Does God Dwell Within Non-Christians?


Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Romans 8:5-9

Paul chooses his words wisely (or the Holy Spirit prompted him wisely).  How often do you hear people you are ministering to tell you they don’t need Jesus, they have God?  I have witnessed to dozens of people who can “buy into the ‘God thing’,” but feel they  “don’t need Jesus to get to Him”.  It can be tough to talk to these people because it all becomes a circular theory headache after a short while.

The fact is, that apart from the Word of God we don’t know God.  Everything we know and understand about our Lord is because we have the Spirit breathed Bible.  So, in order to know God you have to believe the Bible.  Otherwise you are truly just believing in air and smoke.  If then, you believe in God and can admit the Bible’s truth, then you must be forced to believe in Christ and your need for Him to intercede on your behalf.  It’s all very simple, yet so confusing all at the same time.

We need to know God.  We need to understand God.  The way to know and understand God is the Bible.  The Bible says Jesus is the only way to God.  If we believe in God, then we believe the Bible, thus we must believe on Jesus.  Confused yet?

Does God dwell in everyone?  Or just Christians?  Well, let’s re-read the passage in Romans.

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

The last section, the parts that I bolded, are key.  If you are controlled by the flesh, you can’t please God.  If you are controlled by the Spirit then God dwells in you.  Otherwise, He does not.  We often hear people talking about God dwelling in all men.  It’s simply not true.  God takes up residence within you only when you receive Jesus and become filled with the Holy Spirit.

Essentially, you have one God in three parts.  God the Father is in heaven, Jesus seated at His right hand.  The Spirit of God, or the Holy Spirit, dwells within each Christian.  Why is it that there are still so many Christians missing this?  They want God inside of them, working through them, but they don’t acknowledge His Spirit.

Let’s think of it this way.  You are working hard, making money and you just bought a brand new house.  It’s beautiful.  You keep the place immaculate, you cook and do all the lawn work.  You are pretty self-sufficiant,  you work, come home do house work and go to bed.  Pretty mundane but you get by.  Now imagine that some guy who just graduated college needs a place to stay.  He’s a cool guy, fun to be around.  He wants desperately to help out and make your life better, but you are happy with your system and you aren’t interested in change, even if it does mean making life easier.

This is how many Christians treat God.  We want Him living in our houses, but we don’t want Him to actually do anything. The reason we should want God in our house is because of what He can contribute to our home.  When God dwells inside of us, we should be excited each day to see how His presence will manifest itself.  You should always be aware of His residence in your house.  Otherwise you aren’t allowing Him to do anything.  We need to give God permission to do amazing things in our lives!

How do we do that?  Acknowledge the Spirit on a daily basis.  Wake up and greet Him.  Ask Him what He wants of you for that particular day.  Ask what you can do for Him, and ask what He wants to do for you.  Our relationship with the Holy Spirit can be an awesome thing, if we let it.  Otherwise, we are inviting someone to live in our house but not giving Him the opportunity to contribute.

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