The Empty Natural Man

Where do you trace yourself back to? Your answer makes a Huge difference in defining who you are and what you are worth. It also defines the potential of your life. So, don’t just take this lightly. Where do You trace yourself back to?

Two Original Sources

People’s beliefs about where they come from fall into two main ideas. Some believe they came as a product of natural processes, such as evolution is believed to be. These people I shall call ‘naturalists’ – not because they study nature, but because they believe they are a product of ‘natural’ processes.

The rest most commonly believe they came from a creator. These people believe they come from Divine Will, rather than natural processes. The Bible reveals God as a creator and man as God’s principal and most cherished special creation.

For the purposes of this discussion I will label those who trace themselves back to nature as Natural Man and those who trace them selves back to divine creation as Divine Man. In both cases the word ‘man’ is meant to incorporate humanity, of both male and female varieties.

Who You Are

The Natural Man, originating from natural sources, is an equal to all other natural phenomena. Natural Man, by definition, has the same value as every other natural thing. A rock came about by natural processes, and so (as they believe) did the natural man. A pig came about by natural processes, and so (as they believe) did natural man. A lion came about by natural processes, and so (as they believe) did natural man. The same could be said for trees, bees and fleas, if you please.

The Divine Man, on the other hand, tracing himself back to God and accepting that he is a special creation at the hand of God, is not on an equal footing to other natural phenomena. Divine Man is in a class above all other natural entities. This superiority is not by virtue of strength or power over all those other things. Divine Man is weaker than many other created beings. Divine Man is vulnerable to many natural forces which frequently take his life. Floods, fire and lightning claim many human lives, and so too do snakes, spiders and wild animals.

Divine Man’s elevated position is not measured in natural terms, but on the basis of the divine will that created him. Divinity gives mankind the privileged position of having been made “in the image of God”, as explained in Genesis 1:26.

Your Worth

If you are a product of nature, with nothing more to commend you than your ability to survive in the natural world, then your value approximates that of a wild animal, a tree or a rock. You have no more right to breath than the donkey braying in the paddock or the dog chasing his tail. You have no more intrinsic value than the mosquito you squatted, the ant you squashed or the orange you squeezed. There is no reason we should seek to preserve your existence above any other creature. Nor should we lament your passing any more than we lament the death of a tree.

If you are, on the other hand, a divine creation, then your value is as high as that creator deems you to be. You have rights and authority over all other creatures, to the degree that your creator assigns it to you. You have worth on the earth from the day of your birth.

Your worth is radically different to others, depending on whether your origins are natural or divine. You will rise in the eyes of the creator divine or go thud in the mud of your natural line.

Your Potential

Where you can go is also dramatically altered if you are natural or divine. Your potential to amount to anything at all is governed by where you came from. If you are a product of natural processes then you have nowhere to go, but back to the dust from which you came. Your highest thoughts, greatest riches, most awesome achievement and your most powerful contribution will all amount to a hill or beans, a pile of rocks and a dead tree stump. They are intrinsically meaningless, except for the transient sense of momentary meaning you can derive during the process of going nowhere.

Those who recognise their divine origins and walk in relationship with their divine creator, have the potential to rise to the heights of God’s divinity. They can go as far as God empowers them to go. They can impact all of humanity and experience divinity. They can exist beyond this natural moment and enjoy new existence opened up by their divine creator. They can overcome natural processes, including death itself, because they are connected to divinity which is outside the finiteness of the natural world.

Natural Man is Empty

Why in the world would anyone want to be a natural man? Why would someone wish to be nothing? Why would anyone celebrate their futility, when they were created for divine destiny?

Natural man comes up empty on every count. There is no prize, no reward and no hope in being a product of natural process. And there is no need to ever restrict oneself into such a poverty-stricken place. God has revealed to us in the Bible that He does exist and is our creator. God has revealed that He is all powerful and that He created mankind to be in intimate relationship with Him. God promises to empower us to live beyond the limitations of natural life, both while alive and beyond the grave.

There is no reason to remain empty.

The Challenge

I challenge you to step aside from the lie of your meaninglessness. You are a created being. You have dignity and destiny which transcends anything ever conceivable within natural limits. You have offer of relationship which is beyond all that human experience can ever conceive. You have the open offer to become an intimate of the very divine entity who is all powerful, all loving, eternal, transcendent above all else and who created you specifically to welcome you into His family for eternity.

Don’t come up empty. Come to the Living Lord God Almighty, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, your Creator and the God of the Bible. Come and enter into the glories of divinity, for which you were created.

Disqualified Still?

The note simply said, “Please meet me in my office at 2pm” and it was signed by the lecturer the young man had so rudely interrupted the day before.

When the young man and the professor met, there was some time of awkward niceties until they were both settled into chairs. The young man waited quietly. He was the guest. He waited upon the professor’s purpose.

“A strange thing happened yesterday,” the professor began.

“I do apologise, sir. My actions were disrespectful and disruptive.” The young man had already planned his apology.

“I’m not talking about your interruption”, the professor interrupted. Then he paused, uncertain about continuing. In a moment or so he did so. “A strange thing happened. And it doesn’t make sense.” The professor was given to long pauses as he navigated through his points.

“You are right in your synopsis of the human condition. If we deny any higher power then we are all equal. We are all combatants in a life-long fight for significance and position. The honour one gives to another is of no more worth than the honour we give ourselves, since no-one has any higher dignity with which to confer higher graces.”

The young man simply nodded, pleased that he did not have to argue this point any further.

“Yet something strange happened yesterday.” He was back to his starting point. He turned to face the boy. “You gave me honour.” The perplexity in the man’s face was clearly visible.

“You made me special yesterday. You stole my class then you gave it back to me. You gave me honour that I did not demand of you, nor did you have to give it.” The professor stared into the face of the young man, who had nothing to say.

“If we are all equal, how is it that I feel you have given me something I cannot give myself?” The man’s fixed gaze of inquisition persisted until the young man wriggled in his seat and gave answer.

“Sir”, he began, “I didn’t give you honour yesterday. God did.” The young man waited to see if the professor would react. He didn’t.

“Sir, God asked me to show you that He gives you honour. God wants you to know that while you have rejected Him, He has not rejected you. He has not scrapped you, even if you are intent on scrapping yourself.” Seeing that his audience listened to every word the young man pressed on.

“Sir, God created you. You are not some biological freak, but a purpose-built creation, with divine destiny all over you. You have sold your soul to populist dogmas that have done nothing for you but demean your very existence. God is calling you back from that, to things far more noble than you have ever imagined.”

“That sense of honour that impacted you yesterday is just the early indicator of what God wants to give you in abundance.”

The professor sat back and absorbed what he had heard. His whole life had been predicated on the theory of evolution and the arrogance of his own mind. Yet in all the years of his grand achievements, amid all the accolades thrown at him by his peers, nothing had impacted him as much as the respect he received from a mere student. Was God truly reaching out to him? Could he respond? How would he explain to everyone such a change of heart?

Thus begins a transformation that is soon to sweep this generation. Strongholds have been built in the minds of men. Yet those men are desperately empty. Vain praise from vain men cannot warm the coals of human hearts. But the weapons of our warfare are stronger than those strongholds. God’s Spirit and God’s children are able to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

These are exciting new days as we enter into cultural movements that impact whole cities, nations and cultures in ways we have not seen before.

Can a nation be saved in a day? Let’s be part of making it happen!