(By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
Some people are in essence only two-dimensional beings, while others experience life in all three of their God-given dimensions. If you have not yet entered into that third dimension, you don't know what you are missing, literally.
God created you in His image. He is three Persons in One God. You are also three in one: body, soul, and spirit. The apostle Paul wrote, "May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thess. 5:23) Those three distinct words in English come from three distinct words in the original Greek text. You are one person with three God-given parts.
The problem is that sin has caused man to enter this world spiritually dead. Man's spirit is not living until it is made alive through faith in Christ. Until then, man only experiences life with his body and his soul.
Your soul basically involves your mind, your emotions, and your decision making ability. It is "the real you." Even if part of your body is amputated, your entire soul remains intact. It is invisible, but very real. And not only that, but it is also immortal. That's right. It will never cease to exist.
Your inner being is your spirit. One of the biggest problems with a "dead spirit" is that the person is not even aware of it. While believers have a spirit that is alive, everyone else has a spirit that is dead and completely unresponsive.
That does not mean a person with a dead spirit never has "spiritual longings" or "religious efforts." In fact, millions of people pursue spirituality while their spirit remains dead. They practice religion in their soul based on what they have been taught. But if that does not include the truth about Jesus Christ, then it does nothing to benefit their spirit or their spiritual life. Religion without the grace of Christ is religion in a person who has a dead spirit.
Remember. You are body, soul, and spirit. Jesus said, "You must be born again." (John 3:7) He wasn't talking about your body, or even your soul. He was talking about your spirit. That is the only way to enter a relationship with God, and the only way to be forgiven of your sins. And it is also the only way to worship God in a way that pleases Him.
Jesus said, "God is spirit, and His true worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24) You cannot worship God in spirit until your spirit comes alive. You can sing songs and "do religious stuff" prior to being born again, but that doesn't mean your spirit is engaged in worship.
And the Father does not accept anyone who attempts to come to Him apart from His Son. Those other approaches don't work because they don't really get you to the Father. They often produce religious feelings, and they can even turn you into a religious zealot. But "zeal without knowledge"(Proverbs 19:2) accomplishes nothing productive. It gets your soul fired-up, but it certainly doesn't make your spirit come alive.
Spirituality without Jesus is like Kool-Aid without water. It gives you a sugar buzz, but it does nothing to quench your thirst.
So if you have only been living as a two-dimensional being, isn't it time to experience the abundant life Jesus gives a person from the inside out? If you have been living without Christ, you have been "drinking the Kool-Aid" of the world's ideology.
What you really need is living water. And then you will never thirst again. Promise.
Jesus said, "If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." (John 7:37,38) This water doesn't start flowing until your third dimension as been "activated" so to speak. It must come alive. And only God can work that miracle for you. (see John 1:12,13)
So if you are only experiencing a two-dimensional life, there is more for you to experience. Would you like to do so? Or would you rather have your spirit remain dead? Without a thirst for Christ, you will never enter that dimension God created you to enjoy with Him.
And the worst part of all is that you won't realize until it is too late that you didn't fulfill God's desire for your existence. You really were created in God's image. But that doesn't mean you are open to the idea of having a relationship with God through faith.
Do you realize how many people with a closed mind never end up experiencing the third dimension, ever? They live and die oblivious to it, and then they enter eternity totally unprepared to meet their Maker. So if your mind is closed, trust God to open it. And if it is open, then believe the good news. Because either way, God is not going anywhere. But you are, if you know what I mean.
And eternity is a long time to regret having passed on a free gift that would have made it all different for you. Does any of this give you at least a slight concern for your soul's welfare? I sure hope so, because I know how much God loves you and how much He wants to have a relationship with you. He really does.
Will you at least pray about it? Seriously. What have you got to lose?
I know. I know. Prayers to the Father will only be accepted through the merits of the Son. And that only happens if the person who is praying trusts in Jesus.
I think you see where I am going. I am trying to lead you to start up a conversation with your Creator, even if you don't yet know for sure that He exists and that He loves you. Try reaching out to Him anyway. "Come near to God and He will come near to you." (James 4:8) After all, He does that sort of thing everyday of the year all over the world.
Just because you may be someone who has never experienced it does not for a second mean it isn't happening for thousands of others this day. And I mean for the first time in their life. They all entered that third dimension experience this very day. They placed their trust in Christ to forgive them. And the angels in heaven are rejoicing over each one who has accepted the Lord. (see Luke 15:10)
Meanwhile, many others just continue living in a way that corresponds to a billboard in Wisconsin I read about this week. It states, "Enjoy life now. There is no afterlife." And it is incredible to see how many people fall for that lie. They don't realize they have a "sin problem" that will carry over to the next life unless they are forgiven of their sins in this life. This spiritual blindness is why they remain spiritually dead.
So round and round this whole thing goes. Some people being born again. Others trying to get by in a two-dimensional experience. You can be religious in that realm, but you will never meet Jesus there. That is, when your spirituality involves only your body and your soul, but not your spirit. It just won't work. The Creator did not make you to function that way. Isn't it time to experience the full life Jesus can give you?
Try talking to God with these words: "Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. My body and soul have been affected by it. And my spirit has been dead because of my sin. But I am beginning to thirst for you Lord. I ask you to come into my heart and life. Cleanse me of my sin. I believe you died on the cross for me Jesus. I really do. But help me whenever my faith becomes weak. And please fill me Holy Spirit as you come in and bring life to my spirit. I want to live in that third dimension with a spirit that is alive. Thank you Lord for the promise in your Word that "everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved." And so that's what I am doing. I offer this heartfelt prayer in the name of Him who sacrificed His life on the cross for my sins, Jesus the Righteous One. Amen."
And now my friend, tell some Christians about your faith. And start to hang out with them and grow with them through the preaching and teaching of God's Word. Do what they did in the Book of Acts. Check out Acts 2:42. Do that stuff. And you will begin to experience life as God intended you to experience it. Know that you are saved today and forever through the blood of Jesus. And be bold and loving as you tell others about your relationship with God. Talking about it will help a lot.
So off you go into your new life. Enjoy Him and His plan for you. And when you encounter trials and painful challenges, just know that He will be there to see you through it all. Here is what Jesus says to everyone who is spiritually reborn: "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20) It doesn't get any better than that right there. Promise.