeches on meekness. I hear a lot about boldness, about taking things, about charging into battle. Humility is the opposite. In the supernatural world I believe in, the way up is down. I look to the example of Jesus who bridged the worlds. Servanthood was his mantra. Laying down his life for his enemies, was his way. He was meek, and in his meekness lay his strength. He endured injury with patience and did not speak a word on his own behalf. He did not harbor resentment against those opposed to him. He submitted himself to the will of his father, but also to the will of men. He allowed them to take him, when he could have taken control at any time. Why would he do such a thing? He knew that love would win. He knew that the supernatural weapon of humility would be the most powerful force with which to obtain his objective, which was not control but love. Pride is a supernatural force which takes up residence in my heart. It is an enemy of my soul in the natural world, but it also quenches my spirit. It prevents my spirit from communion with God’s spirit in the intimate way he desires. Humility is the way to vanquish pride. Once it is put to death, my thoughts and ideas become of little importance to me. All that matters is expressing supernatural love.
There is another powerful weapon which is often overlooked in the battle between the natural and supernatural worlds. It is hospitality. The friendly generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers, may seem an odd weapon of choice when trying to battle pride. Yet, I believe it is effective because it is in the natural world but has a supernatural result. To me, having a party seems an odd way to fight. Inviting in strangers and even enemies, seems the opposite of what I think. In the natural world, there would be no reason to talk to those who want nothing but to control or harm me. However, in the upside-down spiritual kingdom, being hospitable is one of the most powerful weapons used. I believe it is because when I share a meal with someone they become human to me. My eyes are opened to see them as a person with needs, just like mine. When I share space with them I open my heart a bit and that drives the nails into my pride. I listen and laugh and share and reason with them. I pour into their spirit and they pour into mine. We become like one another and from there the differences between us diminish. The care for one another increases. Compassion is born. The love shown impacts not only this world, but also the spirit world because our spirits are lifted up. Do not underestimate the power of kindness. Do not dismiss the influence of inviting someone into your life. A simple meal can change viewpoints, and open eyes. It can save lives. Jesus ate with sinners, not so he could preach to them or somehow make them his project. He did it because he loved them. He wanted to manifest God’s heart. It was a natural way to communicate a supernatural love. Over a meal, at a party, while at a wedding, in an upper room, around a table…hospitality expressed. Love personified.
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have supernatural power to demolish strongholds. 2 Cor.10:4
I don’t know about you, but pride is a stronghold in my life I would like to see demolished. I would rather BE in the spiritual world, than DO in the natural one. I would rather relinquish my attempts to control, and pick up the contentment of the Lord no matter the circumstances. My desire is to follow his example, yet I have been battling using pride as a weapon. How crazy is that? I choose to lay down pride and pick up two weapons that are far more powerful. It may be counterintuitive, but the best way to deal with politics and religion is to change objectives. For the objective of sharing love, humility and hospitality are my weapons of choice.