Very Important Food for Thought

3 months, 3 weeks ago 10
Posted in: blog


Let’s call this one “Coffee With Carl”   My dear brother Carl Turner is a wonderful writer and more importantly driven by his relience on the Holy Spirit.  I believe this piece he has written is important or all of us attmepting to follow Christ, I offer it with his permission, to inspire and encourage you!


Brain vs Spirit


It doesn’t require faith if our intellect can logically figure something out – it is called “brain power”.  If the brain controls our bodies/thoughts/direction/speech then our intellect is in control of our daily tasks/function/routine.  This is a real issue   in our Christian walk.  In “normal” life, faith is not required as all decisions are under the control of our brains/intellect.    Yet, the bible teaches that without faith it is impossible to please God.  .


When we are converted and our spirits are rejuvenated to align with God’s Spirit – His Holy Spirit comes to reside in/with our spirits.  This rejuvenation causes God to live inside us in the form of Holy Spirit.  So the “war” that Paul talks about (IMHO) is the war that goes on inside of us – in our brains/intellect.  The war is whether we are going to continue to let our brains be in control of our decisions (carnal or old nature) or are we going to allow the Spirit of God control our lives via HS (the new nature).  


So to me the question boils down to – Is our brains over the Spirit (inside of us)? Or, is the Spirit over our intellect?  If our brains (logical thought pattern) control our every action then there is no need for Holy Spirit to reside in us.  But if Holy Spirit is over our brains then we are subject to God being able to use us far beyond what we can figure out logically.  I think this is what Paul is saying in verse 14 of our discussion last night,  “For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (AMP).  If we do not allow ourselves to be lead by HS (Spirit over intellect), but by our intellect (intellect over Spirit), then I really don’t think we are “sons of God”.  That is the way I read/interpret that scripture (and others).  When we come to this conclusion it changes one’s whole viewpoint of Christianity!


So the question in my mind is “who is leading me”?  My brain or Holy Spirit?  Which is servant to the other?  I think this is what Jesus is saying when he simply said “I do only what I see My Father doing”.  He didn’t have to go into a long discussion of brain vs spirit!   His Father is Spirit!  He was following the Spirit inside of him.


Now, do we throw away our brains?  Of course not!  We have been given a logical means of deciphering things – billions of cells that can interact with each other in billions of ways to come to logical conclusions/behavior.   But the question for a Christian is, does the brain rule our spirits or does Holy Spirit rule our brains?  If HS is dominate over our brains then we will hear/do many things that we do not understand – some things people might call “weird” or “uncouth”.  As we learn to “hear” HS speak to us (inside us) and then do what we hear, we gain confidence in our ability to distinguish between our brains talking, demonic talking, or HS talking to us.  We gain this confidence over time to follow HS first and then our brains second – this is called “faith” – doing things we can not “see” (definition of faith) or logically figure out.


One of my biggest problems with going back to Evangel University, to many non-pentecostal churches, and my Jewish friends is that they must be able explain things in a logical manner – even God’s word.  It must be logical.  And I guess that is why is it called “higher education”.  But somehow in the spiritual world, our trying to always logically figure out things hinders/blinds us.  Truly, it is the brain ruling over the spirit.  Paul (in the verse above) is trying to tell us to let the Spirit rule over our brains.


Finally, do not come to the conclusion that I feel our brains are useless once we are converted.  Never!  I have a double minor and double major in college with two advanced degrees.  I do not walk up to my car door and ask God to unlock it!!!  I am all for learning.  But I am concerned that we as Christians are no different than non-Christians.  We eat, sleep, talk, go to places just as our brains tell us to – no different than other ordinary people.  THAT is not what Christianity is all about.  It is about leading an extraordinary life because we are being constantly talked to and lead by the maker of the world – the all knowledge – the all power – whose way is infinity beyond ours.  Christianity is about learning how to submit our minds to the HS that lives inside of us – not trying to figure something out – just do it and do it immediately!  Somehow it seems to me that Christians are all doing what Paul tells Timothy (2 Tim 3:7) – “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”.  Somehow we are always learning but never coming to the truth that God is inside of us, talking to us constantly.  He is above all the knowledge we can ever get.  We must come to the truth that we must listen to Him first – our brains second!  It is a scary thought!  Faith is scary!  But only when we walk out into the “scary” can God use us to speak to people and do things that are not “logical” to our intellect – but is impactful to the ones we are with or those that are coming later.  We ourselves must be willing to step out of the boat – follow God when HS tells us something to say/do to others – no matter the cost of looking foolish/weird.  That is our calling.  It may be strangle looking – it may be scary to step out and say something contrary to our natural thinking – but it is truly what God has called us to do in order to be His servant!


I hope this blesses you as much as it did me!


In Him,


the pilgrim


10 Responses

  1. Carl says:

    They all thought Noah was off his rocker – until it started raining!!!

  2. Rodney McKnight says:

    Bill, , I’ve prayed about how to respond to this post. It is one of the most confusing and one of the most turn off to Christianity post I have ever encountered in my life. Being a Christian, I grasp the context (after reading it several times) but I don’t believe non believers would follow this or have anything to do with it. It’s complex, It’s smug, and I don’t know why Carl would think that this helps in the harvest of souls in our world. I’m a pretty intelligent Christian, and I can’t even follow his logic…how does he expect non believer to to follow him and reach out for Christ?

  3. Rodney McKnight says:

    Bill and Carl, I want to apologize for my comments above. My “spirit” has been asking my brain all day long…what in the world were you thinking Rodney! Well, I was thinking about the bad day I had and not about the genuine words and thoughts that Carl had written down. I ask your forgiveness for a rant that I don’t even know from where it came…keep writing Carl and Bill keep posting great things!

    • admin says:

      Fully forgivien and understand, we all have those moments, all is good, and we will keep sharign what God gives us!

  4. Doug says:

    Dear Bill: What a troubling post. Your friend’s comments reflect a common misconception about the nature of Christian faith. Bottom line, Jesus’ redemption does not cancel creation, it renews it. Jesus does not cancel or supersede our minds, he renews them. Faith and reason are not at odds. Logic does not betray a lack of faith. St. Augustine said, “Believe that you may understand.” St. Anselm said, “Faith seeking understanding.” Faith and reason are not antithetical. The apostle John called Jesus logos, a term which means divine reason, and from which we get our word logical. Your friend’s point of view is one I have encountered in various forms quite often over my many years in ministry. It confuses mysticism and Christianity. It relegates reason to second class status compared to “walking in the Spirit.” Biblically, this is not the case. As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Consider…” In other words, Jesus said, think carefully about what I’m saying. Thinking logically about our faith is crucial, in other words. Faith and reason go together when redeemed by Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

    • admin says:

      When I read what Carl shared I felt what he was saying is that we need to have more “TRUST”
      in the Hoy Spirit and we often try to reason things out to the point that we can miss God’s leading.
      I fully understand your comments and I know they are shared with good intent, I simply think that is not what Carl meant in what he wrote. I believe you both made excellent points, please remember the title of wt I posted was “Food for Thought”. It is wonderfulthat we passionatley seek to understand God’s word and His Holy Spirit! When we seek Him there is no harm, no foul!

  5. Doug says:

    Bill: I wouldn’t have commented if I didn’t think we were having an open discussion. So thanks for that. I must say that I didn’t and don’t read Carl’s comments as you do, but then you know him and have relational context. I will say that, biblically and historically speaking, trusting the leading of the Holy Spirit never requires a suspension of our reason, but rather its ongoing renewal through careful consideration of the Word. Thanks, as always, for an edifying blog!

  6. Nick Coury says:

    I read this a few days ago and it was very thought provoking, and convicting! The “still small voice” is easily drowned out in our society. We are commanded to “be still and know that I am God.” That takes intentionality for sure, and effort on our part. He will meet us when we do. Thanks for sharing, he is such a dear brother and I thank you for introducing us years ago. Love you both!

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