As a Christian, I oftentimes get frustrated with people who just can’t seem to grasp spiritual issues. No matter how many Bible passages I cite, how many illustrations I use, or how eloquently I explain a subject, these folks simply can’t catch what I’m throwing. All I get in return is either confusion (“I don’t understand”) or apathy (“I don’t care”). Honestly, it’s like I’m speaking a different language.
The truth is, I’m not speaking a different language, but I am broadcasting on a different frequency, a frequency that can only be picked up by way of a special antenna. It’s sort of like these new cars that include the factory option of an antennae for Sirus XM Satellite Radio. Tonya and I have a Kia Soul that has that option.
When we bought the car, we got several weeks of Sirius XM programming as a free trial. We’re talking about a slew of radio channels, each one playing only music from a specific genre, with no static and no commercials. Yeah, that’ll work. I immediately fell in love with the ’70s and ’80s channels (the songs of my younger days), and so now we pay $14 a month for a package. But if our car didn’t have that Sirius XM antenna, we couldn’t hear any of those channels, even though they broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Let me give you a good passage here. In 1 Corinthians 2:11-14, the apostle Paul says to the Christians of Corinth:
….no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (N.K.J.V.)
What Paul is talking about is the fact that God the Holy Spirit dwells inside the body of each Christian. This indwelling takes place the moment the person places saving belief in Jesus, and it creates the “born again” experience inside the individual as the person is spiritually reborn. And do you know what else the indwelling Holy Spirit does? He becomes the antenna through which the person can tune in to the broadcast signals that God is sending out. In that way, the indwelling Holy Spirit is the Christian’s special antenna.
But, of course, the problem is that the majority of people aren’t Christians, and therefore don’t have the Holy Spirit living inside them. Paul calls these people “natural,” as opposed to born-again Christians who are, in a sense, “supernatural” because of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling. And herein lies the breakdown in communication between the two groups. As Paul puts it, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Believe me, I’ve tried to have spiritual conversations with people who surely classified what I was saying as “foolishness.” You know that’s what’s happening when they look at you with either that deer-in-the-headlights look or that one where every blood vessel in their face is about to burst. The first look will cause them to get away from you as quickly as possible. The second one will cause them to want to come across the table at you. As you might guess, neither option creates understanding and agreement.
And here’s one other troubling aspect about the ongoing spiritual frequency crisis: Each time the born-again Christian ignores the indwelling Holy Spirit, he or she is left to operate like the natural person. One thing about Tonya and I having Sirus XM Satellite programming in our car is that we can choose to turn off the feed. We do this by either turning off the radio altogether or setting it to a mode where it plays music from a CD, an IPod, or regular AM/FM radio. You see, even though we have the antenna for Sirius XM, we can choose not to use it. Well, Christians do this same kind of thing when they don’t listen to the indwelling Holy Spirit. It’s not that He vacates their bodies; it’s just that His voice is turned off.
So, Christian, don’t walk around receiving only the signals the “natural” person can receive when you have a whole other antenna, a “supernatural” one, inside you. Don’t blindly follow the masses further and further out of God’s will when you can show spiritual discernment and plunge deeper and deeper into it. Don’t settle for listening to the world’s static and commercials when you can listen to God’s crystal-clear, commercial-free broadcasting night and day. And don’t expect lost people who can only act “natural,” or fellow Christians who’ve tuned out the Holy Spirit, to understand you when you talk about spiritual matters. That’s just not a frequency they are picking up.