LifeLink Devotions (Click here for podcast)
Thursday, March 3, 2022
Magnets are cool. They help me see the invisible. They teach practical lessons of eternal value. I remember playing with two little magnetic dogs in church when I was a little boy. They were mom’s way of keeping her three sons quiet while she sang in the choir and while dad led the service. Little did I know the importance of the lessons about unity I would learn from them. You see, the force of a magnet has the ability to attract an object if it is made of a material that responds to magnetic force. That material can also be influenced to become magnetic itself. If the object is another magnet, it will either attract or repel depending on its position. Let’s draw some spiritual applications from these scientific facts.
Ephesians 4:3 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.“
I see the power of the Holy Spirit represented by magnetic force. God has created all human life out of eternal material that is able to respond to the Holy Spirit. We can be influenced sufficiently by the power of the Spirit to become like Him. That’s what happens when we let the power of the Spirit flow through us. But just like magnets, we can also be repelled by the Spirit if our position is wrong. When I played with the two magnetic dogs, they would attract each other if they were facing each other. If I tried to come up from behind one of them with the other, it would be pushed away. The Holy Spirit can only attract those who are facing God and seeking Him. All others will be repelled deeper into their own lives of selfish aspirations.
Once a life is attracted by the Holy Spirit, connection happens. This connection is most powerful and influential when there is nothing between the two. However, things do get between us and God. I used to put one dog underneath the cover of the hymnbook, with the other dog on top. Any movement of the bottom dog would influence the position of the top dog. God’s Spirit influences us constantly, and directs our every move, even when things of the world try to interfere. However, the more pages I would put between the two dogs, the less influence there would be, until finally the top dog was not influenced at all. Continual submission to the things of the world will quench the power and we will be unable to sense the movement of the Spirit.
One of the direct results of continuous magnetic force on an object is that the object itself becomes magnetic. I remember this lesson from a time I was fixing a car. I had dropped a small bolt down into a very tiny opening in the frame of the car, and needed to retrieve it. The magnet I had was too large to fit into the opening. I grabbed a nail, and began stroking the nail with the magnet. The nail became magnetized. I attached a wire to it, and dropped the nail down into the slot, which in turn picked up the bolt. What a great lesson for us. We are constantly being stroked by the Holy Spirit so that our lives with be used to attract others to Jesus.
Another direct result of magnetic force is that it will hold objects together so long as the force is permitted to work. Let me tell you about another experiment I did once in school. On an oak table we placed a pile of nails. Underneath the table we had built a small electromagnet. When the electric current was turned on and the poles of the magnet were brought up under the table, immediately there was a field of magnetic force formed around the nails. So long as this field of force was maintained the loose nails could be built up in various forms, such as a cube, a sphere, or an arch. So long as the current was on, the nails would stay in exactly the form placed, as if they had been soldered together. But the second the current was cut off the nails would fall into a shapeless mass.
Unlike the experiment, where the power could be turned off, the power of the Holy Spirit cannot be cut off. The power to create unity is always on. But picture those nails all being held in a large arch by the magnetic force. Now, remove one of the nails and replace it with one made of a non-magnetic material, and try to build the arch again. It won’t work. Every individual nail has to be connected to the power for true unity to exist.
That’s why the verse says that we are responsible to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit. His power is always creating unity. Our lives sometimes become an obstacle to unity because we are more attracted to the world than we are to Christ. We have turned away, like the magnetic dog, and are no longer facing Jesus. We repel His power rather than connect to it. What that field of magnetic force was to those nails, the Holy Spirit is to all believers. By His power we are held together in a bond of love, a bond that is broken when we grieve and quench the Holy Spirit by our self-willed actions. Make every effort to let the Holy Spirit’s power continue to influence every part of your life, and your life will be used to bring unity to the Body of Christ.