We often hear “God is in me” and “God is in you.” When we consider how uncaring each of us can be and how we treat those that do not agree with us or worship like us, is this statement truthful or wise? Are we really good expressions of the enlightening and loving presence of the Eternal One?
While a deposit of the Spirit of God is in every person as the spirit of life, should anyone boast, “God is in me.” Jesus actually shied away from such an attitude and “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.” (a) [see end notes for all Scriptures] Without realizing it, are we really entertaining the Garden of Eden temptation; “You will be like God.” (b) So, how does God actually move in us?
The Spirit “In Us”
Yes, there are two passages in our Bible that say: “you are a temple of God” (c) and we are “growing into a holy temple in the Lord…into a dwelling of God.” (d) These verses however are not written to individuals but to people who interact as a connected group. Such gatherings function in the earth as the collective “body of Christ.” (e) Individually, no one is or can be a Temple of God.
Everyone has ‘the spirit of life’ within them, even if not consciously aware of it. A deposit of the Spirit of God is in each person as a basic source of life. (f) This enables each of us to function and to be active both naturally and spiritually. The spirit in us comes from God. It is our connective link, allowing us to sense His presence and interact with Him before our physical death, when our spirit returns to Him. (g)
The spirit of life in us makes each person an “offspring of God.” (h) This is why we can sense His presence, without natural visuals. This also enables us to observe one another’s spiritual character, attitude and personality (CAP). We can even ignore God and act like we are children of destruction. (i)
Each experience we have with God encourages transforming and improving adjustments in us. While refining changes can begin with an event or in little enlightening moments, they are established through the process of transformation. Remember – while God is “at work in you,” we are to “work out” (j) into daily life what God initiates. Our response to His influence transforms us “from glory to glory” (k) into what we are created to be: children who in various ways reflect and resemble our Eternal Father.
The spirit in us comes from God.
Absorbing God’s Presence
The Greek word translated as ‘baptism’ in our Bible actually means ‘immersion’. Spirit baptisms are immersion experiences we have in the presence of God’s Spirit; like water baptisms are immersions in water. Following the ascension of Jesus out of natural sight, he returned as our baptizer in God’s Spirit. (l) The Spirit of God was poured out as prophesied, “upon all mankind.” (m) Following the visual display on an initial few, (n) that very day 3,000 others were immersed in God’s presence. (o)
Some teach these immersions are one-time experiences, to indicate recipients have a permanent deposit of the Holy Spirit. The experiences of multitudes throughout history present a different picture and show immersions are intimate times that enhance our personal fellowship with God’s presence.
Immersions in God’s Spirit do not fill us like a glass is filled with liquid. We don’t “now have it” or it suddenly possesses us. Instead, immersions in God’s engulfing presence allow us to absorb like a sponge. As we soak it in, we can be momentarily filled with the Holy Spirit. For a time or season, our absorption from God’s presence can even ooze or drip from us as godly expressions.
Like a sponge, our oozing ability can dry out if we do not experience the presence of God often. Absorbing experiences in God’s presence can happen anytime and anywhere. In such times we may receive enlightening insight, clarity of direction, various gifting, and empowering anointing.
While the spirit in us is the link that enables us to interact with God, it is our soaking experiences that enhance our maturing growth. Our soul’s conscious mind, will and emotion are receptive to God’s influencing presence and our spirit is the conduit that absorbs as a sponge “the anointing which you received.” (p) These insightful experiences enhance our maturing process and so we become more godly people and better expressions of the light and love of the Eternal One.
While the spirit in us is the link that enables us to interact with God, it is our soaking experiences that enhance our maturing growth.
“With,” “Among,” and “In Our Midst”
The Spirit of God is revealed to us today as “Emmanuel, which…means ‘God with us’.” (q) His presence is “with us,” (r) is “in our midst,” (s) and is manifested (made visible) “among us” (t) as our guiding light. His enabling presence enables us to improve and be better shining lights in this world. (u)
Notice – “The mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (v) The word ‘you’ is used in a plural sense, addressing the Colossians. Our hope of glory is not Christ in ‘me’ as an individual, but in you and your interactive gatherings.
An insight that helps us understand more clearly comes from three Greek words translated in our Bibles as ‘Christ’. The primary is chrio, which means ‘to anoint’. (w) A variable is chrisma, which means ‘anointing’. (x) A second variable is christo, which means ‘anointed’. (y) Christo is translated many times as “Jesus the Christ (the anointed)” (z) and several times as “Christ (the anointed) Jesus.”
Today, we tend to use Christ (christo) as a surname to say, Jesus Christ. Jesus even said “The Spirit of the Lord is ‘upon Me’, because He ‘anointed Me.’” (aa) Jesus was anointed by God to illustrate the Eternal One’s reflection and resemblance (image and likeness), as a child of God and of man. (bb)
When we become more aware of God’s guiding presence and accept His forgiving love, we consciously become “born again (born from above).” (cc) When we accept God’s call into fellowship, we become more than offspring that leans toward doing our own thing. As we actively interact with our Eternal Father as His responsive children, (dd) we become more attractive expressions of God.
Jesus declared: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name (as receptive sons), there I am in their midst.” (ee) As we interact and share about God and His ways, He promised to be with us, among, and in our midst. God with us can be a very enlightening, anointing, and influencing presence!
Our movement from offspring to children is much like the Hebrew custom of raising children. Children are raised and disciplined primarily by their mother until the age of 13. Then they shift into a more direct care and interaction with their father to receive instruction and training regarding interaction with the world.
“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (ff) Jesus cautioned us about deciding who is or is not born of or led by the Spirit of God. We can only observe the resulting evidence in the effects.
So, how often are we entertaining God’s presence and seeking His insightful direction? Do we sense His influencing presence in the midst of our interaction with others? If this is not often, then we know our spirit may need a re-soaking in His presence, so our expressions can be more god-like today!
God’s enabling presence enables us to improve and be better shining lights in this world.
a) Philippians 2:6; b) Genesis 3:5; c) 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; d) Ephesians 2:19-22; e) Ephesians 4:12-16; f) Genesis 2:7; g) Ecclesiastes 12:7; h) Acts 17:22-29; i) John 8:44; j) Philippians 2:12-13; k) 2 Corinthians 3:18); l) Mark 1:8; Acts 1:5; m) Acts 2:14-17; 10:45; Joel 2:28; n) Acts 2:1-4; o) Acts 2:39-41; p) 1 John 2:27; q) Matthew 1:23; Hebrews 13:5; r) Ephesians 2:6; s) Matthew 18:20; t) Exodus 34:9; Joshua 3:10; u) Matthew 5:16; Isaiah 60:1; v) Colossians 1:26-27; w) Acts 4:27; 10:38; x) 1 John 2:20, 27; y) Mathew 1:16; 27:17; Hebrews 3:14; Philippians 2:5; Acts 3:20; z) John 20:31; Acts 3:20; 5:42; 9:22; 17:3; 18:5, 28; 1 John 2:22; 5:1; aa) Luke 4:18; bb) Colossians 1:15; cc) John 3:3, 7; dd) John 1:12; 8:12; 12:36; ee) Matthew 18:20; ff) John 3:8