Christ in us – The essence of Christianity
There are three equally important things in the Universe: the heavens, the earth and man’s spirit. The heavens provide a place for the earth, the earth for the man and the spirit of man for God. God lives and works in man’s spirit. ‘The Spirit testifies with our spirit’ (Romans 8:16). Our spirit is the place where the Lord Jesus lives.
We are the vessels of God and He wants to fill us with Himself. He wants to be the substance that fills us as His vessels. Just as water bottles contain water, God made us to contain Him. God made us to contain Him much like a glove is made to contain a hand. The glove is the hand’s image, but the hand is the glove’s life. The glove was made in the image of the hand in order to contain the hand. In the same way, God created man in His image, in order to contain Him (Romans 9:23-24).
Man was created in the likeness of God. God is Spirit and hence He made man a spirit. All animals were made according to their own kinds, but the Bible states that man was made in God’s likeness. We are His species (John 4:24)
Man is God’s vessel. The Bible divides this vessel in three parts: the spirit, the soul and the body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The body is simply the physical part created to interact with the material realm. It is the most superficial part. The soul is the psyche, the deeper psychological part created to interact in the social realm. The spirit is the deepest part of man; it functions in the spiritual world and interacts within the spiritual realm. God’s purpose is to dwell within man’s spirit and be its contents and its satisfaction. This is the purpose of human existence. God did not create you just to have food in your stomach or knowledge in your brain. He created you to contain His Holy Spirit in your spirit.
God’s desire is to lead us into all truth through our spirit. The Christian life consists of being led by God in our spirit. If we fail to hear the voice of God and His direction, our entire Christian existence will become a failure. The central point of the gospel is Christ in us. God’s Holy Spirit is life; to interact with the Spirit is to interact with the very life of God.
Our Spirit is like a radio that tunes into the waves of heaven. A radio both receives and transmits. If we desire to be flowing with life, we must learn to make contact with the Lord through our spirit. It is fundamental that we rightly divide and discern between what is from the soul and what is from spirit. Hebrews 4:12 informs us that the Word of the Lord separates the soul from the spirit. If we fail to discern the soul from the spirit, we will compromise our growth and our entire Christian life. We need to learn to discern what is from our spirit and what comes from other people’s spirits.
The way to distinguish between the soul and the spirit is by understanding life itself. Everything that is of the spirit is life, but that which is of the soul is death. If a person begins to speak and minister life, it is because he spoke from the spirit, but if he produces death, it is because he spoke from the soul.
If a believer does something outside of the move of God in a meeting, it will produce death. When someone preaches in the spirit, life comes out of their mouth and that life will attract and quench people’s thirst. We should do nothing that does not minister life.
The things of the spirit always produce life. Life is contagious – when we open our mouth through the spirit, it will flow and spread life among those who hear. Every Word of God is spirit and life. We should be ministering life to our brothers even when talking; life must flow even during a simple conversation. I refer to spiritual life, which is supernatural.
To be led by the Spirit is to be led by this life. In order for the Spirit to lead us, we need to develop sensitivity in our own spirit. Without this sensitivity, we will not be able to perceive the voice and direction of the Lord. One of the principles in developing this sensitivity is to learn to perceive God’s direction in our spirit.
Christianity – discern and walk in the direction of the Holy Spirit
- If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25 – NKJV)
- Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25 – NIV)
- If we are now living by the power of the Holy Spirit, let us follow the direction of the Holy Spirit in all areas of our lives (Galatians 5:25 – Living Bible)
Many people ask God to lead them through supernatural signs and proofs. However, the Lord does not want to guide us through exterior means. Rather the Spirit seeks to guide us by his life inside of us. We must perceive the feelings produced by the Spirit within us. We need to be sensitive to these and learn to recognize them. We may feel agreement, inner peace or we can experience feelings of uneasiness or restraint. The Spirit may either impel us to do certain things or restrict us from doing other things.
Christianity in the New Testament is not a formal, ceremonial or religious ritual or even the observance of rules, regulations and ethics. It is much more than living a righteous life, doing the right things or doing unto others, as we would have them do to us. Christianity is much more than a philosophy or a system of positive thinking. Real Christianity is supernatural. It is the life of Christ inside of us!
It is because Christ lives in our hearts that we can experience the leading or the direction of the Holy Spirit. We must learn and discern the language of our spirit. We must recognize when the Spirit is grieved (Ephesians 4:30). We must recognize when the Spirit rejoices inside of us and wants us to rejoice with Him, or when He has a burden and wishes to pray through us.
It all starts when we have a feeling or impulse in our spirit. We then understand that the Lord wishes to say something to us. We need to stop and ask the Lord what he has to say. We should wait silently on him until we comprehend what he tells us, then, we should act according to the revelation that he gives us and cooperate with his direction. We must remember these experiences so that we will be able to recognize the Lord’s voice in the future.