The Spiritual Man:
The Spiritual Man (as Paul calls him) operates on a totally different level than a worldly person does. He concerns himself exclusively with being in spiritual union with Jesus. The big concerns that run through his mind are things that will not allow him to lose sight of Jesus in him. Or thinking or doing anything that would break spiritual union with Jesus. John tells us that to obey Jesus means to love Him. This makes perfect sense! The only thing that binds us to His Spirit, causing us to be one with Him, is if we obey every prompting that comes from Him. Then His Spirit has complete expression through our very bodies. In freedom, and out of love Jesus and I become one whole person when I do everything His Spirit inspires me to carry out. Jesus said;
Jn 14:23Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him
Jn 14:21 The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]
As a church we did a week long exercise so we could relate to how obedience keeps us bound to Christ in spiritual union. We understood that what keeps us bound as one in spiritual union is to obey out of freedom, with nothing compelling us to do so other than our love and desire to be one with Jesus, obeying His every prompting. The moment we do our own will, we break union with Him. To relate to this we took driving the speed limit. It is the law and we are bound to the law as long as we follow it. The second we break the speed limit even by one mile per hour, we then understood ourselves to go from law keeper to lawlessness. We equated that with being bound to the Spirit by obeying it and breaking free from union by disobeying it. We equated no radar or police present as nothing compelling us to go the speed limit except for our desire to be a lawful person and not lawless. This is the same as the fact that nothing compels us to obey Jesus except our own desire to be one with Him.
We also equated people behind us pressuring us to go faster than the speed limit by tailgating, or beeping their horn or flashing their lights as pressure from the world to do what it thinks is right and thereby break free from doing as the Spirit prompts. This is an important factor. In counseling, we find that so many people don't do as the Holy Spirit prompts because He doesn't pressure. If you don't want to show your love through obeying, then He figures you don't love Him and He lets you do what you want. However, in the world there are so many fears and pressures to do what the world dictates. So many do the easy thing by doing what they are pressured to do, instead of what they are free to do (God's prompting)
When we came back together a week later and asked how everybody did, they all broke out laughing. It was the hardest thing they ever tried to do. Most failed within minutes of leaving the parking lot. And the rest broke the speed limit several times just to get home. A couple just gave up after messing up the first couple days. Most were people that thought it would be easy and they considered themselves people who always drove the speed limit. What they found was trying their best to keep the speed limit made them aware of how often they break the speed limit unconsciously. Others caved under the pressure of people behind them to go faster. Others became so aware of how much pressure the world puts on us to sin against God and how easily we just cave into it. There were so many ways we were able to parallel driving the speed limit to following the Spirit's promptings.
Paul tells us these are the two measuring sticks he uses on himself; that he is under the control of the Holy Spirit and that his conscience is clear. Meaning he has obeyed everything God asked of him.
1Co 2:14-16 But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. But the spiritual man tries all things [he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things], yet is himself to be put on trial and judged by no one [he can read the meaning of everything, but no one can properly discern or appraise or get an insight into him]. For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.
In addition to focusing on not breaking spiritual union with the Holy Spirit, the Spiritual Man always concerns himself with the spirit perception and spirit motives behind the person, his words, opinions, and ideas. If it is not the Spirit of God they reject them. They do not judge if it makes sense or seems right, if it is not out of the right spirit (the Holy spirit) then to them it is wrong. This is because each spirit has a wisdom, motives and perception that it unique to that spirit. That means in its own logic what it perceives makes sense, and what it sees to do seems right in its eyes. As much sense as one can make, if it is not according to the perception and motives of the Holy Spirit's logic they reject it. It is more accurate to discern spirit to reject or to accept on that bases than trying to sort out what is right and what is wrong. This is why Paul says that Jesus is for us our wisdom from God, and Jesus is our righteousness. We leave it to Jesus to interpret what is in line with the Father's will and what is right, then we follow His prompting. We no longer use our own intellect to decide what is right.
Ro 4:5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
Phil 3:8-9 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ and the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith
There are some very important differences between the Spiritual Man and a Natural Man. The Spiritual Man perceives life out of a totally different paradigm, the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. What he sees and hears when looking at the same thing as a Natural Man is totally different.
The next thing is, the Spiritual Man has totally different motives than the Natural Man. His are the same as the Holy Spirit's motives. Which is to please God and do His will. Since motives are unique to the spirit, no other spirit has that motive. Every spirit in the world has his own self-interest as his motives. That's what makes it true that: no one can properly discern or appraise or get an insight into him. The Natural Man can never make sense of why the Spiritual Man would do something or not do it. They assign self-interest motives to what the Spiritual Man does and motives they themselves would have and they are always wrong.
Just like having a totally different perception of life the motives of the Spiritual Man has a very dividing effect on the relationship between the man of the world (even if he is Christian) and the Spiritual Man. When people can't get insight into you or are unable to figure out your motives, they become very threaten by you. They don't trust you and because they can't size you up they feel unsafe around you, the Spiritual Man. I had one church member call up crying after visiting their family after becoming spiritual. She was upset because when she came in the house smiling and saying hello, everyone looked at her in an evil way and wanted to know what she meant by "hello". In her mind she had not changed but was the same old pleasant person. I told her she wasn't, I told her she has changed, she experiences everything differently and has different motives, that her family's generational spirits were picking up but not able to consciously put their finger on it. It's funny, the worldly mind will feel safer and trust an untrustworthy person who is a known thief and liar, before they will feel safe and trust the Spiritual Man. The reason is they can figure out the untrustworthy person but they can't figure out the Spiritual Man and that makes them feel unsafe. Another thing that can happen is people will throw accusations at you, attacking you until you (the Spiritual Man) reacts. Then when you react they feel like they have you figured out. This is needless cruelty but it is justified in their heart because they think it is just plain wrong that they feel unsafe because they can't figure you out.
The next thing that divides the Spiritual Man from the Worldly Man is agendas. This is a big one. In reality man lives in anarchy, each a law unto themselves. Everyone has their own agenda for their lives. None follow the will of God in their lives. And they see someone who interferes with their agendas as the enemy or the opposition. When the Spiritual Man involves themselves with an individual or group, including a worldly church group, he is again not trusted or fully embraced but kept at arms length. They are like spies in the group, not really one of them. And its easy to be seen by the others as one who does things that is detrimental to the group. Their perception is correct. This is because, every individual and group has their own common agenda why they are a part of that group. The Spiritual Man is never in the group for the same reasons. He is there after careful prayerful consideration. They are there because God instructed them to be there. Their agenda is to do God's will and they are not there under their own choice. Everyone else has a common agenda as to why they are a part of the group. You are a spy! The next thing is when you carry out the agenda of God, doing as He leads you, it is a sure thing that it will be in disharmony and even destructive to the common agenda of the group or the individual. (The Lord's ways are not our ways.) The Spiritual Man will find that he fits in nowhere, especially in the worldly church. And he will find out all he does ends up being counter productive to all worldly agendas. This is what makes us holy and set apart. Because we don't fit in.
Gal 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other],
The last major thing that distinguishes the Spiritual Man from the worldly or natural man is his unwillingness to compromise. He will do exactly what the Spirit prompts him to do. However, in the world where everyone has their own idea of right and wrong, when it comes to coming to terms and unifying with others, it is only through forms of compromise of their own ideas and agenda can there be unity between two camps trying to harmonize. It is such a common method and the only effective method with the spirit of the world that people do it naturally and consider it a sign of a good person willing to make peace with the other. This does not hold true with the Spiritual Man. Compromise is never an option. We never compromise the will of God by dicing it up and discarding part of His words or promptings. We carry everything out to the letter in the Spirit it was meant to be carried out in. If there is disagreement the Spiritual Man will only do what the Lord tells him to do. If there is disagreement on what the Lord is saying to do, then he will stop and pray with the party until they both hear the same thing from God. This is what a jury is modeled after. There are 12 jurors because there were 12 apostles. No one can be convicted of a crime unless all 12 agree that he is guilty. If even just one disagrees they discuss the case until they all come into agreement. If that one can't agree, then it is considered a mistrial and the person is set free. If the 12 come into agreement that he is guilty, then he is condemned. The early church was set up this way under Jesus' instruction in order to be accurate in hearing the Holy Spirit for direction. The principal leaders (the elders) would pray together and they would talk until they came into agreement as to what the Lord was saying to do. This is when they leave their expertise at the door. They did not decide out of knowledge what to do, or what made sense, but prayed and did nothing, changed nothing until they came into agreement with what the Lord was saying on the matter. If they could not come into agreement they change nothing, even if it hurt.
The contemporary church loads its boards up and fills their leadership position with good Christians who are qualified in those fields. It is my belief that the first century church loaded its boards and leadership positions with people who were proven to hear clearly from God. Then used the help of experts to carry things out in the way God prescribed.
Both, the Spiritual Man and the Spiritual Church should operate this way. There are many people in the church that hear God's voice and do as he says, also prayerfully check with God before doing anything. Maybe 1 in this church, maybe 10 in the next. However, it is these people who comprise the body of Christ and not the churches they attend. Because the contemporary church does not follow the Spirit in this way. Yes, they might start the church out by fasting and praying getting direction from God to start, but after a time most churches rely on their own expertise and their own agendas to decide what to do. The board may say a prayer like grace before dinner asking God to guide, but they don't ask God nor do they come into agreement with what he is saying. (I am talking in general).
When a worldly minded church runs into a Spiritual Man they see him as stubborn, unyielding, prideful, outside authority, and thinks he knows it all. They see him as the one that is in disunity. The one who is in discord with the others. This is because the Spiritual Man uses agreement and doesn't use compromise to unify with others. Unless he is in a community of believers that are the same, the Spiritual Man will find himself outside everything. Not by his own designs or aggression but as he goes about his own business trying his best to keep his eyes on the Lord and do as the Lord instructs him. The Spiritual Man, disturbs and stirs up everything. Everyone who his life touches: complacency, indifference, denial, non-confrontation, avoidance, putting your head in the sand and indecision will all be forced into the valley of decision. Sin, and secret motives will be exposed. People will be forced to show themselves as lovers of the light, or lovers of the darkness. Every relationship will be strained, tested and proven.
Jn 3:8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.
The movie Mary Poppens actually is a good prophetic representation of this. The children write a request (a prayer) the wind shifts and Mary Poppens comes in on the wind and supernaturally gets her position of influence. The ones (the children) who are the identified patients, are blessed and vindicated. The real source of the family problems are exposed and repented for. Then the wind shifts again and she is gone.