The Holy Spirit and a new sense of Christ

The Holy Spirit and a new sense of Christ

“The Sixth Sense” (M. Night Shyamalan) is one of my favorite movies. It’s a great story, and you think you know the outcome – until the twist at the end turns your point of view on its head. The main character, a young boy, turns out to have a ‘sixth sense’ that allows him to not only see, but converse with those who have died. Meant to be a fantasy thriller (and no, I don’t advocate the idea of speaking with the dead!) it does challenge us to think about spiritual realities that surround us everyday – whether we “see” them or not. I’m currently teaching a class on “Loving the God we have not seen.” In the middle of preparing for one week’s class, it dawned on me that we believers do, in fact, have a spiritual sixth sense, or a way of “seeing” spiritual realities around us. It is the ability, given by the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, to know (perceive) Christ in a real and personal way; to be aware of Him every moment of every day. All the tug of wars that have gone on in church and theological circles over the ministry of the Holy Spirit have only served to toss dust in the air and cloud our understanding of His primary role. The primary reason Jesus sent the Spirit to us was so that we could experience a “real time” relationship with him, always! (John 14:15ff) Philip Yancey notes, “The Spirit is what we perceive with rather than what we perceive, [the Spirit is] the one who opens our eyes” (from Reaching for the Invisible God) I realized that this is how we perceive a God who cannot be experienced through our five natural senses. Experiencing the living Christ leads to knowing the living Christ, leading us to love the God we cannot see with our (natural) five senses. I wonder how acuity in this sense is developed? I am afraid I know far too well how it is dulled. Perhaps rather than trying to “seek God’s presence” in my life; I should just get on with practicing it.

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