Spiritual Giant or Practical Christian Prov. 11: 1 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Proverbs 11:1 says, in part, “A false balance is abomination to the Lord.” In the context of this question, this verse applies to maintaining a balance between your spiritual life and your physical life. In our Christian lives we need to be led by the Spirit (Rom 8:14) but at the same time we need to exercise “common sense.” We must depend upon God to supply our need (Phil 4:19) but we also have to work with our own hands (2 Thes 3:10). We need to read the word of God to know God’s direction in our lives (Ps 119:105) and yet we need to seek and follow good counsel, as well (Prov 11:14).
There is a great pitfall that entraps many Christians. It is the desire to become very spiritual very quickly. It is possible to seek such a high degree of spirituality in your life that you actually end up in more devilment. To quote Dr. Ruckman, “The most dangerous point in a Christian’s life is right after he gets saved and wants to obey the Holy Spirit and to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit. For at this point, Satan will do everything that he can to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit, so that when the Christian surrenders his will, it will be to the wrong spirit.” (Theological Studies, Vol. 1, Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, Bible Believers Press, P.O. Box 7135, Pensacola, FL 32534, 1995, page 629).
Young Christians often meet older Christians who are very zealous for spirituality. They testify of a fervent prayer life, of multiple spiritual gifts, of great fillings of the Holy Spirit, and of sensual evidence of the presence of Jesus Christ in their lives. They talk of great personal wrestling with Satan and of awareness of demonic activity and demonic interference in God’s work. They hear God talking to them personally and regularly and testify of following his leading through these almost audible occurrences.
It is easy to become so impressed by the testimonies of this “walk with God” that you begin to seek such “experiences” and “evidences” in your own life. You imagine that this is the true life of every God-honoring Christian. Thus, you begin to “feel” spiritual, to “talk” spiritual, to “walk” spiritual, and to “act” spiritual. However, you are not that spiritual. You don’t “look” spiritual, except to others who have fallen into the same trap.
Hence you begin a journey that directs you more toward the gates of hell than toward the throne of grace. But alas you don’t realize it.
Do you know what got the devil into trouble? It was pride that got the devil into trouble (Job 41:34). He wanted the highest spiritual position that he could get (Is 14:13-14). And do you know what’s underneath the kind of “spirituality” that is prevalent among Christians today? It’s pride: the desire to be “noticed” for having a “super” spirituality!! That’s not what you wanted to hear, but that’s the truth.
Look what Paul said about his spirituality. He said, “we know that the law is spiritual: but I am CARNAL sold under sin,” (Rom 7:14). It is very important to let that verse sink down into your ears until you can grasp the magnitude of what he said.
Paul was certainly spiritual. He prayed (Rom 10:1), he fasted (2 Cor 11:27), he preached (Acts 20:20-21), he was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:9), and he kept his body in subjection (1 Cor 9:27). But he also worked with his own hands (Acts 18:3), had a good understanding of the sea (Acts 27:9-10), knew how to work a hostile council (Acts 23:6), cleverly utilized craft and guile to win the Corinthians (2 Cor 12:16), and went toe-to-toe with Peter and Barnabas (Gal 2:11; Acts 15:37-40). He was, after all, a MAN.
Paul maintained a good balance between his spirituality and his carnality. When God gave him the gift of tongues, he did not magnify his gift. He used the gift practically. He said, “I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue,” (1 Cor 14:19). Tongue-talkers often show off today to impress the crowd with their supposed “spirituality” – that’s PRIDE!!
Listen! You don’t have to worry about your “level” of spirituality. Paul was so spiritual that he could see visions (Acts 16:9-10; Acts 27:23), heal the sick with handkerchiefs (Acts 19:12), and receive direct revelations from the Lord (Gal 1:12). You’re not going to match that. Don’t even try. He was a chosen vessel (Acts 9:15). And remember that even with all of that spirituality, he disobeyed the will of the Holy Spirit by going to down to Jerusalem (Acts 20:23; Acts 21:4). Why? He was also carnal.
So, why not just accept the fact that you are the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor 6:19) and that the Spirit will accomplish in your life what he desires if you will simply yield to him (Rom 6:13)? Pray (1 Thes 5:17), read your Bible (Is 34:16), witness (Acts 1:8), go to church (Heb 10:25), work (Eph 4:28), get adequate rest (Ecc 5:12), get moderate exercise (1 Tim 4:8), watch your appetite (Prov 25:16) and let the Spirit of God do his job without you trying to do it for him (Rom 8:26-32).
Truthfully, you will be a lot more effective for the Lord by being a PRACTICAL Christian than a spiritual giant. For one thing, you won’t be so inclined to look down your nose at others who don’t live up to your “standard” of Christianity. You will be much more apt to minister to them and with them, and consequently live a “great” Christian life (Matt 20:26-28).