The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
Jesus was a dinner guest at the home of a Pharisee. He didn’t ceremonially wash his hands, he sat at the head of the table, and by so doing offended his host and the other Pharisees who were there because he didn’t obey their rules and customs. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he told them:
“You’re hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You love sitting at the head table at church dinners, love preening yourselves in the radiance of public flattery. Frauds! You’re just like unmarked graves: People walk over that nice, grassy surface, never suspecting the rot and corruption that is six feet under.”
Luke 11: 43–44 (The Message)
They took offense, unable to hear the truth of his words in connection with their lives. They thought of themselves as the righteous ones, dedicated their lives to their interpretation of Jewish law—they lived their lives strictly within the bounds of these laws. When they protested against his insults, he answered with more hard truth.
You’re hopeless, you religion scholars! You took the key of knowledge, but instead of unlocking doors, you locked them. You won’t go in yourself, and won’t let anyone else in either. Luke 11:52 (The Message )
They had the word of God, but it didn’t set them free or transform their lives. Why not? Their spirits were sound asleep. Theirs were lives of rules, not lives of love.
Slumbering spirits are still around today. We can be blind-sided by events and form bitter judgments and expectancies. We don’t understand the laws of sowing and reaping. We may be spirit-filled, born anew, believing, church-going, and attempting to love and serve in ministry, but our spirits are asleep—not functioning.
We can wake up. The Holy Spirit is just waiting for us to set the alarm, invite him in, and let him lead us to really hear and follow the words of our Lord.