Does anyone remember wearing 3D glasses as a kid? The frames are normally made of cardboard holding one plastic lens that is vivid red and another lens that is vibrant blue. Peering through them, the eyes send two separate images to the brain. The brain is essentially tricked into combining the two images into one, projecting a layer of dimension to the object it sees. Instead of just perceiving the height and width of an object, the eyes see an added dimension of breadth, hence the 3D quality of a third dimension. People wear these trick glasses to enhance their movie or television entertainment. The third dimension increases the viewing pleasure with a more life-like picture.
Like wearing 3D glasses, believers who receive the Holy Spirit into their lives experience heaven as an added dimension to their reality. During a clandestine meeting with Nicodemus, Jesus explained the reality of the Holy Spirit to this teacher of the law. “Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God…the wind blows wherever it wishes…so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.’” (John 3:5-8)
Christianity was about to take a turn to no longer just be about the printed page of the Law, flat and two dimensional. The spiritual life will consist of the written Word of God enlivened by interaction with the Spirit of God. The “blowing wind” that Jesus spoke of will be believers directed and empowered by the Spirit.
That new type of life began with the entrance of the Holy Spirit onto Jesus as recorded in Matthew 3:16-17. “And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water, and behold the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3: 16-17) God the Son emerged from His water baptism by John the Baptist, was met by God the Spirit, and validated by God the Father.
Movie depictions of this scene show a fluttering white dove alighting on Jesus’ shoulder. That is an innocuous interpretation that merely represents the utmost gentleness of the Spirit. Actually, the heavens burst open, releasing the all-powerful Agent of creation on the human body of Jesus. If the Spirit had not landed gently, He would have knocked Jesus over. Also, the voice of God the Father was equally measured. If His voice had been full capacity, it would have crushed creation. Empowered now by the Holy Spirit, Jesus would do the miracle ministry that He was sent to do. In fact, the Apostle John notes that all of Jesus’ miracles were not recorded because they were too numerous to write down. (John 21: 25)
Jesus was well-equipped to be the new prototype of man, the “last Adam,” “born of water and born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5) this was the inception of a new race of man that would be born of natural patents and born-again by God. Jesus lived by the power of the Spirit for the remainder of His life as an example of how we should live. Living by God’s power rather than our own is the added dimension we have, as modeled by Jesus.
After His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus told the Disciples that this same Holy Spirit was going to descend upon them. He would send the Spirit to them after He ascended to heaven. “…but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1: 8) the arrival of the Holy Spirit took place on the day of Pentecost as the believers were gathered in an upper room. “And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. “(Acts 2: 1-4)
Since then, the presence of the Holy Spirit adds a new dimension to believers’ lives, making them aware of God, to commune with Hom and understand the words of the Bible. Daily living in this dimension is called “walking by the Spirit.” “But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)
In this way, we have the power to hold ourselves back from acting on dark, base instincts. The Bible trains our mind to know God’s distinction between right and wrong. Even greater than those Christian basics, we can have a vision for our lives and some sense of future. As we follow the direction of the Holy Spirit, we can sense when we arrive at the right place, at the right time.
Our life unfolds in a unique and profound way because we have heaven’s perspective. Not only do we see the world differently, but we also see ourselves differently for the better. Bolstered by the awareness and backing of God, we focus more on what we can do rather than being held back by what we can’t do.
In his book, Living In The Spirit, Assemblies of God general superintendent Dr. George O. Wood makes these remarks about people who walk in the Spirit. “Second, the Spirit taps the potential in our life that no one or nothing else can reach. No single person’s life is ever the same after having encountered the Holy Spirit…No matter how much energy we bring to any particular assignment or task, only the Holy Spirit can touch the depths of potential in our life and draw them forth for the Kingdom of God.” Additionally, the supernatural quality of life in the Spirit propels us beyond our own natural abilities, not in a “magical” sense, but by having heaven’s reality present with us.
It was the Apostle Paul’s urgent prayer that believers understand and accept the supernatural dimension of life in the Spirit. “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints ad what is the surpassing greatness of His power towards us who believe.” (Ephesians 1: 18-19) With 3D glasses we can see a third dimension with our eyes that is not real. But with the Holy Spirit we can see the reality of heaven with the eyes of our heart.
Living In The Spirit, PP 42-43