The word “spirit” can be such an obscure term. Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary lists fourteen definitions. Here are a few:
- an animating or vital principle held to give life to physical organisms
- a supernatural being or essence: such as a. capitalized: HOLY SPIRIT b. SOUL c. an often malevolent being that is bodiless but can become visible specifically: GHOST d. a malevolent being that enters and possesses a human being
- temper or disposition of mind or outlook especially when vigorous or animated in high spirits
Today, in our secular and materialistic age, we often hear the word used in phrases like “school spirit”. Or we speak of someone being in “good spirits”.
For those of us who are Christians, we believe that God is a Spirit. Specifically, we believe that God is the Spirit. How does Scripture help us understand this?
The Holy Spirit, as we often call Him, makes His appearance in the first chapter of the Bible:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
He shows up again in the last chapter of the Bible speaking directly to us:
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
Amazingly, both the first and last mention of the Holy Spirit in the Bible is in relation to water. He is hovering over the new waters of creation. At the end, He invites us to drink the water of life without cost. Throughout Scripture God makes a connection between His Spirit and water over and over again.
In fact, God promised in the Old Testament that one day He would pour out His Spirit like water to bring life to His people.
For I will pour out water on the thirsty land
And streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring
And My blessing on your descendants;
And they will spring up among the grass
Like poplars by streams of water.
He promised to cleanse His people with the Holy Spirit, washing away their sins and empowering them to obey His commandments.
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
And what God promised in ancient days He faithfully fulfilled with the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Jesus said that all who believe in Him would receive eternal life through His Spirit.
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
Do you drink from the water of life?
There are all sorts of things to drink at Indiana University. There is the kool-aid of propaganda that will poison you into believing that there is no God. There is the alcohol at dorms, frat parties, and bars that will wipe away your inhibitions and rob you of self-control. There are the rivers of sexual debauchery that will drown your soul and your body in hell.
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit…
What spirit is driving you? Is it the spirit of this perverse age or is it the Spirit of God?
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God…
1 Corinthians 2:12
Don’t let the spirit of Indiana University turn you away from the waters of eternal life.
Surround yourself with followers of Jesus who will pray for you and keep you accountable before God. If you are strong in faith and filled with the Holy Spirit, continue to seek the things that are above. If you are weak, caught in the torrent of this world’s waters, feeling as if you could drown at any moment, God promises to give you His Spirit if you will only seek Him.
So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?