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27th May: Einbahnstrasse

The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14

While recently driving with my family in Germany, I struggled to orientate myself to a German road map and to German street signs. After a half hour of unsuccessfully trying to find our hotel, I realised I had seen several directional signs labelled 'Einbahnstrasse'. Figuring 'Einbahnstrasse' must be a site of some significance, I followed the signs with the expectation of stopping at 'Einbahnstrasse' to orientate myself to the map. A series of right and left turns led us nowhere, and my father correctly concluded that 'Einbahnstrasse' meant 'One way Street'.

It was as if a light of understanding went on in my head. With one word of German vocabulary, I could avoid further futile searches. I thought of the new-born Christian who senses new insight and freedom as the Spirit begins to reveal spiritual truth to him.

Over the next few days of our German visit, however, I still felt lost in a foreign world. One word of German vocabulary is a nice starting foundation, but it doesn't go very far.

I am thankful, as I look back over my beginning years in medical school, for the factual foundation I received. Sadly though, much of what I learned has been forgotten. The material I reviewed, studied and applied, however, is the material I can still recall to use in patient care.

Spiritually, we have a sure foundation in Jesus Christ. Each of us must, Paul warned, be careful how we build on this foundation. Just as continuing medical education is vital to our ongoing good medical practice, so continuing spiritual education is vital to our Christian growth. Peter urged us to grow in knowledge, and we can do so as we study God's word and as we get regular biblical teaching. We also grow in grace as we commune with God and as we apply his truth in our daily lives.

As Christians, we need not forever chase 'One Way Street' signs. Equally though, we must not settle for a limited spiritual vocabulary. Following God's direction, we can grow to enjoy him more.

I count everything loss because of the surpassing worth of
knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Phil 3:8a).

Further reading: 1 Cor 2:6-3:18, 2 Pet 3:17-18.


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