We humans are made up of two primary parts – one part, our body, can be seen with our eyes if there’s enough light. The other part, no matter how much light is available, is not visible. We refer to that part with an assortment of names: our mind, our personality, our soul or spirit.
When I say body, I mean all of the physical parts we can see such as torso, limbs and head. But I also mean the parts we don’t normally see such as internal organs, blood, bone and muscles. The body can function with some of the parts missing – like a limb, an eye or an appendix. Some parts are crucial and must be there for the body to function at all – parts like the heart, brain or blood.
But there is another crucial piece – an invisible piece. A living body is rather like a container and is alive only as long it contains a soul. When body and soul are separated, the body dies and the soul is left without a way to interact with the physical world.
When I say soul, I mean the sum of all the invisible parts – the mind which actually governs the operation and function of the body (even a spider has one of those) and the spirit (only humans have) which controls the operation of the mind and allows communication with our Creator.
The container can, however, hold more then just a mind and a spirit. For the Christian believer, it also provides a place for the indwelling of an entirely separate, but invisible entity – the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16). But when the Holy Spirit is absent that spot is available to any invisible entity seeking residence which could be an evil spirit or even a large number of evil spirits (Mt 8:28-32, Mk 5:1-13).
The Holy Spirit must be invited to indwell. When that happens the Spirit acts as a resource, a guide and gentle director. It also acts as a protector in that an evil spirit cannot take up residence when the Holy Spirit is present. Evil spirits do not function that way. Rather they may or may not be invited. They can force themselves onto an individual and act as owners enslaving individuals and driving destructive behaviors. Fortunately they can be removed and they can be replaced with the Holy Spirit.
Under the Old Covenant the indwelling of the Holy Spirit was temporary. The Spirit would come to an individual at a specific need, then leave when that need was satisfied (1 Sam 16:14). The New Covenant changes that (Ez 36:26-27). The Holy Spirit comes the moment an individual accepts Christ. The Spirit then remains with that individual until the container dies.
There are other invisible beings in the universe. The Hebrew name for them is “elohim”(capitalized “Elohim” means God Himself). Angels come to mind. They are usually invisible, but not always. Their primary interaction with humans is as messengers from God. The word “angel” actually means messenger. Angels and demons are both elohim and are made of the same substance and the same capabilities. Demons, however, have fallen from God’s grace – angels have not. While angels would obviously have the capability of indwelling a human container like a demon, I am unaware of such a thing happening.
There are quite a few other things in our world that constantly affect us, but remain invisible – things like heat, light and gravity. But those things are not living and consequently have no intent or behavior to deal with. On the other hand, the parts that are alive whether visible or not, require that we be aware of them and interact with them as intelligently as we can. Far too often, we are either dismissive of the elohim or over-react to their activities.
Ephesians 6:11-12 says, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
What do you think?
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