Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16, KJV)
I have focused on the mysteries of Christ in you since the beginning of the year, and how to cultivate a sweet, enjoyable, and practical fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The Father is yearning for you to get into this arena of intimacy. It is not complicated or mysterious. God’s eternal purpose is to make you a visible manifestation of the fullness of His invisible Being. Let me share a mystery with you today about the word “in”.
“In” is a preposition that essentially means inside. In other words, something is enclosed or surrounded by something else. For example, your lungs are in your chest. If you open up the chest, you will find the lungs inside. This is the literal meaning of this astonishing preposition. The importance of this little word is glaring in the New Testament, especially in the writings of the Apostle Paul as seen in the scripture above with phrases such as “in Christ”, “in Him”, “in you”, in the Spirit, etc.
Take a look at the verse above. It says the Holy Spirit dwelleth in you. What does this mean? We have unconsciously interpreted such verses in the literal sense without realizing it. In other words, we have taken the word “in” to mean inside. When many of you read that the Holy Spirit is in you, you probably think He is inside of you, right? This is how I understood these verses and have been taught until the Lord began to unravel the mysteries of the word “in to me”.
Let me help you with two brief illustrative examples . When scripture says Jesus is at the right hand of God ( Co. 3:1), does that mean He is at the right-hand SIDE of God? God does not have a left and a right side as we do. Right hand here does not mean right hand side. It means the place of authority and power. This should help set the stage for understanding what I am sharing in this devotional.
The second is the life of a human being. I want you to think for a moment. You have life, right? Where is this life? Is it inside of you? Is it inside of your body? No! You cannot open up a person’s body and find something in it called life. The life is not INSIDE the body, but IN the body. The “in” here is does not literally mean inside but that is mysteriously “permeating”, “infiltrating” and intimately united with the body. The body and the life are not in the same realm of existence. That is why you cannot open up the body and find life inside. The life of a human being is spirit and it is one, permeating the body as a unity, not inside of it. The life of the body is in every organ or part of the body.
Let me take this further to describe the mysterious relationship of the Holy Spirit and us. The Spirit is in us, not inside of us. He dwells not by occupying a space inside of us but by “permeating”, “infiltrating” or intimately become one with us. That means the Holy Spirit is not inside of your mind, as if your mind is a container with a space inside for the Spirit to occupy. No! He is in your mind, meaning dwells and operates in your mind as your mind. He wants to dwell in you not inside of you but filling every part of your being and functioning as you. He is not inside of your emotions, but in your emotions, bringing your emotions to the exalted place of experiencing and expressing God.
God does not want you to be a “container” of the Spirit. The container illustration helps us understand some aspects of our relationship with the Spirit, such as receiving Him. He wants you to be the expression of the Spirit. He wants to be in your mind, emotions, will and body! There is no word in English that can express this mysterious working of the Spirit and we have to use the word “in”, not in the literal sense but the figurative. I want you to move from the “container” mentality where you think God is inside of you to the oneness mentality where God is in you as one with you and expressing Himself as you. How can I express such profound truth in such a brief devotional? I pray the Lord opens your understanding to this truth. I will get deeper into it at length during our Glory & Grace Live Bible study this week.
Have you understood the meaning of the literal use of the word “in” and its figurative use?
APPLY THE WORD
This teaching will help you understand similar phrases such as “in Christ” or “Christ in you”. We are in Christ, right? Now you know that does not mean we are inside of Christ. Please reread this devotional until it opens up to you.
First, pray that the Spirit will open your understanding of this truth. Then ask that He will bring you into a practical experience of it.