God gives us Spirit and Life.
Things of the Spirit have Life in them. Isn’t that interesting? If there is little life, then, more than likely, there is little influence by the Spirit. We speak life to people when we have Life active in us. Should the Life be muted for some reason, then there is little evidence of the Spirit at work in the person’s soul. There is a lack of enlivening (people need to stop making excuses for this).
Life has a living energy. A person can lose a lot of ground spiritually when they don’t realize the lack of God’s ‘Presence’ outworking in their inner self. But if they have ‘life’ energizing them deep within their being, it will come to the surface, provide calm, and keep them going. The ‘life,’ is God’s life expressing His life in them and keeping them spiritually centered in their core being.
Oswald Chambers says that we can be treated wrongly and still be okay with it. This is because it isn’t about us, it’s about God and God in us; and living to please Him rather than for human praise.
I was talking with a woman I mentor about the evidence of things of the Spirit, in particular, in the scriptures and the way its truth influences a Christian. We were discussing the Word of God and different expressions of it. I said, “Hold on. Get a pen and write down what I am going to tell you.” She grabbed a pen. I said, “God’s Word and the presence of God will have Spirit and Life to it. This shows that it is real.”
Some good people, who believe in God’s teachings and who are comfortable Christians, can still exhibit a sour attitude and an entitlement mentality despite their longevity as believers. There may be many reasons for this including, unhealed hurts, unmet needs, unresolved issues; and living according to the flesh and not according to the spirit. There may be many factors i.e. unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, sinful actions and attitudes, or disobedience to God, which are blocking the sweetness of Jesus from growing in their beings.
Grumpy, negative people or self-centered people are not living according to spirit and life, and they are not fully approaching the Father who liberally gives gifts of grace, love and goodness to His children. You see, that long list in the paragraph above, can be reduced and remedied.
Christians can be set free, and they can let resentments go, and they can live in the Spirit, and they don’t need to be defined by the flesh patterns and their entanglements.
What God gives is good. The key to receiving what He gives is to prepare your heart to access His Spirit and Life. The first step is to become open and honest with God. The second step is to identify your areas of pride, arrogance, self-satisfaction, insecurities, hurts, wounds, anger and so forth. Those who are marked by walls, who go around with a chip on their shoulder and demonstrate over-reactive traits, may, indeed, have a great deal of work to do in their inner person.
No one can do it for them (or you). This is an individual, God-inspired, God-directed, God-enabled, spiritual transaction(s).
God makes you new by transforming you from being a self-centered Christian to becoming a God-centered Christian. This is a process of God stripping away your self-protective layers, showing you your heart and what is in it, and His coming in and taking over in every compartment. This spiritual transformation unfolds over a life-time.
The more you know God, the more you will access His love, the more you will change, and the more you will become more like Him.
This is not simple, but it is not complicated, either. God asks us to place our trust in Him. To trust God with our stuff means we will need to recognize the embodiment of God that speaks to His nature. Once you believe and know that God is a good God who has your best interest at heart, then you are able to process through the steps more quickly.
There can be mental blocks that conflict with this spiritual process.
Several conversations lately have touched on the trouble a person has with trusting God and believing in Him as interested in them. These are people who had a poor father figure or absent father in their life, and they have difficulty believing that God is 1. good, 2. cares, 3. is engaged, and 4. is accessible. Their human father-to-child relationship was defective and this makes it doubly hard for them to open up and trust God. It is much easier for them to dictate to God and to let God know their expectations of Him. (prayers are indicative of this)
Let me say this, nothing takes God by surprise. He will meet you where you are at. God is on your side. He wants you to believe in Him and trust Him with all of it. Now, I realize that that can be an uncomfortable statement and may seem wrong-minded at first blush. This is going to take time. Period. God is still God. All of us must let go of our already formulated expectations because they are human-focused.
God has a greater purpose known only to Himself.
But the purpose is a good one. God only gives good gifts to His children, He gives bread and never gives a stone. He sees what you cannot possibly see. You’re really something in His book, after all, He made you! Your life has its own beauty. Even the hard parts bring out the beauty of who you are. God desires for you to blossom with His life even in the daily grind.
You can be Spirit and Life to others, simply, because God’s Spirit and Life in you will express itself no matter what the circumstance.
Believe it, and live fully.
A good place to start is with these words, “Oh God, how I need You.”