LEARNING TO BE UNNATURAL
  Consider this, Pastor, from the moment any of us is born again we are immediately translated into a new Kingdom – a
spiritual kingdom governed not by the natural laws of the earth-realm but by the spiritual laws of God’s-realm. The evidence
of this is people walking on water! We know that even though we have passed from death into life and from darkness into His
marvelous light, we continue to exist in the earth-realm – in this world but not of this world. We Christians continue to be
challenged by natural ways that are embedded in us (in our flesh) because of the fall of man. So, one of the challenges we
pastors have is to de-naturalize those whom God has placed under our charge. Indeed, that is a gargantuan task because
each has a whole lifetime to develop in natural thinking!

 The simple truth is this, unless the saints of God know that something exists they cannot achieve it. In this case, lest they
know about these two distinct realms and how the laws in each differ from one another, you cannot expect them to rise into
the perfect will of God which is to walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16)

 The people of God must understand how to walk in victory over the flesh and its evil tendencies. Preaching a false holiness
doctrine of legalism and condemnation cannot clean up God’s people, the Church has discovered. Avoidance of difficult
subjects like this is unwise and counter-productive, so don’t go there either. And, even approaching carnal sin with a
doctrine of deliverance is in itself insufficient to produce freedom for God’s children. You, Pastor, must take the time to fully
develop the truth in this regard; and you know what happens when the saints know the truth…..it makes them free!

 Perhaps the first step you take as a pastor is to develop a strategy to change the way your people think, because what we
are talking about here actually deals with how people think. Paul says the natural man cannot grasp the things of the Spirit
because they are comprehended only by the Spirit. The reason for this is that they have a natural mindset rather than a
spiritual mindset. So you must bring your congregation along in such a way to show them how God thinks and then show them
that He desires for them to think like Him. Paul finishes his teaching in this regard with a powerful statement upon which you
must build your instruction: “…But we have the mind of Christ.” God has given to His children His mind. Why? So we can think
as He does. Just think about it, we have been given the divine ability to comprehend and reason and learn at the same level
as Jesus! Instill in them this powerful truth that each one of them has the mind of Christ. No matter what they feel about it, it is
still true. Tell them over and over again and eventually they will begin to believe and receive it as truth, and in time with
much practice they will be thinking like God.

 Let me digress for just a moment to interject an observation I have made about pulpit ministry. It is apropos in our
instruction herein. At least some of the responsibility for the fact that most believers fail to mature spiritually rests upon the
shoulders of their pastors. One contributing factor that leads to this is that we pastors do not allot ample time on any given
subject for our people to become established in it. We preach about one thing Sunday morning, another subject on Sunday
evening, and yet quite another on Wednesday evening. So in the course of a week, the saints have heard three different
topics and usually have been given only a cursory look each. This approach to ministry does little more than introduce a
plethora of subjects to God’s children, never really establishing them in any of them. This must be changed.

 I believe one of the most effective pulpit tools you can use is the use of series. By using a series of sermons or teachings
on a given subject several important things are done that benefit your people:

 1. True learning takes place through repetition. Through repetition we humans learn. We did not learn our ABC’s by a single
lesson, nor did we learn our multiplication tables by a single introduction to them. We learned both of these through
repetition. You should use this same technique in teaching the truths of God’s Word to your church family. After they hear a
number of times that they can think with the thoughts of God they will begin to believe it. Keep it up and the truth will become
established in them and they will begin to practice it.

 2. They learn by building precept upon precept. Let’s say, for example, that you have scheduled a four-part series on the
subject of “Learning To Think Like God.” Initially it is just a matter of building a simple four step outline of the four major
points you want to develop. As with any teaching you lay a single foundation of Scripture [your text for the series] upon which
layer after layer of truth is laid. When you are finished, there is a completed doctrine built that will truly benefit your church.
This technique allows advancement of learning by firmly knowing one truth before another is introduced which relies upon
the first for its understanding.

 As you can see, this technique of instruction takes time and patience. You may feel the urge to “move on” to new ground
after the second or third session if you are unaccustomed to ministering from the pulpit with series. Or you may encounter
some resistance in certain folks in your congregation who are the ones always wanting something new to hear and digest. I
encourage you to stay the course and finish this leg of your race. You are utilizing a very effective teaching tool that will yield
much fruit if you will just take the time to use it.

 Once you have established in your church family the truth that they can think like God, you then begin to reveal to them from
Scripture how this works. They must understand that this transformation of thinking like God  is not a single event but rather
a process of learning and applying what is learned until there is a re-conditioning of their minds by the Holy Spirit. Paul
teaches this concept to us in Romans 12:1-2, which has its emphasis of renewing of the mind. This is a good supporting
passage for your instruction on this subject.

 Emphasize in your instruction the necessity of a close and personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. The Lord  gives you
important insight to this in Jude 20 as He encourages every believer to pray in the Holy Spirit and receive the benefit of
being built up and strong. The Holy Spirit is the key to their ability to think like God for indeed it is He who guides their
thinking and it is He who leads them to see things around them as God sees them rather than through the eyes of their flesh.
The Spirit of God using the Word becomes the lens through which they see and thus the mechanism by which their thought
patterns are transformed to align with God’s. In other words, they become unnatural in their thinking which leads to them
becoming unnatural in their attitudes, speech, and conduct.

 I encourage you through the course of your series on this subject to use biblical examples of men and women of God
thinking like God in an unnatural way and the results they achieved because of it. As examples: Abraham’s willingness to
sacrifice Isaac, Moses holding the rod over the waters all night, Daniel refusing to protect himself despite dire warnings,
David rejecting the temptation of killing the one who was trying to kill him, Peter’s willingness to leave the boat and walk on
water, Phillip obeying God and going to the desert, and Paul remaining fearless in the face of constant dangers. In each case,
they had to defy natural thinking. Indeed it makes no natural sense whatsoever for a man to stand all night long on the shore
holding a stick out over the water and expecting something to happen. Nor is it natural to even consider stepping off the
side of a boat in the middle of the sea in an attempt to walk on the top of the water. But we see from these examples that
when the people of God throw natural caution to the wind and obey God, wonderful things happen. This truth is still as true
today as it was over the 4000 year history recorded in the Bible. Instill this in your people.

 Unnaturalness for a Christian is the only way to go. Therein is the key to experiencing the promised blessings of God.
Waters do not part with natural thinking, blind eyes don’t open with natural means, nor do sinners enter into the joys of
salvation by natural things. God does these things and we enter into their reality by being like Him, which is spiritual not
natural. Every child of God possesses the ability to walk by the Spirit because we have His Spirit living within us; therefore,
each of us can live out absolutely every promise we find in the Bible that God has made to His covenant family. Spiritual
thinking happens through practice. Encourage your people not to become discouraged when they blow it. The righteous man
may fall seven times, Proverbs declares, but he just keeps getting back up. Convince them to keep getting back up.
Eventually, through diligence and determination by the assistance of the Holy Spirit they will learn how to be unnatural and
they will enjoy the fullness of their covenant with God. I say, “Amen.”