What isn't spirit? Everything that is anything, is spirit, and the rest of creation are the rails it rides on.
What is hope? What is love? What is hate, patience, soul...? All things deep and true 'flow' from the heart, according to Jesus. (Luke 6:45) This is 'spirit' talk. In fact, Jesus said all his words were 'spirit and life'. (Jn 6:63)
According to scripture, God himself is spirit (Jn 4:24), and everything 'created' or 'physical' has been birthed in spirit. (Gen 1:1) We are told that everything in life is 'sustained' by the Spirit. (Heb 1:3) Jesus told us that after his departure in 'body', God would send the Holy Spirit and he would be 'in' us. (Jn 14:17; I Jn 3:24)
This spirit and 'grace' of Jesus Christ is a place we can actually build our lives. In fact, it is the only secure place to build anything! It is the 'cornerstone' of true life. Jesus said he was a 'door' to salvation. (Jn 10:9) You can walk in and through Jesus Christ right now. How? By faith! Yes, close your physical eyes, and open your spirit eyes, the eyes of your heart. Say out loud, 'Jesus, you are Lord. I believe in you!' In this moment you will pass through the door of Jesus, into the 'cloud' and kingdom of God's spirit.
I will end with this - a powerful truth of God's Spirit, and what I call the 'space of grace'. When you come to Christ and through Christ, and you enter into the realm and reality of his Spirit, you find eternal freedom. He speaks a new name over you, and you are a new creation. (Rev 2:17; II Cor 5:17) His 'report' over your life is stronger than the report of your own past actions, and present struggles. The world, other people and your heart will point and accuse you of things you have done and been. (I Jn 3:20) But God, by his Spirit, speaks a 'better word' over you, and sets you free! (Jn 8:36; Heb 12:24)
'The name of the Lord is a strong tower...' Proverb 18:10
At what point do your eyes drop? Maybe they dropped a long time ago? A lost love? A lost loved one? The sorrow of this life seems to have no bottom; the ache of the heart, no comfort...
Once there was a man who was condemned to be burned. There were 3 of them, in fact. They hoped - and even claimed - that their God would save them. The hour came, and they were walked to the furnace. No help came. They were thrown into the flames. The flames did not burn, however. It did not even leave a 'smell of smoke' on their clothes. God himself walked with them in the fire, and walked them out unscathed. I wonder at what point, however, they had lost hope? (Daniel 3)
Ezekiel, a prophet of God, was summoned to the 'Valley of Dry Bones' - a valley filled with the bones of the dead. He stood in silence, and waited. God asked him if these bones could live again. Ezekiel said, 'Only you know.' God - through Ezekiel - called these bones to come together, and spoke flesh over them, and breath in their lungs. They came alive again. At what point, however, had these people lost their hope? (Ezekiel 37; Job 19:25-27)
Jesus was betrayed by his own disciple, and killed by those he had healed and loved. His own people brought his life and ministry to the floor in a pool of blood. Three days in the tomb, and he rose again, to live forever. His first 'life' had been temporary. After everything had fallen apart - his crucifixion - he came back stronger, immortal, and with the keys of hell. At what point had true hope been lost? (Revelation 1:17-18)
'For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.' Romans 8:38-39
God 'reveals' himself to man, he does not 'prove' himself to man. Much like your own existence. You were created on God's terms and timeline; he did not consult you prior to making you.
When Moses asked God for a 'name' to give the people - something that would 'go down' with men - God said, 'I Am that I Am. Tell them 'I Am' sent you!' (Exodus 3:14) God does not 'prove' himself to man, nor debate and evidence himself on man's terms.
When the devil debated with Jesus about Jesus' identity, Jesus would not answer the devil on his terms of debate. Jesus did respond, but not on the terms set by the devil. Read this fascinating interchange in Matthew chapter 4.
Are you setting terms for God to make himself known to you? According to the bible, God has already made himself known to you through creation itself, and the bible says that you actually know this. God expressed his own, 'full' self in Jesus Christ, and now reaches out to forgive your sin, and give you eternal life, if you believe in him, open the door to your heart and receive him. This is his revelation to you. (Rm 1:19-20; Col 2:9; Jn 5:24; Acts 3:19)
'... be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.' Revelation 3:19-20
There are places and spaces in our lives - every day - where the 'arid', the 'desolate', blows through. Memories. Regrets. Lonely job. Lonely road. We spend a lot of energy and resources either dealing with these 'desert places', or trying to avoid meeting them in our minds and hearts.
Two points on this. First, the spirit of the 'arid' and the 'desolate' comes from mankind being cut off from the life and spirit of God. In essence it is the spirit of death. And ultimately we do die.
Here is the second point, and the good news! Jesus came - God in the form of mankind - to bring life to the 'arid' space, the 'desolate' place. And ultimately to defeat physical death - to give us life eternal!
Here and now you can invite Jesus into your life, and let his spirit pour into those arid places. He takes the 'sting of death' out of the 'desolate' here and now, and he takes the 'sting of death' out of death itself. For this reason when we 'die in Christ', we come back to life and live forever! (I Cor 15:55; Gen 3:5-6)
Jesus said, 'Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed over from death to life.' John 5:24
I snap lots of photos on my phone. If I go to upload them to social media, I have lots of ‘filter’ options. The content of the photo is the same, but the filter options give the ‘content’ a new light, a different feel, a different emphasis, impact, message.
In many ways our lives here on earth have the same option, and challenge. We have a world ‘filter’ and a Christ filter available to us all the time. How we ‘see’ and understand – and therefore respond – depends on what filter we are seeing through. Throughout scripture we have many instances and admonishments to ‘see’ in a different way. I think of Joshua, Caleb and the other spies that went into the land of Canaan (Numbers 13-14). There were 2 opposing ways to ‘see’ – or interpret – what they had seen. One way saw the goal, and saw the God that was leading. The other way saw only the challenges and dangers, without God’s goals, his faithfulness or his presence. I also think of the story of Elijah and his servant. Read 2 Kings 6, you won’t be disappointed!
Jesus is light – not just on eyes, but ‘out’ eyes. Yes, in the same way he is living water, not just over our soul, but up out of our soul. (John 7:37-38)
Is Christ the light on your eyes, and in your heart?
‘The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!’ Matthew 6:22-23
‘I am the light of the world…’ John 8:12
Let’s do this! Yes, New Year, time to go new places! The hardest places are deep within, not far abroad. I love this verse that speaks to this deep and stirring place, where man meets and connects with God:
‘Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls. All your waves and breakers have swept over me.’ Psalm 42:7
So here’s the question for the New Year: What is your deepest, clearest, ‘only’ life cause? I mean, when all is said and done, who are you, what are you living for? When lights go out, portfolios disappear, loved ones are gone, health and mind fade… where, ultimately, have you banked your soul? Where have you expended your resources? I leave you with these 2 verses to ponder. I hope God brings these scriptures alive to you, and that Christ himself will become the cornerstone of your every cause:
‘What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and yet forfeit his soul?’ Mark 8:36
‘Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ...’ Colossians 3:17
Peter Walker. I hope you enjoy these reflections. Please feel free to comment!:)