THREE ACTIVITIES OCCUR IN OUR SPIRIT
We learn from the Bible and personal experience that three powerful activities occur in the spirit part of us:
- First, there’s CONSCIENCE. It instinctively discerns the difference between right and wrong and nags us when we violate it.
- Second, there’s PRAYER. It’s real communication, or attempted communication, with God. It’s a recognition of our weakness and vulnerability and is a crying out for union with God.
- Third, there’s POWER. It’s a God-given inner drive that makes it easier for us to do things that are right. We don’t have to try so hard, and we have deep inner peace and confidence.
We discover our spirit in the above order. First, we become sensitive to right and wrong, and sin becomes distasteful to us. Second, we become increasingly convinced that there’s a God – but that we’re estranged from him – and through prayer we begin to establish a personal relationship with him. Third, after we turn our life over to him, our spirit and his spirit are joined and we experience a better quality of life than we ever thought was possible.
When these changes occur within our spirit, we have new life (see Topics 60 and 62). It’s new because all our sins are lifted from us (rather than weighing us down), because God is now within us (rather than just around us), and because our eternal destiny is heaven (rather than hell). These are dramatic changes which transform us into a new and better person, with a wonderful eternal destiny!
GOD GETS INTO US THROUGH OUR SPIRIT
Down deep, nearly everyone knows there’s more to human life than just body (physical) and soul (mind, will and emotion), more than animal life. Most people instinctively know there’s also a spirit (God-connection) within us.
The spirit is the part of us where human nature and divine nature meet. It’s the doorway to our life at the highest plane of existence. There’s no physical door there, but it’s like an opening that’s either blocked or opened by our will. Individually we choose whether or not we will let God (Holy Spirit) into our life. Without God’s entry, life is essentially empty and meaningless.
The basic cause of unhappiness is the personal decision, made consciously or unconsciously, to shut God out of one’s life.
Most people give considerable attention to caring for the body (eat, sleep, exercise, clothes, medicine) and to cultivating the soul (education, career, friends, entertainment) but give little attention to the spirit. As a result, the spirit in most people is essentially latent (yet to be discovered) rather than actualized (being used), and thus life for most people is incomplete.
Man is not a higher animal but instead is a unique creation made in the image of God. Man was designed with a spirit so that God can enter him and affect every part of him, from the inside out.
Knowing about our spirit – and opening it to God – is not an irrelevant matter for everyday living. It is, in fact, the secret for a happy and fulfilled life.
Medical science can give longer life but cannot give reason for living. Even with health and prosperity, and even with psychological help, millions of frustrated, unhappy people are living lives of quiet desperation. Only God can help, by coming in and satisfying the hunger of an impoverished spirit.
We can’t define light. We can only experience it.
Words are inadequate to define our SPIRIT, but that doesn’t lessen its reality or importance. There are other things in life, too – like LIGHT – which are very real and very important but which can’t be explained apart from personal experience. For example, even though light is one of the most common elements of our daily existence, the Encyclopedia Britannica can give no better definition than this:
‘Light, a basic aspect of the human environment, cannot be defined in terms of anything simpler or more directly appreciated by the senses than itself.’
When we try to define ‘spirit’ we have the same problem as when we try to define ‘light.’ We enter a dimension where language fails us, so all we can do is describe certain attributes we observe. To illustrate, consider these observations:
- Light dispels darkness
- Light itself cannot be seen, but it reveals everything in its presence
- Light cannot be grasped or held
- Light fills all space made available to it, but it will not invade space closed to it
- Light can be everywhere at once
- Light is never consumed or exhausted by anything in its presence
- Light is illumination, enabling us to find our way
- Light is communication, sending signals to our mind
- Light is color, revealing incredible beauty around us
- Light is energy, producing power
- Light is warmth, giving comfort
- Light fades the farther we move from its source
The Bible refers to God as light. God is to our spirit what light is to our body. The above physical attributes all have spiritual counterparts (think about it!). When we observe what light does in the physical sense, it helps us understand what God (Holy Spirit) does in the spiritual sense.
Words are inadequate to explain light to a person born blind. Similarly, words are inadequate to explain the spirit to a person who has never experienced God’s presence in it.
When we open our spirit to God, he fills us with himself (Holy Spirit) just as light fills a room. God offers a wonderful new, bright life – spiritual life – which millions of people are discovering by personal experience.
Here's a sampling of what the Bible says on this subject.
God relationship is via spirit
Holy spirit comes into human spirit
Holy Spirit communicates with human spirit
I Corinthians 5:5
Body destroyed, spirit survives
God is knocking at doorway of our life
I John 1:5-6, John 8:12
God is light
For help, see Topic 29.