What does “carnal” mean to you?

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (1 Cor. 3:3).

What does “carnal” mean to you, when you read the verse above?  The carnal nature, as used in the text above, is simply the aspect of man that is purely animalistic, responding impulsively to its environment. If you take away the higher faculties of the human nature from our body, we will function like any other animal that has a body like we do. None of us in our right senses will pee on our leather sofa, just because our urinary bladder gets full and gives us the urge to pee. Why? We use the higher faculties of the mind to control our behaviors, to know what is appropriate, so we do not behave like animals do living solely by impulses.

The carnal nature lives by natural impulses without the influence of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a Higher Faculty that controls and brings to order the animalistic and sinful impulses from our flesh. If you act or speak just based on what you see with your eyes, or hear with your ears or feel inside of your, then you will be the perfect candidate for the carnality. But if you can run your thoughts and actions by the Holy Spirit and choose to obey Him rather than follow your ears, eyes, and feelings, then welcome to the life of the Spirit!  When we live solely by what we can see with our natural eye or how we feel or think, without the control of the Spirit of God, we are living in the realms of carnality.

Many believers make the mistake of thinking carnality is the same as sinfulness, especially immorality. Sin is a chief manifestation of carnality, but not all of it. An example of carnality is seen in 1 Corinthians above, where Paul rebuked the Corinthian Christians for their carnal behavior. The attitude, so common amongst us, almost taken for granted, where we don’t agree with each other, and even oppose each other in the House of God is as carnal as that of a sexually immoral Christian. Why? Divisions mean the Holy Spirit is not leading us, but we are led by our feelings, thoughts, and maybe likes and dislikes without regard for what the Spirit is saying or wanting to do.

Carnality is our ruin as believers. Satan and the kingdom of darkness bred and flourish in the realm of carnality. We cannot manifest God when we live in the realm of the flesh. The only way out of the snare of carnality is to be sensitive and yield our lives to the control of the Spirit. And the Spirit of God chiefly, but not exclusively, controls our lives by the written Word. You can start your journey from carnality today by simply starting to act on God’s Word. You do not need to wait until you start hearing the audible voice of the Spirit, or start feeling those “impressions” inside of you to know you are following the Spirit. Want to start walking in the Spirit today? Start doing what is clearly written in the Word of God. This is a safe starting point, and move on from there. Follow the Spirit of God, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh and your life will be full of the glory of God.


The Word in your mind and mouth (1 Tim 4:15; Josh 1: 8)

Keep God’s Word in your mind today as you ponder on the verse above.


Water the Seed (word) to grow. Invite the Spirit’s strength! (Isa 32:15; Zach 4:6)

 Ask the Spirit to help you navigate your way out of carnality.


Your door to a blessed life today is doing God’s Word. Refuse to be a hearer or reader only! (James 1:22-26)

Start living in the Spirit today. Be a man or woman of the Spirit, and not the flesh. Follow the Holy Spirit, in the written Word, in His audible voice, His impressions in our hearts, or even dreams and visions sometimes. If it is the Holy Spirit, just follow Him!

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