Language often gets in the way of understanding.
We talk about being filled with Holy Spirit. We sing “Spirit break out”. We pray “fall afresh”. We “come in to His Presence”. We ask for more of His Presence. We seek it.
The language suggests something that we can have more or less of, something outside of us, something out of reach.
The truth is, from the moment we surrendered to Christ, His Spirit came to live within us, our newly created (born again) righteous spirit united with His. That is the same – that is EQUAL – in all of us.
We are body, soul (mind, will and emotions) and spirit.
We all have a body. They may look different, they may work differently, but we all have one.
We all have a body (we are equal in that fact) but someone may become an athlete, or work out at the gym, and become stronger and fitter. They start with more or less the same muscular, vascular, skeletal system as me but theirs sure ends up looking different to mine – because of what they learn to do with it. They grow new muscle. Blood vessels can enlarge or even grow. Bone density can increase. The body can be remodelled.
We all have a mind. Generally speaking, they are the same. Some may seem to function better than others, and weigh slightly differently on the mortician’s scales, but we each have one.
We all have a mind but someone can train theirs. Grow it. Make new synaptic connections. Study. Increase their knowledge. They seem “brainier” than me. Cleverer. We talk about someone having a sharp mind.
We all have a spirit. When we are born again, this spirit is made new. A new one is given to us, we are spiritually a new creation, and Holy Spirit can unite with this righteous spirit we now have.
We all have a spirit. As born again Christians we have a righteous spirit. Equal to each other. So how come some people seem more spiritual? Like the gym going person, or the clever person, some people learn to make more of it, do more with it, Whilst that doesn’t change the fact that we still only have one, the same as each other, that effort they apply means they have become more spiritual, more in tune, more aware – mature in their faith.
It isn’t my spirit that enlarges in me but the old nature that recedes. I can learn to subject my body and soul to my spirit. I can make more room. Like a goldfish in a tank, my spirit will “grow” (develop) to match the size of the restrictions I place on it. A fish with better quality water and a larger tank, will grow bigger than one in poor water and a small fish bowl.
We need to focus on the quality of the “water” and size of the “bowl” in order to allow our spirit to grow. Immersing ourselves in the things of God – Scripture, prayer, worship – provide a better quality environment for our spirit. Enlarging the space means making actual time for God, withdrawing like Jesus did, giving opportunity for Him to speak, to teach, to fellowship with us. When we do these things, we feel stronger, more spiritual, maturer in Christ, because our spirit has grown in strength and is exerting more authority over the weaker body and soul.
We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, through His Spirit He gave us for that purpose. Nothing is impossible. We have everything we need.
When it doesn’t feel like it, when those Scriptural truths look like a lie in the light of our day to day life and experience, it is the same as when I watch the Olympics and think “I couldn’t do that!”. Actually, I “could”. I have all that I need to get started – a body! The drive, the determination, the dedication, the practice, the progression, the strengthening… that is what needs to be added to make an Olympian.
I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). I have the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2: 12). The same power that conquered the grave lives in me (Romans 8:11).
What I do with it is up to me.