First the Natural – Then the Spiritual!

Did you know God’s word is filled with patterns of things in the natural followed by things of the spirit?  I Corininthians 15:46-47 says, “The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.” It is demonstrated in moments in time of our lives, in seasons of the year and in prophetic words.  I look at something and many times ask myself. Why did God make this?  It could be the seasons, a tree, a person or a trial in life.  I know many of my life’s lessons are taught first in the natural and then in the spirit.  How do I know?  I am a walking testimony of it in my life.

2013 (9-4-2013) Beautiful bridge in a FALL settingIt’s happening…fall is approaching and my flowers are looking brown around the edges.  While I love my garden and the fullness of spring, I love fall that much more.  In the natural, I find myself thinking of cold temperatures, snuggling under a warm blanket, shorter days and family gathering around. In the spirit, I begin to reflect on how God has blessed me this summer.  I ponder on His goodness and am thankful for the provisions he has made for my family.  Genesis 1:14 And “God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.”  Nature or natural seasons are changing for us all the time just like your maturity in Christ. 

Do you ever reminisce about how far God has brought you and recognize He first had to teach you in the natural before you could ever comprehend it by the spirit?  When Steve and I moved our family to Duluth Minnesota 2013 (9-8-2013) storms of lifeover 17 years ago.  I remember looking back to see how little by little people, jobs and family were being moved (I didn’t say replaced) from our lives.  I remember during the lean times rehearsing “God is my provision. Jobs are not my provision, people are not my provision, family is not my provision but God is my provision.”  Steve and I have now returned home to Georgia and I am now reflecting with new joy how God continues to teach us this valuable lesson as we are the sole caregivers to his mother.  I am thankful for the people, new jobs and family He has returned to our life with a greater expectancy.

My husband is a wonderful teacher and he has taught me so many lessons using analogies.  Going through financial woes (natural); Sow into a person’s life or give an offering to your church (spirit). Struggling with your health (natural); Write God’s Word about healing and proclaim it each day or exercise the very area where the devil is causing you pain 2013 (9-8-2013) pearl(spirit).  Feeling defeated (natural); place scriptures on the floor showing the devil is under our feet (spirit). God’s Word is filled with examples of natural then spiritual lessons.  The construction of the tabernacle of God was built with natural materials but by the spirit it is where God dwells.  Jesus taught parables regarding the Kingdom of God by sharing stories of natural people or places to bring His point across in the spirit….God even wanted you to know that He knows the very number of hairs on your head (natural) so you would know how much He cares for you (spirit).

Steve and I have been given an opportunity to join Pastor Dan and Sheila on a ministry trip in the coming weeks and as we all begin to prepare in the natural, I am anticipating how God is going to reveal His Spirit to us.  A prophet spoke into our lives over a year ago that we would join with this Godly couple in ministry opportunities (a year ago) and now it is beginning to be birthed.  I am truly thankful that God is always, always, always working in my life for good.

2013 (9-8-2013) friends by spirit - Jimmy Smith and us

In the natural we are bound to moments, hours, days, months, seasons and years but always remember in the Spirit there are no bounds.  God is interested in who you are and He sent the Holy Spirit to bring you understanding by the natural and spiritual things in your life.   I challenge you to reflect or maybe even write down examples of how God interacts with you on a daily basis to teach you his Word.


Robin Shirreffs

About Robin Shirreffs

While her artistry comes from her God given gifting, she has studied under various instructors; Professional training includes painting with acrylic and oil under a Master Artisan Ji Ye of China, photography training under Cheri Hamilton, and Digital Painting training under Victoria Hutson.
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3 Responses to First the Natural – Then the Spiritual!

  1. Sheila Rhodes says:

    “First the Natural ~ Then the Spiritual!” ~~What an insightful and spirit led posting you have written Robin… filled with nuggets of truth! Knowing that as a Born Again Christian we are not bound by moments, hours, days, months, seasons and years ~ that’s Freedom in the spirit for the Lord to work bountifully in our lives. Indeed, God teaches us daily through the natural things in life. Then, He lifts that experience in the natural to a spiritual lesson.
    Dan and I are looking forward to ALL that God will do in Willoughby, Ohio at Pastors Chris and Vicki Fisher’s church in the coming weeks. The Lord will take this ministry to a higher level in Him. Indeed, He has orchestrated this time and spoken it prophetically into existence through the prophet that sat in the midst of us over a year ago….Always remembering that God works first in the Natural – Then the Spiritual!

  2. Ceil says:

    Hi Sheila! I am coming over from Wednesday Prayer Girls.

    I love that idea of ‘first the natural, then the spiritual’. I’ve never heard of that before. It makes a lot of sense, actually. What we see and hear we understand so easily. It takes an extra step to see the spiritual.

    Love this post. Thank you for teaching me today 🙂
    So nice to meet you too!

    • Hello Ceil!
      Yes, this is a really neat concept found in 1st Corinthians 15:46. By giving us natural things, God helps us understand the spiritual.
      Thank you for taking time to stop by “Sheila’s Heart” and to read the posting. AND…Thank you for your comments and allowing me the joy of getting to know you through the words you wrote.


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