When the believer crosses a certain point, the Holy Spirit is received. It happened to me. Praise God. But I became confused when trying to communicate my life-changing experience to those near and dear to me. Most of them were polite, courteous and simply allowed me to have my ‘weird’ thoughts. They kept intellectual distance and did not acknowledge a genuine understanding of the topic I wanted to share. Sometimes they argued, saying things like, if God is real, ‘prove it.’
How can I ‘prove’ something like that?
I struggled with the concept of ‘proving it’ for many years, thinking there must be some way to convince them. Maybe with miracles; like Moses parting the Red Sea; Elijah calling down fire from the sky; or Jesus who did many miracles, raising people from the dead and even rising from death himself! After a time, I reminded myself that these things had impressed only a few people in their day, and did not stick with the majority.
No. The ‘proof’ I needed and wanted, must work some other way.
So how does a believer, with the indwelling Holy Spirit, communicate this personal inner knowledge and experience of God with an unbeliever, or one who has not received the Spirit yet?
I started to imagine that receiving the Spirit was kind of like getting a 6thsense, a brand new sense; one to help the believer experience and understand things like never before – so the believer can really know more about God. You may have heard it called, ‘being reborn’ or, ‘born in the Spirit.’
I thought about the original five senses we’re born with: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touch. Everything we learn in this life depends on these five senses. Without them, we would be lumps of complete ignorance, our mind not able to experience anything good or anything bad.
I started to think, what does a Beethoven symphony mean to a deaf person? How would I go about intelligently discussing my listening experience at the concert with a deaf person? The deaf person may know I’m happy with my experience but will never really know about music, it’s pitch, rhythms and speed and the resulting emotion it creates. There is no way to reach a level of common understanding about something so real in my life, but not in his. Since he hasn’t heard for himself, could the deaf person then intelligently and sincerely ask me to ‘prove’ it? Even if he saw the orchestra, the instruments and the audience he may say, “You’re all nuts, just sitting there for hours.” However he’s at a disadvantage in his intellect and reasoning because he lacks the sense of hearing. In this case, hearing feeds the intellect of experience, experience is knowing, and knowing is the ‘proof.’
What are colorful sunsets to the blind? How do I with my sense of sight, communicate my visual experiences to one who is blind? The blind person can only recognize my appreciation for the sunset, never understanding the event for himself because he lacks the sense of sight and can’t experience it. Will he say, ‘prove it’? He even lacks the working knowledge of many visual descriptions to defend his ignorance.
What is salt and sugar to someone with no sense of taste? Can I describe it? Can I explain the fragrance of a rose to anyone who has no sense of smell? How do I demonstrate the subtle realities of hot and cold, to one having no sense of touch? Will they all ask me to ‘prove it?’
At some point in building faith, the seeking believer makes a willing crossing through his own ignorance, toward God, traveling beyond those five senses we’re born with. Perhaps then, the Spirit also makes a crossing to the believer. Somehow they get together, and I’m no expert on how God engineers such a thing.
For me, I decided that the Spirit unlocks a 6th sense that was always there inside of us, opening the mind of the believer to experience the reality and love of God firsthand, in ways that weren’t available with just the typical five senses of this worldly life.
Think of it this way: there are radio waves…but using only our five senses, we can’t see them, hear them, taste, touch, or smell them. We need a special receiver to unlock and translate the radio wave energy before we can understand its content and experience the communication.
The Holy Spirit of our Father works in the same way. The Spirit unlocks a part of us and provides another ‘sense,’ giving us a new and special receiver so we can really start tuning in to God.
So, now I’m not so uncomfortable when I get into a faith-based discussion and am challenged to ‘prove it.’ Maybe that’s why the Spirit is also called, ‘The Comforter.’
This just in… Remember that radios don’t make a listener perfect, just better informed.
God bless always.