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What If I Am A Spiritual Being?

A shadow of a person with a white bird

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:15-18 NIV)

We human beings are filled with spiritual longings. One of the signs of these longings is fascination with the occult. People try to touch spiritual powers through things like Ouija boards, tarot cards, horoscopes and palm readings. And we make idols. It is pretty much universal among all cultures that people believe in gods. We have an innate sense that there are powers in the universe that are bigger than us, and that we cannot see with our physical eyes, and we use whatever forms of rituals and worship to seek to appease or manipulate the gods of the sun, moon, wind, fertility, etc.

What if these spiritual longings are cravings for the very One who created us? What if I am a spiritual being who can only be fulfilled by the Presence of the very Spirit of the living God? That is exactly what God has revealed to us in the Bible, and more specifically through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus and His disciples gathered on the night before his crucifixion to celebrate Passover in an upper room. In the Gospel of John, chapters 13 through 17, we have John's record of the things Jesus taught them in His last session with them. Much of this final teaching had to do with His going away from them and sending the Holy Spirit to be with them forever. “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth."

In this simple promise, Jesus says the Holy Spirit will be both our advocate, and the Spirit of truth.

The word translated Advocate in the original Greek language means "one who is called alongside to represent us." What do we do when we face a legal matter that is beyond our expertise? We hire an attorneyan advocate. Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will stand with us and defend us against the evil one and his onslaught of accusations and temptations. The Apostle Paul captures this sense of the work of the Holy Spirit in Romans 8:26-27:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

When we are so frazzled and desperate that we don't know what to pray, the Holy Spirit translates our groans into beautiful, powerful prayers to the Father on our behalf. He is our advocate at the throne of grace.

Secondly, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit will be the Spirit of truth for us. A beautiful thing happens when we read Scripture and seek to discern truth through the prism of things written centuries ago in other cultural settings. The Holy Spirit makes the Word of God come alive and shows us the truth of God for our lives. And when we consider the philosophies of the world through the lens of Scripture, God's Spirit helps us discern truth from falsehood.

I gave my life to Jesus when I was 15 years old on my knees in the quiet of my bedroom. I had been to a worship service at church and resisted an invitation to walk to the front and ask Jesus into my heart on the spot. But I longed for what the preacher had describeda personal relationship with God. When I asked Jesus to come into my heart that night, I was flooded with a sense of His presence that expressed itself in a profound sense of peace. I had an inner witness of the Holy Spirit that my sins were forgiven and I belonged to Jesus Christ. I did not fully understand it then, but looking back I understand the Holy Spirit confirmed the truth of my change of relationship with God through this inner witness.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (Romans 8:14-16 NIV)

The Spirit of truth established this one truth in my life that night: Jesus Christ took up residence in my life and I will never be the same. That simple truth is even more fully true today after decades of walking with Him. "You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!"

I certainly do not have the triune God all figured out. There is mystery in how Father, Son and Holy Spirit can be one God (not three) and be three Persons. Laying that one aside, Jesus said something else in this promise that is deeply revealing:

"But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:17-18 NIV)

He (the Holy Spirit) will be in you. I (Jesus) will come to you. This Holy Spirit is not some ghostly stranger we should fear. He is not an ita disembodied power. The Holy Spirit is Jesus. He is the Spirit of the Father, living in us. He is the Presence of the God we long to know, living in our hearts and guiding our lives. When He ascended to heaven fifty days after His resurrection, Jesus did not abandon us. He comes to us and lives in us as this spiritual Person, this reality that is more real than our doubts and failures and more true than any other material truths. I cannot fully explain it. I can only experience it by faith.

In the Presence of this Person of the Holy Spirit I find comfort and peace and joy and power to live a life that honors God. And in Him I find the fullness of purpose and joy for which I was created. I am a spiritual being, and the Holy Spirit of God is the missing piece of a life that is all it is meant to be. Why the missing piece? Because sin separates us from God and leaves us empty. Jesus is our reconciliation, reuniting our lives with the Father and filling us with His presence.

Thanks be to God!


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